Things sure have changed since I was a student. Back in *my* day (snicker), we didn't learn to type before high school, and then it was on those old fashioned clunky typewriters. The world has changed a LOT since then though, and in this computer age, kids need to have that skill much earlier. Which brings me to the subject of this post...
This past month, the girlies and I tried out a typing program called Keyboard Town Pals. Now, there are plenty of programs available, but Keyboard Town Pals proudly declares its uniqueness in the following ways:
Why Keyboard Town PALS is a better way to teach kids to type: Do you remember the stress of typing class? Keyboard Town PALS is different!
■Children proceed at their own pace
■The puppets, humor and music are very entertaining
■The children easily recall the storyline
■Children will want to view it again and again
■No fear of making mistakes
■No racing against the clock
Now for an example of the lesson(s). Our teacher is a cheerful character named Sunny.
She introduces the student to a cast of puppet characters that live on the keyboard - homestreet, downtown, and uptown to be more specific.
There are a couple of ways that the lessons may be completed, 2 half hour sessions, or 8 6 to 7 minute sessions. Choose the length that works best with your child's attention span. I should also note that the delete and backspace keys have been deactivated, as the creators feel it's better not to focus on mistakes that are made.
Once you log in and get to the menu, there are 8 lessons to choose from. Through a cute story line, songs and the puppets, lessons are fun to go through. Kids can go at their own pace, repeating lessons as often as they need to, although Keyboard Town Pals makes a point of saying that kids can learn to type in as little as an hour. After a short couple of minutes on a particular lesson, kids will be typing real words.
Our experience with Keyboard Town Pals:
Generally, both of the girls enjoyed the program. Since the delete and backspace keys are deactivated, there was no pressure, in either speed or accuracy, which I liked as they worked on proper finger positioning. My oldest was even practicing the finger positions in between lessons. The girls also enjoyed the puppet antics.
Now, while they did like it (mostly), they did tend to lose interest quickly, I'm not sure why, as they never had anything negative to say. My guess is that while the characters are cute, they are probably better suited to a slightly younger student than my 6 and 7 year old. Having said that, I personally like the no pressure concept of this program. There is a lot of forgiveness as the student develops the motor skills to negotiate the keyboard, and that was especially great for my easily frustrated 7 year old. These are aspects that are also well suited to those dealing with special needs.
From what we've seen and experienced with the program, this one is worth checking out to see if it's compatible with your homeschool.
You can read other TOS Homeschool reviews here:
Keyboard Town Pals
Phone: 1-866-200-8881Ages: 7-10 years
Price: $39.95 - available as a web based program, or on a CD-Rom
***I received free access to the web based Keyboard Town Pals program in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.***