Thursday, September 25, 2008

School Bells

We've been trying out Time Chimes, an automatic school bell program that I heard about from Sprittibee. It's been a great help at keeping us on task so we can get stuff done. It's been wonderful at helping me not get too distracted. You don't know how nice that feels unless you are a chronically distracted, disorganized mess like I am. After years of trying to be more organized with my time, I just might have found the answer. In the words of Wheezie from Dragon Tales, "Loooooooove it!"

I can give you a wonderful example of how great the program is on a parenting level. This morning I opened my laptop to check my email (and to make sure Time Chimes would chime at the correct times). While I was on the computer, the 8am chime went off. My kids instantly got up off the couch, where they were watching the special features on our Spiderman 3 DVD, and began their morning chores. After chores, they have free time so they went outside to ride their bikes. At 9am, the program chimed again so I opened the door and called for the kids. I told them it was breakfast time. Without a single argument or sigh, they put their bikes away and came inside. There's no question about what to do because they know what comes next after the bell rings.

The program is a simple one. You simply tell it which sounds you want it to play at which times. Once you've created a day's worth of bells, you can save it. The program allows you to save different sets of times for each day of the week and an alternate set for each day of the week. In the morning, you just load which set you want (or it will default to the current day of the week) and leave your computer on for the day. It does the rest.

There are only two things I don't like about the program. The primary problem I have with it is that I run it on my laptop which means I have to leave my laptop open all day for it to work. My desk top is upstairs and we wouldn't hear the chimes if I ran the program on it. I would prefer something like a stand alone alarm clock that could be programmed in the same manner. The other thing is the cost. The website says you can download it for trial only but they want you to pay for it for long term use. There's nothing I can find in the program that limits the use, either in function or time, but I always follow the rules. The cost to purchase is high at $78 on sale. However, after just a few days of using it, it just may be worth it.

Edit: Oh, but wait! There are other programs out there that are much less expensive. Maybe I can find a free one.

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jill said...

We use this timer.
The kids love the sheep alarm sound.
You have to set the alarm each time, but it's free.

Jill (also a CVA family)