Making sure your kids learn to type correctly used to be the responsibility of the “keyboarding” teacher in high school. As students, we spent an entire semester learning proper hand position, key location, and drill practice.
However, with the advent of computer-based testing, there has been a HUGE push for kids as young as first and second grade to complete online testing. And that has created a multitude of concerns. The greatest of which is the fact that most elementary school teachers do not have time to implement a typing program into their already jam-packed school day.
So, how are kids going to learn how to type properly on a computer if they don’t learn at school?
Well, it means that as parents, we need to be the ones helping prepare our kids. But, don’t let that prospect worry you because I have some simple tips that will guarantee your kids learn to type properly.
How to Make Sure Your Kids Learn to Type Properly
Purchase an Actual Typing Program
You may be thinking, “Why do my kids need to use a typing program? They text all the time and use their digital devices to communicate.”
Well, you and I both know that typing on a computer keyboard is very different from texting and also very different from typing on a tablet. And in our virtual world, kids need to be able to type correctly on a keyboard.
Whenever our kids become adults, there will be some form of electronic communication involved in their chosen profession. Whether they are teachers creating lesson plans, mechanics ordering parts online, or doctors submitting patient notes or prescriptions, they will need to be able to type properly.
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Start them Early
Allowing kids to start learning how to type early is better than waiting until high school because they will develop good habits from the start. One of the most difficult things to do is reverse bad habits. So, allowing our kids to learn how to type correctly from the beginning will be so much easier than trying to fix bad habits later.
Get Them An Actual Keyboard
Typing instruction needs to be practiced on a keyboard and not on a touch screen. There are great typing apps that your child can use on a touch screen device occasionally, but for the purpose of learning how to type, I would focus my attention on typing programs for kids that teach hand placement.
They need to feel the keys to learn the location and positions of the keys appropriately. This will help them type more quickly and hopefully avoid unnecessary damage to hands and wrists due to improper hand placement.
Have Them Practice Consistently
Practice doesn’t make perfect, but practice certainly makes better. 🙂 Kids really need to practice this skill every day to become proficient, but it doesn’t have to be super-intensive.
Each lesson is only a few minutes in length. Simply have them complete one or two lessons each day, and this will provide them with the consistent practice they need to become skilled typists.
Let Them Use Games Once They Have Become Proficient
Once your kids have shown mastery of hand placement, you can introduce games. However, you don’t want to let kids start using games until they have mastered hand placement. They will get so focused on “beating the clock” or winning the game that they will forget everything they have learned. They will revert back to the old hunt and peck method of typing.
However, once they have proven that they know where to put their hands and they just want to find some “cool” typing games, there are tons of typing games for kids available and many of them are free. You can find everything from “fun” typing games to “fast” typing games.
Just remember that learning the essentials through a program first will help them develop those good hand placement habits.
At some point or another, everyone should be taught how to type properly. With the advent of online testing, our kids need to be able to type proficiently much earlier than we did. Thus, we have to be certain that our kids are prepared. By applying these 5 tips, your kids will be proper typists in no time!