Welcome to Otter's Christian High School Biology Curriculum!

Homeschool biology curriculum

Otter's Biology is a FREE Christian biology curriculum that incorporates a free high-quality textbook, videos, tons of labs to choose from with a multitude of budget and interest options, living books, a free workbook & answer key, incorporated Greek & Latin roots vocabulary, an independent study schedule, and more! If you are a secular family or a family that believes in evolution, the schedule and labs will still work for you too (more instructions concerning that are included below)!

Why I developed Otter's Christian High School Biology - A Bit of Background

I spent months researching biology programs for Otter's 9th grade year. Besides reviewing the old editions of biology textbooks & programs sitting on my shelf at home, I looked over every type of biology curriculum I could find. NOTHING was a fit for a variety of reasons.

Here are just a few of the programs I researched:

This list doesn't even begin to cover the amount of material I looked over. Everything was either too expensive (especially considering the amount of extras I wanted to add in), or there was too much evolution we'd have to skip or the textbook was too boring, too difficult, ETC. I was ready to pull my hair out over just what to choose.

I also consulted my daughter, who is an RN student, as to what she felt best prepared for her for her college biology class and what she felt was lacking after using the resources we studied for biology in our homeschool. She had some great insight that was really helpful in preparing my future biology curriculum plans for Otter.

Some of things I wanted in an ideal biology program:

  • A "pretty" and visual text or "spine" book
    • that can be accessed in a variety of ways (online, Kindle, in print, etc.)
    • is fairly rigorous and covers specific topics I've researched & believe will better prepare Otter for a college biology class
    • has no (or little) evolution, as we are creationists
  • A Christian perspective or Christian elements
  • A variety of lab options without ONE focus (some biology programs are all about dissections and little else, etc.)
  • Labs we can easily do at home with a minimum of investment that are still rich and worthwhile
  • Something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg
  • Plenty of "living books" to supplement topics and bring concepts to life in ways a textbook can't
  • Activities, games & extras to make biology fun and easier to learn & retain
  • Something laid out via a weekly format with a schedule I can follow
  • Videos to help illustrate concepts
  • A curriculum that appeals to my son in multiple ways and engages his interest
  • Tests or other printables to help me gauge my son's learning and help him work on study skills
  • Cross-curricular assignments so biology isn't studied as an isolated subject
  • Something I will enjoy too! wink

What I finally settled on:

After months, I finally settled on using CK-12 Biology. First of all, it's free. 2nd, it's a great, INTERACTIVE text with lots of links, a workbook (I've created my own workbook based on their workbook), a teacher's manual, links to tons of videos, lab ideas, interactive material and covers all the subjects I want covered. It can be downloaded as a PDF or a variety of digital files (like mobi for Kindle, etc.).You can even have it printed out at a copy store, if you really want a text version.

The problem: it's very heavily from an evolutionary standpoint and we are creationists. The cool thing: you can edit CK-12 books and totally customize them however you want and share the results for free as it's open source with a Creative Commons licence.

That's just what I've done! I've taken the CK-12 biology textbook and edited it for my own purposes.

Edits are as follows:

  • References to evolution taken out
  • New videos added (you can watch them right from the text when you are online)
  • Christian material added
  • Definitions placed with vocabulary words in the beginning of each chapter
  • Pictures edited to be larger
  • New or different pictures added to illustrate concepts
  • Custom illustrations created
  • Additional concepts and material added
  • Some humor was added or sections rewritten to be more clear / understandable
  • Latin and Greek root word "alerts" - a fun way to learn vocabulary using science!

Besides editing the textbook, I've researched labs and activities from a variety of sources for a variety of budgets, created a comprehensive year-long daily/weekly schedule, put together workbook pages to help students better learn and retain the textbook material, researched and added in some terrific links, videos and other resources and added a list of supplementary reading to expand on the textbook concepts via "living books".

I felt there weren't very many options for a solid Christian high school biology curriculum that was low cost and had lots of options, extras and engaging material to help expand concepts. That's why I went and created my own option and am now sharing it with you.

NOTE: If you are a secular family or a family who believes in evolution, you can still use my schedule with the ORIGINAL textbook. You will probably also want to use the ORIGINAL workbook pages instead of my workbook pages. Weeks 9 and 10 are marked as YELLOW in the daily/weekly schedule. During those two weeks, you will need to schedule in all of the regular material from the original book. Please note that the original book does NOT contain the edits I made including the Greek and Latin vocabulary roots, added humor, added videos and activities, etc. BUT you can still use the schedule to access all of the great labs and other activities I listed and to plan out & guide your student's year with biology. Please don't forget to click on the textbook and supplemental materials page to get a list of great books and videos you may want to add in.

Click to tip!

I do NOT make any guarantees about this schedule, the textbook, or anything else. USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. This is what I've edited and/or created for my son and I am sharing it in honor of God's many blessings to my family. I am not a professional, a biologist or anything else other than a mother who loves my son and wanted to put together a biology program that works best for him and our budget.

If you would like to support my efforts on this project as I've spent months and months working on it, please click over to my support page. Thank you to everyone for your generosity and support all these years! Thanks also to each and every one of you who has emailed me to say thanks or to let me know how my "stuff" has worked for your family. Your emails are a huge encouragement.

Please choose a link below to check out the different elements of Otter's Homeschool Biology Curriculum.

Free Christian Biology Curriculum

Otter's Christian High School Biology Textbook, Supplemental Reading & Videos

Get access to the free textbook and find out which books and videos (and other resources) I've chosen to supplement this year's studies, including a Bible study covering creationist views with FREE high quality books you can access online (or purchase if you want them in hand). Find out where you can download additional free materials to help you teach and test your students.

Click here to read reviews from others who've used Otter's Biology!

 

Biology schedule

 

Daily / Weekly Schedule

Download or view online a daily/weekly schedule of assignments, labs, & extra activities. The online schedule is linked to chapters of the book online so each textbook chapter is just a click away! The schedule also contains links to all sorts of extra goodies like printables, games, activities and more to help your learning come to life.

Click here for information on HOW TO ASSIGN GRADES.

Free biology labs

 

Lab Planner

Use this lab planner to get a quick overview of every scheduled lab so you can pick-and-choose the ones you want to do or skip. I've scheduled in a multitude of labs for every budget and interest level. You can use the free lab guide, or... choose from a variety of other interesting experiments and even access free online labs & videos. If you are on a strict budget, don't panic. There are plenty of labs that can be done for free or low cost!

 

Free biology workbook

 

Workbook(s), and Answer Key

Download free workbooks for every chapter to help your students better retain and learn concepts. Workbook pages are also directly linked vial the daily / weekly schedule.

 

 

Biology Printables and Lab Reports

Lab & Biology Activity Write-Up Sheets

Your student can use these printable pages to record lab procedures and outcomes. I also have a variety of other printables like microscope observation pages to draw on, etc. After filling them out, place the finished sheets in your science notebook.

 

 

Book Report Instructions and Grading Rubric

 

Fast Plants

 

Wisconsin Fast Plants Scheduler

Download this document to help you plan a 45 day genetic experiment.

*Note: If you plan to use Otter's Botany, you can choose to do this experiment for either biology OR botany. It's up to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank-you everyone for your support !

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