Choosing A Homeschool Science Microscope

Choosing A Homeschool Science Microscope -

One of the best tools you can purchase for studying science, especially in the middle school and high school ages, is a microscope. A good microscope can open up a whole new world to young scientists.

We teach that there are cells, bacteria and other organisms that are so tiny we can’t see them with the naked eye, but sometimes students file them in their brains as hypothetical. That is until they see these small wonders under a microscope. They suddenly become real for the first time.

Choosing A Microscope


I get questions all the time about what microscope to get for homeschool science. I thought I’d do a short video tour of my microscope, it’s features and what I like about it. Then, I’ll give you some written recommendations for buying your own microscope.

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Suggested Basic Microscope Features

  • Rotating eyepiece
  • Magnification levels of 40, 100, and 400x
  • Fine and course focus controls
  • Order from a well known company or one that specializes in homeschool science (Nature’s Workshop Plus or Home Science Tools, for example. is another good resource. Enter the code HSFREE in the comment box at checkout and receive a free set of slides!)

microscope central microscope

This Accu-Scope 3088 microscope from MicroscopeCentral is the one I own now. This is the perfect microscope for homeschool studies.

Suggested Microscope Upgrades (if money allows)

  • LED or cool florescent light source (long bulb life, low energy usage, won’t overheat the specimen on the slide)
  • Cordless (keeps kids from tripping over the cord; you don’t want at kid crying on the floor with a broken microscope on top of him)
  • Mechanical stage instead of stage clips for easier movement of the slide while viewing
  • Iris diaphragm for better control of the amount of light on your slide
  • Oil immersion lens for advanced biology or microbiology study

Suggested Microscope Supplier (UPDATED)

Since first publishing this post, I have done some additional research into microscopes and where to purchase them. has become a front runner in my mind for several reasons:



Have any more microscope questions? Just let me know!
The Lab Report is sponsored by Apologia Science.


  1. 1

    Laura Adams says

    What about stereo microscopes? I have elementary students. 2nd and 5th grades. Which magnification is better? They just want to see everyday things better. Not ready for slides. Any recommendations.

    • 2

      Marci says

      You can get equal magnification from stereo and monocular microscopes, although most stereoscopes made for school labs are “dissection scopes” with a lower magnification that the standard monocular microscope. You pay for the upgrade in magnification. One might think that stereo scopes are easier to use than the binocular. This is not always the case, especially in children. Have you ever looked through binoculars and had a hard time lining up both eyepieces so you could get one view instead of two. Children have an especially hard time with this and some steroscopes just simply do not adjust to the small features of a child, unless you get one made for a child. A good stereo scope will also be a good jump in price. I would recommend the monocular microscope.

  2. 3

    Tonya says

    Good Morning
    Thank you for sharing tips on how to choose a microscope. Can you share what microscope you have (company, make, model, so forth?)
    Thanks for your time


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