Typing is, without a doubt, an indispensable skill in the world we live in. We’ve tried a few both free and paid typing programs- always looking for something that will really engage the kids, so I was really excited to be invited to try ” Read, Write & Type” from Talking Fingers Inc.
What I like most about this program is that it isn’t just a typing program. Each key is taught using the sound it makes, and then students are encouraged to practice based on the sound they hear, as well. In 40 lessons, your child will not only have learned touch-typing, but also been reinforced in reading, phonics, and spelling. The concept is really quite brilliant, and they’ve clearly worked hard to make the process fun, as well.
Each lesson is lead by “Lefty”, “Rightway”, and Vexor, the quizmaster. There are numerous other characters who are introduced along the way as well. This program is definitely a 180 from the way I learned to type, which included a series of made up words I had to execute with a piece of paper taped over the keyboard so I couldn’t see my fingers. Definitely a step up!!
Okay, it’s more like an elevator up. Work with me here, people.
Each lesson is designed to introduce the sound the child is learning to type, reinforce their typing and recognition with short exercises, and then they type a story. The modules are fun and engaging for younger children. It’s obviously designed with your younger student in mind- but my 2nd grader really enjoyed the program.
At the end of each lesson, there’s a quiz from Vexor. The rate at which your child progresses is determined not only by their score here, however, but how they do within the lesson. If they’re having a difficult time, more practice will be offered, whereas if they’re breezing through with no issues, less practice will be given. As the parent, your account allows you to choose what percentage is required to pass and also provides you with one of two reports, a student report that shows percentages and an RWT report that shows their last usage statistics. Neither of these make it really easy to drill down on specific problem areas to me, but they provide a great overview of how your child is doing.
If you’re looking to teach your 6-9 year old typing while reinforcing other skills, we really enjoyed this program. Plus, a single online license lasts 5 years and is only $35! Sibling discounts are available, as are classroom licenses and CD rom options.
My daughter is really excited that her typing speed and accuracy are improving. I am really excited that her spelling and reading are being reinforced. All in all, I would say we’re both really happy with the way this program is going for us, and in about 40 hours of work, she should be a typing ace! This would be a great “I want to play on the computer” game, or a fun summer study, too!