If you love exploring God’s beautiful world and want to share this passion with your children, you’ve got to check this out. Nature Friend is a colourful magazine whose goal is to help ‘families explore the wonders of God’s creation.’
This high-quality magazine, free of advertising, is full of lovely photos, engaging nature stories, fascinating facts (the malleefowl of Australia essentially builds a compost pile to incubate its eggs…and then it adjusts the temperature by adding or removing vegetation!), a drawing lesson, stories behind photos, a word puzzle, a “Who Am I?” puzzle, an experiment to do, and more. An entire page of reader’s drawings showcases a previous issue’s drawing lesson, and there is a page of readers’ pictures and poems as well. The drawing lesson is detailed and teaches real techniques, interesting to all ages from kindergarten to adults.
Technically, the magazine is for younger children, with every second issue nudged to a slightly older audience, but the testimonial page shows many adults love it as well. I know I do. Nature Friend is not silly, it has no cartoons, and it has no inane comments in large fonts as many children’s magazines do. Instead, the youthful audience is treated with respect and given a real glimpse into God’s amazing world.
Creation is assumed throughout, but it is not addressed outright or made into an issue. Instead, the magazine’s aim is simply to ‘help families explore the wonders of God’s creation.’
Homeschool Crew members also received a supplement stapled into the magazine, the 8-page Study Guide. It contains more photos and puzzles, as well as photography hints and a lesson in nature writing. The guide can easily be incorporated into a homeschool day or just used for fun.
Would Nature Friend be a Good Fit for Your Family?
The website is full of goodies, including examples of all aspects of the magazine and lovely photos. You can also download three entire issues and two study guides. A homeschooler’s guide to the website presents all this information organized for busy homeschool moms. This page also has a coupon for new subscriptions.
Recognizing that Nature Friend is pricey, the website proclaims, “Each issue costs less than one fast-food meal, feeds the whole family, and the calories are lower!” This is true, and what’s more, it can feed the whole family many times and can contribute to significant portions of the curriculum.
Even so, I was hemming and hawing about the price. Then one of my children pointed out that even for us Canadians the cost is only about $6 US a month for both the magazine and the Study Guide. (For those of you in the US, it’s $5 a month for both.)
If you’re still not sure if Nature Friend would work for your family, check out the Homeschool Crew Review blog and see what many other homeschool parents think of Nature Friend and the Study Guide.
This is the kind of book I would recommend for your teen’s science and math reading.
Disclosure Policy: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received two months of Nature Friend with the Study Guide for review.