Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary Version

I recall 25 years ago at the tender age of 17 sitting in this huge room full of girls, and everyone tapping away very slowly at their electric typewriters. I was intimidated by those who seemed to catch on faster than myself and they seemed to stay that way the whole way through the 6 months we were together. When I was young I desired to work in the secretarial industry, and so this was the beginning place to start. Goodness I sound like I am talking about The Sound of Music. Well that is what they say in the movie “Lets start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…..” I love that movie.

No what I am babbling on about is learning how to type. I had 6 months to learn how to type without looking at the letters and getting my speed up and then trying to compete with the rest of the world in getting a job.

I recently received just before Christmas an email with a PDF book attached for me to use as an Old Schoolhouse Crew Reviewer called “Keyboarding for the Christian School - Elementary Version.” I could not believe it. I have recently been praying about how to teach my son to type without the standard 2 finger stuff going on. This book must be a gift from the Lord.
I opened it up and read through it quickly not taking in any detail. On reading this through in January a second time I noticed the attention to simple detail is excellent. This book is written in simple easy to understand language for any child who has learned to read and there are only a few words that may be difficult for them to grasp.

The first focus is to learn where to hold your fingers on the keyboard, how to sit correctly in the typing chair, what letters you will find on the homerow (where your fingers are stationed.) In a sequence the lessons take you through the letters respectively and the order they need to be learned in, so that by the time the course is completed your fingers will automatically know and type the right keys. The efficiency by the end of the lessons is achieved by the constant repetition of various letters in a certain order, and it seems that by the time the student reaches writing sentences he will be not quite perfect but close to it. Touch typing is a skill that will help anyone get a little further in life especially if you are online for a large period of time each day. I see my husband struggle daily with this computer.

Once the student is ‘fluent’ in how to use the letter keys, the number and symbol keys are taught, before moving on to the number keypad. This is where my son is very weak especially when doing his online math games and worksheets as he is not fast enough on the keypad and gets frustrated. I am looking forward to the day he conquers this issue.

When I reached the part about learning to format the document by centering both horizontally and vertically, numbering lists, and the timing exercises my memory was refreshed some more on how to keep my work neat and tidy when writing documents.

There are scriptures to practice with in the centering article as well as dotted throughout the file. At the end of the lessons there is a table outlining what the approximate speeds should be for the student after a certain number of weeks on the course, as well as during the ‘test exercises.’
From watching my son work slowly through a lesson a day he is gaining confidence in his ability to use the keyboard and although I do need to remind him about where his fingers need to rest when typing he is getting the hang of it. (as long as I am not leaning over his shoulder either!!) I am enjoying seeing the change in him even as a result of this small bit of independence.

This program was sent to me as I said before as I am a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew for doing reviews for 2009/10. I was not paid for this review but received the program complimentary.

I would recommend this being an easy to implement ‘extra’ in your homeschool or during one summer if your children are in public/private school. The program I reviewed sells for $12.95 and is for Grades K-5. There is a version for older children in Grades 6 and up called “Keyboarding for the Christian School Revised Version” priced at $15.95. There are samples available on the website that can be downloaded for you to try before you buy the program. I like that.

On doing this review tonight I noticed the author Leanne Beitel has a special offer 2010 New Year special for two e-books which includes both Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition and the Elementary Edition for only $22! That is a great deal and will cover you all the way through High School aged children if you are blessed enough to have that wide range!
The TOS Crew ladies and gentlemen have tried this product with their children who are obviously older than my one recruit so their opinions may help you decide whether this product will benefit your family and school or not. Their reviews and links are at the following:

This vendor's website is available by clicking the link below:

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