You want to practice 10-15 minutes two to three times a week. Even for kindergartners. Choose a fun software program–whichever will keep their attention when they’re young. I use Type to Learn Jr. in my school until half-way through first grade, but there are other good ones. For the older children, I use Type to Learn. I have great results with it. Students are challenged, intrigued, motivated by the prizes and the levels.
Another option is online typing sites. Typingweb is good. It’s a graduated program that keeps track of your progress. If you’re picking an online program as an alternative to software, it’s important to log in so the software remembers what your child has accomplished. If you’re going to use online sites as part of an overall typing practice curriculum, here are some other good sites to try:
- Keyboard challenge—adapted to grade level http://www.abcya.com/keyboard.htm
- Keyboard practice—quick start http://www.keybr.com/
- Keyboarding Fingerjig—6 minute test of ability http://www.jonmiles.co.uk/fingerjig.php
- Keyboarding for Kids http://webinstituteforteachers.org/~gammakeys/Lesson/Lesson1.htm
- Keyboarding practice http://www.usspeller.com/keytutor.html
- Keyboarding—alphabet rain game http://www.powertyping.com/rain.shtml
- Keyboarding—barracuda game http://www.powertyping.com/baracuda/baracuda.htm
- Keyboarding—bubbles game http://www.typingmaster.com/individuals/bubbles.asp
- Keyboarding–Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/
- Keyboarding—full online course http://www.goodtyping.com/
- Keyboarding—games http://funschool.kaboose.com/fun-blaster/games/game_type_me.html
- Keyboarding—lessons and speed quiz http://www.senselang.com/
- Keyboarding—lessons http://www.typeonline.co.uk/lesson1.html
- Keyboarding—lessons http://www.typing-lessons.org/
- Keyboarding—must sign up, but free http://www.learn2type.com/
- Keyboarding—quick start http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/typing/index.htm
- Keyboarding—speed quiz http://www.webwidesoftware.com/typing-tutor/free-typing-test.htm
I recommend a hybrid of software and online. Start each session with 10-15 minutes of keyboarding and then move on to something else.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.