Finally done! I’ve just finished a nine month work marathon fixing and beta-testing our homeschool planning software for Mac users. Now it is finally for sale on our brand new website! Boy if I had known how much work this was going to be ahead of time . . . Of course, that’s what I said about my book too. But now that the making part is done, it’s all worth it to have the finished product.
This planning software is something that has been brewing in my mind for years. When my kids were little, and before I became addicted to the computer, I was content to use homemade forms in 3-ring binders for my planning and record-keeping. It was a lot to lug around though. Seems like I always carried a canvas tote bag around with my binder and a few books so that I would be ready to take some notes or fill in my homeschool journal.
Later, when my boys were approaching high school age, I decided it was time to keep better records in anticipation of creating high school transcripts. So I purchased software for my Windows computer. But it took me a whole year to figure out I wasn’t using it correctly – there were so many customizable options that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or which way would work best for me. It did the job, but it got me thinking how I would do it differently.
In the meantime, I had bought a Mac laptop to write my book and found that I really loved Mac! My Windows computer was on its last legs and I only kept it alive to use my homeschool software. Since my son Aengus was an avid (Windows) programmer, I asked if he could try to make me a homeschool database for my Mac. That boy loves a challenge, so he started from the beginning learning how to program for Mac.
That was about three years ago. He learned all about database design, Cocoa programming, and Core Data. I used my recent training in graphic design and information architecture, and homeschool experience, to sketch out designs and flow charts. We tried different things, re-arranging and adding features till we finally thought we had it all and offered it up to beta testers last Fall. But we ended up re-working everything again as we got feedback. What a process!
Now that it is finally done, I don’t have anyone left to homeschool 🙁
But I hope that others will find it helpful, and my son is hoping that his efforts will help pay for his college tuition! The application is called “OLLY” which stands for “Organized Life and Learning Yearbook.” He’s almost done with the iPhone version and has a good start on the iPad version. So if you use a Mac, or know someone who does, please visit www.ollyhomeschool.com and let us know what you think!
Tags: homeschool planner