Reviews of BFSU
Note: The Second Edition parallels the fist edition with respect to lesson numbers, content, and ideas presented. The main difference is that the second edition contains addition material that facilitates its alignment with NGSS. Second editions of Volumes II and III, which will do likewise, are in progress.
Volume I (Second edition)
“Get This Book”
Our search is over. If you have been looking for a fully integrated science curriculum that develops true understanding this is it. There is rarely a day that goes by where my child doesn’t practically apply something he has learned from this volume. As a parent, and a teacher I couldn’t ask for more. A tremendous value. (Deirdre Logan)
Volume I (First edition)
“Science That Will Stick”
This is a great resource! Dr Nebel grasps how children learn, and shows a deep respect for children’s need for order and organization. His curriculum builds from the most basic, concrete, foundational concepts first. He gives exercises and specific instruction about how to
introduce children to the ideas, and how to make sure they grasp them in a first handed way. (Not just memorizing mounds of facts and
words, but really understanding the basic concepts and then the principles at work in the world.)
Then he proceeds to higher level concepts, building step by step to the next level. Each step uses the same approach: give students real world experiences and activities to illustrate the principles, and then guide discussion and questions to ensure they are grasping the material. For each of the 41 units, he includes recommended additional books and resources. Each of the experiments or activities has been thoughtfully planned to be doable in any classroom or homeschool setting with a minimum of materials.
He also makes a point to make connections between lower level and higher level concepts, and connections between the different branches of science. This guide can help a child understand the world in which he lives, and grasp the basic principles of science in a first handed way. I wish I had been exposed to such a curriculum as a child, rather than a haphazard mish-mash of flashy, gimmicky science tricks and tons of rote memorization. This is science that will stick! (Michael Garrett)
“Well Laid Out”
This is a great text for homeschooling parents and elementary school teachers. The lessons are explained in depth, and the materials are things from around the house. (tk)
“Awesome Science for homeschool or classroom”
I used this book to homeschool my daughter between second and third grade and will continue with the next book for fourth and fifth. I plan to use this with my other kids as well. I can’t say enough about this program. I think every elementary school teacher and homeschooler should have a copy. This really is aptly named and provides kids a fantastic foundation to understand science. Heck! I’ve learned a lot myself and understand things better than I did before. I think Dr. Nebel has the ticket to make science more accessible to kids (and adults). The book covers life science, nature study, geology, basic astronomy,physics, and chemistry. Some of the topics seem advanced for very young children but I haven’t found anything that my kids couldn’t grasp after following Dr. Nebel’s lesson.
This book provides a great framework with lots of ideas, lesson plans, and experiments as well as book lists for further reading. To make the most of the program, you’ll want to get lots of related books from the library as well as other supplements to bring the lessons to life. I find that this book is a great spine that helps me teach my children. My only complaint is that it does require a bit of prep work on the teacher’s part. You’ll have to pre-read the lessons, gather materials, gather additional books, and then do each lesson. While it is not an open-and-go curriculum, it is easy to understand and follow and well worth the time.
On top of being a fantastic curriculum – it is a great value! For under $30 you get years of lesson plans with little extra expense required. I added in free library books and dvd’s, some websites, a magnet kit, a skeleton kit, some rock samples, and a human body project book. Not all were required but enhanced the lessons in my opinion. Most of the experiments and demonstrations require nothing more than common household objects. Thanks Dr. Nebel! (BCN)
I love this program. What I think is exceptional about Dr. Nebel’s curriculum is that he teaches science in all four threads (Nature of Matter, Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science) so that children will ultimately be prepared for rigorous study of high school level biology, physics and chemistry. Elementary science education in the US public schools is generally not systematic in its approach and does nothing to ensure that children are building an understanding of scientific concepts. We would never expect children to just jump into Algebra, Geometry and Calculus without preparing them with a systematic foundation in mathematics; however, most elementary science education is basically a hodge podge of fact memorization and “cool” experiments where the actual science behind the experiment is never fully explored, leaving children ill prepared for the demands of high school science. I have looked at (and purchased) a number of other programs (e.g. Noeo Science, Great Source Sciencesaurus) and this is not just the only program that really teaches science in this manner, it is also more engaging, more hands on, and the only curriculum which doesn’t seem to be full of busy work. BFSU is not for everyone. It is not open and go, and if you have gaps in your own science background (as I do) some lessons may seem intimidating; but, if you are serious about your child’s science education and you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars (as you would with a program such as the Supercharged Science online classes) this is a wonderful curriculum. (Nikki Loscalzo)
The depth of thinking is amazing. The information is well researched and presented clearly. Unlike most books available for this age group this book focuses on teaching students how to think scientifically instead of drowning students in unnecessary facts. Dr. Nebel does a great job of integrating the chemical, biological, physical and earth sciences. The interdisciplinary approach of the book helps students get ready for more advanced science and learn how to evaluate the current scientific literature. An advanced rigorous curriculum that is easy for parents and teachers to execute with a little bit of preparation and planning. (SKOO) See more reviews by going to the books’ sites on Amazon