Monday, October 21, 2013

God's World News: God's Big World Review

 photo godsworldnewslogo_zpsbc5c7163.png

I discovered God's World News several years ago when I purchased several crates of homeschool curriculum from the local thrift shop. At the time Tabitha was a young toddler and I don't even think Amelia was born yet, so even though I was intrigued I knew this would be something for the future. If you have never heard of God's World News, they are news magazines for children from a Christian worldview. I still remember getting news magazines when I was in school and I was intrigued by the idea of being able to have something similar for the children from a Christian perspective. Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew we have received a 1-year subscription to the Pre-K through K edition called God's Big World. From their site, "God's Big World emphasizes News, Knowledge, and Wisdom in a colorful presentation that helps you introduce new skills and ideas in an engaging way."

 photo godsbigworld_zps610172e5.jpg

A 1-year subscription to God's World News is comprised of 10 issues of the grade level you sign up for (6 different levels are available for Pre-K through High School). We will receive an issue every month except December and May. We also received a Map-It World Map that measures 20" x 30" on which we have been able to find locations using the locator coordinates found in some of the articles in the magazines.

In addition to the print publication that comes almost every month, subscribers have the option to receive a weekly email newsletter called Teaching God's World News. In this email you will find links to downloadable versions of the magazine, answer keys to quizzes and puzzles, extended news lessons and biographies. You can find these links by going to the site, but it is definitely convenient to get them in the weekly emails. 

The God's World News website is for parents and teachers. On this site you will find information about God's World News such as their mission, FAQ's, how to sign up for the weekly newsletters and links to resources for each of the magazine editions (mentioned above). You will find tons of archived information that you can access in the form of PDFs.  You will also be able to access samples of a past issue and an answer key, plus past lessons and biographies in PDF format. There is also an Activities/Resources section with two subsections, Explain It! and Today in History. Explain It! is a great resource with charts and articles about several different topics in subjects such as history, science, language and Bible. Today in History is a page on the site that share things that happened TODAY in history.

New this year, they now offer a website for Kids and one for Teens.   The  "content is geared to different grade levels and includes stories that may appear in the print magazine as well as web-only content." 

The God's Big World edition has 24 pages (the page number varies by level). In these 24 pages you will find different kinds of news stories such as current events both in the United States and internationally, history, science, geography, sports and medical breakthroughs. Additionally there are fun Puzzle Pages that will correspond to the news articles. 

Each news story fills up 1 or 2 pages of the magazine.

As you can see, the majority of the page is filled by the colorful pictures.

The pictures have captions that I do read to the girls.

There is a short reading section consisting of approximately 3-4 sentences that may possibly be able to be read by an older Kindergartner, or an older child who is joining in. I do find myself doing the bulk of the reading for now.

Most of the stories also include a relevant Bible verse, helping to focus our eyes on God, and showing how God is relevant to all things that go on in our world.

You will also find "Teaching Tips" to go with each article. Personally, I am not sure that "teaching tip" is the right title for this section. I love the extra information given about the subject in the article because it gives me more to read to the children, expanding on the short little snippet, however, when I see the words "teaching tip" I am thinking I may be given some extra things to do in relation to the story. I think a better title would be "Teacher/Parent Info" and then the reader would know they are getting extra information about the article which they may or may not choose to share with their child(ren). 

We have been reading our God's Big World magazine a little at a time during our reading/rest time after lunch. Sometimes one or more of the articles will fit the unit we are learning about. I was thrilled when we received our September issue and saw that we were going to be reading about Chincoteague Wild Ponies. We were in the middle of our H:Horse unit with MFW and it was great to be able read a couple of stories that related. I mean, it is no secret that I like to integrate our lessons as much as possible. 

We read the story about these ponies and there was also a story about a blind horse named Skip. On another day we skipped around some more and found an article about a volcano in Mexico called Mount Popocatepetl (I wish we had had time to make a volcano).  We also found articles on hot air balloons in really fun shapes, dinosaurs, an elderly gentleman named Chuck Kirkwood who played Taps at over 3000 funerals in the last 70 years, art sculptures celebrating the seasons and so much more. Remember there are 24 pages in this magazine and most articles are only 1 page in length, so there are a lot of different articles. We would flip through the magazine and choose a few to read each time. 

Let's not forget the Puzzle Pages. The girls loved being able to do the little activities. 
Here is one of my favorites. We had to find the numbers 1-9 hidden in the faces.

We will work on these puzzle pages together while sitting on the couch, or they will take off with the magazine and work on them. They have impressed me by working very cooperatively on the puzzles. I was afraid only having one magazine for the family would cause fights over who got to do which puzzle. But as a homeschool family, I don't see that we would need more than one magazine. Remember I mentioned the God's World News Kids website earlier in this review? Well, one of the sections is titled "Fun Stuff" and you can download and print out quite a few of these activities if your children would like their own. 

There is such a variety in the types of activities. So far we have received 3 different issues and I have seen mazes, outline matching, identical object matching, counting and math problems, finding the hidden number, circling the correct word to match the picture, coloring the shapes to find the picture, rhyming cross words, drawing a symmetrical figure, sequencing, spotting the differences and matching baby with adult.

In addition to the Fun Stuff section on the God's World News Kids site there are 5 other categories:
  • MySci
  • Creation
  • Time Machine
  • People/Places
  • Know Me?
I do have to say, I was expecting to find more information or different ideas to go with the articles in these sections. However, all of the information I clicked on that was the same as the articles in our issues seemed to just be the same information that was in the magazine, unless I am missing something. I do realize it is a new site, and I am hoping to see some additional information as it grows because we already have access to the downloadable magazine. Now, the lessons that can be found on the main website do expand on the information and some lessons even have questions to be answered. Unfortunately, the ones I saw were a bit over my girls' heads.

While the website is over their heads, I think the Pre-K/K edition is too simple for them. The story itself is only a few short sentences most of the time giving the children a short introduction to the subject. In order to get the children more information I have been reading all the captions and teacher tips. I did see, in the FAQs section, that it is possible to change the level your children are getting. As Hannah is not really interested at all, I think we will try the Early Edition that is made for 1st-2nd grade. Tabitha has been saying she doesn't really care for it and it is boring, so I am hoping a change in level will spark some more interest.

All in all, there is a lot of great information in God's World News: God's Big World News Magazines. The children and I are learning about things I never would have seen elsewhere. While Tabitha says it is boring, she does sit with us and listen to what we read and she gets very excited over the puzzles. We will continue to read a few stories at a time and possibly do some more research on the internet if there is a real interest in the subject.

You can purchase a year's subscription (10 issues) for $28. 

If you would like to check out some other reviews, just check out the Crew Reviews by clicking on the image below. The Crew had the opportunity to use not just the God's Big World level, but each of the 6 levels from Pre-K through High School.

 photo DisclaimerGraphic1_zpsf612f371.gif

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I love to read your comments, so please leave me one if you have the time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails