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!
I was going to title this post “Don’t Be Boring” but that sounded kind of harsh. Plus, psychologists tell us it’s good to frame things positively if possible. (You know… like when you calmly encourage your toddler to “use the markers on the paper” instead of yelling “DON’T DRAW ON GRANDMA’S FACE WHILE SHE’S SLEEPING!”)
So, whether you think of it as trying NOT to be boring or trying to BE interesting, the point of Tip #5 is to make life and learning fun!
Of all the teaching tips in this series, this one has probably been the hardest one for me to put into practice.
Over the years I’ve gotten better, but I still tend to spill too many school beans. What are school beans, you might ask? Allow me to explain.
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.
This post is part of a series of helpful teaching tips for homeschoolers. Check out the first post here.
If you look up “how to create a lesson plan,” the first thing that most resources will tell you is to “Know Your Objective.” That is, know what the main point of the lesson is. For example, “after this lesson, the student will be able to name the four largest moons of Jupiter.”
When I started homeschooling, one of the first things I did was to check out a stack of “how-to-teach” books from the library. I was hoping to find the secrets to successful homeschool teaching.
I found about 30% of the information to be really helpful. The other 70% was geared toward navigating the public school system. They covered things like managing classes of 20+ students, working with parents and school administration, and decorating classroom bulletin boards.
Don’t get me wrong. A lot of it was good information. But it just wasn’t relevant for me as a new homeschool mom.