3 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Type
These days my fingers fly over the keys thanks to years of practice but touch typing used to be a struggle for me like it is for many kids. Whenever one of my students would comment in awe of my typing speed I’d always say, “Would you believe that I once got a C- in typing class in middle school?”
“Practice makes perfect,” I would tell my shocked students, recalling sitting in my middle school typing class and trying to remember the placement of the keys to avoid mistakes in our daily practice.
With 26 letters randomly placed on the keyboard, typing without looking at the keys is no easy task for smaller hands whose fingers can’t easily reach the keys in the first place. The practice of hunting and pecking is a laborious one and makes word processing a tedious task. These days typing is sometimes included in school computer curriculum but it never hurts to provide additional opportunities to practice at home.
Here are three easy things that you can do to assist your child with their typing skills:
Allow your child to practice typing as much as possible. Writing stories on the computer, sending emails to the grandparents or a pal up the street, or even typing on your smartphones keyboard helps to familiarize your child with the placement of the different letters and punctuation marks on a keyboard.
Include typing practice into screen time. You can certainly purchase typing software but why not take advantage of the BBC’s free online Dance Mat Typing. With 12 stages, lessons are broken down into manageable chunks and designed to be fun for elementary ages at no cost. If you’re looking to purchase a program, our school system always used Type to Learn 3.
Be patient. Luckily my parents weren’t upset about that C- about typing because they realized that typing is not only developmental, but also a skill that comes with repeated practice.
Man typing on a keyboard via ShutterStock