Rave Reviews

We Get Mail!

We hear from more enthusiastic and grateful teachers, students and homeschoolers than we can possibly list. It is a real gift to us, when you tell us that you like what we're doing, or have helpful suggestions to help us do things better. We'll start with one of our favorite letters….

Dear TOPS,
We purchased Get a Grip Workstation #73. … When I opened it, I confess I was a little disappointed. The “workstation” looked nothing more than a box with recycled containers. I skeptically placed the whole thing on our little play table, and I can’t even start to tell you how engrossed the girls were — instantly!…
This was particularly meaningful for the 8-year-old, who finally found a niche for “math” … she loves science, [now] she can be a scientist performing “math” experiments. It’s truly a gentle introduction to elementary math… [I ordered the] Lentil Science Combo as well. This will be their Christmas present, and I’m excited to try it….
Thank you so much. I've tried lots of things in our homeschool, but GG was definitely the best purchase of the year.
Gratefully, M.S., Corvallis OR
p.s. Our daughters absolutely adore Peoplets.
Read more from: Students, Teachers, and Home Educators

Students Tell Us:

Angel C: …every chance I get I… do experiments. I appreciate what you and your company do to make learning fun. [signed] your biggest fan.
Laura N: I have always liked science experiments and this book [Electricity #32] was made up of all experiments. I even messed around with my batteries and bulbs when it wasn’t school time (like Saturday at 7:00 in the morning!)
Jacob H: …when we had to build an electromagnet [Magnetism #33], I thought that one was cool. I had troubles with that one. After awhile I got it. All I had to do was look at the directions and read.
Charlotte C: I am 6 years old. I thought it was like magic how the tiny seeds grow to big plants. I am looking forward to eat the radish. I think I would like to do more of these books.
Rebecca M: I think you should have more labs… you should also make them a little bit harder. I think you should have the labs always this fun though.
Ben P: I thought TOPS labs were easier to learn from than reading from the science book. I liked building the stuff for the labs. The questions were fun to answer.
Nathan M: I really was impressed with all the stuff you could do with household stuff that we have!
Benjamin R: To let you know, I’m not a teacher, I’m just a kid, I love electronics! It’s my favorite hobby. So that’s why I got this book as a present from my grandma, I really enjoyed it, and I’m very excited and interested about your latest catalog and wish to have one.
Jenna J: I really like your labs… it is a good way to learn and have fun. I also liked how you had a test to go with each lab. I really like those little cartoons on each lab telling us how to do things. They are so cute.
Andrea N: Electricity #32 was the most fun science book I have done. It also helped me understand electricity better.
Alanna S: I like this type of science [Perfect Balance #31]. It challenged me, but it was fun, too. I especially liked building the beams, and being able to use them… This science is fun!
Drew (age 11): I like your programs — no matter what you do, whether plants or magnets. Your instructions are so nice. I like the little people.
Faye (age 8): I have enjoyed this a lot. I would like to learn more from you.
Emmy (age 12): I liked the experiments. I would like more detail in setting up Morse code between my room & my brothers.
Daniel (age 2): “I do like magnets.”
Jessica S: I really like the labs. Some things I liked about them are how you put them in order, from easiest to hardest. I also like how you had the little character telling us some tips. I really liked how you had us make one thing and keep it and use it for another project.
Jonathan C: I liked Magnetism #33 the best because I got to build a motor… I already knew a lot about electricity because my dad is an electrician and he teaches me a lot but when I did the electricity unit I learned a lot more.
Jesse S: This [Radishes #38] was my favorite science book ever! I can’t wait to do corn and beans!!!!!!!!!!
Darren B: I am a user of your [Magnetism #33 and Electricity #32] labs. It is cool how you thought of how to teach kids with labs.
Aaron R: [TOPS activities] made me think a lot, and helped me learn and have fun at the same time. [Without TOPS] I might have been falling asleep in class…
Stephanie S: I like the labs because they were challenging and fun. I really liked lab 20 of the Magnetism #33 unit because it was tricky and very fun.
Kenji: Thanks A LOT. I’m glad you made these books. They are very cool.
Wesley W: Some of the things are hard but you need that to actually have us learn something by working it out like what did we do wrong and what’s right.
Jake M: I think the way your labs explain things made it easy to understand… You should keep making them the same as you are now.
Madeline M: This was so much better than reading out of a textbook. I can’t learn as well just hearing something. Whenever I completed a lab and the test for it, I would tell my mom and dad everything I learned, which was a lot!
Rachel Z: I really like your program. Do you have any radishes at home? Have a great day.
Charlotte C: I did all these experiments with my mom, and we had a great time. … The pictures are very cute, and you don’t need any special materials to do the fun experiments. I’m looking forward to using other books.
Jacob K: [The lessons were] hard, but fun. I like the little guys on each lab. Now I know how electricity and magnetism work. I did not like the tests. I thought they were too hard; it took me a few days just to get one test done. You can tell that it was a good system because, almost everybody got A’s, and I got an A+.
Jesse O: I was always sad when class ended and I had to stop doing the labs.
Kendre’ G: I really liked how you have small cartoons to explain how to do the [experiments]. They really help you get done because then you have some fun reading the cartoons… I also like the tests. They were very challenging. I really like how you make the labs as challenging as possible.
Janelle H: My class and I have done two of your TOPS units… They were so much fun! The characters were helpful. I loved the pictures. They were intelligent yet funny. So I knew what the objects were supposed to look like.
P, D, & M: Thank you for the fun science! (and) I liked your way of experimenting … the process took a while and so our starts got moldy… Otherwise I loved it. What other ones are you going to make in the future?

Teachers Tell Us:

Cathy C: This semester [I taught] 4th grade part time at a private international school and was given pretty much free rein…. I’ve used parts of [two] books. These kids are not poor, they have computers and the works… but they had never messed around with a dry cell and bulb. I had kids in lab pulling money out begging to buy a light bulb! Thanks for making science so accessible.
Patricia S: A few weeks ago I did [Radishes #38] with my students, so when I passed out the sheets for [Pendulums #34] they got really excited. The whole class was more than thrilled to put away the science book and play! Your activities provide opportunities for working together and for critical thinking…
LaDon W: I’m a student teacher working with a middle school science teacher. He uses your activities. He feels they are some of the best materials he has used in 31 years of teaching. I would appreciate your catalog.
Julia S: I am so excited to have purchased your first downloadable publication [Diving into Pressure #200]. I have wanted to purchase from you before but given the cost of postage to New Zealand and having never seen your products first hand I was always hesitant….
Patricia S: My sixth grade just finished [Radishes #38] and they loved it. Directions were simple and easy to follow, yet the activities challenged the students to think and work together. …I really liked how the kids were forced to be independent learners.
K Taylor: This is the MOST AWESOME… well organized, well planned, clearly described, easy to implement, focus oriented, simply directed resource I have ever used!!! I look forward to teaching many more TOPS classes!
L Jones: I really do love what you and your wife are doing. I think the peoplets are brilliant. They do cross sex, race and age boundaries. Your work is awesome. I am going to recommend you…
Betsy H: Your books are so wonderful, by the way. The instructions are so precise… and your comments, suggestions and hints are valuable.
Mark L: The kids followed the illustrations and directions very well. I was especially impressed how you progressively taught circuit drawing and testing [in Electricity #32]. They learned it and it worked.
JAC: I sure have become a TOPS fan this year, and my [high school] students became so good not only in science, but in … their verbal responses to tests. … I will be promoting your books big time… they do a wonderful job of teaching critical thinking.
P Olsen: I [teach] low level learners (3rd grade math and reading) to prepare them for 9th grade Physical Science. Your materials are wonderful and the kids love them. As a teacher I like the materials list and the easily reproducible sheets. [We’ve completed] five of your books and they want to have the class go longer. The IEP kids did not feel the usual frustration and are comfortable in a lab setting now… I did not have to modify the materials, only provide a little extra support. I just wanted to let you know all your hard work has made these students like science.
B Mason: I admire your commitment to plant trees to cover the paper that you use. My school uses a ton of paper. I’d like to start the same type of conservation awareness and commitment with my [students]. …Thanks again for the best science teaching resources ever conceived and written.
Lisa HE: Thanks for providing such an excellent educational resource! I love your stuff and recommend it to all the teachers I know!
B Olson: I have been carrying around Metric Measure #35 through 2 moves and another teaching assignment for 8 years…. I finally was able to include it at this new job. I loved it. The kids learned a great deal, and it gave me the opportunity to review/introduce many of the concepts and skills in my math scope and sequence in a way that I really like - hands-on and interactive. … One of the childrens’ answers gave me a good chuckle… he had understood the concept, but wasn’t quite solid on the terminology. He said that since water was 1 dense, and sand was 1.45 dense, then sand was more dense than water! … let me thank you again for creating such a wonderful unit. It increased my students’ understanding of metrics, and my own, and provided them with some wonderful lab training for future grades.
B Sowden: … I have been using your ideas for years and have not had a chance to thank you. You do a great job and your ideas are wonderful. I have also shared your ideas with other teachers who have loved them…
D Rushing: Thank you so much for the tremendous effort you put into such user-friendly materials… I teach 9-12 graders with various learning disabilities… I just wish you could see some of the students’ faces when they suddenly understand…
R Janzen: I have recently been using your TOPS unit on Weighing #05, and have been really impressed by the effects it has had on my class both cognitively and on their attitudes toward science.
B Dempsey: Just wanted to let y’all know that your projects are wonderful… We are all broke and teach in school districts that don’t have very much money or enough teachers, so TOPS makes a lot of sense.
JoAnne W: Even in… a third-world country we were able to find the supplies needed and perform the experiments successfully.

Home Educators Tell Us:

J Scheiderich: … only the TOPS books were asked for repeatedly (“Mom, if we’re doing TOPS today, I’ll be RIGHT there!”)
Alison B: My son and I REALLY enjoyed Perfect Balance #31, our first science module. I’ve been homeschooling for 18 years — what took me so long? You are brilliant! You make science deeply interesting, using the simplest materials.
Susan M: My 8 y/o daughter says she feels “like a scientist” when doing TOPS. We’ve enjoyed the fact that she can work independently without losing interest.
LuAnn T: I just realized during our experiments today, Powder Puzzles [Analysis #10], that I never emailed you back about the Equal Arm Scale [Weighing #05]. It was fantastic! My children were thrilled to make a scale out of everyday items. They were so amazed at paper being broken into units of weight. They have bragged to all their friends about how cool science is — especially TOPS.
Mari H: Please continue to assume the instructor knows nothing… it helps us teach and learn along side our students.
Sheila T: These have saved us as far as science goes this year. TOPS: the way science should be. … Who would have thought my 6, 8, and 10 year olds would be learning about phototropism? [Radishes #38]
Mary S: My son worked through this module (with weekly guided reviews only) and stunned me with his knowledge of electricity. This was due to your excellent presentation and staging…. A family friend (physicist)… was impressed with how well your material guided a 10-year-old in understanding basic electrical principles.
Julie B: I loved TOPS because the planning was done for me! Thanks for a great product! It is money well spent!
the Daffinruds: I cannot say enough great things about our experiences…. Our children (8 & 10) loved the hands-on work, and I was surprised how well they comprehended the material when we tested at the end.
Laurie L: Our Magnetism #33 projects were pure fun. The worksheets bring it all together, and the practical tips on the teacher’s page make everything workable, even for a non-science type like me.
C Newman: …it’s easy for me to feel intimidated by science. You made me AND my kids feel like professionals from the very beginning! [Activities were] focused, logical, well-planned, and a joy for me to teach and for the kids to learn. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Judy H: We loved [Radishes #38]: Good clear instructions, very interesting and instructive experiments, the challenges of keeping careful records and making accurate drawings…. And my son, who eats only the most narrow range of foods, was happy to eat all of his home-grown radishes. You do a terrific job — keep it up!
the Specks: [Magnetism #33] was fun, the experiments worked, and we all learned something. Thank you for CLEAR directions.
Donnalisa C: You’ve made my life easier. Thank you!
the Wyckoffs: [Our daughter] is going to use her TOPS supplies to demonstrate other things she has learned. The exciting thing to me is this is not an assignment I’ve given her. This is just a fun thing to do with what she’s learned. (I am thrilled!)
Karen B: What a great experience for everyone, including mom! Because I teach 3 different grade levels, I am always looking for programs that give information in a hands-on, easy to understand format — then applications, write-ups, etc., can be tailored to the age-appropriate level. Thank you for your programs!!
Susann F: [Our two boys] can’t wait to wake up and see how the radishes are growing. For just the two weeks we have been working on our science activities they have shown so much interest…
Cheree D: … I have been impressed and thankful for your books: 1. EVERY experiment worked! 2. Experiments were SIMPLE to do. 3. Supplies were BASIC and obtainable. 4. Teacher’s explanations were CLEAR (making me — a non-scientific thinker, feel like I knew what I was doing!) 5. My kids got the concepts & REMEMBERED! (We finished after summer break… they were able to apply the concepts.) Thank you, Marsons!
Teryl G: For the first time in my homeschooling career, I feel excited and competent about science. When we finished the last day, my 4th grader mournfully said, “Now what will we do? Can’t we have any more science?
Keli G: [I used] the science experiments as a motivator for M to complete her daily schoolwork in a timely way.
Cynthia W: … The combination of art and science was wonderful [Animal Survival #37]. Each activity necessitated real in-depth thinking and problem-solving…. What a great job you did with this — it is the “whole package.” Bravo!
Steve, Jane, Daniel & Nick D: … and, like the last TOPS, we are very pleased with the outcome! Our kids always seem to understand the material and answer questions correctly…. We are so amazed by how you put together such fantastic experiments with inexpensive stuff.
JG: Thank you for taking the time to plan out these experiments. My children enjoy hands-on learning, but I’m not the type to plan, prepare, or figure out hands-on projects.
Nancy G: …My daughter was a little sad to be done with the Magnetism #33 book, but was cheered by the knowledge that next week we start Electricity #32.
S Wagle: …our 10th grade home school year incorporated TOPS Weighing #05, Analysis #10, Oxidation #11, and Solutions #12 task cards. ALL units were very successful; we have never had such a rewarding year of science study!
D Wagner: We enjoyed the program so much I investigated using more of your products. I ordered Get a Grip #73…. I have NEVER used a curriculum that ALL of my kids loved! They will use it during break time instead of going outside to play! I am so excited to use the other products I have just received. You have revolutionized science at my house…
A Kocaj: …My husband has taken over science; he loves the program very much. Our boys cannot wait till science to do their experiments. Thank you for your labor of love to bless others with your gift of teaching, explaining, and making it fun for the entire family.
C Habeger: I have been so pleased with how user-friendly your materials are and how well my son (now 11 years old) has grasped the concepts presented. Thank you for making books that homeschoolers can easily use!
L Street: I ordered [Get a Grip #73] last month for my 6-year-old son. He is now doing Puzzle book D and absolutely loves it! He is thrilled with the puzzle books and the discovery learning. He has been on his own and self-checks everything and really ‘gets’ it! Thanks for making such great learning fun! I can’t wait to order Lentil Science!
KC: We love the TOPS books we’ve used so far. Thanks for providing a fun way to learn science… We have a science textbook each year but find your method sticks with us and we enjoy hands-on more than simply textbooks.
Kim: We are using your Activity Sheet Book Electricity #32 and are enjoying it very much!! We homeschool — 5th and 6th grade. Thank you for all the effort you have obviously put into your work — we are looking forward to ordering more of your materials to use!
S Hinckle: We are a homeschooling family… My 6th grade daughter loved Electricity #32. She completed it in 2 days on her own with a little help from me. She asked if she could leave everything out so she could play with it later. … Thanks so much for a great product.
S Custer: I love your TOPS science and used it years ago with my now 21-year-old son. We did a co-op school and I used it for the science class, … even now when I run into parents or kids from that time, they always mention how much they enjoyed our science class. Anyway, that was five kids ago and I didn’t realize you had so many things to choose from… Now I want more!!!!!
The Caskeys: …we use TOPS in our science studies. We LOVE using them!!! They are user friendly (thank you VERY much!!!!!) and easy for the kids to really understand what they’re doing.
D Crecelius: We LOVE TOPS. We are a homeschooling family (3 kids) and have used several TOPS books (Focus Pocus, Cohesion/Adhesion, Animal Survival, Corn and Beans) — they are all efficient, easy-to-use, understandable — they’re simply great science.
Julie M: As a math geek… I still hate science. But I have been completely surprised how wonderful this program really is! The explanations with the cute drawings made it especially fun and easy to understand. My children, 7 and 9 [one with special needs] were able to figure out each step with minimal help from me.