When I was in school back in the 1980’s, many people didn’t have home computers. In fact, typing wasn’t even a mandatory course back then! Because my mother was a secretary and felt that typing skills were important to have, I took typing. I’m glad that I did!
Nowadays, typing is a necessary skill. In fact, it is so important that many children are taught keyboarding in elementary school! My how things have changed since I was a kid. Perhaps your child’s school isn’t teaching keyboarding skills and you’d like for him to learn to type. Perhaps you are a homeschooling parent who would like for your child to learn keyboarding skills, but you just aren’t sure where to begin. Read on for more information!
I have seen many typing programs at various stores. I’ve bought several programs for my children which have been marginally successful. Most of the programs were not at all what I thought they would be! Mostly, I’ve been disappointed with them.
Because of this, I set out to find free typing programs online for kids. Not only could I test drive the program to see if my children would enjoy the method used, but it was free! I began to look for great websites that actually would teach children to type. I found that there are a lot of excellent sites which feature games to refine keyboarding skills, but I didn’t find too many really great websites for teaching typing and keyboarding skills.
I did find four wonderful sites which teach keyboarding and typing skills which I’m going to share with you. After that, I’ve listed one of my favorite sites for typing games. Note that while games are fun, they won’t actually teach your child keyboarding skills. If your child is learning keyboarding or typing skills in school and is doing well, you can skip to the game website. If not, begin by using one of the first four sites to teach your child the skills needed to type. After that, your child can have fun on the gaming sites.
This is an incredibly creative site that teaches your elementary aged children the basics and more. It starts at the beginning and shows your children finger placement and other basics, which is something that many typing sites and programs neglect to do.
There are 4 lesson levels and each level has 3 stages. At the end of each stage, the animals sing a catchy tune. This is great reinforcement for your child! You can also print out worksheets so your children can practice their typing skills offline. This is great if you have to share a computer like we do: your children can practice skills without tying up the computer!
The graphics and the lessons on this site are incredibly kid friendly and make for interesting lessons. Check this site out especially if your child has absolutely no experience with typing or a child who perhaps is a “reluctant learner”.
This is a great typing site for older children who need less visual reinforcement. It also begins with the basics and takes you through several stages.
The program is free and very thorough, but in order to use it, you must create an account. It is quick to set up the account, but I really wish that it wasn’t necessary to do this. They also ask for your email account too.
Nevertheless, I think this is a great program to use if you want to teach your older children to type, or to reinforce their typing skills.
This is also a good site for teaching typing which features both games and lessons. This is also primarily for older children who need less visual reinforcement. The games are great reinforcements after your child finishes the lesson, however, I’d make sure that your children actually do the lessons first instead of skipping primarily to the gaming section.
Al Bunny has been teaching kids to type for about 14 years! Over the years, the program has been modified and updated of course.
I have to admit that I personally wasn’t too thrilled with the whole program, but my children love it! I’ve found that if they like a program, they are more likely to actually use it and to continue to use it. Therefore, I’m including it in my post. The one downside of this typing program is that you must download the program from the site in order to use it. It is free though.
This site is great because it has a bunch of typing games. Some of the games allow you to practice your number skills. Other games allow you to practice your skills typing words. Others still are for beginners and help children practice typing their letters.
Of course, it is important to preview any game before you allow your child to play. Make sure that you feel it is appropriate for your child and that it is neither too difficult nor too easy for your child’s typing skill level. One thing that could be frustrating for your child is that all of these games seem to be focused on speed. Some children find this to be a fun challenge; other children find this to be overwhelming. If your child isn’t into speed based games, just continue to practice the typing lessons for reinforcement. Remember that your child doesn’t need to play games in order to learn to type!
As with any skill, it takes some practice and time to learn to type. However, your child will find that the effort it takes to learn typing skills will be well worth it!
Have you had success with a particular typing program or used a particular game to help your children with their typing skills? Please post!