Typing Tips for Parents

Typing Tips for Parents When should I start teaching my child to type? Let preschoolers play with preschool software so that the computer keyboard and mouse become familiar tools Children should have fairly good reading skills developed before learning to type; many children reach this stage between ages 6 and 8 years old You can tell if a child is coordinated enough to begin typing if a child can tie shoes with eyes shut—starting typing lessons before this level of dexterity is reached will be a frustrating experience for your child Teaching keyboarding in the home with you and your child, here are some ideas to consider: Develop a plan: Learning to keyboard requires perseverance, time, patience. Your child may or may not be as dedicated to this end as you are. Decide on reasonable goals, motivators and rewards for your child. Goals: Given your child's current keyboarding speed and knowledge of the layout of the keyboard, what is a reasonable speed and level of accuracy that he or she could attain? What time frame will you set for the attainment of target speed or accuracy? Set reasonable goals with your child's input. Motivators: Like anything that requires practice, keyboarding does not happen quickly. Providing motivators keeps your child well motivated. The best way to learn to keyboard is through short, regular practice sessions. Incorporate the practice of keyboarding with activities that will allow your child to see immediate results and success. What motivators can your offer to help your child keep up the practice pace? Rewards: Rewards are different from motivators. A reward is something relatively big, perhaps to be enjoyed by you and your child together to celebrate the reaching of the goal. Decide on rewards together with your child. Modifying the goal: What if it becomes apparent that they goal is not attainable in your set time frame? Do not be afraid to modify. Setting a realistic goal is far preferable to failure. Setting a new goal: Once the goal is reached, will you set another? Breaking the task into smaller pieces and constantly rethinking and resetting goals is preferable to setting a goal so far in the future that your child becomes discouraged. Remember, your child cannot defer gratification as long as you might. The following is an example of how you might go about structuring goal, motivators and rewards: Setting the goal: "Let us see if you can learn to keyboard at 20 words a minute with no errors by January 15." Providing the motivator: "If you practice 15-20 minutes 5 days a week for 5 weeks, I will buy you (a new pair of shoes? a new computer program? what is reasonable for you and your child?)" Rewarding the attainment of the goal: "If, by January 15, our goal is met, I will (take child to favorite restaurant? give a monetary reward? what is reasonable for you and your child?)" Modifying the goal: If four weeks into your plan your child is nowhere near 15 wpm, think about modifying. Perhaps you could extend the deadline or increase the error margin. Setting a new goal: Did your child meet the goal? Great! Now set a new challenge. Rethink goals, modifiers and rewards Taken from Keyboarding and Your Child: Keys to Success http://www.crews.org/curriculum/ex/compsci/keyboarding/parents.htm Resources: To learn about different typing programs to be used at home, go to http://www.educational-software-directory.net/training/typing.html Free Online Keyboarding Activities http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/cjh/appliedtech/Business/Keyboarding/Index.html