Am I the only homeschool parent who didn’t know about this? When this was made available to the TOS Crew, many people sang its praises. I shrugged and had a blank stare. Nature Friend has actually been around since 1983 – I was a mere child in 1983 – and homeschool families have long held it in high regard. I am told the magazine has gone to 72 different countries during its run.
OK, even if you did know about Nature Friend, did you know the magazine now offers a study guide? We received the August and September issues and their study guides and were quite pleased. The boy enjoyed the abundance of activities, including crosswords, word searches, a “how to draw” segment in each issue, and an abundance of nature photography in all its circle of life glory. (Translation: Eww. But educational and entertaining, especially for 11-year-old boys.)
The study guide is $2 per month, in addition to the subscription price of $36. (See a sample here.) Study guides are actually inserts and are not sold separately from the magazine. The study guides really made the magazine for us. They include issue-specific activities and enrichment that allowed us to use the magazine as a learning tool, including creative writing and nature photography.
- This is an ideal companion for nature studies. Especially if your homeschool has a classical bent, you will want to keep these from season to season as an unmatched nature journal resource.
- For kids who aspire to be visual artists,writers or photographers, there are many opportunities for reader submissions.
- The magazine is decidedly Christian (tag line: “Helping Families Explore the Wonder of God’s Creation”) and is completely family friendly.
- The photography, writing and design are top-notch – and I have the occupational hazard of being overly critical of such things. :)
I hesitate to recommend an age range for Nature Friend. I actually found it just about perfect for my son’s age (sixth grade), but it certainly could be read to much younger children and has the added benefit of engaging photographs. It is not watered down, so it could be used effectively in homeschools with multiple grades.
And if you happen to curl up on the couch with an issue and a cup of coffee – well, I wouldn’t know anything about that.