This is starting to really come together. :-) As such, it`s a great
time for nitpicking, details, and G&G (Gripes & Grumbles, a
term I just made up).
The site loaded slow, but much faster than previously. It`s doable, for
now. So I started wandering around, looking at it from the perspective
of being a dad for a 12-yearold girl who I want to start homeschooling.
First: On the left menu bar, having "Navigation" as the heading makes
no sense. Everyone nowadays knows that a menu bar to the left is about
navigation, so to title it thusly is redundant.
What I`d like to see is a more buttonized type of bar. Forums should be
a button on its own, and the heck with having "Active Forum Topics."
When you get to the forums, THEN you can have the high-volume or latest
topics, like SuN does. But not from the main page.
Secondly: By making "Forums" a single button, you have room for "Resources." That`s what I couldn`t easily find.
Here`s what went through my mind. I went to the site, pretending I was
the example dad. At first, out of curiosity, I wanted to see who`s
involved, how many people, and what they`re talking about. So I wanted
to very quickly see the forum button, go there, and peruse the topics.
It`s much easier now than previously.
But...then I wanted to know, "Okay...so what can I do? I don`t know much about this, and I`m not sure what the laws are."
That`s where "Resources" would really help. I`d like to have pages of
links and explanations/descriptions of those links, where I can find
- Is it legal to yank my kid out of school and start teaching them at home?
- What about Illinois?
- What about national testing standards; how do I comply with those?
- Where can I get lesson plans and materials that would comply?
- Suppose I`m stuck at work, or sick...how do I keep up my kid`s schooling?
- What about handling homework when the kid`s at home?
- How do I separate out the idea of living at home, and daily schooling?
- What happens if I try to teach something about which I haven`t a clue, like calculus?
These shouldn`t be in the form of a FAQ. They should be a solution for
people who want a 1-stop-shop site ALL about home schooling.
Startup Nation is a single resource ALL about how you can find and talk
with other people, just like you, who are starting a business from
scratch. There`s all kinds of information about anything related to
what it`s like being at home trying to make some money.
So too, Smeedoo should be ALL about people who want to take their kids
out of school and teach them the old-fashioned way. It should deal with
pitfalls, an overall action plan, and "How To" articles. It should
carry someone from the moment they wonder, "Gee...I wonder what home
schooling is?" all the way to, "How can I get my kids into college when
they`ve only been schooled at home all their lives?"
There are lots of things to add to this site, but that`s a GOOD thing!
It means you have a seriously useful and important "product" with
national interest. It`s the implementation that`s going to be the bear,
and you might want to consider some additional help. :-) Keep at it,
though. It`s a really great idea!