This is a list of mail-order suppliers used by some Home Educators. Where to find basket-weaving equipment/concave lenses/videos about the Romans. It is accurate as far as possible and the comments are personal opinions supplied by the people recommending a firm.
Whilst this list is a source of places to buy things, many large companies supply information packs etc. for free, so it's worth approaching relevant places if you are doing a specific project on, say, sugar or textile production.
NB You need to be prepared for the fact that many of the companies on this list only supply to schools, educational clubs or people who call themselves 'private tutors' or similar. It's also wise to check each catalogue to see if the printed prices include VAT - several add this on to the final invoice.
I am sure that others know of suppliers not on this list and I would welcome hearing about them both for my use and for adding to this list. Please send their address, telephone number and any other way of contacting them, plus a short description of what they offer. Click the button below and send them to Fred .
WORK/SCHOOL BOOKSCGP Books Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA17 7WZ Tel 01229 889191 They do Revision Guides for £2 and the matching workbooks for £1 at the schools rate. They do all key stages. They also do Syllabus Specific Revision Guides for the various exam boards.
EGON Primary Maths and English. Publish the 'Maths Made Easy' and 'Spelling Made Easy' series. Good selection of other maths & english books, tapes etc. Some special needs books. Prices start at 30p for single work books. No minimum order. Postage for orders up to £20 - 95p, going up in stages until £70, over that free.
Schofield & Sims Maths, English & Science for pre-school, Key stages 1, 2 & 3. Single workbooks from £1.65. Also have a range of children's dictionaries and reference books. Do some good laminated posters for £2.99, covering history, geography (brilliant maps), numeracy, famous people, french and a few other subjects. If you order via the website, postage is free, ideal if you only need a couple of items.
Tarquin Publications Wonderful site and products, very reasonable prices. Mirrors and Reflections, Measuring and Estimating, Teaching Fractions and Time, Number Skills, Mathematics in Three Dimensions, 3D Geoshapes and Polyhedron, Escher, Illusions & Perception, Geometrical Pattern Making, Dice, Cards & Probability, SMP Resource Materials, Logical Thinking, Mathematical Games and Puzzles, Aspects of Number, Pattern Making & Attributes, Tilings & Tessellations, Posters for the Classroom, Mathematics from History, Enrichment Material, Fibonacci & the Golden Ratio, Paper Engineering & Popups, DIME 3-D Visualising & Thinking, Tangrams, Pentacubes & Pentominoes, DIMEPuzzlePacks, Teaching Angle, Teaching Algebra, Manipulative Puzzles, Calendars & Certificates. Standard post and packing charge of £1.50, per order, for orders of under £10.00 and £2.50 otherwise.
4 LEARNING Resources to go with the Channel 4 School programmes. Most subjects for all ages. Programme notes from 95p, videos from £14.99, teachers guides from £3.95. Postage £2.00 per order.
WILDGOOSE Wonderful GEOGRAPHY catalogue, offers a wide range of educational products, mainly primary. Maps, globes, wooden puzzles, CD ROMS, satellite maps, photocopiable workbooks, weather products, astronomy, playmats, photopacks etc Shipping and Handing will be charged at a standard cost of £3.50.
Brilliant Publications publishes more than 50 books and posters to support the development, education and play of children aged 0 to 14. Its authors have used their extensive experience with children to design activities that are enjoyable and fun, but which also help children to develop essential skills. Books of activities 11 to 14 year olds with special educational needs.
Heinemann Educational is the largest educational publisher in the UK, producing high quality materials for the full 4 to 19 age range. Subjects covered include English, Geography, History, Science, Mathematics, Religious Education, Design and Technology, ICT, Books for Teachers, Social Sciences, Music, Physical Education. All orders are sent carriage-free to UK schools and colleges. Orders for non-account customers to business or home addresses are charged £3.00.
MATHS & SCIENCE STUFFSci-Chem Suppliers of chemicals and scientific equipment.
Commotion Two catalogues available, Scientific & ICT; or Design, Technology & ICT. Large selection of project kits plus other items such as tools, gears, pulleys and electronic components. No website yet, contact Unit 11, Tannery Road, Tonbridge, KENT TN9 1RF Tel: 01732 773399
Philip Harris Lynn Lane, Shenstone, Lichfield, Staffs. Tel : 01543 480077, ext 2243 Suppliers of scientific equipment to schools and labs. The catalogue is huge, but if you ring and tell them what you are after, they will photocopy relevant pages and send them. There is a large range of prices/quality for each item
Greater London Supplies Fairway, 1 Mollison Avenue, Enfield, Middx EN3 7XQ Tel : 020 8344 4010 This is a schools supply catalogue that has science equipment and a whole load of 'schooly' stuff besides. It can be difficult to get a catalogue unless you are a 'home tutor' or part of a group.
Maplin Electronics FREEPOST SMU 94, PO Box 777, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 8LU Tel : 01702 554002 Excellent catalogue for electronic bits and kits. Catalogue costs 3.95, or 1.95 for CD-Rom version.
Worldwide Butterflies and Lullingstone Silk Farm, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4QN Tel: 01935 474608 As the name suggests, a company which supplies butterfly and moth larvae, plus all the equipment you need to raise them. Some very unusual species available.
Tarquin Stradbroke, Diss, Norfolk, IP21 5JP Tel: 01379 384218 The Tarquin Mathematics catalogue is full of maths puzzle and history books, games, models, equipment and things to make. They also have different kinds of patterned paper for drawing mathematical models.
Opitec Educational Materials Ltd 7 West Road, Woolston, Southampton SO19 9AH Tel : 01703 446515 Another good catalogue full of electronics and other project packs geared specifically for kids, with age guides on the kits.
Insect Lore Europe PO Box 1420, Milton Keynes, MK14 6ZQ Tel: 01908 200794 Everything to do with insects: books, videos, CD-Roms and grow-your-own kits for butterflies. There is also the equipment needed to keep your own ants or locusts. Ugh!
JPM Products, 53 The Maltings, Stanstead Abbotts, Ware, Herts, SG12 8HG Tel: 01920 872611 The different 'body bits' this company sells are excellent for keen human biologists and look lifelike enough to put the catalogue into the 'not for the squeamish' category!
QED, Room 1, Stonehills House, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6NH Tel: 0345 402275 A mail order maths bookshop with a large range. Anything from standard textbooks to logic puzzles, plus books looking at issues around mathematical ideas.
British Drugs House Tel : 0800 223344 Will supply some chemicals to business addresses
ART & CRAFTFred Aldous PO Box 135, 37 Lever Street, Manchester 1 M60 1UX Tel : 0161 236 2477 A wide selection of just about every craft material going, plus kits to try things out.
Craft Creations Ingersoll House, Delamere Rd, Cheshunt, Herts EN8 9ND Tel: 01992 781900 A whole catalogue full of different kinds of card and paper for crafting plus card blanks, envelopes and packaging materials.
Daisy Chains The Twill, Kerry, Newtown, Powys SY16 4LU Tel : 01686 670495 Good catalogue for keen jewellery makers. Small but perfectly formed (and cheap).
Candlemakers Supplies 28 Blythe Rd, London W14 0HA Tel: 020 7602 4031/2 For everything you could want for making candles. Their prices are very reasonable and they produce a quarterly newsletter giving details of special offers.
Specialist Crafts Ltd Box 247, Leicester LE1 9QS Tel : 01162 510405 The kind of catalogue that offers serious temptations to the craft-inclined. They supply to schools and 'home-education groups' - specify 'secondary' for the widest selection
Mercurius, PO Box 1379, Swindon SN1 3SN Tel : 01793 431480 Suppliers to Steiner Schools and have everything 'Steiner', including the square Stockmar crayons and aquarelles for the 'wet-on-wet' painting, plus craft materials from natural fabrics. A bit pricey but the quality is wonderful.
Handweavers Studio 29 Haroldstone Road, London E17 7AN Tel : 020 8521 2281 For everything you need to turn a sheep into a jumper. Carding, spinning and weaving equipment plus ready washed and carded fleece sold by the 500g.
Atlantis European Ltd, 7-9 Plumbers Row, London E1 1EQ Tel : 020 7377 8855 Huge art warehouse well known to artists and students. Everything you could possibly want to produce a masterpiece and also a good range of 'art student quality' art materials. Phone for mail order catalogue
John Jones Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JG Tel : 020 7281 5439 Similar to Atlantis. Very good quality materials, though less range at the 'student quality' end of the spectrum, but catalogue well worth a look
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY CONSERVATIONCentre for Alternative Technology Machynlleth, Powys SY20 9AZ Tel : 01654 702400 Catalogue has a lot of books on green issues, various gadgets and nifty solar-cell kits for children.
Create (Educational Resources), Kenley House, 25 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD Tel : 01942 322271 Small range of computer software and educational packs on energy use and conservation.
Organic Gardening Catalogue River Dene Estate, Molesey Road, Hersham, Surrey KT12 4RG Tel : 01932 253666 A wide range of plants/seeds/bulbs and everything you could want in the equipment/pesticides line for an environmentally friendly garden.
BOOKS & STORY TAPESBarrington Stoke Barrington Stoke, 10 Belford Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 3DQ. publisher that specialises exclusively in books for reluctant, dyslexic, disenchanted and under-confident readers. It has rapidly become the market leader in books for young reluctant readers and its impressive list now includes fiction for teenagers and adults too. If you check out the teachers order form there is a one-off discount on a pack of books, that is also applicable to home educators. For a free Parent Pack send stamps to the value of 77p.
Nezert Books Le Nezert, 22160 Duault, France Tel/Fax: 0033 296 215597 Independent book publisher. Our aim is to produce high-quality books that promote a caring attitude to education and to make them available at affordable prices. Our most recent book, One-to-One, was published in June 2010. (An excellent book it is too. Full review to follow. Angie) The site has information, reviews, sample pages, frequently asked questions and how to order One-to-One, A Practical Guide to Learning at Home.
CGP Books Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA17 7WZ Tel 01229 889191 They do Revision Guides for £2 and the matching workbooks for £1 at the schools rate. State clearly that you Home Educate other wise you pay the price they are in the shops which is at least £1 per book dearer. They do all key stages. They also do Syllabus Specific Revision Guides for the various exam boards.
The Red House Witney, Oxfordshire. OX8 5YF. Orderline: 01993 893472 Enquiries: 01993 893471. Monthly magazines containing books for children... and for parents too. From classics and bestsellers to a handy homework resource selection. Amazing savings off publishers' prices. Convenient online ordering at www.redhouse.co.uk. Regular special offers and competitions.
Amazon Huge and extremely efficient on-line bookstore
Letterbox Library Unit 2D, Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP Tel : 020 7226 1633 A large range of non-racist/sexist books with some unusual imports. Small menbership fee and then you receive their newsletter regularly giving details of new stock and focussing on a different 'theme' each time.
Barefoot Books 18 Highbury Terrace, London N5 1UP Tel : 020 7704 6492 Great selection of myths and legends from all over the world.
Discovery Book Club for Children Guild House, Farnsby Street, Swindon SN99 9XX Tel : 01793 548135 Often have good prices for sets of books and for things like DK encyclopaedias. You do have to buy a minimum number of books in the first year and remember to send the card back each month. Unless you ask them to alter your membership so you do not get any books automatically.
Talking Bookshop, 11 Wigmore Street, London W1H 9LB Tel : 020 7491 4117 Devoted solely to story tapes for children and adults. Catalogue available, although this only has a small selection of their stock. Staff are helpful and friendly.
SOFTWAREWise Owl Shareware PO Box 334, Abingdon OX14 2YB Tel : 01235 529808 Good selection of educational software and games/puzzles on disk. Shareware, which simply means if you like something you can pay a bit more to register and receive updates etc.
Learning Store An online site offering nearly 2,000 educational CD-roms
Micro World, 3 Pinewood Road, Hordle, Lymington, Hants SO41 0GN Tel: 0870 7411312 Huge software catalogue. Online ordering and fast delivery
CD Imports, Grovebury Farm, Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 8TF Tel: 01525 374747 Loads of CD-Roms with plenty for children. Standard price of 9.95 per CD with every 4th one free. Catalogue available.
Dream Direct Tel : 01865 888900 Warehouse aiming to 'do for computer software what Carphone Warehouse did for the mobile phone' (their words). Catalogue updated every two months.
REM Educational SoftwareGreat Western House, Langport Somerset. TA10 9YU Tel:01458 254700 They produce a yearbook which contains 175 pages of educational software from over 300 suppliers. They sell 34 different languages in the "Talk Now" range and also have a special needs section.Staff knowledgeable and friendly, prices start from 9.99, p&p free.
Ablac Learning Works, South Devon House, Newton Abbott, Devon, TQ12 2BP Tel: 01626 332233 Educational software company with a good range of CD-Roms and excellent support. There are two catalogues, one primary the other secondary to adult.
Sierra On Line 4 Brewery Court, Theale, Reading, RG7 5AJ Tel: 01734 303322 Mainly geared to the National Curriculum, they offer a complete range of 'ADI' English/Maths CD-Roms for each 'school year' plus all the 'Adiboo' software.
The Brainworks Club PO Box 300, Newgate Lane, Fareham, Hants, PO14 1UA Tel: 0990 143053 Another 'book-type' club with minimum selection requirement, but a good selection of educational software and quite a few special offers.
GENERALPhilip and Tacey the largest and oldest uk family owned Educational Suppliers. Maths, science, geography, technology, games, arts, craft equipment and wooden mosaic sets at reasonable prices. For a copy of their 460 page catalogue click on the Education Area tab. Happy to accept orders from Home Educators.
The Childrens Store a leading online shop for educational toys, games, science kits. Run by a Home Educating Family.
Greater London Supplies See entry under 'Science'
Viking Direct Tel : 0800 424444 For all kinds of 'office' stationery, blu-tak, scissors, files etc. Cheap, with very fast delivery
Lakeland Plastics Alexandra Buildings, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1BQ Tel : 015394 88100 Kitchen equipment, but worth mentioning because of the numerous little gadgets to simplify cooking, range of 'arthritis grip' knives with chunky non-slip handles (perfect for little mitts) and loads of lidded containers of all sizes and shapes
BBC Mail Order The BBC Shop, 21a Arthur Street, Belfast BT1 4GA Tel : 01232 325672 Big selection of books, tapes and videos of previous broadcasts - documentaries, wildlife programmes, costume dramas etc.
Hawkin St Margaret, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 0PJ All kinds of games, toys and gadgets, curiosities from the past and magic tricks. Highly recommended
English Heritage Education, 23 Savile Row, London W1X 1AB Tel: 020 7973 3442 Catalogue of all kinds of history resources on tape, video and in books. They allow home-educators to use their free teacher's loan scheme for videos which allows you to keep them for 2 weeks before returning with reply-paid label
Traidcraft plc Kingsway, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE11 ONE Tel: 0191 491 0591 Traidcraft sell Fairly traded crafts, foods, tea and coffee and clothing. You can get a catalogue from the address above. Traidcraft Exchange, at the same address, produces-low cost educational materials to help children and adults understand fair trade and development issues.
TTS Ltd Monk Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7RL Tel: 0800 318686 Supplier of primary level educational supplies. They have catalogues for Maths, Science, History, Technology and PSE / RE. There is no minimum order and you can combine orders across catalogues if you wish.
Mercurius See entry under 'Arts&Crafts' - they also sell various kinds of 'Main Lesson Books' and 'Handwriting Practice Books', recorders & pentatonic flutes. In short, everything you would find in a Steiner School.
MUSICWAY TO GO - a piano/keyboard tutor for the "untamed" Designed to help young adult beginners develop technical skills and to gain confidence. The book consists of twenty exercises and original tunes and comes complete with a play-along CD.
Playing the exercises in 'Way to Go' will help them develop technical skills, the tunes will quickly help them do what they want to do - play good music. Aimed at beginners, too mature and sophisticated to use the usual children's books. Should preferably be used in conjunction with a piano teacher.
Way to Go is available at an introductory price of £8.00 per copy (please add £1.00 for UK, £2.00 for Europe, p&p per order) from Kara Press, PO Box 1026, Cardiff, CF11 7WR Tel.02920 915970 You can email Kara Press, there is no website yet.
My children aged 11 & 13 much prefer the songs and exercises on 'Way to Go', than other children's or adult ones that they have tried before. I will let you know how they get on with it. (Angie )
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