Ever see that book before?

It’s a classic, I think.

That was my father’s *bible*. Every time something broke in the house he’d go looking in that book for the answer.

Of course, armed with only that and being *knackless*….he really couldn’t fix anything!

But today a DIY fixer has the greatest resource EVER at their disposal, the collective wisdom of the World Wide Web.

For example, the hard drive on my computer blew up last week…

And in the process of trying to determine what was wrong, if it was reparable, how exactly to fix it (couldn’t!), what do to next (order a new hard drive? wipe the old one clean?), what kind of new hard drive should I buy, would it be compatible with my existing hardware, etc….???….well I must have Googled over 50 different queries.

It turns out there are *repair disks* and *recovery disks*….though none of them worked!

New and better hard drives are only $60. Apparently I don’t need to purchase Windows again – I can just download it for free and use my old product code.

But there were complications. A CD isn’t big enough to hold the nearly 4 gigabyte size of the Windows 7. And when I tried to load it onto an external hard drive and *boot* from that I ran into a stone wall.

On YouTube there were several videos showing how to manually configure and partition an external hard drive to make it *bootable*. Unfortunately I found out the external hard drive would have to be wiped clean to be used. (I needed the data saved on it!) I was a little scared of the technical steps required (using CMD prompts). Furthermore, that course of action might have been *outdated*.

So I was stumped again….only to find out that there is theoretically a way to boot through a flash drive….so that’s what I’m working on at the moment. You have to grab from Microsoft a *USB download tool* and put it on a clean drive along with the Windows operating system I’m attempting to boot up with. Wish me luck.

What does this have to do with parents educating young children, you might ask.

Well, this information bounty is there for you and your kids too.

Perhaps your child is having trouble writing and you suspect their technique is flawed. Well then you might Google for tips and products to address this.

Wondering when your child can start playing a certain musical instrument? Google away, again. Curious what might be the best ways to introduce chemistry to a youngster? Stumped on how to explain why math is important to your recalcitrant, innumerate child? Trying to connect with other families who share your lifestyle and beliefs about parental education? Trying to find the piano music for the Star Wars theme? No matter how great or small your wish….Google will continually blow you away with the breadth and depth of its answers.

Sure, most everyone professes to be well aware of all the goodies on the internet.

BUT, how many people are out there aggressively trying to take advantage of it?

My wife and I are online reading blogs, perusing forums, reading book and product reviews, scouring YouTube, and of course Googling…….ALL THE TIME.

Which child do you think is going to go further in life?

One who learns to follow orders and learns to regurgitate random information for *tests*.

Or the one who learns how to find out precisely what they need to know and what they need to do through the power of their own resourcefulness?

Think about all the risk-takers, the pioneers who braved danger and the unknown traveling westward. Think about how much good fortune there was a couple hundred years ago for those hypomaniacs with a little bit of gumption.

Because today, in many ways the web has indeed become that new frontier of opportunity.