Disclosure: I received the Keyboard Classroom software to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
Our children are still young with our oldest being seven years old. Something that is different now than when I was seven is the fact that he can not only use the computer, but he can do his homeschool work on the computer independently as well. I just have to get him started, and he’s all set to go. Our six year old is fairly proficient with the computer as well! This is wonderful in that it gives me one on one time with one of the children that is not on the computer at the time but something that worried me is some of the programs were already asking them to type.
Young children that begin to type on their own will use the “one finger” method, and this can develop bad habits. In fact, my husband had never learned to type correctly and still has a hard time typing proficiently because of this. I knew that if our children were going to start typing on the computer they needed to learn to type correctly!
Keyboard Classroom is a typing program that was developed by educators to help children between the ages of 7 and 12 learn to type correctly and proficiently (35 WPM) within 6 months. The software uses games and challenges as incentives and short, one-minute drills that teach muscle memory. As the child progresses through the drills and completes more of the letters in the sequence with limited mistakes they have the chance to advance in rank. After they complete lessons they are given tokens they can use to play games.
Keyboard Classroom also comes with their patent pending Finger Guides that attach to the keyboard with velcro so you can easily take them off when not in use. They help assist in making sure their fingers are in the correct place while typing.
Our son is definitely motivated by rewards, so the reward based approach was very helpful. The Finger Guides were also very helpful because he had already used the computer enough that his hands were not where they needed to be at all. They have really helped him to keep his hands where they need to be. I worried that they might be a distraction, but they have been necessary to remind him to keep his hands in place.
One feature I appreciated most about Keyboard Classroom is the visual aspect. He is a very visual learner. The program highlights the letters and fingers he needs to use in different colors, which has been particularly helpful for him. In fact, he understood it better by seeing the visual examples highlighted on the screen versus when I tried to explain it! I probably should have known that! 😉
We have been really happy with Keyboard Classroom, and as children are using the computer so frequently I think it is so important to teach them to type correctly. It’s really an important skill that will save a lot of frustration!
You can purchase a Single User License for Keyboard Classroom for $39.95 and a Family License with FREE Finger Guides is just $49.95 that allows you to have up to FIVE users simultaneously! All software purchases include the Finger Guides. Finger Guides can also be purchased separately for $15.00.