I love having the ability to type quickly. It is a useful skill in many areas of life, so it is something that I want my children to become proficient in. We've done it off and on over the years in our homeschool, but I never dreamed of a program for my K-2 children. I've always just had the older kids in some sort of typing program. Now I have discovered that there is a program for young children. We had the opportunity to review such a program called Read, Write, and Type by Talking Fingers, Inc. This program is more than just typing though, it's also meant to teach reading and writing as well through phonics and spelling.
We received a year subscription for this online program, and we didn't have to download anything to begin. With our log-in we can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. After we log in the 40-lesson adventure begins. It has many fun characters, and a story line that is easy to follow through. It takes the child through each key, introducing them in groups of 4. They type words and sentences all throughout the lessons, and the game gently guides them through correct spelling and punctuation. They don't even realize they are doing spelling, typing, and writing all the while!
I tried this out with both my 5 year-old and my 7 year-old. This program does teach the correct finger positioning for each letter, and it was interesting to see how they each would work. My 5-year old really did well with holding his fingers in the right place at the beginning. But after a bit he got tired of holding his hands that way, and would use the most convenient finger. It'll take some time for him for sure. I didn't push it too much. I would just remind him once in a while that he had special fingers to use for each key, and see if he could remember. Also, he had a hard time after the first set of 4 fingers. The words started getting too hard for him to sound out, so I would have to sit down with him to help him with different challenges. He did pretty well overall though.
Aric, my 7year old had the same problem not being able to keep his fingers where they should be the whole time. But, he moved through a lot of the keys much more quickly still. For him this is more a typing and spelling practice since he already knows all of his letters and sounds. He enjoys the story line as well.
The goal of the whole thing is to beat Vexor (the little green guy) and recover all the letters that he stole. As each letter is recovered it is put back onto the keyboard on the main screen (pictured above). The kids loved trying to beat Vexor through different games and typing challenges to get those letters back. At the end of each level, or 4 letter group they learn, they get a Certificate of Merit that they have the option of printing up. It shows each letter mastered, and the name of the character associated with that letter on the keyboard.
Overall, I think this is a great multi-sensory program. I loved the uniqueness of it, and that it introduces typing in such a fun way. I like the simplicity of the whole thing. The games are pretty straight forward, but yet they are fun and engaging. I love how it focuses on sounding out sounds and words all throughout. It is something I think my kids aren't very strong in. I would highly recommend this program if you are interested in a different and fun reading program for your K-2 child.
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