Sad to say, but I actually made it through high school and college (several years ago) without ever using a microscope. Needless to say, I was slightly intimidated with figuring this piece of equipment out on my own. PLUS I have autoimmune problems, which often gives me "fuzzy brains." However, the directions were clear enough for me to understand, and the equipment is easy enough to figure out. It's definitely adequate for our 7th grade general science and 9th grade homeschool biology course. We are really enjoying getting a closer look at our own hair strands, cultures from inside our cheeks, and mosquito larvae from our front yard. The possibilities are endless. I've been using it more than my three girls (probably because I'm a little protective of my new "baby") but I'm sure they will get many year's worth of education from it. This microscope is definitely worth the money (cheaper than a Wii, and better for our brains)!