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The Best Microscope Ever! A Microscope Review

Admittedly, I’m not a microscope guru.  In fact, I’m just a homeschooling mama who has a soon-to-be 16 year old extremely interested in biology.  Her love of biology had me interested in microscopes and since Christmas was approaching I thought it would be a magnificent time to start looking into them.  Let me warn you, my idea of “looking into them” meant just browsing Amazon to pick one in my price range.  I never buy the cheapest item and I try to steer clear of the most expensive and since I know absolutely nothing about microscopes, price was my only consideration.  Read below for my microscope review of two different microscopes!

Before we got our new, awesome microscope, I purchased a MicroPro.  They make a really cheap model that’d be good for early learners.  It comes with microscope, scalpel, spatula, a test tube, petri dish, 3 specimen vials, 3 prepared slides, and a ton of blank slides and slide covers which came in really handy with our new microscope.

The MicroPro would be a great idea if you have younger children.  The box recommends 8 years old and up but I think it’d be great for maybe K-3rd grade because it doesn’t magnify much.  We were looking to view things more in depth than the typical onion skin and such.  It did help my youngest daughter get used to using a microscope but we got bored with it quickly.  If you have younger kids, this MicroPro would be fabulous and here’s an afflink for it. (Clicking on the link provides me with some change for telling you about the product).  Scroll down for the info on the most awesome microscope for older kids.

Ok, so now I’ve shown you the “baby” or beginner microscope we used, now I’m going to show you the Autry Family’s New and Improved microscope. I’ve warned you that I’m not a microscope guru but I didn’t warn you about how addictive this microscope actually is! I purchased this microscope for my 16 year old.  She’s taking Apologia Biology and needed a microscope set for a project dealing with pond water.  She gathered the pond water and other items needed for the experiment and had some pond water left over.  My youngest daughter and I pulled out the microscope and set it up.  We used some of the slides from our beginner microscope and dropped some pond water on it.  HOLY MOLY! We freaked out!!! You could see little microorganisms scooting all over the place! There were plenty of things to see and it was easy to focus. One of the reasons I purchased this microscope set was because it came with a program to allow you to project what the microscope lens captured onto your computer and boy did we need it!  We quickly grabbed the attachment and within 3 minutes we had the lens projecting on the screen. We even were able to capture screen shots and video (which I quickly uploaded to Facebook :))

Check out these videos of what we captured:

In the video you can tell that when I move the slide, the video is a little shaky.  And there “may” be a way to move it around that I don’t know about but, for home use, with your kids, no one will care! My kids and my husband didn’t seem to mind a bit!

Pros: * Video and still shot capabilities * GREAT quality * GREAT price * Easy to set up
Cons: * No blank or sample slides included * Touching or bumping the cable while using the projector cord is attached * No Owner’s Manual * Must manually move slide around causing shakiness

In conclusion, I think this is THE best microscope I could’ve gotten for the money and I’m thoroughly pleased with it!

Does your family have a microscope? What are the coolest things you’ve seen with it?

Postcard Swap

As most of you know, we are members of a Classical Conversations group.  Each year we are doing a different history strand (for lack of a better description).  Last year was European history and this year is American history.  Along with American History, we are learning the US Presidents and the states and capitals.  One brilliant mom came up with the idea to do a postcard swap with other CC’ing families across the country.

Because we found the size of the postcard a little too small to include all of the cool things about Georgia, my 10 year old daughter, Jacy, and I have decided to co-write a blog to give a lot of information about Georgia.  We hope you find it useful when researching the gorgeous state of Georgia! :)  Be sure to check out *our* take on Georgia at the bottom of the blog. (more…)

Preemptive Strike Against Boredom

Ok, how awesome is my friend Melanie (over at Antiquated Notations)?  Melanie is one of those women who’s SUPER DUPER TALENTED!  Not only is she an awesome photographer (check out her work at Three Strands Creative), but she’s also awesome at graphic design.


Mel has prepared a jpeg counteracting the “I’m so bored” cries from our children.  Maybe someone should remind them that we CAN go back to doing school work…..  Anyway, Mel created this picture so that moms with kids like ours could print it out and hang it on the fridge.  When our kids are bellowing about boredom, we can kindly and politely direct them to this picture.  Hopefully it will spark some creativity or expanded reading lists this summer.


Feeling a little froggy…

Jacy and I have always loved the Froggy books by Jonathan London so every time we find tadpoles, we love to raise them!  This year makes the 4th year in a row that we’ve raised tadpoles. (more…)

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