All Lab, No Lecture: Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments from DIY Science – O’Reilly

Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments

This is a great resource for parents with kids in middle or high-school, however, if you are currently home-schooling and introducing Biology it would be a great book in your collection as well. It has a complete hands-on approach and although it doesn’t come with a lab, it does teach you how to set up a safe one in your own home. But you don’t have to be a student to want to enjoy the excitement of experimentation, all you need is the enthusiasm to learn something new! Here are some of the great resources you will get out of the Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments:

  • Master the use of the microscope, including sectioning and staining
  • Build and observe microcosms, soda-bottle worlds of pond life
  • Investigate the chemistry of life from simple acids, bases, and buffers to complex carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes, and DNA
  • Extract, isolate, and observe DNA
  • Explore photosynthesis, osmosis, nitrogen fixation, and other life processes
  • Investigate the cell cycle (mitosis and cytokinesis)
  • Observe populations and ecosystems, and perform air and water pollution tests
  • Investigate genetics and inheritance
  • Do hands-on microbiology, from simple culturing to micro-evolution of bacteria by forced selection
  • Gain hands-on lab experience to prepare for the AP Biology exam
You can also download the CK-12 Biology for Free, a standard Biology text guide that partners with this book very well. I also noted that there are tons of other great textbooks on that website, so surf around!
The book is organized very easily in narrative chapters, however, the bulk is made up of more than 30 experiments incorporating about 80 separate procedures that are categorized as the following: 
  • Mastering Microscope Skills
  • Building and Observing Microcosms
  • Chemistry of Life
  • Life Processes
  • Ecology
  • Genetics and Inheritance
  • Cells and Unicellular Organisms
  • Protista
  • Fungi
  • Plantae
  • Animalia
My husband’s next school course is in Biology and as my son is going into High-School Biology this year, I thought this would be a great book to have at home. It talks about the importance of keeping a Lab Notebook (and how to format it), how to prepare and give careful consideration to your work area (especially at home) and planning / scheduling. I found the experiments to be very interesting and the procedures not difficult to read at all. After each Lab there are Review Questions and some of them come with colored photos to assist you on the provided steps. 
Home Lab Experiments
I really enjoy O’Reilly books, they always have something great to offer and are perfect for home libraries, especially the How To books, like the Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments. You can visit the webpage for more details and information on the Author, the full Table of Contents or to purchase the eBook version!
Connect: You can connect with O’Reilly on their Facebook Page and/or @OReillyMedia on Twitter
Purchase: You can purchase the Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments for $34.99. 
I received a copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions are my own and/or my families and are not influenced by any form of compensation. 


  1. AnnaZed says:

    This would be a great home-schooling tool.

    The Rafflecopter calls me ‘Margot’ since it is accessing my facebook where I am ‘Margot Core’; the Rafflecopter connects to this

    email: annazed10 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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