Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday morning coffee post

The kids have been doing "sleepovers" in each other's bedrooms for the last few nights. They don't get to sleep until late, so then they end up sleeping late in the morning, which is what is happening now.

Mike and I (finally) saw Chris Guillebeau speak in Portland on Friday. He is on a book tour promoting his latest book, Side Hustle. Which is based on his daily podcast, Side Hustle School.

He's an interesting guy, and I've read all of his books. Since Portland is his home base we have had other opportunities to meet him but until now we have always missed out. I read the Side Hustle book in a few days. It outlines a 27-step process for coming up with an idea, testing it, and launching it. Incidentally, it's not 27 days to launch...he actually has you launch on day 17 or so. Using this process sort of lessens the fear of failure for me. Because theoretically you could launch 12 ideas per year using this method, so if one doesn't work, you didn't waste a whole lot of time on it. That's the idea he promotes. This isn't a huge invention that takes several years, but neither is it taking on a part time job or becoming an Uber driver. He says it's finding an asset that will pay you. So you do have to come up with an original product or service, and that becomes a paying asset.

Speaking of which, we are this much (holding fingers close together) closer to launching our note-taking tool for psychiatrists. Our programmer has reportedly finished one of the validation scripts that verifies the note is accurate. Mike and I have to review it and make sure it works. If it does, there's only 1.5 more steps before we can proceed with hiring auditors and beta testers to confirm our app does what we think it does. Then we can make the changes and launch what would likely be a subscription service to our app.

I'm also recording a class on how to publish your own genealogy in the 21st century. Ask me where it is in 27 days.

My next project is home school curriculum. This has been a bit of a challenge for us. I mean I have no problem teaching the core stuff, and our printed curriculum of choice is simply the What Your (First Grader) Needs to Know... series, but I would like to do more in-depth topics that are outside of the core curriculum. Standard teacher curriculum for sale tends to focus on paper handouts and things that must be done inside a classroom. Also it is of course very focused on "common core" which I really don't know what that is, but there's a lot of stuff school teachers have to document that sounds like legal language and my eyes glaze over when I look at it. And it doesn't apply to me anyway.

For some reason home school curriculum very often focuses on this thing they call a "lapbook" (rhymes with scrapbook) which is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. You give the child a file folder and a bunch of pages and then they spend the entire day cutting stuff out and pasting it into the file folder. It is a huge waste of time and then you're left with this paper clutter that I'm not sure what to do with. For example, I found this exercise designed to help the child memorize her phone number. You give the kid a paper that has picture of a phone, a rectangle, and a bunch of itty-bitty numbers in squares. The child has to first cut out the phone, paste it into folder. Then cut out the rectangle, paste it onto the phone. Then cut out each itty-bitty number that they need and paste them one at a time onto the rectangle. Are you kidding me with this. I taught my kids my phone number while we were driving around town in the car. They memorized it quickly, and then I test them on it every few days.

I believe lapbooks were invented by home schooling mothers who have 10 kids and they need to keep the kids "busy" with something all day. "Oh, but it's so fun, and my kids love it," they all say. Well, not me. My curriculum has no common core standards legal checklists and NO LAPBOOKS.

I think there's a lot of great curriculum so I don't need to reinvent the wheel or anything, but it's time-consuming to find. I know, teachers, I'm preaching to the choir, right?

Mae is up and coffee is out...signing off.

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