In the not-too-distant past, typing was taught in high school and used mainly in jobs by women. Today, typewriters are antiques and nearly every household has a computer (or three!) used by every family member from toddlers to seniors. Keyboarding proficiency can no longer wait until high school—Children must start learning good typing skills as soon as they begin school so they can break free from the “hunt and peck” system.
Modern keyboarding programs are not so different than their historic ancestors, but 21st-century technology offers more engaging options for children. Computer-based keyboarding and typing programs account for early language skills and the smaller finger spread of children’s hands. It is worth investigating some fun, game-based programs to give children this essential skill needed for the rest of their academic and working lives.
Different programs can track progress and customize the experience with adjustable text (size, font, etc.), music, games, drills and language options. Students will learn:
- letters and numbers
- function keys
- words and sentences
- finger placement
- right/left hand placement
- speed building (age-dependent, of course).
When researching a program, bear in mind developmental milestones for children’s ages, both for language skills and physical skills. Select a program that is visually appealing and appropriate for their skill set.
It is easy to find programs online. Search using key words such as “keyboarding programs for children,” and helpful links with information and programs, such as the following, quickly pop up:
An explanation from Active Learning Associates, Inc. of what to consider for different age groups of children
A 2011 top ten list of reviews of typing software
A listing and ratings of various typing programs for children
As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. So find a program, and let your child’s fingers fly!