I am embarrassed to show these photos of my girls “typing” lessons. If you look closely, you will see the condition of my keyboard. I think I might be missing 10 keys or so from my keyboard (thanks to 2 very busy little boys who have enjoyed popping them off). I have thought about buying a new keyboard, until I discovered that I can just plug in our old keyboard via the usb port.
My daughter heard me in here typing away (the old keyboard makes click-clacking noises as I type). She asked me, “oh, do you like using that keyboard better because it reminds you of using those old typewriters.” Nostalgia set in a I reminisced about those old typewriters. The ones with real paper and real ink. The ones that you had to use white-out on if you made a mistake, then carefully realign your paper so that the typing would be on the same row.
There was real incentive to become a great typist in those days. Mistakes were time consuming and messy. Thoughts needed to be well planned out to avoid ripping out entire sheets of paper from the typewriter.
I am thankful for the ease of use computers offer, but I guess I do miss the rhythm of the typewriter.
I remember reading something when my oldest kids were young. My son struggled with terrible handwriting. I don’t remember where I read this, but it went something like, “Boys only need to learn cursive handwriting so that they can read their wives love letters. It is more important to make sure a struggling writer can type very well.” Those thoughts stayed with me and I made sure my son learned to type. He uses his typing skills daily. So glad I took that advice.
With my older kids, I used a computer based typing game. However, recently I was give the opportunity to review an e-book (that I printed out) called Keyboarding for the Christian School. I started off somewhat biased against a paper keyboarding lesson. I guess I was thinking that it would be harder for the girls and not as fun for them as a computer game lesson. I was anxious to see how it would work out for us.
How it Works
As I mentioned before, I used the e-book version of the book. I printed out the entire book (90 pages) and kept it unbound in a folder. Each day, when the girls did their lessons, I pulled out the pages of that lesson and used my cookbook holder to set them on. I placed the pages next to the computer so that they could look at the pages as they typed.
I then set up a simple text document on my computer. I set the font to New Times Roman so that the letters would match the ones in their lesson and I set the font size to 20 (they liked it large and it fit fine across the screen so I let them keep it large).
Each day, they would follow the lesson and type out portions of that lesson in 10 repetitions of 3 letters each. The lessons were long enough to teach new skills, but short enough to keep their interest. There were many times that they wanted to type more and I let them do as many lessons as they wanted.
One thing that I touched on earlier was the fact that the lessons are printed out and placed beside the computer as they type. This is actually one of the benefits of this type of program over a computer typing program. Because the paper is next to the computer, the student learn to look at the paper (not the computer) as they are typing.
Think about it, whenever I am typing something, I am usually required by the task to look at another paper while I am typing. Sometimes this may be notes I have written or a paper I am copying. It is definitely a useful skill that can only be mastered by practicing. And, it is how I was taught to type so very long ago!
We reviewed the large print elementary version that is geared toward grades K-5. However, there is a “regular” version for grades 6 and up as well.
The price for the elementary version is $12.95 and for the regular version the price is $15.95.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much my girls enjoyed learning typing. They even remember where they left of each time. I think most of all it give them a feeling of accomplishment. They see the older kids typing and doing their work on the computer and they want to be able to more than chicken scratch at the keyboard.
This program is not a fancy bells and whistles type of program. It is a very simple, step-by-step learn to type program. And I am glad. Honestly, we are trying to cut back on media stimulation. The simple instructions and daily practice are more than enough to get the kids typing.
If you would like to give Keyboarding for the Christian School a try, the author has offered all of my readers a 20% off discount. Simply use the code SUMMER2012 when checking out. Offer expires 8-29-12.
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