real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

the tinker principle

When my husband was a little boy, no piece of machinery or electronic equipment was safe from his hands and his inquisitive mind. Everything he saw had to be taken apart and sometimes he even put things back together again. Years later, that same drive to get inside a powerful electric motor or an enormous transformer to see what makes it tick, or not tick, has given him a very rewarding career.

All of our boys have been the same way, to one extent or another and Clay has spent time teaching them the hardware side of their computers, even working with them to build their own systems and explaining basic electrical principles along the way. To him, a very important part of homeschooling is the “tinker principle.”

This week our son, Ben, called to tell us something interesting he had seen in one of his classes. He held, in his hand, a tiny computer chip that looked like a smooth, gold square but it actually was made up of 3.3 TRILLION movable microscopic mirrors that each reflect tiny pieces of light and is used to display, with amazing accuracy, light and color in film production. When you go to a movie theater and see something produced in DLP, this is the technology behind it.

50 years ago this week, RCA’s first all-electronic color TV rolled off the production line in Indiana. 50 years ago the first microchip was developed by Intel, the cost of a gallon of gas was 25 cents per gallon, the cost of a new home was $12,000.00, and the first stereo sound was introduced to the public. 50 years ago I was entering kindergarten. 50 years was not that long ago.

We live in a world where the amount of information increases exponentially every year, perhaps even more frequently, and sometimes we wonder how we will teach it all to our children. The reality is that we cannot teach it all. We can only give them the foundation and the tools to research what they will need to know in the future, for a time when 3.3 trillion mirrors won’t be accurate enough.

Hope this helps you sleep a little easier tonight!

Here is a fun website for the tinkerers in your home.

And here is a great little piece of post-war American history. Think “i-pod” as you watch this.



  Moorea wrote @

Oh I really like your blog! The videos are great!

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Moorea and thanks for the kind words.

I really love these old, vintage advertisements, probably because I remember TV in the “olden days” as my kids would say.

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