1000 Tests

I've just written the 1000th test for Scholaric.  These tests run automatically, in the background, while I am developing Scholaric.

They perform 2719 individual checks to see that everything is working properly.

Great stuff, helps me sleep at night.

Happy Planning

Announcing Scholaric Fantasy Baseball League

I'm starting a Fantasy Baseball League for homeschool students this year.  If you have a baseball lover in your homeschool, consider joining my league.

Why Play Fantasy Baseball?  What Does this Have To Do With Homeschool?

First of all, baseball is a wonderful sport, full of history.  To love baseball is to love American history.  Just watch some of Ken Burns' Baseball miniseries.  It can be a great teaching idea.  Playing fantasy baseball also makes you more aware of the game's great current players, beyond your local team.

Second, baseball's focus on statistics is wonderful for a math lover.  There are many sorts of averages that are calculated, which describe a player's performance.  My children, who have played along side me for several seasons, ask what a certain statistic means, and we must describe it in mathematical terms.  This is applied mathematics in the real world.

Third, fantasy baseball is, mathematically speaking, a wonderful optimization problem, full of constraints, such as a limited roster, a maximum number of starts, limited bench.  Substituting one player for another could make me better at one statistic, but would make me worse at another.  Every move must be evaluated this way.  The draft is even more full of decisions - best player or best at a position? Pitching or hitting?  Power or average?

If you are interested, we will be playing through a private league ESPN fantasy.  Your student must be 13 to enter.  However, if you have a fan under 13, then YOU can enter and play with your child, but please make this a learning experience over a competition.

The draft will be at a time convenient for me, but hopefully early enough that sleep is not lost for Eastern Time Zoners.  If you are unable to participate in the live draft, ESPN will autopick for you.  (My draft is usually so bad, I'd be better off autopicking!)

Space is extremely limited, so fill out this form today and I'll notify you once the league is set up. 

Mark a Whole Day as Complete

Released today, you can mark an entire day's lessons complete for a student.

On the day menu in the planning grid, you will see a new option on each day that has incomplete lessons: mark all complete.

Select it and it will perform the same logic as if you selected each lesson that day and marked them as complete.

Again, at your request, Scholaric is improved...

Happy Planning

Quick Complete for Lessons

Released today, a change in lesson quick complete.

As mentioned here, you can quickly mark a lesson as complete by holding the alt key while clicking the lesson.

Today, I have updated Scholaric so that the time field is no longer required for quick complete.  

This was originally in place to protect users from completing a lesson which was not yet (in my mind) able to be completed.  However, our user base has expanded such, many Scholaric users do not track time.

This came at the request of a user.  You asked, Scholaric delivered.

Happy Planning

Scholaric Goals for 2012

Lets Think Big...

Functionality Improvements
Course Sharing - Share an entire course between students, all new lessons are shared by default.

Repeated Lessons Editing - Edit the text and date range of a repeated lesson.

Lesson Resources - Books and other resources needed by a lesson.

Advanced Bumping - Bump multiple times, bump all courses, or override the schedule of the lessons.

Lesson Templates - More advanced repeating lesson formula patterns.

Sharing between users - Share your lessons with your friends, or publish them to be used by anybody.  Search for lessons and use for your students.

Lesson Formatting - Bold and italic, lists, hyperlinks, and more in your lesson description.

Transcripts - Enter course descriptions and credits, calculate grade point average

Help for New Users
Videos - explain concepts, demonstrate features using screencasts.

New Marketing Pages - Show more information, give testimonials, videos, integrate social media links.

Marketing and Usage Goals
Advertising - Reach 5000 Homeschoolers through homeschool conference advertising

Launch Affiliate program - Give existing users credit for bringing in new users.

1 Million Lessons - From 149,000 at the end of 2011

Achieve 500 Paying Users - Please tell your friends about Scholaric!

Scholaric Goal Results from 2011

2011 was a great year for Scholaric.  On a post nearly a year ago, I outlined my goals for 2011.  Here are the results.

1) An LLC operates Scholaric
Green.  I formed Positive Slope LLC as the company behind Scholaric.

2) Customers happily pay for the service
Green.  I added payment capability, and we launched for payment in April 2011.  Now I hear from customers how much they like Scholaric for their homeschool.

3) Redesign of scholaric.com
Red.  Still is ugly.
4) Potential customers engaged with product tour video and share with others
Red.  No video product tour.  Did one video and hated it.  Was a lot of work and I didn't like the finished product.  If you are interested though you can find it here.
5) New marketing page with better descriptions, video link, testimonials
Yellow.  Marketing page is still bad, but it is less bad than a year ago.  No video, no testimonials.
6) New users given hand's on training during trial period
Red.  This was intended to be training videos sent to you during your trial period.
7) Lessons easily planned for and shared between multiple students
Green.  Lesson sharing was the most requested feature and was added in August 2011.

8) A gradebook view of lessons
Green.  Gradebook now shows how your grade is calculated and how it changes over time.

9) Improved tracking of core hours, home hours, hours by subject
Green.  I added goal tracking, which also shows attendance.

10) Community is giving so much feedback, I have to work hard to read it all
Yellow.  I do get lots of feedback, many suggestions for improvement and some people just saying thanks.  Its all nice to hear, but I'm not yet overwhelmed by it.  Compared to a year ago, it has been a great improvement.  I now have a much better understanding of your needs.

11) Meet 100 homeschoolers by attending homeschool conferences as a vendor
Yellow.  I attended one homeschool conference, but met far less than 100 homeschoolers there.

In total, of 11 goals: 5 green, 3 yellow, 3 red.  I knew these were ambitious when I made them.  More important than goal statuses, when I got requests from users which I felt were important, I chose to take care of customers rather than meet my goals.

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2011 a great year.  Keep your eyes here to see my goals for 2012.

Happy Planning


New Release of Lesson Printouts

I've just released a change to lesson printouts that I hope you will like.

Originally, all lessons were printed out.  I then changed it to only print out incomplete lessons, at the request of a user.

Afterward, some new users asked to be able to print all lessons - they printed out after the week was complete, and used it as a log.  This meant extra work on their part, something Scholaric tries to take from you.

Today, printing all lessons is a single click away.  I've added an option at the top of the printout screen to include complete lessons.

When you click this option, the screen will be refreshed, and you will see all lessons for the user, complete and incomplete.  Complete lessons appear with their check box checked:

In addition, any entered time and score will appear as well.

Happy Planning!