What It Is:
These Christian magazines, created by the same company that publishes World News, have six levels to choose from:
- God's Big World (Pre-K to Kindergarten)
- Early Edition (Grades 1-2)
- News Flash (Grades 3-4)
- News Current (Grades 5-6)
- Top Story (Middle School)
- Trak (High School)
Inside the pages are not just current event stories, but other articles that relate to each other. For example in the October issue the main story is about people relocation. There are articles about the boat people in Australia, Pakistan refugees, asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan, and a page on the history of the Diaspora of the Jewish people. Each of the articles are between one to two pages in length and almost every one has at least one image as well. The reading level is appropriate for middle school, and has an engaging style that draws in the student.
Throughout the issue there are a couple of short sections called "Bible2Life". These give Christian insight into the various articles. In the issue on people relocation, the Bible2Life talked about the Great Commission, and how missionaries travel to the ends of the earth to spread the gospel. It also mentioned that even though lives can be torn apart when people have to flee, God is always in control and that He is working out His will through historical events.
In a couple of the issues there are helpful timelines....these are themed appropriately to the accompanying articles. In the three issues I have received so far the timelines have been on the History of Robotics and Moving (relocating) Through the Ages.
There are a couple of pages of funny cartoons pertaining to current events, and another page of photos with fun captions. And at the end there are a few pages of short news clips...these include Kate Middleton's baby prince, Detroit facing bankruptcy, Diana Nyad's swim from Cuba to Florida, and school lunch programs. These are only a few paragraphs long and give a great overview of current events.
Within each mailed issue is a vocabulary quiz. Some of the vocabulary words are rampant, consecrate, cauterized, and acrid. There are also quizzes for a few of the articles; the questions for all quizzes are all multiple choice. The parent conveniently receives an email with the answers to the quizzes for each issue.
Occasionally there are puzzles to do; in the August issue there were some articles on the Asiana flight and there was a graphing puzzle to do that shows the wing area of planes.
What You Get:
God's World News is a monthly magazine. I received the Home Subscription, which is 10 issues of the magazine. (God's World News does not publish an issue in December and May.) This costs $28.00 for the entire year. There is a discount if you purchase more than one subscription; the more subscriptions your family purchases, the less each one is. If I were to get each of my kids their own grade level it would only cost $19 a year for each of them. The school year issues are 32 pages long; the summer issues are a bit shorter at around 25 pages.
The subscription also includes a Map It! for school use. This 20"x30" world map is referred to many times in each issue, and gives your child practice in identifying countries on a map.
Included with your subscription is student website access. On this website are some of the current articles in the issue, along with other helpful information, editorials, and reading material. There are historical biographies, articles about culture and arts, and much more.
And another helpful teaching aid? On the God's World News website you can log in and read lesson notes for teaching certain articles in the issues. You can also access the answer key there as well.
How We Used This and What I Thought:
I gave this magazine to my older two to read on their own. I had it on their schedules to read the magazine for 15 minutes twice a week, but they read through the whole magazine the first week. (They couldn't put it down!) Then a couple times a week I would go over certain articles during our Together School with all four of the kids. This was where the lesson notes for teachers were very helpful. I would print these off and add information as we talked about the articles. Talking about these articles with the age ranges of my kids (8-16) was not difficult; since the older ones had read it they could usually add information for the younger ones.
I loved it that I could hand any of my children this magazine and know that there was nothing they would see that was offensive or inappropriate. And I did appreciate the Christian view of the articles; sprinkled throughout the whole magazine is references to scripture and Christian morals and ethics, but not in an overwhelming way.
And there were a few convicting articles too....This last week we started looking at a shorter article about gluten intolerance. I must admit that at times I am skeptical of so many people having problems with wheat and don't extend grace where I should. At the end of the article there was a short paragraph suggesting that when we know someone who is gluten intolerant, it is an opportunity to extent to them kindness and hospitality, and be sensitive to their diet. That was hard to read, but made me realize how graceless I have been.
I really liked this magazine. So many times I shy away from discussing news events at the dinner table with the whole family, and then I realize that my kids (especially the younger ones) have no idea about what is going on in the world. God's World News gives us, as parents and teachers, the tools to learn about current events, news stories, and other tidbits of information in an age-appropriate and conservative manner. I plan to continue to use this in the coming years, as I raise my children in God's world.
Members of The Crew received other grade levels: check out what they have to say by clicking below.