Science Stores for Advanced Materials
As children grow their needs grow, especially in science. Eventually, most homeschoolers seek science shops to supply them with more complex kits and materials for work at a higher level. Expect costs to go up, making group study more attractive.
Call shops to find what prior knowledge you must have to use these higher level kits and materials. If the material is beyond your level, it's time to search your phone book or local parenting publication for tutors or extra classes. The cost of a tutor plus materials can be split among a small group of families, which is an ideal way to pack in more options for everyone.
For the beginner or enthusiast, American Science and Surplus covers both ends of the spectrum. They offer a range of microscopes and telescopes between $70- $300, and telescopes from $50 to $500. This store leans toward engineering, and offers a cornucopia of hard-to-find quirky and unique items with economical pricing. Homeschoolers will find a full range of biology and chemistry lab supplies, as well as parts for physics, electronics and mechanics.
Ward's Natural Science leans toward biology, chemistry and environmental sciences laboratory supplies. Here you can order live specimens and technical lab equipment. Telescopes range from $50 to $1300. They have a good selection of student microscopes in the $100 - $250 range, plus all necessary supplies. Or, if you are really serious, you can find some microscope models in the thousands! One great feature of Ward's is their wide selection of household items, such as string, straws, and balloons, often found on science curriculum lists. You'll pay a wee bit more for these things, but prices are still within the range of being worth it for the convenience of ordering from one store.
Finally, Edmund Scientifics has a large selection of both advanced equipment and beginner kits and toys. Most telescopes cost between $100 and $300. The majority of microscopes are priced from $100 to $400, but they also have a selection of professional instruments in the $5,000 and up price range. This site is easy to use for multi-age purchasing, as it offers both toyish and serious science products. You'll find a selection of economically-priced supplies, along with what you need in lab equipment, biomedical supplies, and components for physics and engineering projects. You'll also find advanced kits, particularly nice for science fairs.