When I taught in a Christian School, one of the things I required of my students was a weekly current event. Did you ever do those as a kid? I can remember paging through the local newspaper looking for some news article that appealed to me. Then I had to write a paragraph about the article and then stand up in front of the class and tell about it. Yep. That’s what I had my students do. I figure, if I had to do it, they might as well do it too.
But these days we have to be SO careful with the media. Our family does not receive a newspaper anymore, nor do we watch the nightly news often. I’m not here to bash the national media, but it is what it is. Sometimes I wonder if news anchors and reporters think they are on The View instead of attempting to report events truthfully.
God’s World News (GWN) is different. It specifically claims to report news from a Christian Worldview. And, in my opinion, it does. We were offered a one-year subscription ($28.00) to one of the age levels of monthly (10 months) God’s World News Magazines. We received Early Edition. As a treat, GWN also sent us a copy of their adult World magazine to check out.
Along with a subscription, GWN adds many extras. A world map comes with the first issue so you can put it up on the wall and refer to it when stories from around the world appear in future issues. A weekly email with answer keys to games and activities is sent out to parents and children. The World magazine sends out emails with extra news articles. Along with these items, you also get:
• Biographies covering noteworthy people, past and present.
• Extended news PDF lessons which provide a more in-depth treatment of fascinating and timely subjects in science, history, geography, worldview and other subjects.
• Teaching God’s World News is a weekly opt-in email newsletter for parents and teachers. The newsletter is the most convenient way to automatically receive links to the PDF versions of the magazines, the answer keys to quizzes and puzzles in the magazines, and links to additional content – biographies and extended news lessons.
• Download current and archived issues of the magazines, biographies and extended news lessons – as PDFs.
• God’s World News Kids and God’s World News Teen are two new websites that bring fascinating content, great images and fun activities for students to use online, on a tablet, or even on a smartphone. Content is geared to different grade levels and includes stories that may appear in the print magazines as well as web-only content. Magazine subscribers have access to their respective grade levels online. The new sites are available at www.kids.wng.org and www.teen.wng.org.
You will automatically have access to the online grade level that corresponds to the magazine you receive. The login will be your customer number (on the magazine mailing label) and your zip code. You can sign up for the weekly e-newsletter at www.gwnews.com. In the left-hand navigation there is a link: “Weekly Email Newsletter Signup.”
How We Used the Product:
My children have already been receiving the kindergarten version, God’s Big World. Early Edition is on a 1st-2nd grade level. The issues we received (August and September) had word games or mazes after each section of articles. The reading level is age-appropriate and the articles are written on topics which interest kids at this age. Each article is written so a child can read it, but at the bottom there is a short additional section for an adult to read which adds more information, especially if the student wants to know more, or needs clarification. Sometimes I would read that adult section for my own amusement and learning!
The kids and I would sit down on the couch at the end of our school time and we would read a section of articles. They would ask questions, we would run to the map and find the city the article was about, and we would laugh at the jokes. My kids are still singing a “Happy Birthday” song that a manatee was singing in one of the fun sections. We all giggled when we read that, and still do! (Happy Birthday Snooty!)
After we finished each section of articles, we would work together on the fun game that was given. My son really enjoyed those. They were challenging and he felt like he had accomplished something when he figured out the answers.
When we received the World magazine I was curious to see how it would read. I would love to find a Christian magazine that reports news and is as unbiased as possible. In the October issue, there is an article written on the Common Core Standards. I thought it brought a balanced view by interviewing people who were for and against the standards. I found that many of the articles were informative and stated facts. However, I do think some of the specific words used in their stories show a type of sensationalism. There is an article written about the abortion drug RU-486 entitled, “Chemical Attack.” Words used such as attack and risky, play to emotions. I don’t need, or want that, in a news article. I want facts. In the article I did learn what the medicine does to cause the abortion and the interviews of those parents who had lost their daughters was heart wrenching. That’s the news I need. I can form my own opinion on whether the drug is a chemical attack or risky.
There is also a two page spread focused on the changes to the health care system in the US. Numbers and statistics can be swayed to portray any truth a writer wants to present. On these pages there are many statistics, but it does not say where they come from. I also think it focused on the negative aspects of the proposed changes and not on anything good that might come out of it.
I think reporting news is hard. I think events that happen are the results of many different, and complex, thoughts and motivations. But I know what the Bible says. I know the Bible is Truth, even if newspapers and magazines, who attempt to report accurately, fail. I think World magazine is accurate when they state, “We cover all aspects of the news: national, international, and cultural; politics and business; medicine, science, technology, and sports. We have feisty columns and religious reflections. We even have cartoons and a page with funny or strange stories. But what matters the most is this: We believe in a God who tells the truth and wants us to do the same.” I applaud their efforts.
What We Think:
RB: I liked the puzzles and Happy Birthday to Snooty!
Sweet Cheeks: I liked the wild horses and Snooty!
Mama: I LOVE the fact that there are scripture verses throughout the entire kids’ magazine which relate to the topic the article is about. Showing how we can apply the Bible to the events of today is so important!
Overall, the God’s World News earns 5 worlds out of 5 worlds for homeschool friendliness!