If you read Olive Plants regularly, you know that bird watching, nature studies, and journaling are staples in our homeschool. The free two-month subscription to Nature Friend Magazine that I received as a part of my participation on the TOS Homeschool Crew has been the perfect compliment to our studies of God's beautiful creation.
What first caught my attention was the photography. Exquisite! When each magazine arrived, the boys and I had to stop what we were doing and enjoy the oodles of photographs of birds, forest creatures, reptiles, and more. There are several half-page and full-page photographs (one issue even included a double-page spread) which were so vivid that we felt as though we were getting an up-close view of the real thing- a nature-lover's delight.
My boys also enjoyed the games and activities. They looked for hidden objects, went on a scavenger hunt, and completed crossword puzzles. They had a great time and learned a lot in the process.
Their favorite Nature Friend feature was the "You Can Draw" page. Each month readers are challenged to draw a particular plant or animal. In the issues we received, instructions were given on how to sketch a sunflower and a black bear. .
Readers may submit their drawings, and they may be featured in a later issue. Readers may also submit articles, questions, or picture captions which may be included in future issues as well. There were a number of articles, photographs, and drawings included in the issues we received that were the work of children. My boys enjoyed seeing and reading the work of kids their age which inspired them to work on submissions themselves.
Last but not least, I must mention the articles. Nature Friend
Magazine is filled with well-written, high-interest articles. They are written so that a child can understand them but are not "dumbed-down". Best of all, they are written from a creationist standpoint. Each magazine contains Bible quotes and statements that acknowledge God as Creator. Your children will learn science but not the anti-Biblical, evolutionary sort. Instead, they will be taught that "Thou hast created all things, and for THY pleasure they are and were created." Rev 4:11.
As an added bonus, my subscription included an accompanying study guide inside each issue. Within were additional games, questions and extension activities based on the articles. Further research is encouraged. There are also two bonus features contained in each study guide: lessons in creative writing using nature as a springboard and "The Photo Critique" which offers great nature photography tips.
A one-year subscription costs $36, or you can save by subscribing for 2 years and pay $68. The study guides cost an additional $2 per issue, or $24 per year. I would LOVE to continue our subscription but cannot afford to do so right now. I give the magazine itself two thumbs up and am going to add a third thumb to this review and point it downward for the subscription price. It pains me to do that because Nature Friend Magazine is such a high-quality publication, but I would love to see the cost come down so that it could be enjoyed by more families.
For more information on how you can subscribe to Nature Friend Magazine, visit their website.
Note: I have added an update here containing coupon codes for $3 off a subscription and a special offer on their hardbound volumes.