Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nature Friend Magazine

I recently received two copies of Nature Friend magazine to review. I was amazed and awestruck and the quality of this magazine. The photography, paper quality and the articles were all top-notch and they included related activities. Then, something hit me all at once and I had to look at the magazine again. There were NO advertisements of any kind. The more I looked at and studied this magazine, the more I liked it.

All three of my kids (8-13) loved it. They would read the articles to each other and actually help one another with the activities. It is wonderful for a mom to see her kids getting along. Now, I'm not going to claim this happened the whole time they worked on the magazines but for the most part, they were so excited about some of it that they temporarily forgot to fight.

Nature Friend has started putting out a study guide recently with their magazine in order for families to get even more out of the articles. Some are activities like crosswords and word search, others are more like actual research. For the time we had the magazine coming to our home, we used it for science class at least twice a week. It seemed to work well with our multi-grade school situation. I haven't found a whole of things that do incorporate all my kids on some level, but then some days my creative side takes a nose dive. Don't laugh, you know you've been there.

Our science class using the magazine looked a little like this - the oldest child would read and article to the younger ones with mom explaining anything that wasn't understood, then the kids would talk about it some (their favorite parts, if they've ever seen the subject, etc) and then we would pick one of the many activities to do to reinforce some of the words and concepts. Some of those activities were very challenging!

This company offers more than magazines, I've seen a wide array of books and also noticed they sell a hardback edition of a year's worth of magazine that will last. I love this idea. If you follow this link then it will direct you to some sample issues to help you decide if this is right for you. There isn't enough room for me to put in all I would like to about this magazine. I say all these wonderful things to allow you to know that the price of such a wonderful resource is well justified. I haven't renewed my subscription but I definitely intend to as soon as spring comes. One year cost $36.00, that's just $3 and issue with no ads and chock full of educational nature information for your child. The study guide is $24.00 for the year, which is $2 an issue and more than well worth that. And for those of my readers who it matters to very much, this is creation based nature study that glorifies our Creator. To me, that's priceless. Think, pray and consider this.

DebG, HeadNut

Maestro Classics

Dun-da-da-dun, dun-da-da-dun, etc. My children ripped open the package for Maestro Classics when we received it to review from the company. The two littlest nuts (11 and 8) promptly sat in front of the computer and popped in the CD and began running it from there with the speakers UP! The middle child listened as she perused the booklet that came with it.

As I listened to the Tortoise and the Hare put to music, I began to realize how much thought went into this CD. The scores and background music were perfect all the way through the story and the story was a longer version than I had ever heard but it was still engaging. It kept both of the smaller kids' attention and honestly, the youngest child doesn't usually like anything without pictures or some other kind of visual learning. He just doesn't learn with pure auditory, but he sat there throughout the whole CD even as the next tracks began to explain the different scores and musical selections. I believe I was actually the one who finally cried "uncle". They would have continued to listen to it over and over but I had a schedule to keep that day and wasn't getting anything done.

This CD series could seriously jump-start a music appreciation in my children. They already love certain types of music, but this could definitely introduce them to the world of more classical music and give them a desire to learn more about it and it's composers. I grew up loving classics (I know, I was a little weird) and thoroughly enjoyed Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Maestro Classics is reasonably priced as well. Each CD is only 16.98 or 3 for $45 with the coupon code of MAESTRO45. That's not but a couple dollars more than a traditional CD in department stores, but this has the added bonus of teaching your children an appreciation of music and enjoying a more classical side of it. They have some wonderful stories and gift sets. I even spied a family pack that looked like fun. Give it try, I don't believe you'll regret it.

DebG, HeadNut