Homeschool Posts

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review: Nature Friend Magazine

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23 glossy, advertisement-free pages detailing the wonders of God’s world with beautiful photographs, informative, easy-to-read articles, art lessons, nature experiments, crossword puzzles and more. Add the Study Guide for another 8 pages of activities including photography tips, writing starters, review questions, and puzzles inserted into the center of your magazine.

What I like about Nature Friend:

  • Their copious use of photographic submissions by their readers is encouraging to young shutterbugs.
  • Their articles about little-known (and fascinating) creatures are written at a level I can easily understand and share with my children, though some explanations will be necessary for technical terms and historical references.
  • The photographic tips (in the Study Guide) encourage young shutterbugs to explore nature first-hand.
  • It is completely devoid of hype, pop-culture references, inappropriate slang, cross-marketing of TV or movie products, and ads.
  • The overall look of the magazine is professional and pleasing to the eye.

What I don’t like:

  • At $36 for 12 issues (add another $24 if you want the Study Guides), the price is a bit steep for our budget. I suspect this is, at least in part, due to its ad-free nature. Still, $5 a month is not unreasonable.
  • The art lessons essentially show a young artist how to copy a given composition as opposed to actually teaching any real aspects of drawing or painting---but this is something you could easily tinker with and turn into a full art lesson.
  • Many of the articles seem to just touch the surface and are quite short, though this may spur a child to pursue the topic independently. It would be neat if they offered some web-links for “further exploration.”

Overall, not a “must-have” resource, but a fun little doodad, particularly for those foul-weather days when getting out and experiencing nature firsthand might not be possible. Also an ecologically sound birthday or Christmas suggestion for the grandparents.

You can order a subscription to Nature Friend from their website:

  • One year for $36
  • Two years for $68
  • Supplemental Study Guides are $2 each, or $24 for the year
  • For a $3 discount until 11/30/2009, enter code: BLOG93

Nature Friend sent me 2 free issues of their magazine in exchange for this review through the TOS Homeschool Crew review program. You can read other reviews of this product by other homeschoolers, click the banner below:

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