Typing is a skill of the past and of the future. Back then, this skill was necessary for secretaries or assistants because they needed to produce documents, encode information, or take down what was being dictated more efficiently. But, today, it’s not just secretaries who need this skill anymore. Practically everyone needs to have good typing skills because computers are everywhere!
Life as we know it will change in the future, and machines will become more involved in our lives, more so than they are now. As early as you can, you have to allow your children to develop one of the most basic skills that deals with technology, which is typing.
Is Typing Really That Important?
Right now, you may be thinking that typing may seems less important than other skills, but you have to look at it from a practical point of view. Your kids don’t have to learn how to type, but when they do, they’re actually learning a skill that they cannot pickup inside the classroom. Having good typing skill may also have the following benefits to your children:
Doing Homework More Efficiently
Your kids are going to submit a lot of paperwork and do a lot of research for school. Although they could make do with just typing one letter at a time using one finger, it can be time consuming and tedious. On the contrary, if your kids already learned how to type properly early on, then they save so much time and do their school work more efficiently.
Improved English Skills
It’s hard to believe, but learning how to type properly can actually improve your child’s English skills in terms of writing and spelling. When you type out sentences, you have to be more conscious and purposeful because you want to get the words right. Your kids are the same; they really have to focus on the translating what they want to type through their fingers, thereby improving cognition.
As mentioned, typing is going to be a major skill in the future. If your child already has this skill honed, then he or she will have an advantage career-wise. According to Professor John Sutherland of University College London, “Typing is an incredibly important skill both in a personal and professional context. If it is a skill you lack, you are very much limiting your chances in the jobs marketplace.”
Can Help Kids With Learning Disabilities
If your child has ADHD, dysgraphia, or dyslexia, it’s most likely that he or she will have difficulty writing by hand. When in a classroom, your child may feel embarrassed or frustrated, so instead of focusing on hand-writing, suggest typing as an alternative.
Better for Your Child’s Posture
How is typing going to benefit my child’s posture, you ask? Well, knowing how to type properly will save them from hunching over the keyboard to see what specific keys to press. Also, using all of the fingers when typing reduces the risk of stress injuries.
When Should Kids Learn to Type?
After reading all of the benefits, you may feel excited to get your tyke learning how to type as soon as possible. But, there is a right age to get them started. Physically, finger span and motor coordination to touch type are gained when kids reach around 7 and 8 years old. You may enroll your kid to a typing class or purchase a typing program for him or her when he or she reaches the fourth grade.
The Best Typing Programs for Kids
All the Right Type 4 Online
All the Right Type 4 Online is an interesting typing program because it was developed by keyboard specialists who made the methodology and learning sequence of the program more efficient. The makers and designers of the program recognize that one of the traditional ways to improve someone’s typing skills is through repetition and practice. However, they have found a way around that with their targeted approach to typing.
3 Versions of the Program
Currently, there are three versions of the program that can cater to your specific needs: School Version, Home Version, and iPad Version. Of course, the school version is more for incorporating the program into the usual educational curriculum. But, if it’s for personal use, you should check out the Home and iPad Version.
Which Personal Use Version is Right for My Child?
Based off of the descriptions, the Home Version seems to be more comprehensive than iPad Version. However, if it is mobility you want, the version for the iPad may be more ideal. On top of that, kids may be able to engage with the games better while on the iPad because it’s a device that they are already familiar with.
In terms of the features, though, both versions have lessons, games, and puzzles that aim to improve your child’s typing skills. You can also track your child’s progress with both versions through the Record Library.
Learn More: www.atrtonline.com/index.html
Mavis Beacon Keyboarding Kidz
It’s interesting to note that this keyboarding program was released in 2010, but is still being offered today to help kids how to be pro keyboarders through games and fun lessons. Mavis and Dex, the main characters in the program, will be with your kids every step of the way. Some of the highlighted features include:
- 250+ keyboarding lessons, including 10 key
- 200+ practice session topics
- 10 typing games
- Customizable music selection
- Detailed curriculum map
And, of course, parents will have access to a page where they can see their child’s progress. The parents who have bought the program for their children say that the customizable music is fun for the children and that they, too, remember their own experience with the earlier version of this program when they were young.
Focus of the Program
Definitely, the goal is for the user to improve his or her keyboarding skills, including speed and accuracy. What’s more is that you, the parent, can set specific words-per-minute goals depending on the level of your child. The kids can also see what keys they need to practice and what keys they are already familiar with, on top of playing games.
The main focus of the TypingClub program is to teach kids or students how to touch type. Touch typing is typing with the use of all of your fingers without glancing on the keyboard. You don’t have to download anything because everything is on the website, and it covers everything from the very basics like finger positioning to accuracy.
Can You Believe It’s Free?
Yes, you read that right! You can actually go on the website and start the lessons for your child as early as now. The first thing is to take a placement test. How you do on the test will determine the initial number of lessons to be unlocked. Then you go through one lesson at a time, starting with Home Row.
Then you make your way to the advanced level 9! A long way to go, but with interesting videos at the beginning of every lesson, you will eventually get to the end topic.
Learn More: www.typingclub.com
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum 5
Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum 5 will teach children the basics – proper hand positioning, speed and accuracy – through challenges and games. There are three places for kids to explore, each one with its own lessons and game to go through. Your kids will love exploring and conquering one place after the other!
Creative Lessons & Challenges
First, your children will learn about the basics like proper posture, finger position, and finger/key placement. Then, you can choose from a customized lesson plan for your kids to follow. There are about 10 lesson plans that target a specific age group or area of improvement. For example, the age group of 9 – 10 years old has a designated lesson plan. Those who would like to learn from the “Home Row” also have a designated lesson plan for them to follow.
The challenges focus more on improving speed and accuracy while the multi-level games make learning to type an activity that’s more enjoyable.
Epistory – Typing Chronicles
Epistory is for the bigger kids! You have never seen a typing game like this before. Do you know those picturesque RPG (Role-Playing Games) that your kids play on their playstation or xbox? This typing game is very similar to that. The main character is a woman who has amnesia. The main goal is for the player to explore as much territory as possible, while uncovering clues that will help the woman bring back her memories.
A True Adventure Game
If you visit the website, you’ll be able get a glimpse of how the game looks and it is wonderful! Your kids are going to be amazed. Epistory focuses more on practicing combined with gameplay and a strong visual. This is for you if you already have older kids who are fed up with typing programs that they have already gone through. Your kids will appreciate this fresh take on learning how to sharpen your keyboarding skills, but they have to have an already established foundation.
Learn More: www.epistorygame.com
Edutyping is program that teaches kids (K-12) keyboarding online. This program includes interactive games, lessons, reinforcements, timed tests, and other features that can steadily help students through sequential typing lessons. What’s great about this program is that it’s divided into two levels – EduTyping Jr and EduTyping Secondary, to address the specific needs of the students on each level.
Earning Badges and Getting Feedback
With both levels, students can earn badges every time they conquer a challenge. They’re also graded in real-time with the program giving an analysis of their WPM (words per minute) as well as accuracy. When the students have gone through everything, they can go to the practice library to access interesting content-based paragraphs.
Managing Problem Areas
A wonderful feature that parents should pay attention to is that the problem areas of each user is documented. Then, the program will have targeted practices so that those specific problem areas are dealt with. Every progress that the user names is recorded in the “My Progress” page.
Learn More: www.edutyping.com
Similar to some of the programs listed here, Typing.com diverts from the traditional Home Row instructions by starting with the F, J, and space keys, then moving on to U, R, and K, then adding more keys from there. There are games and challenging practice exercises which will help students transition to words, sentences, and paragraphs.
Free Version with an Option to go Premium
When you go to the website, you can start automatically because typing.com is free. Your child will get beginner lessons, all the way to advance. There’s also a section for digital literacy and coding, plus a bit more extras like fun to type exercises and stories. Although this is a free program, the website actually keeps track of the user’s problem areas so you can take note of them.
You can even select a theme for your child to make the learning process even more interesting! The free version is not bad at all, but you’ll be able to go ad free and have the full support of the developers when you go premium.
Learn More: www.typing.com
Dance Mat Typing
This typing program is great for kids who are in the 1st to 5th Grade. It’s visually appealing and it’s packed with silly graphics and songs that can easily catch the attention of young ones. There are four levels in total, each one with 3 stages to go through. The program was designed around the Home Row Method.
Unlocking Musical Numbers
When a student is done with an exercise, a musical number is unlocked and sung on stage by the entertaining animal host. Unfortunately, parents don’t have the option to skip through the song numbers, but the kids won’t mind for sure. There’s no penalty for making errors in the game, and you can print certificates for your children’s accomplishments. Do take not, however, that once this program is done, further practice is needed or you should enroll your child in a program that has a higher level of lessons.
Is racing something that your child is into? Or, maybe he or she is really into customizing cars and racing with friends? Well, this is the kind of typing game that will improve your child’s skill in no time. It’s basically a racing game that runs on typing speed and accuracy. The faster and the more precise your child types, the more definite his or her win will be.
Great for Practice
Every kid knows that it’s fun to play racing games because you can customize the cars and be competitive with other players or your friends. Nitro Type is no different. The more a player wins, the more he or she earns cash to buy items to customize the vehicles with. One downside, however, is that it’s more for practicing as it doesn’t have set lessons like the rest of the programs on this list.
Learn More: www.nitrotype.com/race
QwertyTown is a fun keyboarding program with social functions. It was specifically designed for children from the 1st to the 8th Grade. The keyboarding lessons as leveled where they are taught in, where else, QwertyTown.
Learning and Socializing
Users will have to make their own avatar or character to get started. Similar to other programs, each lesson must be gone through in order to proceed to the next. The lessons are helpful, but on unique point of this program is its social functions. Users can communicate with each other and even challenge each other to play games. Everything is shown on the player’s dashboard, but parents and educators also have a dashboard of their own. It’s safe although there’s a social aspect to it since all of the transcripts of the messages through the QwertyTown inbox can be accessed by the parent or educator.
Learn More: www.qwertytown.com
The Typing Quest Program was designed for kids from the 1st to the 12th Grade. There are a variety of lessons available, beginning with keyboard configuration and typing from the Home Row. It goes all the way down to typing multi-paragraphs, special characters, and 10-key. Teacher tools are available so it is a program that can be incorporated with the school curriculum or activities.
Teacher Tools & Custom Text
What’s great about Typing Quest is that it supports multiple languages, so teacher, students, and parents from countries other than the United States can also get in on the typing action. The program, itself, tries to foster good habits when it comes to typing so when students are done with the course, typing efficiently will be second nature.
The interface or the way the program was designed is kid-friendly and colorful, making learning fun, interesting and more pleasant for the kids. The games are also a plus because it makes learning how to keyboard properly a task that doesn’t make one yawn.
Learn More: www.typingpal.com/en
Students from the Elementary to Highschool level will enjoy honing their keyboarding technique with Typing Pal. The lessons focus on accuracy before speed. There will be a lot of repetition in every lesson, but the virtual environments make the exercises more interesting with a colorful keyboard and fun, of course, fun games.
Student Management Tools
One of the strongest advantages of the Typing Pal program is its strong student management tools. Setting and group activities can be modified, and even the lessons are recorded so playback can be done by the parent or educator who wants to monitor a child’s progress. The interface is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. Animations are fun to look at which encourages students to eyes to remain on the screen and not on the keyboard.
Learn More: www.typingpal.com/en
TapTyping – Tap Trainer
It is the 21st century and it is not just the usual keyboards on laptops or desktops that kids deal with. They may also be faced with a screen keyboard on their various devices. While most of the programs on this list specifically deal with the usual hardware keyboard, we added this program to cover the digital version for iPad owners.
Tapping and Skill-Building
Students can progress using the TapTyping app which they can download on the app store. They would have to go through lessons to build their skills. The app is straightforward, and gives the students a good amount of feedback that parents can review. Then the points that need improvement can then be practiced in a customized way. However, the app is all lessons and not enough play. Older kids who are already in highschool may be able to finish the lessons, but this app is not recommended for young kids. They’re attention will surely divert to somewhere else fairly quickly.
As with learning other lessons, learning how to type more efficiently or sharpening the keyboarding skills your child already has will require patience, especially from you, the parent. Most of the programs on the list may seem fun, it’s always best to check on the progress of your child personally.
Allow him or her to go at his or her own pace. Don’t force things. Instead, make each typing lesson more interactive and fun by becoming more involved – play the games with your child, do the lessons with your kid, and so on. Your little one (or maybe not so little one) will learn faster.
Did We Miss a Good Typing Program for Kids?
We tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but we might have missed a few programs. If we didn’t include one that your kids have already tried, please send us a message or leave a comment below on what program it is. We will try to research about it and include it on the list.