This is Part 2 of my review of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) – the K-8 science curriculum my family has been using for years in our homeschool. In Part 1, I covered the basics – the overall approach and layout of BFSU. In this post, I’ll get into the more detailed pros and cons and share some bonus information to help you on your BFSU journey.
I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting years to write this review and the time has finally come! We started using this three volume science curriculum eight years ago when my oldest son was in kindergarten. He’s in 7th grade now and we’re using the final volume this year.
I don’t recall how I first found out about Dr. Nebel’s science series, Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU for short), but I’m so glad I did!
What. A. Year.
And we’re not even three-quarters of the way through it yet!
Even though I can’t seem to keep track of what day it is right now, I’m at least aware that it’s August. And August in our homeschool means it’s time to finalize and share our curriculum plans for the year ahead.
2020 has been quite a doozy so far, hasn’t it?
Most of us are still reeling from the unexpected spin COVID-19 put on the last few months of this school year. And just when we thought things were looking up, we find ourselves in the midst of another set of trials and civil unrest.
It seems like a lifetime ago that I was planning out our curricula and wondering what the year would bring. I definitely didn’t expect all this!
Our tour continues!
(If you missed the first posts in this series, start here to get caught up.)
First, though, a quick note…
I’m not sharing the contents of our homeschool room and shelves because I found the BEST or MOST PERFECT stuff that all homeschool families need to own.
I’m doing this tour because I remember how much it helped me to see how others homeschool. It helped me decide how home education could work for our family. I loved seeing how people organize their spaces, what kinds of school things they had on their shelves, and what worked and didn’t work for them.
Imagine you walk into a classroom and take a seat at your desk. There you find a worksheet with a tree diagram. The teacher announces that you’ll be studying trees today. She lists the vocabulary words you should add to your diagram.
Now imagine instead that you walk into a classroom with a three foot wide slice of tree trunk on a table with a few magnifying glasses scattered next to it. The teacher invites you to study the tree for a few minutes and see what you see.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who would find the second scenario more interesting.
I can’t believe it’s August again!
That means it’s time to share our homeschool plans for the year ahead. (If you’re curious about what we’ve used in the past, check out this post which has links to all the previous years.)
Year 6 Snapshot
We’re really in the thick of it now. I’ll be homeschooling my fifth and second grade boys and their three year old sister (whose unreliable, dwindling naps should make for
a crazy-making an interesting year).
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Year 3 Snapshot
Each year seems to bring something new and Year 3 was no exception. It was the first time I was homeschooling with an infant and without the support and encouragement of my dear mother-in-law who passed away only a few weeks after I had our third baby.
But God has always been our Provider, whether it’s in the form of new insights, tangible resources, or help from friends and family. He’s consistently given us hope and a way through difficult seasons, both in homeschooling and life in general.
Year 2 Snapshot
Well, we made it through the first year and came back for more. Just when I was starting to figure a few things out, Year 2 brought new challenges.
My oldest was now in first grade and our three year old wasn’t content to sit on the sidelines. Finding ways to engage them both was a trick. It’s not easy to find a balance where everyone is met at their own level and not frustrated (with work that’s too hard) or bored (by work that’s too easy).