Beeminder’s Youngest User

Saturday, November 21, 2015
By Faire Soule-Reeves

Drawings by Faire, including the Beeminder logo, with inscription

Imagine a world where children grow up with Beeminder as a way of life. Well we created Beeminder when our kids were babies so here in Portland (at least in our house) that world exists, as a reality. Here to tell you about that is Beeminder’s presumably youngest user, Faire Soule-Reeves.

Hi! I am Faire Soule-Reeves. I am 8 years old. I am the daughter of Daniel Reeves and Bethany Soule. They are the founders of Beeminder. I use Beeminder and I am here to tell you about it.

Beeminder helps people get motivated to do things they weren’t motivated to do before.

Here is a booklet I made in first grade (I am now in third grade):

Here I am explaining Beeminder to my little brother who is actually 5 in the video:


 

Here are the things I’m currently beeminding:

Duolingo (German)

I was in Germany for two weeks this August. I used Duolingo to prepare for my arrival in Berlin. Duolingo is definitely not the best language learner, because it just teaches you random words and sentences. Although if you use it for a long time, the things Duolingo teaches you can sometimes be handy. Your progress gets entered automatically from Duolingo to Beeminder which is nice. I still use Duolingo to improve my German and get more fluent. I wouldn’t do Duolingo without Beeminder, and I can prove it because I am usually rushing to do it right before my bedtime. If it weren’t for Beeminder telling me that I would derail, I would just go to bed and forget about it.

Sugar

I beemind my sugar. Of course it is a Do Less goal. The story to this one is that it’s annoying when I’m like: “Mom, can I have sugar? Dad, can I have sugar? Mom, can I have sugar? Dad, can I have sugar?” Now I can just check my phone and the Beeminder app tells me how much sugar I can have.

Screen time

Jimmy Jet qua TV Set

I use Beeminder to track screen time so I won’t become like Jimmy Jet and his television set.

My friend Alice Tiffany and I saw each other this summer and we were talking about what games we had on our phones. I said “I have Crossy Road and Geometry Dash. And you?”

“My mom took all the games off my phone because I played them too much,” said Alice.

“That is a great reason to use Beeminder!!” said me and my dad at the same time.

“What’s Beeminder?” asked Alice.

So me and my dad explained Beeminder to Alice…

How I keep track of things on my screen time goal is via RescueTime. My parents have been trying to program it so you can beemind more than one game or app on one graph.

Must Dos

I was inspired by my parents to make a must-do goal even though they didn’t think it was a good idea. My parents weren’t sure about it because it can be hard to remember to enter data, which it is. Sometimes it is fun to do my must-dos, because if I have been feeling sad lately or have had an unpleasant feeling, I will make my must-do something SILLY or ExCiTiNg!!!

Pushups

Pushups are just pushups. They make me stronger. MUSCLES!!! Something interesting is that you can lay your phone on the ground and touch your nose to the phone to count your pushups. (That’s part of the Beeminder Android app.)

Weight (just for tracking)

I also have a weight graph, but that is just because my parents have a Withings scale at our house. When I step on it and all the data is collected, then it will automatically enter to Beeminder.

Reading

I read like crazy nowadays because I am doing Oregon Battle of the Books [1], and just generally love reading. I have finished seven of the sixteen books and everyone has to January or Febuary to finish all sixteen. Also I forgot to mention that you only have to read three or four books twice, but I am doing all of them since I am at a little higher reading level than third through fifth grade. Those are the reading level of the sixteen books.

When I beemind reading, I track it by minutes. I sometimes use my watch or the timer that’s part of the Beeminder app on my phone.

Other things I could beemind

My dad threw out some ideas including: practicing piano, playing CodeCombat (learn to code by playing a game), or tracking steps. He thought that these might be good ideas for me or other kids who might want to try out Beeminder. I would be up for making a steps goal (I have the Misfit app on my Pebble watch) but I am not really excited about beeminding CodeCombat and piano even though I enjoy doing them in my free time.

Also since I enjoyed writing this blog post, but me and my dad put it off for a few months since starting it, that could be a reason to make a writing goal.


 

I have derailed a lot and my mom lends me her credit card to pay for derailments. But then I do owe my mom back. Then I earn money by doing chores and I earned $120.00 from my parents just for typing this! [2] I’m also always happy to get my parents new users, by telling people about Beeminder!


 

Footnotes

[1] Oregon Battle of the Books is an organization for kids where the kids read sixteen books and go to tournaments. You organize a team of four or five kids and have battles answering questions about the books. Then you get points if you answer them correctly. There is also a regionals battle and the US championship.

[2] Before I started editing and perfecting this, I had to have an auction with my mom whether or not I could stay up late. I had to pay $10.00 to get to stay up way past my bedtime to edit this.

Tags: , , , , ,

  • David Gessner

    Faire, I think it is super cool that you use Beeminder. Which of the books you have read did you like most? (I’m looking for English children’s books to give to my Spanish girlfriend. She already learned quite a bit of English using Duolingo and I think it is time for her to start reading some books in English.)

  • Faire Soule-Reeves

    Well, it’s hard to say, they are all pretty good. I have read a sad book, Shiloh, but then there are also funny books like Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year and Flora and Ullyses. I am currently reading Mountain Dog. It’s pretty fun so far. I can’t really put it in funny or sad category. It’s just interesting.

  • David Gessner

    Thanks. I’ll look into the books you mentioned.

    By the way, if you like learning languages and you have your own phone, I recommend an app called Semper: https://www.getsemper.com/

    The idea of the app is that each time you unlock the screen or open certain apps, you first have to answer a multiple choice question. If you configure it to learn german, then each time you unlock your phone it will teach you a new word. You can also configure it to practice arithmetic.

  • Adam Werewolf

    Hi Faire! One of the things I have beeminded that I wished I would have beeminded a long time ago was doing nice things for people! It seems silly to use a computer program to remind you to do nice things for people, but I think it has helped me be a better person! (And it is nice because you can put what you did in the comments, and then you have a fun list of nice things you have done.)

  • http://dsernst.com/ David Ernst

    This is amazing!

  • Faire Soule-Reeves

    Thanks for the suggestion David! I installed Semper on my phone and it’s pretty cool. The only thing I don’t really like about it is that you only answer questions when you open a few apps. I would like it if you had to answer a question when you open any app.

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    This post is so good that it might be hard to believe that we didn’t put any words in Faire’s mouth at all. (For most guest posts we have no qualms about doing that here and there as long as the author vets it, but for this one we figured it was important to be fully in the voice of an 8-year-old.) We did however work hard with Faire on editing, helping to identify things to remove and discussing things that wouldn’t be clear to uninitiated readers.

    In any case, it’s an amazing piece of writing and we’re overflowing with pride!

  • David Gessner

    Faire, I think that is just a matter of properly configuring Semper. Try the following. Open Semper and swipe all the way to the right. That way you will get to the add-on screen (the one with the yellow puzzle piece on the top right; see attached screenshot). Once there, tap on “Loading Screen”. There you can configure for which apps Semper should ask questions by tapping on “Select Apps”. Also, if you want Semper to ask questions each time you turn your phone’s screen on, make sure you have installed the “Lock Screen” add-on.

    Hope that helps!

  • Zachary Paul

    This may be my favorite blog post yet! I love it!! And not just because it was written by a child, but because by removing any of the minutia about how Beeminder works it reads like a great, non-nerdy endorsement, and I for one have a very hard time telling people about it without sounding like the total nerd I am (proud to be). Great job, Faire!

  • Faire Soule-Reeves

    This is the conversation I had with my dad after I read your comment, Zachary.
    Me: Okay daddy, I looked at the blog post and read the new comment. I like it a lot, but there isn’t really a way that I could respond to it. Is there a way I can like it or something to let them the know that I read it and that I appreciate what they said without actually typing any words?
    Danny: so ironic that you just typed that to me! i think you should paste exactly what you said, plus this that i’m saying now, and make it a reply to that comment. :)

  • Zachary Paul

    How meta. Your comment made me smile. Or I could just say :)

  • MKK

    I didn’t get a chance to respond to it when it was posted, but I love it so much! I was already gonna make sure my future kid used Beeminder (and maybe also Habitica), but this has made it a 100% certainty!!

  • Alys

    Faire, I loved this article. I would not have thought that Beeminder could be so useful to children!
    This was my favourite part: ‘The story to this one is that it’s annoying when I’m like: “Mom, can I have sugar? Dad, can I have sugar? Mom, can I have sugar? Dad, can I have sugar?” Now I can just check my phone and the Beeminder app tells me how much sugar I can have.’ It’s such a good idea!

  • http://eatpeppershothot.blogspot.com Jun (고준)

    Thanks to your post, I learned that it is possible to Beemind pushups with the Beeminder Android app (touch nose to phone). I will try it out soon. I hope to read more of your articles in the future — you have a way with words, Faire!