Typing has become as much a part of elementary school curriculum as reading, writing and arithmetic. When used properly, typing games equip students with proper keyboarding techniques, eliminate bad habits and help crank out typed material quickly and accurately. Whether you install the same typing programs at home that your child’s elementary school uses or tap into other online games, 10 minutes of typing practice a day will turn your little one into a proficient typist by the time he reaches middle school.
Many schools introduce typing basics to kindergartners, even if it’s using one finger to diligently search and press the appropriate key for each letter of their name. Kindergartners have a double learning curve, if they do not recognize all the letters of the alphabet. Most kindergarten typing programs not only help kindergarteners find proper keys on the keyboard, typing games identify simple word combinations. “Kid Keys” appeals to kindergarteners displaying easy-to-find letters, introducing home row keys and practicing both upper and lower case letters. “Keyboarding Zoo” is a free online program that gives kindergartners practice, typing each letter of the alphabet based on familiar zoo animals.
First and Second Grades
Most first- and second-graders build on keyboard letter and number recognition learned in kindergarten, graduating from “hunting and pecking” to experimenting using two hands. “Type to Learn Junior” includes activities that not only provide practice for simple words, but simple sentences as well. Students develop the proper habit of watching the computer screen as they type letters based on keyboard touch and correct finger positioning. “Type to Learn Junior New Keys for Kids” expands on “Type to Learn Junior” instructing students how to begin sentences using capital letters, insert proper punctuation and type common Internet symbols including email addresses and website links. BBC’s “Dance Mat Typing” provides typing practice both at home and school allowing your child to pick and choose which keys he needs additional practice on.
Third Through Fifth Grades
By the time kids reach puberty, many students are expected to have mastered the keyboard. Third- through fifth-grade typing experience concentrates on inputting stories, vocabulary words and media presentations. “Type to Learn 3” takes your child on time travel missions, venturing through home position, warm up exercises, new keys, reviews and tests. Students progress at their own speed and typing accuracy. “Type Through Time” builds on “Type to Learn 3” lessons introducing kids to historical moments and imagined events in the future. Buying “Type Through Time” for your home is a wise investment because the software moves beyond fifth-grade keyboardists, through seniors in high school. Vocabulary’s website contains free online typing games which tests your child’s vocabulary and spelling skills as he types state names, animals and sport names.
Choices for All Ages
Because of the many typing education choices available on your home computer, finding the right one geared for your child can be daunting. “Typing Instructor” offers a simple, inexpensive program with the added bonus of teaching Spanish, as well as English learners. Customize “Typing Instructor” for your child, watching his typing skills flourish under personal lessons, games and music. Sponge Bob helps your young one win the undersea typing tournament in “SpongeBob SquarePants Typing.” All of your child’s favorite Sponge Bob characters spur him on toward victory.
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