I have to admit, I am a 4-6 finger typist. The iPad is perfect for me because you don’t type like you do traditionally. You just peck away at the keyboard like a chicken pecking at pieces of corn on the ground (or something like that). I bet you are thinking how can I do that in an age of technology and why didn’t I take keyboarding in school? I actually took not one, but two night classes of typing. But alas, it didn’t stick and I still look at the keys as I type and tap away with my 4-6 finger technique.
I don’t want your students to end up like me as I am sure they would get left behind if they used this approach! I believe keyboarding should be incorporated into your academic studies much like handwriting is included. I believe our students will need those skills to write papers, get a job, and be competitive in the workplace. Am I advocating doing all of your schoolwork on a computer? No, but I do believe that students should be competent with keyboarding. Kindergarten students in public schools are even using iPad apps in some schools now. So, I am advising parents of children that are nine years and older be taught keyboarding skills.
Here are some typing programs worth considering purchasing:
Typing I from the Good and the Beautiful
- Beautiful, nature-themed pages help calm the child and boost his or her mood.
- Learning is not connected to video-game style learning.
- Carefully designed lessons teach in small steps and also help children practice spelling and grammar principles.
- Lessons are varied each day, making learning interesting and unpredictable.
- A vibrant, full-color course book and 8×10 sticker sheet with watercolor stickers is $13.99.
- The child props the course book on a stand next to the computer and follows the instructions each day, typing into a word processing program such as Word, Pages, or Google Docs.
Typing Instructor for Kids This is the program I used with my sons. It has lessons, accuracy tests, and games to help them learn.
Jump Start Typing This computer typing program is for children in grades 2-5 and includes video clips for hand placement. We used this program as well, but the boys for the most part, had already learned the keyboard and this was reinforcement if they wanted more games to play. I know, extra-cautious homeschool mom syndrome 🙂
Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is a classic computer program that would appeal to older students (junior and senior high school).
Online Typing Programs
Online Keyboarding Education is a terrific program that students of all ages will enjoy. I played a few games and also brushed up on my typing accuracy while having fun at the same time. Thanks to two wonderful readers for suggesting this program!
Typing Web This is a FREE online program for typists of all ages and abilities. You can even print a certificate when you finish.
Learning Games This has a variety of games that would appeal to students of different ages.
Typing Club is a free online typing program and has helped 23,000,000 students. That’s a lot of flying fingers over keyboards!
Dance Mat Typing is free and is offered through BBC so it has a Scottish accented sheep who is your typing instructor. It is for younger students, but the children are entertained with animated animals that rock n’ roll. That may not be what you are looking for in regards to learning to type as I noticed it can be distracting. If not, you can try one of the other programs.
oOps! I meant