Best Microscope for Homeschool [Our Top 5 Picks for 2020]

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With more and more instruction going online (or not), homeschooling is becoming a reality for many families. It can be difficult to mimic a traditional classroom at home, especially when it comes to science equipment.

Microscopes are a great way to start and continue teaching your kids about science and the world around them. They are especially useful to understand the small organisms and components that can’t be seen with the eye alone. 

Overall, our top pick as the best microscope for homeschool is the OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope. This microscope offers the greatest range of features and quality at a reasonable price. For older kids or those that want to take pictures of what they can’t see with their naked eye, we recommend the AmScope Compound Microscope and Camera. And if you’re on a budget, the AmScope Beginner Microscope takes the lead with its accessibility to a larger age range and additional science project tools at a lower out-of-pocket cost. 

Our Top Picks
Best Overall
OMAX 40X-2500X LED Binocular Compound Lab Microscope w/ Double Layer Mechanical Stage + Blank Slides, Cover Slips, & Lens Cleaning Paper
Best for Taking Images
AmScope B120C-E1 Siedentopf Binocular Compound Microscope, 40X-2500X Magnification, LED Illumination, Abbe Condenser, Two-Layer Mechanical Stage, 1.3MP Camera and Software Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
Budget Option
AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit with Metal Body Microscope, Plastic Slides, LED Light and Carrying Box (M30-ABS-KT2-W),White
Name
OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope
AmScope Compound Microscope and Camera
AmScope Beginner Microscope
Features
Large magnification range and a solid metal frame that makes it perfect to stand up against wear and tear for many years.
Large magnification range and fitted with a camera to take lasting images.
More than just a microscope: this unit comes as a whole kit to make science even more budget friendly!
Best Overall
Our Top Picks
OMAX 40X-2500X LED Binocular Compound Lab Microscope w/ Double Layer Mechanical Stage + Blank Slides, Cover Slips, & Lens Cleaning Paper
Name
OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope
Features
Large magnification range and a solid metal frame that makes it perfect to stand up against wear and tear for many years.
More Info
Best for Taking Images
Our Top Picks
AmScope B120C-E1 Siedentopf Binocular Compound Microscope, 40X-2500X Magnification, LED Illumination, Abbe Condenser, Two-Layer Mechanical Stage, 1.3MP Camera and Software Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
Name
AmScope Compound Microscope and Camera
Features
Large magnification range and fitted with a camera to take lasting images.
More Info
Budget Option
Our Top Picks
AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit with Metal Body Microscope, Plastic Slides, LED Light and Carrying Box (M30-ABS-KT2-W),White
Name
AmScope Beginner Microscope
Features
More than just a microscope: this unit comes as a whole kit to make science even more budget friendly!
More Info

Related post: Best Microscope for Kids

Best Microscope for Homeschool

Best Overall – OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope

Best Overall
OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope
A compound lab microscope with double layer mechanical stage and includes blank slides, coverslips, and lens cleaning paper.

The OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope is our top pick as the best microscope for homeschool. It boasts a wide magnification range, from a 40x objective up to 2500x. This allows kids to learn about many different organisms that can get down to 0.5 micrometers. This is small enough to be able to see bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. 

Additionally, it has a high-quality solid metal frame that allows it to be reliable even in the hands of many kids for several years. It comes with the basics to get you started: blank slides, coverslips, and lens cleaning paper. This microscope also has adjustable eyepieces that allow for the bigger and smaller kids to adjust to their unique viewpoint. 

We love this microscope in particular because it has such an extensive range of versatility. It has coarse and fine grain adjustments so that you can get the most precise possible image. It can be used for many different ages starting from elementary school up through high school and even college. 

This microscope offers clear viewpoints so that your kids can learn about the smaller world around them and see how complex even a tiny bacteria can be. It has its own light source that is adjustable as well for better viewing. 

This microscope rivals many microscopes that are used in traditional high school classrooms. This is because of its quality. It has even been used by professionals to complete work from home. It does plug into the wall, so a power supply is needed.

Best for Taking Images – AmScope Compound Microscope and Camera

Sale
Best for Taking Images
AmScope Compound Microscope
Large magnification range and fitted with a camera to take lasting images.

The AmScope Compound Microscope and Camera is the best microscope for kids that want to take images of what they see under the microscope. It boasts a good magnification range from a 40X objective lens to a 2500X objective lens, but the key feature here is the 1.3-megapixel camera and software that comes with the microscope. 

The software allows for processing and editing, is intuitive and easy to use, making it perfect for homeschooling. It should be noted that the software does work best on Windows computers. Even better, this microscope has LED illumination that allows you to control the intensity of light, giving you better and more crisp images. 

This microscope has it all but generally recommended for older kids because of the bifocal eyepieces and sensitivity of the scope itself. However, because of the camera and imaging software, it comes at the top of our list. 

Since the images can be taken and viewed later, this makes the perfect tool for learning at home. Kids will be able to go back to the images that they’ve taken and can do things such as compare different organisms without having to remember every detail about them on their own. 

Another nice touch of this scope is that it comes with a dust cover so that your kids can learn how to take care of expensive science equipment, and it will last for a long time. If you want even better images, you can upgrade the camera up to 5-megapixels as well.

Best Budget Option – AmScope Beginner Microscope

Sale
Best Budget Option
AmScope Beginner Microscope
This not only comes with the scope, but comes as a whole microscope kit.

The best part of the AmScope Beginner Microscope is the kit that comes with it. The kit makes science and learning even more budget-friendly than many other microscopes on the market for homeschooling. We love that it comes with its reusable slides and a brine shrimp experiment that will get your kid excited about doing and learning about science! 

It is ready to use right out of the box. This makes it ideal for homeschooling on a budget. This microscope is battery operated, so it’s easier to take on the go and can get down to 120X objective lens magnification.

The ease of use and singular eyepiece makes this scope perfect for all ages. It is especially suited for younger kids who are just getting started with their science learning. This is because it is a bit smaller than the other microscopes available. 

It has LED and mirror illumination, as well as a built-in color filter wheel so that your child can see the specimen, even under low light. Better yet, it comes with its very own carrying kit, so it’s easy to keep all of the pieces in one place for continued use and learning.

Best for Portability – National Geographic Digital Microscope for Kids

Best for Portability
National Geographic Digital Microscope
An awesome little microscope that is the best kids microscope for homeschool science learning on the go.

The National Geographic Digital Microscope for Kids Kit is a great pick if you are looking for a microscope that you can take for learning on the go. It comes with a small kit to get you started with your child’s learning, is wireless, portable, and rechargeable. If you prefer your homeschooling environment to be more outside of the home, this is a great option since it doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall to function.

While this microscope has a lower magnification than some of its counterparts, this microscope has a 4.3″ LCD and can take images up to 1080p resolution. This makes it an excellent resource for learning and homeschool science. It has its own light source so that specimens can be observed even under low light. 

This microscope is light and durable, so kids can easily use it. Since there is no eyepiece (it has a screen instead), it is great for kids who don’t like the traditional microscope and focusing that it requires. Another cool feature of this microscope is that when you get back home from your outing, you and your child can transfer these images to your home computer for viewing on a bigger screen. This means you can also look back at the images again later.

Best for All Ages – Swift Trinocular Compound Microscope

Sale
Best for All Ages
Swift Trinocular Compound Microscope
A high quality microscope that is best of both worlds, this microscope offers trinocular viewing that is great for all ages.

The Swift Trinocular Compound Microscope is particularly suitable for a homeschooling environment with a larger range of ages. It is a research-grade microscope with two different viewing options. It has a monocular eyepiece on top and the traditional rotating binocular eyepieces. 

The binocular eyepieces are also adjustable for interpupillary distance. This allows for a wider age range of users than many of the other microscopes on the market for homeschool. Even better, this scope’s trinocular head accepts an additional eyepiece and camera (sold separately). This feature allows for image and video capturing for later viewing.

This microscope is used by kids, high school students, and professionals alike. Thus, it will last the test of time and keep your kids interested while learning from home. It offers six magnification levels from 40X to 2500X, so your children can learn more about the world around them. 

This microscope also offers coarse and fine focusing so that your child can see a crisper and more accurate image. It has a built-in power supply that is plugged into a regular wall outlet for easy use at home.

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What to Consider When Buying the Best Microscope for Homeschool

Magnification

When first deciding on a homeschool microscope, it is important to think about what magnification ranges you will need it for. Microscopes are typically fitted with different objective lenses. 

These lenses allow for the viewing of larger or smaller organisms or components. Some smaller organisms can only be seen under 1000X magnification or higher. So, if you want to teach your kids about smaller bacterias or cell components, you should make sure that you are getting a microscope that can view organisms that small. 

Additionally, if you want to look at bigger species or plants, lower magnification levels are needed. Getting something with too high of a magnification won’t allow your kid to best visualize what you are trying to show them.

Kids using microscope

Age-Range

It is also important to consider the age range of your children that you are wanting to use this type of microscope for in homeschool. Some microscopes are made of plastic and thus are not as durable as those that boast entirely metal frames that make them more durable to young hands. 

For younger children, you should also consider if the microscope is monocular, binocular, or trinocular. Monocular microscopes tend to work best for younger kids. This is because they only need to focus on using one eye. Often binocular microscopes don’t have a small enough range to allow little faces and eyes to fit properly in the eyepieces. 

The most versatile microscopes are trinocular. This is because they will fit all age ranges. You can decide between using the singular eyepiece or two based on the age of the child and how comfortable the eyepieces are for them. 

Your Child’s Interest

Is your kid interested in the smallest of organisms? Intracellular components? Showing all their friends the awesome things that they saw and learned about at homeschool? Want to take their microscope everywhere with them so that they can look at things under it whenever they please? These considerations will dictate which type of microscope is the best for your child and their homeschooling. 

Each microscope comes with its own unique set of features so that you can find the one that will best suit your needs and the interests of your child. This makes it so that you can keep them more engaged and interested while teaching science using a microscope as a tool.

Homeschool children using miscroscope

Get the most out of your Homeschool Microscope

Some microscopes are more advanced than others. Thus, they require a significant learning curve to get your child (and you!) to get used to its full capabilities. This may make using the microscope for homeschool less appealing for some and really wouldn’t let you get the most out of your microscope. However, some scopes come with their own kits to get you started. Often these microscopes are easier to use and have a smaller learning curve to get started. 

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The kits are especially useful to give you the necessary materials to get the science learning started. These materials include things such as slides, coverslips, mounting solutions, and some even come with their own experiments to get your child started right away. 

The best way to get the most out of your homeschool microscope is to let your child explore the world around them. It’s time to get creative with the things that they want to see under the scope. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best microscope?

The best microscopes for kids and homeschool science depends on you and your child’s needs. It also depends on the budget that you can spend on the microscope, how experienced your child is with using microscopes, and what magnification levels you think you will need from the microscope. 

Some microscopes are more complicated than others and could prove to be frustrating for younger children. However, we do recommend the OMAX Binocular Compound Microscope as the best overall. 

Why should I use a microscope for homeschooling?

Microscopes allow your children to explore deeper into the world around them. They can see different components of organisms such as plants that they can’t see with their eye alone. They even allow them to explore an entirely different microscopic world that we, as humans can’t see without the use of tools. 

A good microscope allows your child to learn science and explore this world on their own. Rather than just showing them images of such organisms, a microscope allows for a greater appreciation and understanding of science, these organisms, and how important they can be to the world and ecosystem.

Young boy holding microscope for homeschool

What kind of microscopes are out there?

There are two main kinds of microscopes to choose from: stereo microscopes and compound microscopes. A stereo microscope allows for the specimen to be moved and rotated. Additionally, stereo microscopes can usually only go up to 300X magnification. 

While a compound microscope doesn’t allow for this same freedom of movement as a stereo microscope, they do have a higher magnification power. They are also more versatile overall in their usage. 

How much should I spend on a microscope for homeschooling?

The answer to this question really depends on what you want to get out of your microscope. Suppose you want something that will last a long time through your child’s education (especially if you’re aiming for one with advanced imaging capabilities), you should consider spending more to get a better microscope. As parents, we should think ahead instead of buying something that can only be used throughout elementary school to teach more basic sciences. You can easily pick up a spectacular microscope for homeschool with prices ranging between $35 to $400.

Mark Coster, BSc(Hons) PhD MRACI CChem
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Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API