Product: Nature Friend Magazine and Study Guide
Company: Nature Friend
Price: 36.00$ US for 1 year US subscription (60.00$US with the study guide)/ 49.00$US for 1 year Canadian subscription (73.00$US with the study guide)
As part of TOS Review Crew, I received the August and September 2009 issues (including the studies guides that are available at an additional charge to subscribers) of Nature Friend magazine. This Christian based science/nature magazine is geared towards both the young and old with articles, stories, activities and photographs that are sure to catch any nature lovers attention. Having been published for over 25 years, Nature Studies is dedicated to sharing the wonders of God's Creation with the whole family. As soon as it arrived at our door, the magazine disappeared. It caught my son's attention immediately and he disappeared for 45 minutes. Finally, I went off to explore and found my 6 year old in his room devouring an article on the cicada.
"Hey, Mom," he said, "this is the coolest insect EVER!"
Several times over the next few weeks I was met with enthusiastic statements from my son as he read other articles in his Nature Friend magazine. When things got quiet in the house, usually a sign of mischief making, I was often surprised to find Liam looking for words in the word searches or the hidden images peppered throughout the magazine. My son read the magazine from cover to cover and then back again. He especially loved the activities included in the study guide (and didn't believe me when I said that they were there to help him see how much he'd learned from the magazine).
As a parent, I appreciated that the articles were easy to read without being dumbed down. The physical quality of the magazine is also really good, with the pages being able to withstand repeated turning and less than gentle flipping from two, sometimes over eager, children. The quality of the photography is also really superior and captures the splendor of this world we've been given. As an aspiring photographer, I really enjoyed the photo critique section that is included in the study guide as well.
I believe that this magazine would be a nice addition to any Christian family's science curriculum. For those that are hoping to avoid the topic of evolution and the question "what do they mean by millions of years ago?" this is a good resource. However, I would not particularly recommend it for families that do not believe in God's Creation theory. There are other magazines out there that would likely cater better to your families needs. The articles are indeed very informative and most can stand alone without mention of creation but the overall feel of the magazine is Christian and may be uncomfortable for some more secular readers.
As a Canadian, I would have a hard time justifying the 73.00$US subscription (including the study guide) but that is likely because I am not specifically looking for Christian content when selecting a science curriculum (we've decided to present both theories to our children and have them decide for themselves which they believe). I find that the American cost is more reasonable at 3 dollars an issue. For 2 dollars an issue, the additional study guide is nice to have but not necessary. There are activities (crosswords, word searches, and a "You can draw..." secotion) in the magazine. Both my son and I enjoyed the extras that the 2 dollars provided but still would have gained a lot from the magazine without it.
To summarize, I believe that this is one of the only creation based science magazines out there currently, and with 25 plus years of dedication to their beliefs, I think that Nature Friend magazine is a magazine that is worthy of a place in a Christian homeschool science curriculum.
***Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Review Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.