I am not writing this article to you, just to write it. I am writing it as a warning, as advice, from one mom to another. Please teach your children how to type. Teaching kids to type is important. I am speaking from experience. Hear me out for a moment.
It was embarrassing, just plain embarrassing. See, I was in the corporate world with two full-screen computers side by side, and managing a small team of five. Guess what one thing I was unable to do that all my staff was fluent in? You guessed it, type without looking at the keyboard or touch-typing.
Up until recently, I just lived my life envious of people who could type while looking at their screen and not their keyboard. It was this secret regret I had in life that didn’t impact much of anything except that it would have made my life so much easier.
When I was a teenager, I wasn’t a very good student. I hardly went to class, to be honest. One class that I barely attended, haunted me through adulthood. That is right — computer class, where they taught students touch typing.
If I regret skipping any class, it is that one. Why you ask? The reason is that every other subject I was able to catch up with in college. I mean, even in Algebra, I had to take an intermediate level Algebra before taking the full credit course. BUT touch typing didn’t work like that. In typing, you either know it or you don’t.
Why is teaching kids to type important to me?
Typing is a skill you can take with you throughout your lifetime. I type fast, but I type looking at my keyboard. As much as I hate to admit it, not knowing how to touch type equals wasted time hunting for keys and more wasted time correcting what you have misspelled. It is a nightmare. And it hurts my neck.
I say nightmare because once I started college, I fell in love with writing. The problem with that was that writing didn’t exclusively mean pen and paper writing anymore. When writers write, they sit at a PC and go at it.
When you are a writer, touch typing is such a huge benefit that it can add a whole new level of stress if you don’t know to do it. It adds time to your writing and adds even more time in editing. Again, I am speaking from experience here.
I decided to try to teach myself touch typing a while ago (as an adult), and it is like learning a new language for me. I feel like my brain can’t handle it. I am taking baby steps, but don’t let your kids turn out like me.
Make sure that your children, no matter the career path they want or choose, learn touch typing. It will make their lives easier and will benefit them in both their workplace and personally.
Why teaching kids how to type is important, in general?
Teaching kids how to type improves writing skills. If your kids write slowly, have sloppy handwriting, or struggle with motor-function or dexterity, typing can benefit them tremendously. Instead of being intimidated to write their thoughts down on paper, they can type them and get rid of anxiety caused by trying to remember which direction the “b” or “d” goes, or whether their handwriting is neat enough.
Teaching kids how to type helps students focus on tasks. I work from home, and I know how distracting life can get. When a child hunts for letters to type on a keyboard it distracts them, even for a moment. Think of how hard it is when you see a bird out the window or a child calls your name. Now think for a moment how your child gets distracted when they have to start and stop while typing. Your child can more easily organize their thoughts as they write if they learn touch typing.
Teaching kids how to type strengthens their reading skills. As children learn to type, they begin to recognize high-frequency words by sight, which allows them to leave the actual decoding of words for harder vocabulary.
Teaching kids to type provides the catalyst for lifelong computer skills. As students grow older, typing skills impact longer assignments in school, the ability to obtain better employment, and turning in assignments/work in a more timely manner.
Teaching kids to type helps with learning difficulties. Sound-letter correspondence tends to be a challenge when learning to read. Typing provides children with the practice they need for sound-letter correspondence to build on fluency. Typing is a lot easier than writing by hand for many kids, and this intern builds their confidence.
Quick tips for teaching your kids how to type:
- Make it fun! A playful approach to typing can help kids motivated. Find a fun typing app or programs your kids will enjoy.
- Value your students’ accuracy over their speed.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Encourage good posture and make sure your students take breaks.
- Start as early as possible (my adult brain is having a hard time touch typing, but young minds grasp information more easily)
- Check out these FREE learning how to type resources for your kids.
Learning to touch type is arguably one of the most necessary skills of modern times for our children. For instance, by the time a student reaches high school, 99% of their assignments must be typed. In college, it is fair to say that the percentage is the same.
When someone looked around my shoulder while I was typing, or they were dictating something for me to type, my anxiety weighed heavy on me as they discovered my flaw. The hunt-and-peck method of typing is extremely slow, and the number of typos to be corrected can get extremely frustrating for students.
Once your kid learns how to type without looking at the keyboard, they no longer waste unnecessary time and cognitive energy when typing. Allow your child’s brain the freedom it needs to be creative by teaching them the importance of learning how to type.
Explore some of these resources to help your students learn to type:
ABC Keyboard LearningTyping Instructor Platinum for Kids 6 – Mac [Download]Type It!Kids Laptop – Alphabet, Numbers, Animals Educational 2Fisher-Price Fun-2-Learn Smart TabletTyping Instructor for Kids Platinum 5Kid’s Typing BundleDisney Mickey’s Typing Adventure Web – One Year Subscription [Online Code]Typing Instructor for KidsTypesy – Typing Tutor Software [Download]
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!