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Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States, with an estimated 2.5 million students - and those numbers growing anywhere from 2-8% every year.
Whether you're a seasoned home educator looking for new and innovative curricula and materials to work into your plans, or you're brand-new and need all the help you can get, you'll definitely need a reliable, affordable source of homeschool supplies.
Thursday, January 21st
Homeschooling can be overwhelming, but getting supplies at the right price doesn't have to be. Homeschool Buyers Co-op takes care of finding the best deals across every imaginable type of curriculum, online learning platform, book, magazine and much more - bringing you the savings and freeing you from the hassle of having to scour the internet to get it all.
Free resources are amazing
While at first glance the site may not seem like a cutting-edge resource for homeschool supplies, be patient and start to browse. The free resources alone are amazing: want to generate a homeschool ID card? How about field trip suggestions? The world's largest database of free homeschool curriculum? You'll get all of that here.
Lots of curriculum choices
But, maybe what you are really looking for is something to jump-start learning for a particular subject. Head to the Curriculum section to see what's on offer. While sometimes the available products will change based on group buys and other promotions, you'll still find plenty to choose from. Categories include Early Learning, All-in-One packages, Language Arts, Special Needs, and more. These may include tangible things like textbooks and worksheets or access to online learning platforms and other digital resources. Most of the best-known producers and publishers of homeschooling materials, both secular and religious, can be purchased through Homeschool Buyers Co-op.
The savings you'll get when buying any of your homeschool materials here are significant. Here are some examples we found during our last visit:
Membership is free
You will have to join the co-op to purchase anything you find on the site, but membership is free and they don't sell your information. With nearly 300,000 families as registered members, that's how they have the buying power to get the best prices. The site also has a SmartPoints rewards program that lets you apply points towards purchases on the site. Get discounts AND rewards? Why not!
This company also has a strong reputation, as shown by an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB. But, they're also very well-known among homeschoolers of every variety, from the more formal school-at-home folks, to the interest-led "unschoolers", and everyone in between. Really, who doesn't like a good deal on their homeschool supplies?
Homeschool Buyers Co-op can feel like a treasure hunt: you never know exactly what you're going to find, but chances are it's going to be good! It's one of the only homeschool supply stores that legitimately offers something for everyone, and the best part is that it's always at a fantastic price. For all of those reasons and more, the site earns our highest rating.
More than 600,000 families use Time 4 Learning in their homeschooling, with many more who take advantage of the online platform for as-needed skill-building outside of a traditional school environment. You'll find instruction for students from Pre-K all the way through high school.
We recommend you click "View Our Lesson Demos" at the top of the site, to get a clear idea of how Time 4 Learning works. Time 4 Learning also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee for the first 14 days of use for new subscribers. That's a great opportunity to have your children put this curriculum to the test and see how it works for all of you, at no risk. If you choose to cancel within those two weeks, you'll get a full refund.
Automatic tracking and grading
We love that students can use the platform anytime, and from anywhere they have an internet connection. This platform uses an automatic tracking and grading system, so parents can see at a glance how their students are doing and how much time they're spending on individual lessons. Students can work independently, while parents have the peace of mind of knowing exactly where each learner is excelling or struggling.
Preschool & grade school skills
For preschool students, Time4Learning builds skills in creative expression, music, art, science, pre-reading literacy and foundations of math - in ways that are as experiential and play-based as possible. K-2 starts covering the subjects you'd see in a traditional school setting, from language arts to math and science, while 3rd-5th and middle school courses give students access to developmentally-appropriate content that lines up with grade level expectations across subjects.
High school courses
At the high school level, you'll get access to four courses in your subscription: Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. The high school courses correspond to traditional grade-level requirements, like 10th Grade ELA, Algebra I and II, Biology and so on. Time 4 Learning includes a generous selection of electives, all included with your subscription: Art History I, Personal Finance, Foundations of Personal Wellness, and Psychology, to name a few. You can have up to four total courses at a time when using this platform at the high school level, and extra courses can be added for $5 per course per month if your student wants to take 5+ at a time. Premium electives like foreign language and writing are also available for an additional fee.
How much does Time 4 Learning cost? For grades PreK-8, you'll pay $19.95/month for the first student, and an extra $14.95 for every additional student on the account. The high school level is $30 per student.
One of the strongest features this online curriculum offers is the ability to access multiple grade levels as needed (PreK-8) or to change courses as needed (high school). So, if your son is working at a seventh grade level in ELA but needs to go back and review the previous year's grammar topics, he'll have access to all of the materials from 6th-8th grade automatically. For high schoolers, if a class is too challenging or too easy, there's no restrictions on moving up or down as you wish: no need to stay in Algebra I if your student discovers she's already prepared for Geometry. That makes Time 4 Learning one of the most versatile online curricula we've seen.
Award winning programs
Time 4 Learning has won several accolades that are worth mentioning. First, they're an "A+" rated, accredited company with the Better Business Bureau. More importantly, the service has won awards from iParenting Media and The National Parenting Center, was named one of Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, and is a Certified Autism Resource with IBCCES.
What do I teach my kids
Given that Time 4 Learning doesn't offer any tangible homeschool supplies, you might be wondering why they're ranked so highly in our review. In our experience, the main question asked by homeschooling parents is "What do I teach my kids?" Especially for those who are new to homeschooling, having a ready-to-go, age-appropriate method for comprehensive instruction can take off a lot of the pressure - even if you don't cover every single subject or use it religiously for your kids.
No religious affiliation
And, speaking of "religiously", this learning platform is strictly secular, unlike many of the curriculum providers we reviewed. That makes it a more appealing option for families who aren't looking to incorporate Christian instruction into their homeschooling.
Time 4 Learning takes all of the guesswork out of learning at home. It's affordable, easy to use, and comes highly recommended by trusted organizations and parents alike. Although they don't have any hands-on materials for sale, this company earns one of our highest ratings for homeschool supplies because of how well it answers the question, "Where do I start?" Time 4 Learning is an excellent resource for most homeschool families.
You'll find an impressive range of homeschool supplies for almost every age when shopping at Discount School Supply. Whether you need kid-friendly furniture for keeping your kids comfortable while they work, the perfect STEM or arts and crafts materials, or want to save money by purchasing bundled products, this retailer has you covered.
Easy to use
We love the clean, easy-to-use layout of this site. Some online stores that offer homeschool resources can be cluttered or frustrating to shop, but not this one. If you're not exactly sure what you're looking for, we suggest starting under the Homeschool category. Discount School Supply offers free creative and STEM activities there, plus plenty of toys, project kits, basic art supplies, and science items from well-known expert Steve Spangler. But, be aware that the homeschool materials here are mostly for the younger ages (7th grade and below).
Family engagement kits
We really like the Family Engagement Kits sold here. There are so many fun options for playing and learning together, from Community Helpers complete with action figures and instructions for teaching your kids about the people in their neighborhood (as Mr. Rogers would say!) to Native American dream catchers and science experiments-in-a-box.
Low price guarantee
Discount School Supply has a lot of customer-friendly features that you'll enjoy. First, you'll always get free shipping on orders over $33. Plus, they offer a 110% low price guarantee, in the event you find your homeschool supplies for less money with another retailer. And, they often have discounts featured prominently at the top of the site: when we visited it most recently, there were savings of $15 off $100, $50 off $300, and $100 off $500 or more.
Return policy varies
What about returns? Because this retailer has both inventory in their own warehouse as well as drop-shipped items from manufacturers, their return policy varies. If it's an item that came directly from Discount School Supply, you can return items in their original packaging and in resalable condition within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. You can make returns past that 30-day window, but you'll pay a 30% restocking fee at their discretion. On the other hand, returns of drop-shipped products (like furniture) will have restocking fees at a minimum of 15% and may be higher depending on the manufacturer's own policies.
Strong customer service
This store has a strong reputation for customer service. Under the name of their parent company, Excelligence, you'll find an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau and very few complaints. Plus, you can tell that Discount School Supply has a good customer base by looking at the number of customer reviews on some of their products. (Remember that dream catcher kit? 33 five-star reviews when we last looked!)
Discount School Supply is a good one-stop shop for many of your homeschool supply needs. Prices are competitive, and customer-friendly policies ensure that your shopping experience will be a pleasant one. Although you may need to shop elsewhere for curricula and other items for middle and high school grades, this is one of our favorite picks for an all-around source of homeschool supplies.
Alpha Omega Publications, or AOP for short, was founded over 40 years ago and provides Christian curriculum to home educators and Christian schools around the world. As a winner of homeschooling expert Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, AOP is worth considering if you're trying to decide which plan to use for teaching your children.
4 homeschool programs
AOP has four main ways of delivering a homeschool education:
There are helpful placement tests available, so that you can choose not just the right platform but also the correct grade level. For instance, your daughter might be at a 5th grade level in math but a 3rd grade level in reading - and the beauty of homeschooling is that she can be taught exactly where she is without feeling constantly behind. No matter which plan you choose, shipping is always free if there's a physical component to be delivered.
Not religious enough?
Like the other homeschool curriculum publisher in our review that emphasizes a Christian worldview, AOP gets some flack - but for not being "Christian enough". You'll see that reflected in their more-inclusive belief statement as well. We found some users who said that there was very little mentioned about God or the Bible, even in places where it would have been extremely relevant. Another person specifically criticized a text's use of fossils as a way to learn about "the beginnings of life", instead of referencing a creationist worldview. For some that may come off as a flaw, but for homeschoolers who prefer a more scientific approach (or at least, not a fundamentally-bent Christian one) Alpha Omega might present a more palatable option.
Some subjects could use freshening
A bigger challenge may be AOP's lack of updates to their materials. For some subjects, that's not a huge problem - learning Spanish doesn't change much no matter what year it is. But with a class like Economics that depends on relevant, current examples, having materials that are 6+ years out of date could mean a less-than-robust education. However, this is likely to have the biggest impact at the older grade levels, so don't lose too much sleep over it if you're deciding how to teach a 5-year-old to read. And no, you also won't find homeschool supplies beyond curriculum here. You'll have to go elsewhere for those arts and crafts projects, science experiment equipment, and so on.
Overall, Alpha Omega Publications has a solid reputation within the homeschooling community, and we like that they deliver curricula across a spectrum of delivery methods - so whether you want your student to be at a computer or strictly pencil-and-paper, you'll find something that works with AOP. Still, their limited focus on a Christian curriculum and lack of other materials keep them from being one of our highest-recommended sources of homeschool supplies.
Abeka has been a well-known name in the homeschooling community for many years. In 1954, Dr. Arlin and Beka Horton began a Christian school in northern Florida and created their own materials for instruction. Their offerings expanded to include video instruction in 1985, digital textbooks/assessments/teaching aids in 2014, and today their inventory has more than a thousand educational products for learners in nursery through high school -all written by teachers with classroom experience. For that reason, you'll also find Abeka textbooks and curricula used in Christian schools too.
Well known in Christian schools
One strong reason to choose Abeka for your homeschooling supplies is if you think you may have your child attend a private Christian school in the future. You're likely to encounter Abeka materials and methods there, and it could make for a smoother transition. The reverse is also true: if you're shifting to homeschooling from a Christian school, using Abeka could keep some familiarity and structure as you shift to a learning-at-home routine.
Website easy to use
The easiest way to find the homeschool supplies you need here is to shop by product, grade or subject. For example, if you look at the product list, you'll find Video Single Subjects, Lessons on Demand, Full-Grade Kits, and so on. Similarly, if you know you just want to see everything Abeka offers for your 4th grader, you can click on it and start browsing. Subjects are grouped as Arithmetic/Math, Bible, Electives, History/Geography, Language Arts, and Science/Health - and that might be your best way to shop if you're just looking for a one-off course and not an entire curriculum.
Especially for new homeschoolers, Abeka's kits are really appealing: a grouping of products for a full school year or a subject kit for a particular area of study. If you really like the thought of "one and done" - buy a kit and, presto, no planning necessary - this is a solid choice. It's not cheap, but you'll have everything ready to go. Of course, you can also buy any individual textbook or workbook that Abeka sells. Shipping is free on every order, no matter what or when you make your purchase.
Hands on or hands off
If you're not overly confident in your ability to teach your kids from a curriculum but still want the advantages of learning at home, Abeka Academy is worth checking out. If you want them to take care of all of the record-keeping, including report cards and transcripts, opt for the accredited enrollment. Otherwise, you can take the independent study route. Either one gets you video lessons taught by veteran teachers, textbooks, and more. Plus, for high schoolers, accredited enrollment students can earn dual enrollment college credits through Pensacola Christian College.
Free video lesson samples
Be sure to watch the video lesson samples (free) to get a better idea of how this online format works. Plus, you can get a full week of Abeka Academy at no charge, with full access to their entire video library. You might be surprised at how affordable it is: even at the high school level (the most expensive), you'll pay a one-time fee of $1219 or 10 monthly payments of $129.40 - and that includes all of the books and videos you'll need for a full year of courses! You can break it down further into groups of courses (Language Arts/Bible or Arithmetic/Science/History/Bible), or just purchase a single course at a time.
Abeka is also one of the only homeschool supply sites that gives you options for standardized testing. Why would you need them - after all, you're homeschooling to get away from things like that, right? Not necessarily - and, depending on the requirements in your state, you may be expected to provide such test results to demonstrate annual progress, keep your eligibility as a registered homeschool family, etc. Plus, if you ever decide to put your child (back) into public school, a standardized test could be required to prove grade level achievement or qualify for an honors program. Available tests include the Iowa Form E, Stanford 10, Iowa Algebra Aptitude, CogAT Form 7, and the OLSAT. Abeka makes it really clear what topics are covered, which states may not be included, and any instructions you have to follow for a valid administration of the test.
Fundamentalist Christian teachings
With all of these positive features of what Abeka offers, you might be wondering why they didn't rank at the top of our list. Abeka has taken its share of criticism over the years for its fundamentalist Christian teachings in their materials. If you're not part of that faith tradition, you might not like (or might even be offended by) some of the statements made in their texts. For example, their science texts take a creationist stance on evolution, which likely won't appeal to secular homeschoolers. We encourage you to take a look at Abeka's "What We Believe" page - they definitely don't hide their worldview or try to sneak it past unsuspecting parents.
Good match for target audience
Plus, you won't find any other homeschool supplies on this site: math manipulatives, art gear, musical instruments, etc. Add that to the very specific faith-based curricula offered by Abeka, and you'll see why this site is a fantastic option for a small group of people, and possibly a colossally bad fit for a large swath of homeschool families.
If workbooks are your homeschool jam, you'll probably love Evan-Moor. As one of the biggest publishers of enrichment and teaching products, you may have already found their workbooks at your local big-box store or favorite school supplies retailer. In business since 1979, the company aims to produce creative, practical and engaging materials for grades PreK-8.
Nice curriculum bundles
You'll find a workbook for just about every subject here, but if you're trying to get everything for a whole year of homeschooling, be sure to look at Evan-Moor's Curriculum Bundles. Depending on the grade level, you'll pay anywhere from $306.99 to $342.99 (usually a savings of more than $100 over the retail price when purchased individually). That covers reading, writing, language, spelling, vocabulary, math, science and social studies.
On-demand print option
What if you don't need an entire workbook (or a whole set of them) and would prefer to get on-demand pages for whatever you're working on? Evan-Moor's Teacher File Box does just that. You get a 30-day free trial, and then pay $12.99/month or $99.99/year. These focus on PreK-6 learners and include skill practice, arts and crafts, hands-on projects and more. Keep in mind that you'll also have the cost of printing off whatever you use.
We recommend that you take advantage of the free resources on the site, to help you get a feel for the Evan-Moor style of instruction before you make a purchase. There are printable activities, a trial of the interactive lessons and Teacher File Box, and sample lessons.
Shipping cost varies
Expect to pay anywhere from $5.99 to 12% of your order total for shipping and handling. At the time of our most recent visit to the Evan-Moor site, we spotted an offer of free shipping on credit card orders of at least $34, so be on the lookout for any discounts in play.
Returns are allowed on physical books, if sent back in unused condition, for up to a year after purchase. For obvious reasons, no refunds are offered on eBooks or other downloadable content.
The products that Evan-Moor sells come highly recommended by parents and professional educators alike. So why isn't this homeschool supply store ranked higher? The answer is fairly obvious: they only sell workbooks. That's going to have limited usefulness at both ends of the age spectrum - for younger children, they often wind up more like expensive coloring books, and for the older grades you might get a lot of resistance to "another workbook".
If the only thing you need to round out your homeschooling is a way to print out worksheets here and there, or something portable for in the car, in the bleachers during a sibling's sports practice or some other time to fill, you'll find numerous options with Evan-Moor. On the other hand, if you need math manipulatives, finger puppets, or a comprehensive curriculum for high schoolers, you'll need to peek at some of our other homeschool supply stores too.
7 Sisters Homeschool is the creation of six homeschool moms (they count YOU as the seventh "sister" in the group!) who decided to put their collective decades of experience to work for the benefit of other homeschooling families. On their website, you'll find curriculum, coaching and encouragement - focused primarily on the high school grade levels.
9 homeschool categories
This group specializes in "No-busywork PDF curriculum". We recommend you get a feel for their courses by going into the online store and browsing among the available categories:
Unfortunately, 7 Sisters doesn't offer any STEM curriculum (beyond consumer math/financial literacy), so you'd have to look elsewhere if you need those resources.
Individual courses or bundles
Within each of the available categories, you'll find plenty to choose from. For example, in the English & Writing group, there are options for writing poetry, short-story writing, how to write an APA style research paper, and many others. Most courses range from $4.99 to $29.99. Some courses are even offered in bundles, to give you more bang for your buck.
10 day money-back guarantee
Click on any course that catches your attention to get a detailed description of the contents: how long you should expect it to last, what topics are covered, as well as excerpts to give you a preview. All eBooks sold by 7 Sisters come with a 10-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
It's important to know that many of the courses found here are from a Christian point of view. We didn't find it to be an overly heavy emphasis - for example, there weren't random Bible quotes inserted into the "How to Write an APA Research Paper" course - and most of the classes that have that focus are clearly labeled (like "Introduction to Psychology from a Christian Perspective").
Discount for homeschool co-ops
If you happen to be part of a homeschool co-op, 7 Sisters offers a discount for any of their materials you want to use in that kind of group setting. You'll have to jump through a few hoops (like sending them an email to tell them about your co-op), but you and your students will get a 33% discount on the title(s) you're using. That helps you honor copyright while still saving some money. On the co-ops page, you'll find several free resources, like suggested syllabi for some of their more popular group classes (such as Human Development, High School Health for the Whole Person, Good Answers Apologetics Presentations).
Self-paced high school course
Or, if you're brand-new to homeschooling at the high school level, 7 Sisters has a self-paced online course just for you. Broken down into 15 lessons that help you plan wisely for your student's high school years, this program costs $35.
Depending on what kind of homeschool supplies you need, 7 Sisters could be a valuable resource. If you need some guidance and reassurance, or just some straightforward high school courses for your homeschool student, you'll get it at a reasonable price and backed by a strong guarantee. However, because what they offer is so limited to that niche, this company isn't one of our most highly-recommended. You'll have to look elsewhere for materials targeting the younger grades, traditional math classes like algebra and geometry, or for any kind of hands-on manipulatives or other supplies for your home education program.
In order to understand the homeschool supplies offered on Knowledge Box Central, you'll need an idea of what a lapbook is. Lapbooks are a way of arranging a student's learning experience with folders and booklets, almost like a pop-up book. They can include graphic organizers, maps, creative writing, vocabulary and more. You'll need to stock up on glue and have some scissors handy for this style of homeschooling!
Lapbooks for younger kids
The lapbook templates sold here take it an extra step by incorporating the science of "color psychology" and shape recognition to help students retain information longer. We were hoping for some how-to instructions on the Videos link on the site, but sadly it was empty when we most recently visited the site. But, at least there was one intro video on the main page that can give you a little more information on color psychology, as well as a better look at what an assembled lapbook looks like when it's finished.
Lapbook journals for older students
Does this sound like it might not be a great fit for older students? Knowledge Box Central "gets it", so for the middle and high school levels, most of their products shift to "lapbook journals", which keep some of the booklet elements of a regular lapbook but focus more heavily on journaling pages with questions, information, and room for the student to take notes, document their thinking process, and so forth.
Shop by subject or age
The easiest way to shop the homeschool supplies sold here is probably by either subject or age. You'll find traditional subjects - Art/Art History, Language Arts and Literature, Math, Science, Social Studies / History, etc. - as well as specific topics like Bible & Religion, Financial Responsibility, and even Olympics and Holidays. Knowledge Box Central has lapbooks for all ages, ranging from the Up to 5 category to 14 & Up, as well as Parent/Teacher resources. There's also a section for Overstock Sale and $1 or Less!, if you're looking for a bargain. Plus, at the bottom of the site we saw an offer to save $5 on our first digital order if we entered our name and email address.
Print it yourself
If you have a printer and plenty of ink, you can buy any of these homeschool lapbooks directly from the site as an eBook. On the other hand, if you want it to be printed for you or in CD format, you'd have to look for Knowledge Book Central's materials on third-party sites. Also, be aware that there are no refunds on eBooks once they've been downloaded.
So, what are the advantages of shopping here for your homeschool supplies? Well, first of all, you won't find many lapbooks, copybooks, or lapbook journals for more than $10 - largely because you're getting access to an eBook, and all of the paper/ink cost is on you. Still, it's an inexpensive way to try this approach.
Learn by assembling
Plus, some visual and kinesthetic learners truly benefit from the lapbook method. Being able to see how information comes together - while physically assembling it into a tangible product - can unlock learning for kids who struggle to grasp concepts when using less hands-on learning models.
Sharply defined focus
However, when compared with other retailers of homeschool supplies, Knowledge Book Central has an extremely limited focus. You won't find math manipulatives, curricula from well-known publishers, online learning platforms or science experiment kits here. And, if your student hates the "busywork" of cutting out and pasting/taping/stapling all of the components for a lapbook - or if it's not your cup of tea either - you're probably not going to find much that interests you on this site. For that reason, Knowledge Book Central winds up towards the bottom of our rankings.
Our first impression when shopping on the Homeschooling Supply site was, "Wow, this looks really outdated." Seeing the link to their Top 20 Exciting Products for the previous calendar year, prominently featured at the top of the site, didn't do much to change our opinion. And, noticing that the URL wasn't secure was the third factor that got this retailer off to a rough start.
Good variety of homeschool resources
So, what's good about Homeschooling Supply? Surprisingly, they offer a decent variety of resources for all kinds of homeschoolers - school-at-home to unschoolers and everything in between. As you look through the "Shop by Subject" options, ranging from crafts and critical thinking to wooden toys and writing, this store seems to give you a lot to choose from. But, you might be disappointed once you click on a category and see what they actually carry.
Content lacking, however
For example, the Mathematics category only had 12 total items, many of which were mastery flip charts. We didn't find any textbooks, workbooks, or any of the other instructional materials you'd expect to see.
The Literature category was even less impressive. There were only 8 items in stock, three of which were books with Clifford the Big Red Dog. Now, we love Clifford as much as the next person, but he's not what we would consider "literature" for anyone over the age of 8 or so.
Disappointing shipping costs & return policy
Shipping and returns at Homeschooling Supply aren't going to thrill you, either. You'll pay anywhere from $11.90 to $27.40 for ground shipping, depending on the dollar amount of your order. Returns on unused, new condition items are accepted within 30 days of your original purchase date, but you'll be charged a 15% restocking fee.
No sales tax
The only plus we could find for shopping for homeschool supplies here is the fact that they don't charge sales tax no matter which state you live in.
With so many homeschool supply stores available today, it's hard to find a reason to shop at Homeschooling Supply. You'll get a much better selection elsewhere.
Nest Learning (and its parent company, Nest Entertainment) started out more than two decades ago as a producer of animated stories from the Bible and from American and world history. However, they've expanded to be a retailer of a wide range of products, including homeschool supplies. You may even be a little overwhelmed to see just how many different categories of products are sold on this site: far beyond what you might need to teach your kids at home, with jewelry, home decor, and even pet products!
When we visited the Nest Learning site recently, we got a pop-up offering a 15% discount on our first offer if we signed up for their email list. We also saw that they were offering free shipping on all orders of at least $99 with a coupon code provided at the top of the site, so be sure to look there for any offers that might be in place at the time of your visit. Otherwise, expect shipping costs ranging from $6.95 to $16.95, depending on the purchase amount of your order.
Lots to offer
Nest Learning has a lot to offer when considering the breadth of the homeschool supplies they sell. While the site has a decidedly religious focus, you can still find plenty of non-religious options: whichever you prefer. For example, under the Math category, you can buy AOP's LifePac Consumer Math, Saxon Algebra, Houghton Mifflin's Complete Homeschool Kit for 7/8, and so on. Many products are discounted from retail prices too.
Good teaching resources
Our favorite category when shopping for homeschool supplies is probably Teaching Resources. Here, you'll find classroom resources like posters and certificates, school supplies such as dry erase boards and file folders, and craft supplies to color, paint and glue to your heart's content.
Haphazard shopping experience
However, using this site to actually find what you need is a little haphazard at best. The dropdown boxes at the top of the page can give you a good start: shop by brand, homeschool curriculum, grade level and more. So far, so good.
But, we had a less polished shopping experience when we clicked on the Math category in a banner ad. Looking at the filtering options on the side of the page there, we saw useful distinctions like grade levels and brands, but also fairly useless choices like bar code numbers and other information we couldn't make sense of. Even within some categories, we found items that didn't seem to fit (for example, a multi-tool on a carabiner clip for classroom supplies?). For that reason, you may want to make frequent use of the search bar and dropdown boxes on the main page, or plan on spending some extra time to browse through the site once you're in a category you've selected.
20% restocking fee on returns
How about returns? As long as your products haven't been opened, you can return them within 30 days of your original purchase date and you'll need a Return Authorization Number. You can either exchange them or request a refund, but refunds will incur a 20% restocking fee. This isn't the most generous policy we've seen.
Because Nest Learning has a well-rounded inventory of homeschool supplies, we hoped they would be a retailer we could endorse. Unfortunately, their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau earned them our lowest ranking. With more than 50 complaints filed with the BBB over the year leading up to the time of this evaluation, Nest Learning hasn't exactly given the best impression. In many other places (like Nest's social media channels and third-party review sites), people complain about being charged and never receiving their orders - all while still getting plenty of marketing emails encouraging more purchases!
Yes, Nest Learning has options for all ages, all approaches to homeschooling, and homeschool supplies that go well beyond curricula. But, where it really counts - namely, customer service and the overall shopper experience - we can't confidently recommend this company as a trustworthy retailer. We encourage you to consider the higher-ranked homeschool supply stores in our review.
Fortunately, all of the books, worksheets, science equipment and anything else you could possibly want for teaching your child(ren) at home are easily found online. The top retailers of homeschool supplies can help you narrow down what you need - A single curriculum or mix-and-match? Digital platform, parent-taught, or a hybrid? - and get it to you at prices you can afford.
Plus, it can take some trial-and-error as you determine which approach to homeschooling works for your family. What went well in your first year may need to be switched up in the second year, as you get more comfortable or as your learners' ages and needs shift with time. That's normal! While no homeschool supply store is going to let you return used workbooks and art supplies, the best retailers do have generous policies for items you get home, take one look and say "This is NOT what I thought I was getting!"
No two retailers of homeschool supplies are exactly the same. Some sell curricula from just one publisher, while others offer choices across multiple companies. Other stores give you an eclectic array of workbooks, musical instruments and other items, so that you can piece together a custom approach to your kids' studies. Finally, you'll find some sites that only sell online home education programs, from self-paced to remote learning with a certified teacher. The sky's the limit!
So, what should you look for when deciding where to buy your homeschool supplies? Naturally, that will depend on what you're hoping to find, whether that's a new curriculum or just some fun extras to supplement what you're already doing. However, here are a few criteria that can help you choose:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best homeschool supply providers available today. We hope this information helps you find the right curriculum, program, or supplemental materials to confidently educate your children at home!
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BBC homeschooling: All the educational programmes being shown on CBBC ...
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