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We’re Back! The 2010 School Year Begins August 3, 2010

Posted by Joe in Family, Homeschooling.

Working in the recliner just like his old man.

Yesterday marked the passing of yet another era for the kids. The short-lived summer break that they enjoyed came to an abrupt end and school started. Since we homeschool, it’s really our choice when the school year begins. We’ve found that starting the first week in August works well for us.

As I mentioned in a prior post, we’ve made some changes to this school year. More of their daily activities will be driven by a homeschooling software called Switched-On Schoolhouse.

Although the kids weren’t excited about the end of summer, they were eager to try out their new software. The demonstration lessons that they asked to go through on Sunday night were entertaining and engaging. So it wasn’t a chore getting them started on Monday morning.

Their enthusiasm soon wained as the reality of the start of a new school year set in. Although the software is interactive and even fun for them at times, they soon became a frustrated with the way it asks certain questions. They were unclear how to respond to the prompts, how to answer the questions, and how to manipulate the software. It became stumbling block for them.

In a way, their experience parallels what many users, regardless of age, go through. Initially, there’s new excitement and the promise of something new. There is optimism about how it will make the normal routine better. The optimism soon subsides and is replaced by questions and uncertainty. “How does this software work? It’s not doing what I thought it’d do.” Soon that gives way to annoyance and frustration. At that point the software is actually inhibiting them from actually doing work.  That’s where my kids left off yesterday.

Fortunately the life cycle of adopting new software doesn’t end there. Eventually, the software will become another tool to get the job done. In this case, the job is imparting knowledge to the sponge-like grey matter of my kids.

Today has been a better experience for them. They are beginning to understand how to respond to the types of questions. Hopefully this will continue for them and by the end of the week, they’ll be able to navigate through it without problems.

Then they’ll be back to just be disliking The Three R’s rather than the software that presents it to them.



1. Arnie - August 3, 2010

Starting the school year on Aug 2nd is just wrong! Kids should be climbing trees, wading in the creeks, playing sandlot ball…

2. Joe Webb - August 3, 2010

Yeah, when I was a kid school started around August 28th.

Starting the first week in August seems way too early. But that’s the trend here. Even the public schools start later this week.

One nice thing about homeschooling is if they finish their work early, they can still go outside and find a tree to climb…

3. Beck - August 3, 2010

Hope they will soon figure out how to use the new programs and the
school year will go smoothly.

I think most of us have an internal dislike for learning new software programs. Maybe it’s genetic? They could have got it from their gramdmother. Once they get it I’m sure they will love it.

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