"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Christian Keyboarding. A TOS Review.


I remember taking typing class my junior year of high school.  I may be dating myself here, but that class involved rows and rows of (big deal, here...) electric typewriters, with our teacher in the front of the class, reciting the "home row" keys in a monotone.

Hated that class.

Later, absolutely LOVED that I took it!

So it is very important to me, especially in the electronic culture that we are living in now, that my kids have great typing skills--or keyboarding skills, as they are called now.  I think, to keep up with the Jones', that they need to be comfortable using the computer, including making simple presentations, internet safety skills, and, good old fashioned typing!

We have used several game-style programs in the past, as I have taken my kiddos on an eternal hunt for the "right" program to teach them keyboarding.  There are online programs, CD-ROM programs, and I think we might have tried them all.  Seriously, ALL of them!

Then we received Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version.  It sells for $12.95 on the website.  This version is targeted at grades K-5.  There is another version, Keyboarding for the Christian School, for grades 6 and up.

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Be still my heart.  This was the typing class I remembered.

We received the book in electronic format, and I printed the lessons off as we needed them, so the kids could work off of print text, just like we used to!  I know other friends who were reviewing this product  used the e-book straight off of their Kindle, iPad, etc.

Before the first lesson, there are instructions on proper keyboarding technique, including home row keys and hand and arm placement. The first 25 lessons cover all of the letters in the keyboard, two at a time, while additional lessons cover: numbers, number pads, centering text, enumerated lists, and timed writing.

This is definitely old school, people! The kids were copying short lines of text that looked like this:  "ffff jjjj ffff jjjj fjfj".   However, as they added letters to their repertoire, they started to type out phrases, short sentences, and then Bible verses. There were also Bible verses to open each chapter / lesson.

So, I think you can already tell how impressed I was with this program. 

 Unfortunately, my kids, not so much.

Turtle has already been through several typing--excuse me--keyboarding programs with me already. She is pretty convinced that she knows how to type well, although I am convinced that she could use more help in that area. I sold this program to her as a "review" for her, just for practice. Truthfully, it was a bit of a struggle to get her to do it, and she thought it was "boring".

Learning to type kind of is boring, though.

One thing that really helped with this is that the lessons are extremely short. I think that made our experience with this keyboarding program much more successful. We can handle short spurts of boring to learn an extremely important skill. After all, look at the multiplication tables, right?

My daughter Firefly wouldn't get near it. In fairness, she does not use the computer much at all yet, as the screen time doesn't agree with her sensory issues. She will need to learn to type, especially as it is so hard for her to write, and I plan to use this program with her when she is ready for the push.  It is simple, it is quick, and the printed pages she can copy off of are easy to read and non-distracting.  All of these things are pluses for my Firefly.

I really liked the no-nonsense approach to learning keyboarding.  I enjoyed that the Bible verses used were verses that tied into the importance of language and clear communication.  I enjoyed that it was quick and could be worked on independently, for the most part, although I would watch occasionally to make sure that Turtle was using the correct hand placement and not peeking at the keys.  I think that this program could be used successfully with children who do well, or maybe better, without the bells and whistles of online game-type programs.

Christian Keyboarding has several products they offer to help students learn important computer skills. Some others are:  Columns, Tables, and also Teacher Tools for their Keyboarding products.  They also have a website and a Facebook page to learn more about their products. 

 And right now, they have a coupon code to get Keyboarding for the Christian School for 20 percent off.  The code you want to use at checkout is SUMMER2012.

My crew mates are also rewiewing Keyboarding for Christian Schools. See what they thought of it here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine (or my kiddos'!)


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