Sign up for a free Switched-On Schoolhouse training webinar to learn about the amazing features of AOP's CD-ROM Christian curriculum and how SOS can benefit your homeschooling.
Offered at several convenient time slots, Switched-On Schoolhouse webinars are live online sessions led by AOP training specialists. Participants join an online session hosted by a Switched-On Schoolhouse expert who speaks over a standard telephone line while demonstrating the curriculum on his or her own computer. Audience members follow the online presentation step-by-step on their own screens, and they can communicate directly with the speaker through chat or over the phone.
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SOS Program Tutorials
View any of the following tutorials for specific instructions on how to use certain features of this Christian homeschool curriculum.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need to install SOS 2013 Disk Two?
A: No, this disk is where you will find various tools and the placement tests.
Q: I am installing SOS 2013 and the installation keeps failing at the SOS Home Edition Database.
A: The first step is to open the Control Panel (Hint: use Ctrl + R and then type control and click OK), under System and Security and open the Windows Updates. At this point there should be a button that says “Check for Windows Updates,” click this button. The second step is to restart the computer once the updates are finished installing. Keep repeating these two steps until there are no longer any important Windows updates.
Q: I’m trying to install SOS 2012 to my Windows 8 computer, and it says that the operating system is not supported.
A: Check for and install all Windows updates and restart the computer before installing SOS. When the installation first begins, it will state that the operating system is not supported, so click on the Next button. During the installation, Adobe Flash might fail to install. If so, click on the Yes button to continue installing the other products. When installing SQL, you will be told three times that there are compatibility issues. Each time click on the option to Run the Program Without Getting Help. The remaining components should install correctly at this point.
Q: When I’m installing SOS 2012 on my Windows 7 computer, I’m getting this error: Please update your copy of Windows Vista to at least Service Pack 1 before installing.
A: Click OK on the error message to close it. Go to the Windows Start button and click on Computer. Now you will see the SOS 2012 installation CD listed, so right click the CD and select Open. You will see a file named setup.exe, right click that file and select Properties. Next you need to click on the Compatibility tab. You want to make sure that the check box Run this program in compatibility mode for: is to be unchecked. Also, you might have to click the Change settings for all users to be able to uncheck the Compatibility mode box above. Now just click OK. The installation should proceed as normal.
Q: When trying to install the 2011 SOS on my Windows XP computer, I am getting an error message that says: Install Operation Error.
A: The fix is to create a new folder on the desktop and then copy the contents of the SOS installation disk into the folder. Once it is copied, remove the disk and run setup. The installation should proceed normally at this point.
Q: This is my first time using SOS. Where can I find out how to use SOS?
A: You can find many tutorials and video tutorials on the homepage under the help section. At any time in Switched-On Schoolhouse, you can also hit the F1 key to bring up help documentation.
Q: I just installed my new SOS. How do I get my old SOS information into the new one?
A: In order to move the old information into the new SOS, you will first need a backup file of the old information. Run the database restore tool which will bring up a browse for folder. Locate the old backup file and click on open. The tool will then migrate the backup file into the new SOS application. Open SOS and verify that the information is there. FYI: when the backup is moved into the new SOS application, any information already in the new SOS will be removed and replaced with the backup information.
Q: When I try to open SOS, I’m getting an Invalid Database error on my full install. How can I fix this?
A: Run the invaliddb connection tool and then try to open SOS. The tool may need to be run a couple of times in order to fix this issue. The tool can be located in the tools folder on disk two of SOS 2013 or the installation disk for 2012 or in the support download section of the SOS website.
Q: When I try to open SOS, I’m getting an Invalid Database error on my client install. How can I fix this?
A: Try turning off all firewall and anti-virus software on both the client install computer and the full install computer. If you’re able to connect, then try turning the firewall and anti-virus software back on one at a time to determine which one is causing the issue. You should be able to create an exception with the software causing the issue in order to allow SOS to work. If Windows firewall is blocking the connection, run the Firewall Configuration on the full install computer. The Firewall Configuration can be found in the tools folder on disk two of SOS 2013 or the installation disk for any other year of SOS. If it is a third party software that is causing the issue and you’re not sure how to create an exception, contact that company to ask about creating an exception for SOS. If you’re still getting the error, please contact technical support at 866-444-4498.
Q: I don’t need my student to do an assignment. How can I remove it?
A: Using the Edit Curriculum function allows you to make many different changes to a course for a specific student. First, from the Teacher’s Home Page, go to Assignments and choose your student. Then, choose the course that needs to be edited. This will open another window. The left side of the window is the course for that student, the top-right side of the window shows all courses that have been installed, and the bottom-right side shows all custom assignments that have been created. Along the bottom and in the middle are the different buttons that can be used to edit the course. Choose the course/unit/assignment that needs to be edited and select what you want to do.
Q: How do I install my curriculum CDs?
A: Curriculum is installed from within the SOS teacher by using the setup wizard or the curriculum setup screen found under administrative functions. Once the curriculum is installed, it needs to be assigned to the student. This function is also in the setup wizard, as well as the curriculum setup.
Q: I ordered the placement tests, but I’m not sure how to install them.
A: For placement tests you need to use disk two for SOS 2013 or the installation disk for previous years. After clicking the install button, a browse for folder will open. Locate the SOS disk followed by the placement test folder and the subject to install. Then, use the contents.sosx to install. This will need to be repeated for each subject that will be used. Next, you will want to assign the placement tests to the student. Then, you will want to edit the subject to include only the grades (units) in which the student needs to be tested.
Q: When I try to open an assignment, I get a browse for folder. How can I fix this? When I installed my curriculum, I chose to leave on CD. How do I change this, so I can copy it to the hard drive?
A: This can be done in 2009 and newer versions of SOS by clicking on the copy curriculum feature on the SOS Student’s Home Page or by deleting the subject and reinstalling it in the SOS Teacher Curriculum Setup screen. This will not affect the student’s schoolwork either way.
Q: I think my student can do better. Can I clear and reassign the assignment?
A: Yes, this can be done by going to the Assignments page from SOS Teacher. Highlight the course and the unit. Then, choose the lesson on the right side. Right click on the lesson and choose clear and reassign. This will remove all the student’s answers and reassign it to the student. You can also just clear and reassign individual questions by opening the lesson and going to the specific questions and clicking the button at the bottom that says reassign.
Q: How do I give my student a different grade if I don’t like the grade they were given?
A: By accessing the lesson from the SOS Teacher, all grades can be changed by altering the score in the lower left-hand corner of the question and clicking the save button.
Q: My student has completed his lesson, but it still appears under today’s assignments and he can’t access the next lesson.
A: It may be because the lesson has not been completed. By default the application will ask the student to attempt a question marked incorrect three times before it will grade it as complete. It could also be that there are duplicate subjects assigned to the student. In the bottom left corner of the student schoolwork screen, the student’s assigned subjects will be listed. If there are more than one of the same subject listed here, the lesson will appear as many times as there are subjects.
Q: What does blocking an assignment do?
A: Blocking an assignment stops the student from being able to access that lesson or any lesson past that lesson. This is most often used to give the student a chance to review before taking quizzes and tests.
Q: What does the red exclamation point/red checkmark/red X mean next to my student’s lesson?
A: The red exclamation indicates that the due date for this lesson has passed. It is only an indicator and will not penalize the grade for the student. The red check mark means that there are questions that require the teacher to manually grade. The red X means that the teacher has blocked this lesson for a specific reason, and the student will be unable to access this lesson.
Q: I want to change the end date for the school year. How would I do that?
A: In SOS Teacher go to School Setup and choose the Terms tab. Click on the calendar icon next to the drop down that shows the term that will be edited. This will open another window showing the school calendar. From here there are two ways to change the end date of the term. The first is to reset the calendar and then you will be prompted to setup the calendar by choosing Traditional or Custom. If you choose Custom, you will be able to specify the start and end date of the term. This option will remove all information previously put in the calendar such as events and days off. The other option is to go to the dates that you want to add to the end of the term. Highlight a block of days (Monday through Friday) or you can choose individual days and right click on them and choose school day. This will change those days from non-school days to school days. Once all changes have been made to the calendar, click Save. If you have advanced lesson planning enabled for any students, then you will be asked if you want to reschedule the courses for each student.
Q: My student is falling behind. How can I get his lesson plan back under control?
A: The easiest way to do this is by rescheduling the due dates. This will take all lessons that have not been completed and change their due dates to fall within a specified date range. The reschedule (regenerate) feature is found in the lesson plan while your student is selected.
Q: I want my student to complete the assignment while not on the computer. Can I print the assignment?
A: Yes, you can print the assignments for the student to complete. From the SOS Teacher, open the assignment and choose print at the bottom of the page.
Q: I forgot my teacher password. How can I change it?
A: For SOS 2013 you will need disk two. For all other years of SOS, you will need the installation disk. From Computer, right click on the CD/DVD drive and choose open. Then, open the Tools folder and open Data Utilities. In the first drop down box, choose the database and then connect. In the next dropdown box, choose Change Password and then execute command. Enter the new password and click OK.
Q: My computer crashed and I’ve reinstalled the program, but how do I get my student back to the lesson he was at?
A: If you have a backup of the previous data, it can be restored to the application in the SOS Teacher program using the restore function. Otherwise, the curriculum will have to be assigned to the student and edited. The course can be edited by removing the units or lessons the student has already completed or by the teacher assigning manual grades to the lessons already completed.
Q: How do I install revisions in my older (2009-2010) SOS?
A: Revisions can be downloaded from our SOS updates page. SOS 2011 and newer versions automatically download these updates.
Can't find your question? For additional assistance, browse our technical support database.
If you have questions or need assistance, contact our technical support team at 866-444-4498. Our regular business hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday.