Guest Hollow's High School Conceptual Physics Curriculum


Welcome to Guest Hollow's High School Conceptual (Math-Free) Physics Curriculum!

High School Physics Curriculum for Homeschool

Kids who’ve HATED their other science curriculum(s) love the switch to Guest Hollow!

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Most physics curriculums are comprised of thick, boring textbooks that require a firm grounding in higher level math and feature labs that can strike fear in a homeschool parent's heart. You don't need to know any higher level math to take this course. This is a CONCEPTUAL physics course for those of you who have students who hate math and love science, or for students who want to learn how the world works via physics by focusing more on the concepts than the math behind those concepts.

What is conceptual physics? I've pasted a quote by Keri Garver below, as it sums up perfectly what I'm trying to accomplish with this course:

We are all forced to interact with the physical world around us daily. When we not only observe, but also understand the rules of nature that govern our physical world we are more fulfilled and well-rounded individuals. Traditional physics classes often alienate students with difficult mathematical derivations and computations. While the rules of nature can often be described mathematically, it is not the only way to describe them. Conceptual Physics emphasizes learning the fundamental principles of nature from which concepts can be derived. Mathematics is not necessary to understand that energy can neither be created nor destroyed--which is, in fact, one of the fundamentals of physics. In reality, the basic laws and rules, if understood, are what students use for the rest of their lives by applying them to myriad situations. Therefore, it is the goal of Conceptual Physics to facilitate students understanding of the rules of nature by learning their foundations, not by learning their mathematical derivations.

In addition, physics is the basic science. It is the foundation for biology, chemistry, geology, and all other sciences. Therefore, what one learns in Conceptual Physics will be the basis on which all of one’s knowledge from the disciplines of science builds.

I've linked to an article about an adult who took a regular physics course vs. a conceptual physics course when he was a high school student. The author wishes he had chosen the conceptual course. Read why by clicking here.

In Guest Hollow's High School Conceptual Physics curriculum, students will learn "Guest Hollow" style with loads of great books, fun hands-on activities, fascinating videos, online articles & images, and free printables scheduled in. It's meaty enough to be a "main course" curriculum, but flexible enough to be reduced to the bare bones, if you already have a daily schedule that is weighing your student down.

There is NO textbook. That keeps things fresh, interesting, and non-intimidating. Students also learn a bit of history and other subjects like chemistry and more, because physics is NOT something that happens in a vacuum. It's the world all around us and tied to many other things. Your student will learn lots of interesting and fun facts while getting to learn how the world works, as well as the cutting-edge possibilities of the future!

A personal note: I never really liked physics all that much, until I created this course. I've learned so much and managed to kindle an active interest in something that never was all that appealing to me, before. I really enjoyed reading the books I used to create this course and am actually on fire to learn more, especially in the area of quantum physics! It's my goal to light up the same interest and spark in your students! Learning physics has been a blast!

Customer Login - Click here to go to the online schedule. Your login info is located on the first few pages of the printable PDF or MS Word schedule.
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Click here to see some sample weeks.

Labs (Activities)

Since this is a non-traditional physics course, there are no labs. Instead, students have lots of hands-on activities that yank physics topics right out of the abstract and put them solidly into "real life". There are plenty of other activities to choose from, as well as physics demonstrations in video form that can't easily be done at home! Learning physics has never been this fun!

Materials and resources

I've scheduled in a variety of fascinating books and resources to make this high school science course informative, interesting and memorable! Guest Hollow's High School Physics Curriculum is stuffed full of practical information as well as some mind-blowing theories that could theoretically make things like time travel possible.

Homeschool physics

Click here to see the book and resources list!

Question: What age is this physics curriculum for?

Answer: This curriculum is designed for high schoolers. Many of the books scheduled in are for adults and may mention topics that may not be appropriate for younger students. A younger student can possibly use this curriculum in conjunction with an older sibling, but a parent will need to preview materials and may wish to read some books out loud, instead of handing them to the student. I also recommend that if you use this curriculum with a middle school student, that you lighten the reading load by removing some of the more adult-oriented or more challenging books like Galileo's Daughter, Introducing Aristotle, and other, similar titles. The activities should be appropriate for nearly any age, with parent oversight and assistance.

Question: Is this science curriculum Christian or secular?

Answer: It's both. How's that for an answer? There are three Christian resources, including one of the "spine" books: Exploring the World of Physics. There are also quite a few secular titles that mention things like the Big Bang, millions of years, and so on (although, in my opinion, there is much less evolution mentioned than if you were studying secular books on a subject like biology). If you are a Christian parent who is a young-earth creationist, you'll want to make sure your students are able to handle reading material that has opposing viewpoints, especially the Big Bang. I personally think the material in the books is worth getting through the various mentions of "billions of years". If you are a secular parent, you'll want to make sure to do the same for the Exploring the World of Physics book. Secular families can also substitute other books from the extras list below the resources table, in place of the two Christian biographies, if desired.

Question: If I buy all of those books, I'll spend a fortune! How can I afford this?

Answer: Check out our article on how to use a literature-based curriculum without breaking the bank!

Most of the scheduled activities use inexpensive materials found in your home or from the local hardware store (or maybe your garage). Please refer to the supply list that's provided when you purchase the curriculum. Also, most of the videos in the schedule can be found for free online, even the ones in the resources list. Do a search online and see if they are!

Question: Why is your curriculum so different from most science curricula with all of those books and videos instead of just a textbook?

Answer: When I design curricula, I design it to be something *I* would love to learn and base my choices off of 20+ years of teaching my own children! Most kids don't retain a lot of what they learn solely from textbooks. Why? Because textbooks are often boring and kids can't relate what they are learning to real life. I've scoured through hundreds of books to find interesting stories and entertaining resources that bring learning to life and help students better understand the world around them. Physics is a super-interesting subject. My curriculum makes it accessible to students who would otherwise not enjoy earning their high school science credits.

I LOVE science. I've always wanted my kids to love science too, or to at least learn some practical things that using just a textbook isn't going to deliver. I've worked hard to create a high school science curriculum at a fraction of the cost with plenty of options that make it flexible, fascinating, and fun!

Question: How is this curriculum different from a traditional physics course?

Students will explore many physics concepts in this curriculum, but they will NOT have to do any math associated with those concepts. Some of the main topics studied are:

  • Motion
  • Forces & Newton's laws
  • Gravity
  • Laws of planetary motion
  • Machines & technology
  • Energy
  • Heat
  • Matter
  • Air pressure, gas laws, buoyancy, density
  • Sound
  • Waves
  • Light
  • Electricity & magnetism
  • Nuclear energy
  • Relativity
  • Quantum physics / mechanics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Physics of the future
  • Some astronomy / astrophysics

Some of the people studied in depth and / or briefly touched upon are:

  • Aristotle
  • Galileo
  • Isaac Newton
  • Robert Goddard
  • Johannes Kepler
  • Archimedes
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Edison
  • Thomas Young
  • James Prescott Joule
  • James Watt
  • John Dalton
  • Robert Boyle
  • Blaise Pacal
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • Daniel Bernoulli
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Christian Doppler
  • Michael Faraday
  • Max Planck
  • Many more!!

Many different physics concepts are covered in this curriculum, but in a way that doesn't require any knowledge of how to do math equations. Physics is explained using real life examples students can relate to. This is a CONCEPTUAL physics course. It also contains a lot of history, as students study the people behind discoveries and technology that changed our understanding of the world. I think this is particularly important for a physics course because in seeing the progression of our understanding of physics, a student can come to the realization that s/he is just as capable of being part of the next generation's discoveries. Physics is a field where a lot of things have yet to be discovered and ironed out!

Question: Who is this physics course best suited for?


  • A student who is science or math phobic but needs to fulfill science credits
  • A kid who is behind in math, or doesn't want to apply it outside of "math time"
  • A student who is interested in physics but doesn't have the math requirements for a traditional math-heavy physics course (like a 9th or 10th grader)
  • A kid who is planning on a non-science major in college or wishes to pursue a career like law enforcement, art, culinary arts, etc. (but still needs to fulfill those pesky science credits!)
  • A student who is taking a traditional physics course, but loves science so much that s/he wishes to utilize some living books on the subject, in order to better understand the traditional course
  • A student who has taken other Guest Hollow courses and wishes to stick with the "Guest Hollow" style of learning
  • Kids who are more "out-of-the-box" and don't fit the traditional subject mold
  • A student who is sick of textbooks

I feel there is a real need in the homeschool world for a curriculum like this. Physics is an important part of just about everything. Kids should be acquainted with it in a way they are going to retain and enjoy!

Take a look at the scheduled materials and sample weeks to see if you think it's a good fit for your student's future plans, or not. That is ultimately YOUR choice and your decision.

Question: How do I assign grades?

Answer: Click here for a suggestion on how to assign grades.

Question: How does your curriculum schedule differ from traditional style instructor's guides?

Answer: Take a look at the free sample weeks by scrolling down below. There are no tests, and quizzes are contained only in a few of the books, as well as with some of the free videos. You must access the video quizzes online via the links in the schedule. I've also created a workbook / study guide for some of the books. The workbook pages were created for those of you who wish to assess some of your student’s reading assignments and to help train students to look through a text for information. They are also designed to help students retain what they’ve read.

I sometimes shelled out big bucks for instructor's guides and usually only ended up using the schedule portion. Sometimes, in my opinion, less is more.

Question: Do I have to have my student do everything in the schedule, even when you have 5 videos to watch in one week?

Answer: I've scheduled in lots of videos as well as free printables and things like online articles. Consider them a buffet of activities. If you are behind due to illness or another reason, it's easy to get back up to speed. Just pare down the schedule activities, and you're all set! Do you have another resource you'd rather use? Just plug it into the schedule and use it instead. The printable schedule is editable, so you can take out and add things as you desire.

Many weeks will have more than one activity listed. Your student can choose to do one per week, or s/he can do all of them. You are really only limited by your student’s interest level and the accessibility of the activity materials. Please preview the supply list included with the schedule, at the beginning of your studies, in order to determine what you need to purchase.

Don't let the schedule rule you!

Always remember that YOU are in charge, not the schedule. Guest Hollow schedules are adaptable and flexible. There are some "light" weeks where you can play catch-up and heavier weeks with lots of OPTIONS, not commands!.

At the beginning of the year:
  • Set up a notebook (3-ring binder or similar) to store all your science papers for the year. You may want to take pictures of the hands-on activities, print them out, and put them in the notebook.

    I do NOT make any guarantees about this curriculum. USE IT AT YOUR OWN RISK. 

    Are you ready to become part of the Guest Hollow family?

    Click here to purchase a curriculum schedule in my store.
    Buy it now!

    The following is not guaranteed and is only provided as a courtesy. It may become unavailable at any time:

    When you purchase a printable schedule, you also get access to a password protected ONLINE schedule for those of you who’d like a more visual schedule with links a student or parent can click on directly from a computer or a tablet.

    • Free updates & additions to the online schedule may be added occasionally! You do not need to repurchase anything to access these changes, as long as the online version of the schedule is provided. That means that even if your printable schedule is out of date, the online schedule will always be the newest version of the curriculum.

    Click on the 3 linked (yellow) weeks below for a free sample! Please note that the printable schedule is formatted for printing and does not contain book cover pictures, etc. like the online schedule, so as to save ink!

This is a 34-week curriculum.

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