Sunday, November 6, 2011

Early success--Our teenage experiment

Score. It worked tonight. 15 year old son and I did 5 pages of extraction. Here’s what I learned.
  1. It really helped to focus on one kid at a time. 10 year old daughter was doing math and 12 year old son was reading but 15 year old son sat down and worked on the Christmas present with me. It was much easier when I just focused on that one kid.
  2. It really helps that this is a Christmas present. I couldn’t have begged, borrowed or stolen his time away from his own computer projects, but he’ll do it for Grandma and Grandpa. Actually, I knew that before.
  3. It also really helped that I sat down and did it with him. Again, I think I need to walk the walk. We brought up the document on my computer and the genealogy software on his. I read the names and dates off to him and he entered them. Much easier on his side.
  4. Doing transcription was easier for him when he wasn’t eating his cookies. It was easier when he used both hands to type. Much of the time he had a cookie in one hand but it worked. Total all out bribe? Yes, yes it was.
  5. He had stopped and gotten frustrated earlier because he wasn’t sure he was reading the names right. I assured him that he didn’t have to be perfect and that we would be checking it against other sources to assure that things were right. That seemed to help. This kid is a huge perfectionist. I think moving that rock out of his path helped.
  6. Wowie Kazowie. He picked up the software like nobody’s business. I’ve been using this software for quite a while, but in his second sitting, this kid was right clicking and using key strokes I never knew existed. I’m tech savvy. But this kid was amazing. If I can just get him to get passionate about the topic, the technology won’t even be a hiccup of a problem.
  7. All hell breaks loose when I try to work on this with them. We tried last night and homework had exploded and gotten in the way. We planned on trying again tonight and all sorts of things threatened to derail the process. But you have to push through it. We persevered and it paid off.

I think he felt a sense of accomplishment. I’m pretty sure he liked seeing the pieces start to fit together, a lot like a puzzle. We’ll see how excited he is about it next time. Stay tuned…


abrounds said...

What a great project! Two of my children are interested. The other 2 are semi-interested. My challenge is to encourage my husband to get interested. Any ideas on that subject?

Janet Hovorka said...

I'm blessed with a husband who is already vested so I don't have to do an experiment on him. (I do lots of other experiments on him though ;) My best suggestion on that is to do his family history. And then keep telling him about it. I think that's why Kim is vested, because we've spent alot of time working on his lines. Lisa Louise Cooke also talked about that some in her podcasts earlier this year as well. She took her husband to England to see some long lost cousins and some places where his family was. She had his own little "Who do you think you are?" for him, and he got quite excited about it. You can find her podcasts about it at Look at the podcasts from February/March.