Laptop vs Desktop: What’s Best for Homeschool?

Homeschooling is becoming more popular as parents begin to take their child’s education into their own hands. If you’re new to homeschooling, you may not know what technology is the best for your child’s education. When it comes to computers, you’re probably asking yourself; is a laptop or desktop computer best for homeschooling?

Laptop computers are portable so they can be used anywhere around the house or even outside of the house, which makes them ideal for learning in different environments. Desktop computers can run better software and are much easier to monitor when a child is using them.

There are some key differences between a laptop and a desktop especially when it comes to certain homeschooling tools. The following will break down the pros and cons of a laptop and a desktop, as well as where you can find a good deal on computers for homeschooling.


The greatest thing about laptops is their ability to move from one place to another with no hassle. If you use multiple rooms in your home for homeschooling purposes, it may be best to get your child a laptop to use for their homeschooling. Laptops are small and portable, making them easy for your child to carry around or have on their lap. There are endless benefits to laptops, but there are some downsides as well.


  • Can move from one place to another with no hassle
  • Cheaper options
  • Smaller for children


  • Is not the easiest to monitor what your child is seeing
  • Cannot run all software
  • Smaller screen
  • Can break easily

The pros and cons outweigh each other in the end, as I think it comes down to what is best for your method of homeschooling. With this being said, a laptop is going to be much cheaper than a desktop computer, making it a better option for most families because of the price.

The price can seem pretty good, especially when you’re just thinking about your child’s basic online learning, but don’t be fooled by the low prices. Some laptops are much better than others, and if you want a laptop that will last, you’ll want to spend a bit more money.

If you have enrolled your child in a homeschool program, you may be eligible to get a laptop from that program. These laptops will be loaned to you for the time your child is enrolled in the homeschooling courses, after your child has completed the courses or is no longer with that program, the laptop must be returned. Keep in mind that not all programs offer a laptop as a resource, so make sure you do your research or contact the homeschooling program to see what they offer.


Desktop computers are fantastic if you want your child to have one main area to do their homeschool work. Desktop computers tend to have better processing hardware allowing them to easily run many different types of software.

Desktop computers are great for high schoolers who are learning new programs in their classes. While desktop computers can run software better, it does restrict your child to one spot in the home.


  • Handles software better
  • Better graphics
  • Better processing memory
  • Easier to monitor what your child is seeing


  • The child must remain in one place
  • More equipment required(keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.)
  • Expensive

I personally believe a laptop is a much better option for homeschooling, but if you have a high school student that is going to need to download a lot of software, I would choose to purchase a desktop computer for my child.

Unfortunately, if a homeschool program does provide a computer for your student, it will likely be a laptop and not a desktop computer. A desktop computer will be at your own expense if that is what you need for your child. Desktop computers do tend to be a bit more expensive than laptops, but there can be deals found on desktop computers.

Good Deals

There are actually a lot of places that do student discounts or deals for laptops. When I started college, I got my laptop through a student deal that Apple was running and was able to get it for a quarter of the price it would usually be. Looking for these deals is fantastic, especially if you are trying to stay within budget.

Here are some places that have student discounts or deals:

  • Apple
  • Best Buy
  • PC Laptops
  • Costco
  • Microsoft
  • Lenovo

Many people get their child Chromebooks (computers run by the Google operating system) for their homeschooling needs because of how cheap they are. While Chromebooks are cheap, the problem with Chromebooks is they don’t have very good processing power. Softwares are extremely hard to get on Chromebooks and a lot of things cannot even be downloaded onto Chromebooks.

There have also been some reports that Chromebooks struggle to run homeschool applications. If you plan on using a laptop for basic needs, then a Chromebook is great. Otherwise, I would consider getting a different laptop.

Finding a good deal on a computer can really help you save money, especially if your child needs other homeschooling materials. If you know of any local stores that sell electronics and computers, contact them and see if they offer any student discounts or deals.

Here are some of the best computers to buy for basic homeschooling needs:

  • Samsung Chromebook 3
  • HP Stream Laptop
  • Lenovo Yoga
  • Asus Vivobook
  • Dell Chromebook 11-Intel Celeron

Finding the right computer for your child’s homeschooling needs can be difficult. Both laptops and desktops are great for homeschooling, but each has its downsides.

The best way to know what is right for you and your child is to figure out what applications need to be run on the computer, what software the applications will support, how much processing power the computer will need to have, and what safety concerns you have with your child’s learning, and where your child will be most comfortable learning.

Overall, laptops are great for younger students, but desktops can sometimes be better for older students. Use your best judgment and contact the homeschooling company if you have any specific questions regarding their applications and if your student qualifies for a computer from their company.