The secret of learning to touch type can be summed up in one word. Practice!
It is only through constant practice that a person; child or adult, can learn to touch type. Whether you follow the instructions from a touch typing book, or more commonly these days, use one of the many software touch typing tutors, doesn't really matter. But practice does. It is important to practice, so we'll say it again. PRACTICE!
Practice every day. Practice whenever you can, and touch typing will become a natural part of you and your children's computer life.
And with only 5 minutes practice every day, it doesn't take long to start to put to great use what has been learnt in the lessons.
There isn't enough time in the week to teach touch typing, you say.
We think that this is actually a poor argument for not teaching touch typing. You already know how much time is wasted because the children don't know where the keys are or are slow at typing. But if you spend time - yes, valuable curriculum time - teaching 7, 8 or 9 year olds to touch type then all the other IT lessons, the ones in the curriculum that the children and school get judged on, will be so much easier. Once the children have learnt to touch type, their increased confidence and ability to use a keyboard will mean that more of the curriculum can be covered and in less time.
At what age should children start to learn to touch type?
The answer to this is really as soon as they have learnt the alphabet (preferably both lower and upper case letters) and have reasonable control of, and dexterity, in their fingers. Typically this will be between 7 and 9 years of age.
How should children go about learning to touch type?
With a computer in a classroom set up with a MyKids keyboard & mouse
and a touch typing tutor, such as BusyFingers
. Encouraging each child to spend just 5 to 10 minutes a day, every day, practising the lessons and working their way gradually through the different levels will give the child a sound grasp of touch typing in just one term.
Alternatively, set aside 10 minutes in one, perhaps the only one, IT lesson during the week that the children have and make touch typing the focus of that 10 minutes. The time spent at the beginning of that lesson, if it is pursued throughout the year, will have such a positive effect that any time "lost" while teaching touch typing will be made up many times over in the remaining terms. It is likely that the children's rate of progress will be slower than other children who are getting regular practice every day, but with persistent practice the children will start to touch type over the course of the year.
So, with regular practice - however it is achieved - you and your children will learn the valuable skill of touch typing amazingly quickly.
With just 5 to 10 minutes practice every day it doesn't take long to become a touch typist.
One last thought on the secret of learning to touch type. When learning to touch type, accuracy is much more important than speed. This is because, even with an accuracy of 90 % it equates to one mistake every 10 characters, which translates to one spelling mistake approximately every second word. Which isn't really very good!
So, in conclusion, PRACTICE regularly and focus on ACCURACY and touch typing will soon become as natural as breathing!!