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Science for Kids

     Modern research has revealed five major factors that enhance learning and retention.
They are:

1) Relating learning to kid’s real-life experiences. Lessons should serve to interpret and provide meaning to what kid’s observe and experience in real life.

2) Building in a logical progression. Lessons should build understanding in systematic steps such that each new lesson serves to review and reinforce what has gone before.

3) Integrating diverse areas. Lessons that bring students to recognize how an idea presented on one area relates to another area provides a powerful boost to learning.

4) Developing major ideas and concepts. Lessons should aim at having kids gain an understanding of basic ideas and concepts, not at having them memorize quantities of details.

5) Emphasizing logical thinking versus memorization. The key elements of the scientific process are observation and rational interpretation of what is observed. All science is derived from these two elements. Therefore, lessons should stress having kids observe and rationally interpret what they observe.


The BFSU curriculum is designed in accordance with these five facets that enhance learning. The “Teachable Moments” section at the beginning and discussion suggestions at the end of each lesson are designed especially to aid you in relating the lesson to kids’ real-world experience. The sequence of lessons in each area of science is designed to be a progression that builds
understanding in logical, incremental, steps.

The recommendation to switch back and forth among progressions is designed to foster integration. Throughout, the curriculum aims at
developing understanding of basic ideas and concepts. Memorization of vocabulary is minimized. All lessons center on having kids—hands on, minds on—observe and formulate logical interpretations of what they observe.
(A list of common logical fallacies is supplied. See “Baloney Detection Kit,” Orientation 5.)

For the benefit of those with a poor background in science, lessons are highly scripted to enable teachers/homeschoolers to learn along with their kids and be excellent role models in doing so. However, none of the scripting should be taken as “must do.” Everything should be taken as suggestions for helping kids develop an understanding of major scientific ideas and concepts and the mind skills of logical thinking, i.e., drawing conclusions based on evidence. It is hoped that all teachers/homeschoolers will come to use BFSU increasingly as a general guide, and exercise their own imagination and creativity in guiding their students toward a broad, integrated understanding of science, and the scientific process of deriving knowledge through observation and logical reasoning.


Scientific Understanding

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the BFSU curriculum rigid? No, The BFSU curriculum, while rigorous, is flexible. The sequence of lessons and the time you take with each can easily be adjusted to fit kids’ interests, time of year, special opportunities, etc.

If children are older, where should we start? It is recommended that older students, nevertheless, start with Volume I. This is because older children often lack some of the basic ideas/concepts present in Volume I and which are prerequisite to later lessons. BFSU lessons can easily be presented in manner that is age-appropriate.

How do I find time to teach science? Note that suggestions for writing assignments and a list of additional, correlated readings are included in every lesson. Hence development of reading and writing skills may be combined with learning science for a synergy of both. Post further questions at BFSUcommunity.com.


Correspondence to NGSS and CCSS

BFSU (first edition) was conceived and written before standards came on the scene. It was written with the single aim of providing kids, by grade eight, with a base of knowledge and understanding that they will have comprehension of scientific issues of the day and have a solid foundation that will launch them successfully into any further scientific studies they might choose.

Since the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have much the same aim, it is only to be expected that BFSU will serve in leading kids to master NGSS, although BFSU in no way involves “teaching to the standards.” However, for your convenience, the second editions of Volumes I and II include matrixes that give the NGSS for grades K-5 and relate them
to specific BFSU lessons and vice versa.

Elementary Science Education
The same may be said for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Every BFSU lesson includes a suggested writing assignment and a list of age-appropriate books for reinforcing and expanding knowledge concerning the topic. Hence development of reading and writing skills central to CCSS may be combined with learning science for a synergy of both.

Sample Lessons

BFSU Volume 1

"Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding:

A Science Curriculum for K-8 & Older Beginning Science Learners, 2nd Ed. Vol. I, Grades K–2"

BFSU Volume 2

"Elementary Science Education:

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, Volume II for Grades 3–5"

BFSU Volume 3
"Middle School Science Education:
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, Volume III for Grades 6–8"

Nebel's Elementary Education: Creating a Tapestry of Learning

Middle School Science Education