There is more to teaching homeschool science than just buying books. Families need lab supplies, too.
For lower grades, supplies are fairly easy to find. Although some labs require harder-to-find items, overall, supplies for elementary-middle science can be purchased most anywhere.
Once kids hit high school, sourcing products for science gets a little trickier. Particularly when teaching biology and chemistry, it isn’t always possible to find everything in one place.
For traditional lab supplies (test tubes, frogs, slides, and solutions), the larger companies are often your best bet. These companies sell directly to homeschoolers, and don’t usually require large quantity orders:
For specialty supplies, it may be worth checking a specialty store. Shops that deal mainly with insects (such as Insectlore) or those specializing in microscopes (like Microscopes) may offer more in the way of explanation and information. Even if the product isn’t purchased there, reading through buyer’s guides and product information is a great way to become educated about a product, before buying it somewhere else. These companies often have superior customer service, too.
A surprising science resource is Amazon. It never hurts to see if Amazon carries an item first, before looking anywhere else. I frequently source things on Amazon I had no idea even existed! A great feature of Amazon is the ability to see similar items — which helps narrow the search and often displays lower pricing options – making locating items quite simple.
Sometimes, the best sources for lab supplies are in your own backyard! Just look at how many science resources already exist in your area:
- Home Depot or Lowes: for bulbs, tubing, tape, string, glue, clasps, fittings and wire
- Walmart or Target: for baking soda, alcohol, peroxide, soaps and solvents
- Michaels or Hobby Lobby: for tape, wax, or glass and metal containers
- CVS or Walgreens: for antacid tablets, eye droppers, and metric measuring (dosing) cups and syringes
- Dollar stores: for measuring cups, paper products, aluminum foil, candles, containers and matches
Don’t forget individuals and small businesses to help source things like these:
- A butcher or fishmonger: for animal parts, like eyes, intestines or fish eggs
- A nursery or landscape company: for seedlings, soil, plant parts and growth solutions
- An electronics store or computer repair shop: for electrical components, old microchips, certain batteries, fans, motors, and other small parts
- and many other locations, like the pool store (bleach), auto parts store (grease-cutters), jewelry repair shop (glue) and so on
Complete science kits exist, but [warning!] some can be expensive. Prepackaged kits exist for everything from building a miniature solar car to learning 2 full years of high school chemistry. If your idea of teaching science is having an entire box of supplies delivered right to your door, you may want to check out these products/companies:
(Inclusion does not imply endorsement. Links are provided as examples, only.)
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