The printable biology textbook is ready!

I’ve posted the printable PDF copy of Guest Hollow’s Biology textbook!

Guest Hollow’s Biology textbook was designed to be used / read online and is formatted for online use. I recommend using the online textbook, but realize that some families would like a paper copy of the book. That’s why I adapted the online pages into a PDF – because I love my customers and listen to your requests!

This adapted PDF version doesn’t provide the best viewing / formatting experience. It also contains some minor formatting errors. But, hey, it’s free! 😉

You can take the PDF file (all 596 pages!) to your local print shop and have it printed and comb bound or hole punched, to place in a binder.

Visit this page to access the PDF textbook link:

Happy homeschooling!


History Timeline Schedule Update

Homeschool History Curriculum

It was recently brought to my attention that some visitors to my site couldn’t access the entire right-hand side of the online Awesome History Timeline Schedule pages. I’ve fixed the html and now you should be able to see ALL of the assignments, even if you have a smaller monitor screen. Just scroll back and forth horizontally using the bottom of your browser bar.

For those of you unfamiliar with this FREE homeschool history curriculum, it’s completely based on WHEN things happened and covers both American and world history at the same time. It’s set up so that you can study American history by itself, world history by itself or both together (my preference). It’s totally flexible and can work as a stand-alone curriculum or can be used to supplement any other history program.

I designed it because I got sick and tired of history curriculums jumping from one event to the next going back and forth in time. How confusing!  It was always difficult to keep track of what was happening in the context of time. It was also nearly impossible to see how so many events in history are interrelated! With the History Timeline Schedule, a student can immediately see in a VISUAL context things like how the French Revolution followed the American Revolution, what was happening in the Americas during Henry the VIII’s reign, and that Victoria became Queen of England right after Texans lost the Battle of the Alamo.

As with all my other homeschool programs, I’ve scheduled in lots of goodies like “living books”, colorful non-fiction, hands-on activities, video suggestions, map assignments, art & music studies. It’s probably best used as-is for 6th graders and up, but you can easily adapt it for 1st grade to adult learners.

The History Timeline Schedule is totally flexible! Don’t like a book I scheduled in or can’t access it at your local library for free? Replace it with ANY other suitable book. Just plug your book (or activity or video) into the correct time slot. It’s that easy! Want even more book and video suggestions? Visit my free History Shelf that follows the same timeline format but has hundreds and hundreds more book and video suggestions for an even greater variety of ages.

Happy homeschooling!

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.

Otter’s Christian Biology Update

I’m making a quick post to keep you updated on my progress with the Otter’s Christian High School Biology  program. I pretty much finished the schedule and have researched and scheduled lots of extras like “living books”, a huge variety of labs for different budgets and interest levels, videos, activities and more. Now I’m putting most of my efforts into the textbook itself. I’ve already edited and changed some of it. I’m continuing to work through the chapters slowly but surely. One of the things I’ve added are custom graphics. One thing I really like about this textbook is how graphics intensive it is. I’m a very visual person and appreciate lots of pretty stuff in books, lol. I also think pictures and illustrations really help students connect to the material being taught.

Here are a few examples of some of the graphics I’ve made for Otter’s Biology:

I’ve added in graphics that explain vocabulary words by breaking them down into Greek and Latin roots:


I’ve also added in custom graphics to explain specific concepts.

By the way, Mr. Carrot is sort of a personal joke between Otter and me. I first introduced Mr. Carrot on one of the notebook pages I made for Otter on nutrition. Mr. Carrot then appeared on a math worksheet (hand-drawn), wondering how he ended up there and thinking he was in perhaps the wrong place. He’s since decorated many of Otter’s worksheets and other creations I’ve made for him. He’s like a recurring character that ends up all over the place. 😉

I replaced the very “unfriendly” illustration about diffusion that was in the text with this (Hello Mr. Carrot!):



This graphic helps illustrate what an enzyme does and introduces a simple experiment:


enzyme experiment


This one below helps make ATP more memorable. The caption in the textbook explains how the character below is actually ADP and why. 😉



Besides all of the work in the textbook, I’ve also started working on editing (actually redoing) the CK-12 biology workbook to better reflect the new textbook content (as well as to only feature creationist beliefs) and to also be more visually engaging. I will be adding some interactive notebooking activities to the workbook pages as well, but haven’t gotten around to that yet.

Here are a few screenshots of some of the workbook pages. They are pretty basic adaptations of the current CK-12 workbook although I’ll be adding my own stuff after I’ve adapted the rest of CK-12’s work (gotta love that open source creative commons license!!). When I’m done with it, it won’t be all this true/false, multiple choice, blah blah blah. LOL. That kind of thing has its place, but I don’t want it to be the only sort of activity to help retention.

There is also an answer key being developed at the same time.

6 1

You’ll notice in the screenshot below that there is a Bible verse for students to fill in some of the blanks. That verse is featured in the textbook and so I took the opportunity to reinforce it.


I like to add a little humor to some of the sheets. The deer in the picture below is commenting on one of the true/false questions…


A graphic of a hummingbird and flower help students think about question number 5…


Otter enjoys jokes, so I’ll be putting a few on some of the worksheets to liven them up a little.



So, that’s it for now!

Everything is coming along and I’m devoting a HUGE amount of time to this project. If you’d like to get involved and help out, I would love to hear from you. I need help “dumbing down” and/or sprucing up some portions of the text to make them more accessible/interesting, researching vocabulary roots, adding Christian material and/or Bible verses that are tied to some of the concepts, etc.

Stay tuned to my blog for more updates!

Get the first book in the Redwall series free!

Redwall (Book 1, Redwall)

I’m not sure how long this will be free, so you might want to grab it now. Redwall (Book 1, Redwall) is the first in a series of well-known and loved books for children by Brian Jacques. I was excited to see it listed for free today on Amazon (for the Kindle and/or Kindle reading apps) because I have a comprehension guide on hand that I plan to use with Otter this semester! Now I don’t have to check it out from the library. 😉

Happy downloading!

Printable Timeline

I recently received a request for “extra” timeline pages for the free printable timeline I feature on my website. Instead of creating a bunch of new pages, which I don’t have time for right now, I went ahead and made an editable PDF. Now you can add in your own dates and customize the timeline dates without having to write them in by hand. Just open the PDF, type in the custom dates and print!

Using a timeline is a terrific way to help kids visualize when things happened. With a timeline, different people and events can be put into context. We’ve used our timeline for years and often paste in the covers of books we’ve read. The end result is a beautiful scrapbook of not only the things we’ve learned but many of the books we’ve read as well!

In an upcoming post I’ll show you pictures of Otter’s timeline so you can see one in action. For now, here are the free timeline downloads:

Timeline cover



Boy’s Timeline Cover

Girl’s Timeline Cover

Timeline Spine



B.C. Timeline Pages
30 pages:
(4100 B.C. – 0 B.C.)
The Ancient World
The Classical World

A.D. Timeline Pages
70 pages
(0 A.D. – 2010 A.D.)
The Classical World
Early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
Trade & Empire
Revolution and Independence
Unification and Colonization
The World at War
The Modern World

Blank Timeline Page (Use this page to print out extras or to make smaller timeline portions. This is the new editable PDF so you can add in your own custom dates!!)

Finally, here is a timeline figures template (scroll to below the image for the links). Add in images from online & type in your own dates, names, etc. to customize.

timeline figures template

Timeline figure template in .doc format

Timeline figure template in .docx format

If you aren’t using a timeline in your homeschool, give it a try! You might be surprised at how it helps your children better retain their history lessons.


Free $125 Art Curriculum (Adventures in Art)

I just downloaded this myself, so I know it’s legit.

You can get a free download of Adventures in Art eCurriculum from Cornerstone Curriculum that retails for $125! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Click here to go Cornerstone Curriculum and add the Adventures in Art eCurriculum to your cart (I clicked on the order button underneath where it says Sale price $75).
  • Go through the check out process and choose PICK UP as your shipping option.
  • Enter in the promotion code Blessings2013 at checkout.
  • You don’t need to enter in any payment or credit card info.
  • Once you get to the confirmation page, select DOWNLOAD on the right hand side and download it to your computer!
  • The file saved in a weird format on my computer but I was able to open it with Adobe Acrobat like a PDF.

There are 105 pages with clickable links to see the art online. Grab this great value while you can as I don’t know how long it will last!

Here are a few screenshots (click to see them larger – apologies to those of you who get the RSS feed or email subscription where the pictures are full size and giant).


Otter’s Physical Science

Otter studied physical science last year in 7th grade. We used a combination of Apologia’s Physical Science and Exploration Education’s Physical Science Advanced. I added in a bunch of extras like living books, websites, printables and more.

Click here to see the schedule I created and the books we used!

Free Foundations 3 Year Bible Curriculum

Foundations 3 Year Bible Curriculum is free right now at Currclick. Each book retails for 14.95, so grab these for FREE while you can!

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3



Otter’s Botany is Ready! (BETA version)

Botany Curriculum

I’ve finally finished a BETA version of Otter’s Botany and posted the download.

Why study botany? I think botany is an overlooked topic that gets shoved into a chapter of biology and then forgotten. Plants affect and enrich so many parts of our lives! Our houses and clothes are made of plant materials. We eat plants. We enjoy their beauty. They provide us with medicines, fuel, perfume, dyes, paper and a variety of other products. They are tied to history and even our future. They are an integral part of our lives!

I decided to study botany with my son as a sort of pre-biology course. I want Otter to understand the science behind plants as well as to take the time to appreciate the myriad contributions they make to our lives!

My main goals for this course are:

  • To understand many scientific concepts concerning plants
  • To understand and appreciate many practical applications of plants
  • To learn how to identify many different plants, flowers and trees
  • To learn some history and geography as it pertains to specific plants or plant discoveries
  • To be involved in the natural world on a more frequent basis
  • To hone Otter’s observation skills, nurture an interest in the natural world and have time to reflect on beautiful and interesting things – to see the hand of our creator in nature (although almost all of this year’s resources are secular)
  • To keep a nature journal and learn some artistic skills that will help him reproduce on paper what he observes
  • To learn how to grow, cook and use plants in a variety of ways
  • To learn about bees and worms as “side topics” (creatures that are beneficial to plants)

I’ve scheduled many different materials for this year. Otter’s Botany is full of hands-on labs, experiments, notebooking, drawing and art exercises, interactive websites, videos and more.

Check it out!