Friday, 14 November 2008

The science of appliances

Really, home education does not prepare children for the modern world. Here we are, Fridays is science day, and I am all set out to read about William Harvey from a kiddy science book as an excuse to dismantle the anatomical body and severed head, when I eye-spy the laundry pile.

Thinking it would be a smart move to have the knickers turning full cycle in the wash while we talk about blood pumping round our bodies - that this would actually represent a well-managed, organised household with twin activities going on - I casually call out to Squirrel, stick on the TV. I'll put on that video about science discoveries and we'll take it from there.

Uhuh. Five minutes later as I've got my head in the washer, there's a sorrowful yelping coming from the front room. All three of them - Shark, Tiger and Squirrel - are standing in a line, staring at the TV forlornly. Isn't it working? I foolishly cry. Squirrel opens her hands palm upwards to the sky and replies with a look of hopelessness, No-one knows how to turn on the TV.

You see? We can talk about circulation in the human body, but we can be outwitted by a TV set bought in 1987 with a wobbly knob and a fallen-off front panel.

Next week I'm teaching Tiger how to open a bag of crisps.


Mr Farty said...

Reminds me of the story about the ladies who decided to broaden their horizons by taking a car maintenance class. Lesson one goes well, and all the girls scurry off home to practice on their own vehicles.
As the second class begins, the instructor asks, "Any questions?"
A quivering hand is raised at the back of the class. "Can you please explain how to open the bonnet?"

I don't drive, so that one would stump me too.

Tara said...

Hey there Grit, that is so funny.
My husband is 38 and he still can't work the washing machine, so what's his excuse!

Angela said...

I enjoy your blog tremendously, but that`s because my children are grown and I survived and can now lean back and have fun with your experiences! I love the way you can step aside and marvel at them yourself.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I think it's time to get a new TV, but don't get one that's too complicated. Just an on and off button and a channel switch button and a volume up and down button. That's all you need. Don't let anybody talk you into anything else. You don't want too complicate something that should be entertaining. Is there any science to be learned in washing and drying clothes? Surely it has its educational purposes?

Grit said...

welcome, mr farty. actually, i don't know how to open the bonnet on the car we drive now. shark, on the other hand, keeps opening it by accident, so there's a child height button somewhere.

hi tara, dig is the same ... he can hardwire a computer but cannot load a dishwasher. hmmm.

you are very kind angela! i think the word you use is key: survive. and that's what i try and do.

hello irene! you may be right about the TV. we don't watch it that often, so there never seems much reason to replace it. also, things became terribly complicated a year ago when dig attached a black box to it, and now there are two buttons to press.