Huge Giveaway!

It’s almost that time of year again! The Build Your Own Bundle sale starts on Monday, but starting today through Sunday, you can enter the giveaway to win ALL of the bundles being offered this year. That’s a $4,454 total value of homeschool curricula & helps from a variety of contributors (108 total), including ME! Here’s the link:

Also, if you refer a friend to the presale giveaway, and your friend wins, you win, too!

I’ve looked over all the bundles, and while I can’t share specific contents, yet, I can share that there are a lot of great contributors, including one of my favorites, Ellen McHenry. I used a lot of her things in my own homeschool and schedule some of her great books in my own curriculum schedules. There are also some other goodies from publishers / companies like Tapestry of Grace, TruthQuest History, Bright Ideas Press, and other well-known names. The lesser known contributors are also offering some really good products as well.

For those of you who don’t know, the Build Your Own Bundle sale allows you to bundle together curriculum, workbooks, online classes, etc. at a HUGE savings. There is even going to be a buy-two-get-one-free sale. These bundles are a great deal because you are getting savings of up to 96% off (I can’t share the prices of the bundles, yet). This is the kind of thing I loved when I was homeschooling, as I always needed my dollars to stretch, but I liked using a variety of things to meet the different needs and interests of my children!

You will also get the Bundle of Bonuses Book for free with any purchase. The bonus book has a ton of freebies, sales, and coupons (including one from me)!

I’ll share more info about the sale as soon as I am able to, but for now, you may want to click over and at least enter the pre-sale giveaway!

Happy homeschooling!

A giveaway!!

giveaway2It’s that time of year again, when everyone is planning for the new school year next fall (for those of you who don’t school year round, lol). This is the first year that I’m not participating in that process myself, but in honor of all those hours I spent pouring over curricula and thinking of our homeschool budget, here’s a giveaway to help make things a little easier on someone’s pocketbook!

I’ve always loved Compass Classroom’s products. I started using their Visual Latin program way back when they were just a new, baby company (lol), and have watched them grow over the years with lots of high quality offerings. I love that you can stream a lot of their products, and you can also purchase a monthly subscription that allows you to stream a multitude of homeschool curricula without committing to a huge upfront purchase price.  You can try a curriculum out and cancel if it’s not a fit for your family, or just pay for it a month at a time!

In this giveaway, you have your choice of any one of the streaming versions of the following:

All I ask for each entry is that you spread the word about Guest Hollow! Pin one of our graphics, post about us on your blog, share the news or like us on Facebook, tell someone in your homeschool playgroup, etc. Just spread the Guest Hollow love. 🙂 Now that I’m no longer homeschooling, I need my little Guest Hollow home business to pick up, or it will have to be a hobby instead of a business. Please help our site thrive by spreading the word, so I can do this full-time and bring you LOTS of new curricula and printables!  I have tons of new ideas that are just waiting to be created!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free summer subscriptions for homeschoolers!

I love things that are FREE, lol…so, I had to pass on this info! All of the links below are for free stuff you can sign up for through the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. There is no cost to join the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op. That’s free too!

If you were wondering what your kids will do over the summer, some of the subscriptions below are free through August! There’s plenty to keep your kiddos busy:

Discovery Education Streaming Plus – Try it FREE through August 31st

We’ve used Discovery Streaming before and it’s a great resource for TONS of videos. Not only does it have many Discovery Channel videos for free, it also has PBS shows, BBC videos, and lots more. – Try it FREE for the Summer has video tutorials, practice exercises, tests and lots more. There are a lot of good reviews for this site.

myON Literacy Program – Try it FREE for the Summer

Get access to 9,200 e-books for your kids to read tailored to their reading level, age, and interests! There is a large assortment of books, including graphic novels of Shakespeare stories, etc.

Mark Kistler’s Virtual Classroom – Try it FREE for the Summer

My kids LOVED Mark’s drawing lessons in book form. Now he has online lessons in a virtual classroom.

Uzinggo Math & Science Supplement – Try it FREE for the Summer

Uzinggo has interactive lessons and accompanying worksheets on a variety of math and science topics through high school levels.

eMedia Music Academy – Try it FREE through July 31st

This is for access to several software downloads to learn piano and other instruments.

Always Icecream and Clever Dragons – Try it FREE through August 15th

Practice a variety of subjects like math, language arts, geography, Latin, Greek, keyboarding skills, science, foreign language and more!

Don’t forget to also check out your local library. Many libraries have free summer reading programs with prizes you can win!

Get $10 worth of free Amazon coins

Amazon coin

Amazon has a great deal going on right now. Download 5 FREE apps and get 1,000 Amazon coins to spend in the app store. That’s the equivalent of $10! Click here to access the titles listed below.

They are all FREE:

Food Network in the Kitchen
Strawberry Shortcake Bake Shop
Don’t Step on the White Tile
Dr. Panda’s Restaurant

I got these freebies just to get the $10 worth of Amazon coins, lol. Don’t have an Android device? You can download the FREE Bluestacks program and let your kids play with apps on the computer.

English for the Thoughtful Child

English for the Thoughtful Child
Many homeschoolers are drawn to materials that employ a Charlotte Mason style of learning. One text that employs that type of instruction is English for the Thoughtful Child, a gentle grammar and composition book that is simple to use with memorization assignments, oral and written compositions and practice exercises. Here’s my question though: why pay $14.95 when you can get the original for FREE?!

I’ve been on the hunt for free teaching materials and found the motherlode of freebies on Google Books. Many old texts that are coming “back into fashion” in the homeschool world are free for the taking (er, downloading). English for the Thoughtful Child is one of these, also known by its original title Lessons in the Use of English.

Lessons in the Use of English

I do understand why someone might want to purchase the updated version of the book. The “new” book is printed in a workbook style that you can directly write in. Some of the original text has been added to and revised (or so it appears) and the formatting has been changed to a more modern layout. You also don’t have to print any pages out and have the convenience of being able to hold a book in your hand. I commend the person who revised and edited the original in an effort to bring this quality text to homeschoolers who would otherwise never have known this book existed. If you want to hold this book in hand instead of fussing over a digital version, you can purchase it from Amazon.

However, I personally prefer the original book’s layout & look and if your child has access to a computer, tablet or e-reader there is really no need to purchase a physical book (that has to compete with your already overloaded bookshelves). Just buy an inexpensive composition book for any written exercises and you are good to go!

Take a look at a comparison of the new text and the old.

Click on this link and open up the Amazon preview in a new browser page so you can see a preview of the new text. Scroll through the table of contents until you see lesson 1.

Here is the same material from the original book:



Now scroll down in the Amazon preview to page 2.


Here is the same material from the original (notice it’s missing the “exercise 2 in the new version and moves directly to lesson 2, which is on page 3 of the new version.



I think the old version is more friendly looking and best of all, it’s FREE. If you are on a tight budget and just can’t afford to purchase the new version, you can still have access to this high-quality, lovely book!

I’ll feature another popular “modern” reproduction of an English text in a future post and share the links for the FREE version. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive, especially in the early grades. There are a lot of things you can find with a search engine. wink

Otter’s Christian High School Biology is Posted

I’ve finally finished posting the homeschool biology curriculum I put together for my son! I’m still working on a few things like:

  • Making more workbook pages for the later chapters
  • Creating some lab printables
  • Continuing to edit the textbook
  • Working on Greek & Latin root vocabulary

Even though I will be tweaking the program over the 2013-2014 school year while we use it as well as creating additional components, it’s completely usable “as is”.

I hope it helps some of you out there! Feel free to snag the graphic from this post if you want to spread the word.

A great coupon code for $10

I don’t normally post this kind of thing, but it’s such a great deal (and legit, since I used it) I thought I’d pass it along to you cost conscious moms out there!

JCP currently has a coupon for $10 off orders of $10 or more with code MORE2BUY and serial number 0102798250. There is a limit of one coupon per account.

If you go to the clearance section, you can find an item for $10 and end up only having to pay tax, if you choose to pick up your ordered item from your local JCP store, instead of having it sent directly to your house.

Get an item of clothing for a few cents?!! Yep! It’s the real deal. I’d hurry though. You never know how long this one will last.

Bible Lapbook and Notebook Pages

I have some new Bible lapbook and notebook printables posted to my site. Twenty-nine pages of activities cover a variety of subjects like purity, character traits, making right choices, etc. I’ve also uploaded some more Bible handwriting and copywork pages in several popular handwriting fonts such as Handwriting Without Tears, D’Nealian and more. Click on the image to go to the free downloadable printables. Feel free to pin the image below at Pinterest or share on your website!

Free Bible printablesP.S. I didn’t forget about posting part 2 to my “Sometimes Homeschoolers Worry Too Much About College” series of posts. I’ll hopefully get to that soon!


Otter’s Christian High School Biology – FREE!

Christian High School Biology

Coming August 2013: Otter’s Christian High School Biology!

UPDATE to this post for readers coming in via a link. The biology curriculum is now posted here:


*********Post before the update below***************

What is being developed:

  • Free full color 700+ page textbook edited from the original CK-12 Biology book (open source creative commons license)
  • Textbook will be available in a variety of formats like online, PDF, MOBI and EPUB
  • Textbook has some interactive features embedded for students using it online or via mobile devices such as the iPad
  • Free workbook correlated to the textbook to help your students remember key terms and concepts
  • Edited textbook is from a Christian, creationist, young-earth perspective, but secular families can just use the original unedited text and still get the benefit of all the scheduled goodies, labs, etc.

Free biology labs

  • Free rigorous biology lab book – from a neutral perspective (only one evolution related lab that I do not schedule, no Christian material)
  • Optional labs from a variety of sources – many of them free or low cost
  • Links to great supplementary materials and resources such as videos, printables, activities and more
  • A daily schedule with 3 different options (with or without human anatomy component, etc.)
  • Schedule can be edited in Microsoft Word to accommodate your family’s needs, schedule and access to resources
  • Free Bible study component that matches the year’s topics, specifically covering evolution vs. creationism, etc. with optional free study guide workbooks
  • Additional recommended books scheduled in (but optional)
  • Optional writing assignments to help you integrate language arts across the curriculum
  • Free lab packet of printables for microscope labs, etc.

I’m so excited about there being an alternative to the “regular” biology options out there with something for a variety of situations and budgets. Stay tuned to my blog for the release date of Otter’s Christian High School Biology!


Free Latin Reader and MP3’s

Cornelia - a Latin Reader

For a limited time, you can get a free Latin reader with the entire story narrated a chapter at a time by Dwane Thomas of the Visual Latin Curriculum. Cornelia was written in 1933 by Mima Maxy and is about a young girl living in the U.S. in the early 1900’s. The book is entirely in Latin and makes a great supplement for your Latin studies!

Click here and enter in the code FEBCOR to get this $9 item for FREE!

P.S. We love Visual Latin. You can read my review about it here.