Science for Kids
Modern research has revealed five major factors that enhance learning and retention.
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.