Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A catalog of home education

For some mysterious reason today's mail contained a 592-page catalog from Northern Tool + Equipment. Little Guy -- who spent the train ride coming home from co-op describing three new inventions he thought up during class -- is in heaven.

"Mom! What's the budget for my birthday? There's an electric winch here with a remote that's only $54.99!"

I know better than to point out that in an 1100-square foot apartment that (often) houses seven people, the need for an electric winch is somewhat limited. I save my breath for answering his questions.

"Mom, how do you see the pictures these security cameras take?"

"Ummm, you don't. They're simulated cameras. That means fake. They're designed to fool thieves into thinking you have a security system when you don't."

He decided we didn't need that; the surveillance cameras with panoramic views were more his style. Especially the ones you can hook up to your TV.

Catalogs are a great home education tool. Little Guy will be busy for hours today, peppering me with questions ("What's a CB radio?" and "You wouldn't let me buy a chain saw, would you?") and making lists of things he'd like to buy. I can have him pretend he is starting a business, and figure out what he'd need. I can give him a pretend budget and have him add up numbers. We can talk about what various technologies are used for, and why someone might need a particular item. And the best part about all this is that Little Guy doesn't think it's school work.

Though I will have to figure out what a hydraulic planetary auger guide is. Gulp.


  1. The reason google exists is so that you can find out what a hydraulic planetary auger guide is.

    I call the Garrett-Wade catalog tool pornography.

  2. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your RSS feeds also, Thanks.