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      November 23, 2020

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  7. Knowledge Box Central
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Knowledge Box Central vs Homeschooling Supply

To help you find the Best Home School Supplies, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Knowledge Box Central and Homeschooling Supply.

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Get Your Home School Supplies from Home School Buyers Co-Op Today! Where can you find the best selection of homeschool supplies? 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.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2020

Homeschool Supplies Reviews

2.5 stars
Knowledge Box Central

KNOWLEDGE BOX CENTRAL

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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.

Inexpensive

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.

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2 stars
Homeschooling Supply

HOMESCHOOLING SUPPLY

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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.

Less impressive

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.

Try elsewhere

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.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Easy-to-Use Website. No matter what kind of supplies you need for your homeschool, you want an online store that is hassle-free. Look for a site that's clean and updated, with an intuitive layout, good search features and results filters, and definitely a secure URL!
  • Selection. How much variety is there when considering the store's inventory? True, if you already know you just want the curriculum of one specific publisher, you can go directly to their site to make your purchase - but you might also want additional supplies that they don't carry. A wider selection makes it more likely that you can do one-stop shopping instead of making multiple orders from different stores.
  • Return Policy. If your homeschool supplies arrive and you decide you don't want them, can you send them back for a refund? If so, how long will you have to do so?

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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