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Are you considering buying a microscope for your homeschool? {Episode 27}

May 08, 2017 2 min read

Are you considering buying a microscope for your homeschool? {Episode 27}

Looking through a microscope opens the doors to a normally invisible world for our students. Using one will help them to appreciate how complex life really is. However, choosing a microscope for homeschool use can be a bit daunting.

In this episode of the Tips for Homeschool Science Show, I’m sharing tips on how to choose a microscope for homeschool science!

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The Highlights

Are you in the market for a microscope for your homeschool? Don't miss these tips.

What should you look for in a microscope?

When purchasing a microscope for homeschool use, look for the following specs:

  • A compound monocular microscope;
  • A microscope with 4x, 10x, and 40x objective lenses at a minimum (Note: The eyepiece should also give 10x magnification, which then will allow you to look at an object at 40x, 100x, and 400x magnification.);
  • A microscope with separate coarse and fine adjustment knobs;
  • A good light source. (Note: The best light sources are a LED or cool fluorescent bulb. Do not get one with mirror illumination as they are very difficult to adjust.)

Where can you buy a microscope?

What else should you get?

You absolutely must have some kind of dust cover for your microscope! 

You can also purchase a soft or hard case for your microscope. If you plan on transporting your microscope, definitely look at buying a hard case.

Here is a list of several additional materials that will be helpful (but not necessary):

  • Prepared slide set
  • Blank slides with coverslips (for making your own slides) 
  • Concave slide (for viewing small, but thick samples)
  • Lens paper (for cleaning the lens)
  • Petri or sample dish (for samples that are too large for a slide)
  • Test tube with stopper (for mixing samples)
  • Non-toxic stain (for staining samples for easier viewing)
  • Eyedropper (for making wet mount slides)
  • Forceps (for collecting and manipulating samples)

Do you have any questions about selecting a microscope for homeschool use that I didn’t cover? Email them to podcast@elementalscience.com!

Need a bit more help with microscopic science? Check out the following:


2 Responses

Paige Hudson
Paige Hudson

February 26, 2019

Barbara,

I am not familiar with that particular dissecting microscope, but the specs look good. Just be aware that this is just for looking at samples you are dissecting or collecting up close. It is not for viewing slides, so it will work for some of what you do in biology, but you will need another type of microscope to view slides :-).

Paige

Barbara King
Barbara King

February 26, 2019

I am looking at a dissecting microscope for Biology Logic Stage next year. Would you think this is good and carry on into high school well? https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058WX16U/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_2?smid=A35BV4NHHC5J5C&psc=1

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