Laptops

Best Laptops For Homeschooling: Reviews For Student Homeschoolers

The debate on whether or not homeschooling is the right choice for your kids is never-ending, but ultimately, the decision is entirely up to you as a parent. No matter the reason you opt for teaching at home - whether it's to minimize exposure to bullying or strengthen family connections - it's imperative to invest in the right teaching equipment. 

We’re not just talking about #2 pencils and textbooks, but also a high-end laptop that can enhance the at-home learning experience. But with so many laptops to choose from, finding the right one for teaching and learning at home is a major challenge. This guide to the best laptops for homeschool students can help.

Image

Model

RAM

Screen Size

Storage

Battery Life

Operating System

Check Price

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full...

4GB

15.6”

128GB

7.5 hours

Windows 10

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...

8GB

15.6”

128GB

6-7 hours

Windows 10

Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713-1WN-53NF 2-in-1...

8GB

13.5”

128GB

10 hours

Google Chrome

HP ProBook x360 G1 EE 11.6' Touchscreen LED...

4GB

11.6”

64GB

8 hours

Windows 10 Pro

Dell Inspiron 14 5481, 2 in 1 convertible...

4GB

14”

128GB

6-7 hours

Windows 10 S


How Can A Laptop Help With Homeschooling?

Laptops for homeschoolers don’t just help the teacher and student to stay connected, but also help to enhance the overall learning experience. Having a laptop gives homeschoolers easy access to online courses and free homeschooling resources and essential curriculum. On top of that, having a laptop helps with organization, planning, and time management.

A homeschooling mother named Elayna Fernandez says in her blog, The Positive Mom, that “today’s kids are wired to be wired, so having school on a laptop makes school more fun for them and they feel more equipped to succeed when they study because they can use skills they naturally have.” 

Keeping kids and teens engaged can be the most difficult aspect of homeschooling, but a laptop can help.


Choosing The Right Laptop For Homeschool Use

Homeschool Programs Used

Once you’ve established the answer to the question to “do you need a laptop for homeschooling?”, the next step is to consider the programs and resources available. A laptop is an amazing tool, but it’s only as good as the software, apps, and online educational programs you use.

If you already have a solid idea of the programs you’ll be using, then this step should be easy. If not, it’s time to do some research. Start browsing around online to see what homeschooling resources parents are using.

Pick a few of your favorites, then see how much storage they require, what processing speed is recommended, and the operating systems they’re compatible with.

User-Friendly Operating System

The debate on Mac vs. Windows has been going on for years, and it will continue to go on until the end of time. Just try not to get too wrapped up in this; both operating systems are perfectly acceptable for homeschoolers; it really just comes down to personal preference.

On top of that, it comes down to budget. Apple products that run on the Mac OS tend to be more expensive up front, but some users say that you'll be paying less in the long run since Macs last longer on average than Windows laptops.

Screen Size

There are many screen sizes to choose from for laptops, ranging from 12” to 16” or more. Since you’ll most likely be using this device at home and not taking it out-and-about, it’s completely OK to go with a larger screen. This is especially true if you’re homeschooling more than one child and plan on using the laptop for videos, presentations, and projects.

CPU & Processing Speed (RAM)

A laptop's CPU is often called the most important aspect of the entire device. It doesn't matter how amazing the display quality is or how impressive the speaker system may be, an outdated CPU (or processor) can make even the simplest tasks frustrating.

Look for a laptop built with an Intel Core processor that is no less than i3 (preferably i5 or i7). The Ryzen 5 CPU is a good one as well.

A laptop’s random access memory, or RAM for short, determines how much working memory it can handle at one time. Think of this as short-term memory, and the higher the RAM value, the more short-term data the device can handle. 4GB RAM is adequate, but 8 or 16 is even better.

Storage

While RAM is short term memory, a laptop's internal storage refers to its long term memory. Things like Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and software downloads are all stored within the device's internal drive. In most cases, this is in the form of a solid state drive (SSD), but in rare cases, you'll find a laptop with a hard drive disk (HDD).

In recent years, we have gravitated towards SSD storage for several reasons. When comparing SSD vs. HDD, Crucial by Micron says that "solid state drives deliver faster load times for games, applications, and movies.

Because of the technology they use, SSDs are lighter and better able to withstand movement and droppage." The added durability of SSD storage is reason enough to choose a laptop for homeschooling with this type of internal storage.

Battery Life

Since you’ll mostly be using this device at home, battery lifespan isn’t a huge concern - but it’s still something to think about. Even if you have constant access to an outlet, a fast-draining battery can be extremely frustrating.

Choosing a device with long battery life (anywhere from 10 to 14 hours) means that you can teach in the park (really anywhere, for that matter) without having to worry about staying close to a power source.

Connectivity

The entire point of investing in a laptop for homeschooling is to stay connected. To do this, you’ll want to make sure that your device has all the rights ports, like a variety of USBs, an HDMI, and an SD card reader. A Thunderbolt-3 port might also come in handy.

Portability

Similar to battery life, portability isn’t a huge concern for homeschooling parents and kids, but choosing a portable device does have its perks. A lightweight, slim and sleek device is easy to handle, plus it’s easy to bring it along on field trips and other outings.

If your homeschooling plan involves a lot of movement, then try to find a laptop that weighs between 2 and 4 pounds.

Price & Warranty

One of the most common reasons to start homeschooling is to save money on education. If this is a major concern for you, then finding a budget-friendly laptop is probably high on your list of priorities.

The good news is that it’s easy to find a device, even if you’re on a strict budget. The top homeschooling laptop brands also provide a protection plan of some sort, typically for 1 year from the date of purchase.


5 Best Laptops For Homeschooling Reviewed

1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full...
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to...
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & 1...
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5...

Best Laptop for Homeschooling

RAM

4GB

Screen Size

15.6”

Storage

128GB

Battery Life

7.5 hours

Operating System

Windows 10

Teaching with a laptop is one of the best things you can do as a homeschooling parent. This task comes with a unique set of challenges, but the Acer Aspire 5 can help to keep things running smoothly in the home-based classroom. The 15.6" screen features high-definition graphics, and the backlit keyboard makes typing a breeze.

“The Aspire 5 is all about launching your creativity, helping a student to trigger his/her creative juices. Creativity soars to new heights with sharp, crisp visuals showcased on the 15.6" Full HD IPS screen,” says Acer, “while the thin bezel provides you more space to work with wherever inspiration strikes. It’s the perfect companion to take with you wherever you go!” 

Whether you prefer to teach in the home office or in the closest park, this device can make that happen.

Another feature that homeschoolers love is the advanced security protection that is built-in to the device. Whether you’re looking for lesson plan ideas or your student is researching an assignment, you can have complete confidence on the web, knowing that your device is being protected every step of the way.

Since this laptop operates on the Windows 10 OS, it’s easy to download and use thousands of apps from the Microsoft store. You’ll have no trouble finding tools and resources to help with the learning experience. And best of all, the Acer Aspire 5 fits just about any budget - in other words, it won’t break the bank.

The positive attributes overshadow the small flaws of the Aspire 5, but there are a few things that could use improvement. First off, the battery life isn't stellar (just 7.5 hours on a single charge). Secondly, the Ryzen 3 processor isn't the most up-to-date (Ryzen 5 is a better choice), but this doesn't seem to affect the overall performance of this homeschooling laptop.

Good
  • Maximized visuals
  • Affordable
  • Extensive connectivity
  • Great typing experience
  • Easily connect to Microsoft store
Bad
  • Average battery life
  • The processor is a bit outdated

2. ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...
  • 15.6 inch full HD 4 way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Intel core i3-8145U processor (4M Cache, upto...
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB M.2 SSD; Windows 10 in S...
  • Ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard with...

Best Portable Laptop for Homeschoolers

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6”

Storage

128GB

Battery Life

6-7 hours

Operating System

Windows 10

Not all homeschoolers are focused on portability, but if you know that your child is the type of student who thrives from switching up the scenery, choosing a portable device is key. If this is the case for you, you'll want to consider the ASUS VivoBook. This laptop performs well no matter where you choose to work.

Even with its large 15.6" screen, the VivoBook weighs just 3.75 pounds. It features a slim design, and the NanoEdge bezel display has an 88% screen-to-body ratio. With this laptop, it's all about seeing more while carrying less - and ASUS has definitely achieved that.

Like all ASUS laptops, this one comes with a one-year protection plan to bring users peace of mind and protect against damage from liquid, electrical surges, and accidental drops.

The device is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, so everything should run smoothly during classroom lessons and homework sessions.

The 8GB RAM means that you can have lots of homeschooling programs running at once, and you shouldn’t have any storage issues with the 128GB SSD. Typing is efficient thanks to the ergonomic backlit keyboard design, which has been improved from the last VivoBook model.

“Less is more” is the best phrase to explain this device, and ASUS says that the "display keeps dimensions down to a minimum with a smaller footprint. Even with the ultra-slim bezel, an HD camera is still located on the top." 

The main drawback is that the display features and battery life are merely average. 

Good
  • Ergonomic keyboard
  • “See more, carry less”
  • 4-way NanoEdge display
  • Reasonably priced
  • Sturdy yet lightweight
Bad
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Average display features

3. Acer Chromebook Spin 13

On Sale Today
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713-1WN-53NF 2-in-1...
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS an operating...
  • All the Google apps you know and love come...
  • With the Google Play Store, you can access a...
  • Chromebooks come with built in storage for...

Best Chromebook for Homeschool

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

13.5”

Storage

128GB

Battery Life

10 hours

Operating System

Google Chrome

So many homeschoolers assume that a basic Chromebook isn’t suitable for teaching and learning, but when you consider the Acer Spin 13, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This Acer device is the best touchscreen laptop for homeschooling (not to mention the best Chromebook for accomplishing homeschooling tasks).

The coolest feature of the Chromebook Spin 13 is the convertible touchscreen. The 13.5" screen rotates 360 degrees on its hinge so you can use it as a traditional laptop or flip the screen all the way around and use it as a tented tablet. Not only is it a touch display, but it's compatible with a stylus pen so that you can write directly on the screen.

Acer says that this device allows users to "write with greater control and precision. The elastomer tip of the pen provides a more natural writing experience. Take advantage of the higher friction and elasticity to reduce sliding across the smooth surface of the screen." 

Your student will be able to jot down notes without ever needing a pen and paper.

This is an amazing choice for high school homeschooled students, especially ones with creative and artsy tendencies. The screen resolution is better than most (2256 x 1504), and it offers access to tons of cool (and educationally helpful) apps on the Google Play store. And for a Chromebook, the Spin 13 has a surprisingly high amount of storage space (128GB). 

As for the flaws… some students prefer a larger screen, and this one is only 13.5 inches. On top of that, it’s not the most affordable Chromebook on the market, but there are plenty of reasons for this.

One is the high-end processor that guarantees smooth, fast operation. Another is the touchscreen convertible screen, and in our opinion, these reasons make the high price tag worth it.

Good
  • Convertible screen
  • Touchscreen with pen
  • High-end CPU
  • Impressive display resolution
  • Lots of storage for a Chromebook
Bad
  • Pricy for a Chromebook
  • Small screen for some

4. HP ProBook x360 G1

HP ProBook x360 G1 EE 11.6" Touchscreen LED...
  • This product is new and includes a 365 day...
  • Get reliable performance from the Intel...
  • 11.6" HD LED Touchscreen with 1366 x 768...
  • 4GB DDR3 memory - For multitasking power

Best Small Laptop for Homeschool

RAM

4GB

Screen Size

11.6”

Storage

64GB

Battery Life

8 hours

Operating System

Windows 10 Pro

Using a small laptop for homeschooling means that you can easily move from room to room in your home, head outside for a lunchtime lesson, or bring the laptop along for the field trip. You’ll be able to do these things and more with the HP ProBook, a compact 11.6” device that is the smallest one on the list.

Even with it’s small, it’s also powerful. It’s got 4GB RAM for more multitasking power and reliable performance with its Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core 1.1GHz processor. The convertible screen encourages blended learning and allows teachers to collaborate more effectively.

It’s specifically designed for efficient and effective education, especially since it weighs only 3.2 pounds.

HP raves about the potential for homeschooling with this device: “Improve learning outcomes, save teacher time, and engage students like never before with the powerful, durable, flexible HP ProBook x360 11 G1 Education Edition. It converts easily from a notebook to a tablet to a stand to a tent and moves seamlessly between the classroom and home.”

All in all, this device is well-equipped for all of your educational needs. The color design is a bit restrained, and the display quality isn't anything to rave about, but for the price and performance, it's a great choice if you're looking for something small and portable.

Good
  • Designed for education
  • Small and lightweight
  • Encourages blended learning
  • Converts from notebook to tablet
Bad
  • Display quality is lacking
  • Limited storage space

5. Dell Inspiron 14 5481

Dell Inspiron 14 5481, 2 in 1 convertible...
  • Fun and functional 2 in 1 laptop
  • Windows 10 S Home operating System.Dell...
  • 14.0-Inch HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit Touch...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8145u Processor...

Most Affordable Laptop for Homeschool Use

RAM

4GB

Screen Size

14”

Storage

128GB

Battery Life

6-7 hours

Operating System

Windows 10 S

We’ve covered a few affordable options for homeschool laptops so far, but the Dell Inspiron ranks as the #1 budget laptop in terms of value. It’s actually not the cheapest device for homeschoolers, but you get a lot for what you pay for. It’s a fun and functional 2-in-1 laptop that transforms from a notebook to a tablet in seconds.

The screen resolution is a bit mediocre, but users love that it's built with an 8th generation i3 processor. It's got 4GB, 128GB SSD storage, and operates as a touchscreen. Plus, it weighs less than 3 pounds so you can bring it just about anywhere.

You're not limited on connectivity options, either - it's built with several USB ports (but sadly no USB-C), an HDMI port to connect to a second monitor or TV, and an SD card reader for uploading pictures.

It's easy to limit disruptions with the Inspiron 14. The company says that “with Dell Mobile Connect, you get the option to channel notifications from phone calls, SMS, IMs, and other apps right to your laptop. Keep your focus on a single screen and respond only when it's convenient for you." 

This is especially helpful for teachers who want to stay connected to the world outside of the classroom but prefer to limit their number of devices.

The price is reasonable, the convertible design is handy, and the Dell name is one that can be trusted. If you’re not a homeschooler on a budget, you’ve also got options for a more high-end version of the Inspiron (like one with 12GB RAM and more SSD storage space).

Good
  • 2-in-1 design
  • 8th gen CPU
  • Fun yet functional
  • Great value for the cost
Bad
  • Screen resolution could be better
  • No USB-C connection

Essential Applications For Homeschool Use

In today’s day and age, there’s no shortage of resources available to homeschoolers. 

Learning Liftoff compiled a list of the best apps for homeschooling parents, saying that “there are thousands of educational apps available for students, but what about apps for homeschooling moms and dads? Homeschooling parents have a lot to keep track of, and the right app can make the days run much smoother."

The most-loved application for homeschoolers is Homeschool Helper, especially if you’re using a tablet or convertible laptop for learning. Homeschool Helper was designed specifically for creating lesson plans and keeping track of the curriculum. You can plan lessons, track progress, and even keep track of grades, and the best part is you can try it for free for 30 days.

Another helpful homeschool application is the K12 Attendance app, which also works to help homeschoolers stay organized with lesson planning, grading, and attendance. Here are a few more helpful apps that every homeschooling family should consider using:

  • K12 Timed Reading Practice (for reading fluency and comprehension)
  • Screen Time (for establishing positive media habits)
  • Evernote (for staying organized as a homeschooling parent)
  • Cozi (for keeping track of the entire family’s daily schedule)

Internet Safety & Parental Controls

Even if you don't consider yourself a "helicopter parent," it's essential to keep your devices protected and place emphasis on internet safety. Always password protect your devices, set parental controls, and do your best to limit access to unnecessary sites (like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) on your tablet or laptop for homeschool.

Just remember that a laptop is an amazing tool for homeschool, but using the device can easily go from productive… to not so productive. Too much screen time is not a good thing, and it’s important to get that point across to your children.

Set a good example for your kids by putting away your device at the dinner table, minimizing the use of time-sucking sites, and spending recess outside rather than playing games on an iPad.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are Chromebooks good for homeschooling my kids?

As long as you use an external hard drive with your Chromebook, then the answer is yes. Most Chromebooks come with 32GB internal storage (sometimes 64GB), which isn't much compared to a laptop's 128, 256, or 512GB.

Without additional storage, you'll be limited to the resources you can download if you choose a Chromebook. The solution is to invest in an external hard drive.

Are MacBooks an overkill for homeschooling?

MacBooks get a lot of grief about their high cost, but MacBook Air laptops are actually very affordable. It’s not entirely necessary to use a Mac for homeschooling, but it’s definitely an option. It just depends on your personal preferences when it comes to operating systems, graphics, and budget.

What laptop is good for accessing online learning tools for homeschool?

Any of the devices on this list of laptops for homeschooling reviews can get the job done. Just be sure that you’ve got plenty of storage if you plan on downloading homeschool software (and if you don’t, invest in an external hard drive).

Another thing to look into is the device’s processor, which ultimately controls how fast and smooth laptop operation will be.

What are the major differences between cheap and expensive models?

Although it’s easy to find a cheap laptop, there are quite a few differences between budget devices and the ones that come with a high price tag.

It typically has to do with the CPU; a low-budget laptop might be built with a processor that is more outdated than the one found in an expensive laptop. On top of that, pricier laptops tend to have greater RAM, more storage, and clearer graphics.

Where can I get a free laptop for homeschool use?

Wondering how to get a free laptop for homeschool? It's actually not that easy to find one that is completely free of charge, but there are a few nonprofit organizations that offer devices at a discounted price. If you can't find what you're looking for within budget on Amazon, try looking into notebooksforstudents.org.

This nonprofit focuses on keeping a homeschool classroom up and running, even when you run into technological issues. You won't get a free laptop, but you'll gain complete support and a full 4-year warranty for your device, keeping things running smoothly, even when your laptop or other device fails you.

Which is best for homeschool, a desktop or laptop?

It’s common to weigh the pros and cons of a laptop or desktop for homeschooling before making a purchase. A source called Homeschool Super Freak says that “the answer will depend on your needs.

If you mainly homeschool or use the computer in one spot in your home, then a desktop computer may be better for you. However, if your child likes to move around the house, work outside, and you want to be able to travel or be outside the home and still connect to studies, then a laptop is the better option.”

Where can I buy discount laptops for homeschooling?

In all of our guides, we recommend Amazon, and there's a reason for this. Amazon has the best prices (often lower than the ones on the manufacturer's website), and there's also an enormous amount of products. This means you can browse around the best laptops for homeschooling while reading reviews and comparing prices.


Conclusion

Still wondering what is the best laptop for homeschooling? You truly can’t go wrong with the Acer Aspire 5, which is easy to use, durable, and offers extensive connectivity.

The only flaw of the Acer is that it doesn’t come with a touchscreen or pen stylus - two features that can come in handy for homeschooling. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll be better off with the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 instead.


Last Updated on