Review of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU)

Introductory Note:  I purchased this on my own.  I did not receive a free copy to review.  Hence, these are my honest opinions and assessments on the curriculum.

I knew purchasing Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) by Bernard Nebel was my biggest gamble in terms of curriculum.  But it had such rave reviews I had to try it.  This will not be one of those.

I should have passed.

I ordered the K-3 Level.

It is very difficult to implement.  My library had only a few of the recommending reading to back up the lessons.  I felt the lessons were either too easy or too hard.  There were no pictures.  It spoke directly to the parent, not the child (which I knew ahead of time) but it was still disappointing.  It is page after page of possible conversations to tell the kids and possible questions they might ask.

For me, my little kids never asked the possible questions.  They just didn’t.  In homeschool we learn the material and do the lessons.  They ask questions but not the ones Dr. Nebel proposed.

I have no passion behind the book.

We are almost finished with the entire book so I stuck with it.  But that’s because I took the general lesson and made it my own.

To be honest, I used mainly the Core Curriculum by E. D.Hirsch to do my lessons.

Conclusions:  I cannot recommend this book/curriculum.  It sometimes rambles about things I think unimportant.

For example, it says all the time, “Your child (ren) might ask such and such” which my children NEVER asked such-and-such.

It has no pictures.  It is self-published (I know this because I almost chose the company Mr. Nebel chose for some of my work) which says a lot about the curriculum.  I would pass.  I will definitely be seeking something else for the next year.

It bills itself as a curriculum for 3 years and I just don’t see how that’s possible.  My kids are smart and need the extra stimulation, which this course is disappointingly missing.  It also addresses National Science Education (NSE) Standards at the end of every lesson which means nothing to me.  I could care less about standards as a homeschooler.  It also addresses classroom settings.

The author needs to chose or separate the curriculum.  Either for homeschoolers or traditional educators.  Integrating both is time-wasting on both sides and down-right annoying.

I like the general concept behind this book:  integrating all science subjects.  This is why I bought it.  But science must be fun, exciting, and hands-on, which this dryly-written book is definitely not.

It is my least favorite book to do and my kids don’t like it either.

I did join the Yahoo support group but had to unjoin because of all the emails, mainly of homeschoolers asking how to implement the curriculum (this should be a sign to Dr. Nebel).  I would sometimes get upwards of 20 emails a day!  I just couldn’t keep up!

3 thoughts on “Review of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU)

  1. I like BFSU but I heavily tweak it. As for the yahoo group emails, when you join any yahoo group, it gives you the option of whether you want email notifications or not. At any time during your membership you can go back and edit it.

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  2. I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon it after a Google search. I am really conflicted about what science curriculum to use with my kids (ages 7 and 5) for the fall (2014). We are using McRuffy science right now, but it is “fluffy science” and fairly boring. I am a scientist and want my children to have a much more in-depth look at science. I posted a question on the Well-Trained Mind forums and nearly everyone responded that they love BFSU and are scientists as well. Hmmm. I really want to see it before buying into it 100%, but as I cannot do that (no one here uses it), I am doing major research. It is not terribly expensive, but I don’t like wasting my money on something we won’t use. I need something that is pick up and go, very little tweaking by me, easy to find lab materials and easy prep. Guess I will keep looking! Thanks for your review.

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