It has become more important than ever in today's increasingly digital world for children to learn how to type quickly and accurately. We communicate so much electronically that typing skills are essential in today's competitive job market. Teaching kids touch-typing can help lay the foundation for their academic and professional success later in life.
So what is the best and most effective way to get kids typing? Children need proper, methodical instruction to learn how to do this correctly. It is unwise to let to your child randomly strike the keyboard or try the one-fingered approach. That is not productive and is actually likely to instill poor typing habits that might be difficult or impossible to break. Typing for kids software provides structured typing instruction that is effective, engaging and age appropriate. Excellent applications such as Typing Instructor for Kids, UltraKey and Typing Quick & Easy can help children as young as six years old master the essential life skill of typing. To learn more about how these applications can help your children or students, read our articles about kids typing software.
The best typing software for kids teaches children correct finger-to-key movement across the entire keyboard and includes a variety of material to keep them motivated while they learn. To help you find the right typing software for your youngster, here is what you should look for in keyboarding software for kids.
Lessons & Drills
Children's typing software should begin by teaching the basics of proper finger placement and movement, with lessons that specifically focus on individual fingers and each hand. Such applications should also include lessons that focus on both typing accuracy and speed. Keyboarding drills, timed typing tests for kids and engaging, multi-level typing games all reinforce the skills taught in each lesson.
This kind of typing software ideally should also provide graduated typing lessons for kids. These sorts of lesson begin by focusing on a few keys at a time and gradually build to letter chains, words and sentences. Progressive instruction allows children to build on the skills they previously have learned. Fun games also keep kids typing and, without them consciously realizing it, also encourages more practice.
You also might want to investigate software that teaches children about good posture and proper hand and wrist positions while typing. This can help avoid future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome and various neck and back ailments.
Each child learns differently, so it is imperative that the typing software you choose allows you to customize various options, including challenge levels, words-per-minute goals, timed lessons, typing tests for kids and more.
If you know your child has a tendency to withdraw from projects when the going gets tough, then choose software that allows you to create custom practice material. Children can write their own stories or upload the text from their favorite books to use while practicing their typing skills.
Interactive and engaging instruction can make learning how to type easier and more enjoyable for most children. Look for typing software that offers audio dictation, keystroke sounds and virtual guide hands over the keyboard.
You might also seek motivational items such as pop-up encouragement and printable certificates of achievement. These can help kids stay motivated while learning how to type and give them well-deserved recognition for achieving typing goals.
Progress-reporting features are essential in order to gauge how a child is progressing with his or her keyboarding. Most typing software for kids tracks accuracy and words-per-minute (WPM), but you might also look for progress reports for each finger, hand and key.
Beyond reports, look for applications that display progress charts or graphs so youngsters using the software can easily track their progress and be proud of their accomplishments, which in turn will motivate them to stick with these typing lessons for kids. Some typing applications allow you to print progress reports, which again offer positive reinforcement.
Help & Support
All typing software should include a user guide or manual that explains how to use the software. The manufacturer should provide online FAQs and technical support via email or telephone for issues not addressed in the FAQs or user manual.
Touch-typing is a crucial life skill and it is helpful to learn it while young. Typing for kids software can help children of any age learn how to type properly without making it seem like drudgery.