Have you heard of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. It's really cool. Much like schools pool resources in order to gain discounts on texts, services, and supplies, Homeschool Buyers Co-op pools together homeschoolers from all over the country to increase our purchasing power.
Their current deal on microscopes is a perfect example. If you buy a microscope through the co-op you can get up to a 40% discount. The only criteria is that at least 10 other homeschoolers sign up for the deal. That shouldn't be too hard as the co-op has thousands of members.
Even if you're not in the market for a microscope, check out the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. If you sign up, you'll get a weekly email listing the current deals. I've saved a bundle on curriculum and software thanks to those emails.
If you are in the market for a microscope, here's a webpage to help you discern on the best one for your homeschool: Buyers Guide from Great Scopes. And a brief note from my friend MacBeth Derham:
On the microscope front, remind your readers to check for glass optics. Plastic optics, no matter how inexpensive, are going to give poor results. Also, beware of any scope that offers better than 1000x power. It's physically impossible. While you can get a bigger image, the magnification is empty, providing no more resolution (clarity) than 1000x. The laws of physics matter! Also many of the scopes available today are made in China, unless you are willing to pay big bucks.
I'm not sure if the lenses of the co-op microscopes are glass or plastic. I'm waiting to hear back from the manufacturer.
Addendum: I heard back from Bolden
All of the microscopes have real optical glass lenses and are imported from China.
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