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KidzType Review – Homeschooling Curriculum

It’s a computer dominated world, and we are all living in it. And while typing was once a useful career skill for the workplace, it has now become a must-have for all learners. According to experts, the hunt and peck technique interferes with the natural flow of thoughts, which, in turn, can impede learning. That’s where touch typing comes in and why we’re so excited to share this KidzType review with you! So, what is touch typing? Touch typing is the act of typing quickly without using your sight to determine the keys. It also refers to using all ten fingers without removing them from the keyboard, but rather sliding them. This makes for efficient and fast typing skills.

So what is KidzType? KidzType is an online, touch-typing platform that includes lessons, games, exercises, practice and a finger chart to provide kids with the essential skills of keyboarding. It is geared specifically to the unique needs of young users. At the same time, the program is made simple for parents who are overseeing those educational efforts.

When you first land at KidzType, the homepage is full of Dance Mat Typing activities. You might be wondering what those are! Dance Mat Typing is an interactive game that easily takes you through the introduction, tutorials, and basics of how to touch type. It has different levels and different stages so users can learn how to touch type in a step-by-step manner. It’s great for beginners. The game uses colorful cartoons that interact and communicate with the players, easily guiding them through all the stages of touch typing. The game teaches you how to use the letter keys, basic punctuation marks, and even how to capitalize words, all while touch typing. Kids start by practicing hitting the keys f and j before moving on to asdfg and ;lkjh. The level one activities end with kids writing words using these letters. Words such as sentences like this: dad had a salad. The final level of the Dance Mat teaches the shift key.

What I love most about the Dance Mat typing is you can see the fingers you’re supposed to use next to the keyboard. The fingers and keys are color-coded so kids can easily see which finger goes with which key! The Dance Mat Typing segments are, in essence, interactive typing methods that use colors and eye-catching graphics. The tutorials begin with home-row key familiarity and each of the following segments building on the last, so kids learn letter keys, basic punctuation and capitalization. The games incorporate cartoons that engage students. Students even learn proper posture and hand and wrist positioning to help ensure they are not developing any health issues from hunching over a keyboard.

KidzType also includes typing lessons that move at a slower rate than the Dance Mat games. The first lesson begins with only the J, F, enter, and space bar. And kids can pick their time! You can practice typing for 1, 2, or 3 minutes. And as you’re working, the key you need to hit shows up in blue. The lessons include the home row, top row, bottom row, shift keys, numbers, and symbols.

And if you don’t think the exercises and lessons include enough practice, KidzType also includes a page devoted to typing practice. Your child will begin by practicing the home row keys before moving on to the other rows. This is helpful to create memorization of the keyboard and where each key resides.

The practice exercises continue through the shift key, numbers, and symbols. Then the practice exercises introduce sentences. Finally, kids get plenty of practice writing paragraphs.

Again kids can choose between 1, 2, and 3-minute practice sessions.

One thing I love so much about KidzType is that it teaches touch typing through games, rather than just drills. Because how are ninjas and zombies not a million times more fun than that lame quick brown fox and lazy dog? We all know that when kids are engaged and having fun, that is where the learning magic happens! I saw my kids having FUN while learning and that makes this momma’s heart happy. 

For example, the Type Rocket game provides kids practice typing individual keys on rockets that explode into fireworks on the screen. My older kids loved this game. They found it fun and challenging at the same time.

The younger kids loved popping balloons in Typing Balloon. It’s at a great level for beginning typists as all you need to do is type the letter rather than typing an entire word.

 

Touch-Type Read and Spell Product Review

Touch-Type Read and Spell (TTRS) offers a comprehensive touch-typing course, for students age 7 and up, based on a structured program of phonics. It features the following components, which I’m sure you’ll appreciate:

  • It’s research-based.
  • It uses the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction – the program builds literacy skills while teaching kids keyboarding.
  • It’s highly structured – yet flexible.  I like the combination!
  • It’s multi-sensory, using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (touch) senses – so it works for a variety of learners.  Homeschoolers love multi-sensory!
  • It’s modular in design.
  • The modules are short in length, with immediate/positive feedback.
  • The program offers an adaptive interface in terms of colors, fonts and designs (which your kids will like).
  • The program is suitable for users who struggle with physical impairments and specific learning difficulties, like dyslexia.
  • The program works well for ESL students.
  • It also works for adults!
  • In case you want it, optional tutor support is available.

You can check out two TTRS videos below

More on TTRS

The TTRS program contains 24 levels with 31 modules in each level.  A module typically takes a few minutes to complete.  Student success is encouraged by immediate feedback and positive reinforcement. This feedback includes a score that appears at the end of each module.  Every fifth module is a “dictation module” which relies on the auditory element to reinforce learning.

In addition to the TTRS course, there are TTRS Subject courses.  These subject courses include Grammar, Phonics, Spelling, Math, Science and more.  It’s recommended that students complete the first three levels of the main TTRS course before using TTRS Subjects.

For Home Use

TTRS works well for home use for the following reasons:

In case you’re wondering, this is what we did today

These are just a few of the screen shots.  Sometimes it takes two screens to finish a sentence – we probably should have taken a screenshot to finish the question, “Could we have a ride to ?”.  🙂

Touch-Type Read and Spell Product Review – What do I like about this program?

  • TTRS helps students learn touch typing. My kids’ typing skills are improving.
  • TTRS is enjoyable – my kids like working on the TTRS program.
  • The program can help learners with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD and dyspraxia master the keyboard and improve their reading and spelling skills.
  • TTRS works for kids – and for adults.

  • ALL the features listed below!

  • The program offers lots of bonuses!  For instance, the repetition and dictation exercises support writing fluency.
  • Plus, muscle-memory in the fingers acts as a spelling aid.

ReadandSpell.com – MORE things I like about this program

  • The company provides helpful hints along the way.  This is info I received in an email a few days after signing up –

Are you interested in using TTRS to help with spelling?

Here are a few ideas on how to get more spelling practice out of every typing session:

1. Try overtyping
Overtype a word instead of copying on the line below. In Settings turn “Copy typing” off. Next, select a fun “Copy text” color, such as purple or pink. The letters will change color as they are typed!

2. Use Remember & Repeat
This is based on a classroom best practice for spelling. If this option is on in Settings, a word will disappear from the screen when it is typed and the user will have to type it again from memory.

3. Make modules into dictations
Turn any module into a dictation where users have to type a word from audio alone. Select the module in the Levels list and press the letter “D” key. 

  • Plus, your kids learn learn math, science, and more.  Bonus…bonus…bonus!  🙂

  • Every home subscription comes with an administrator account so parents can see how their kids are doing.
  • Convenience – TTRS can be used on any desktop or laptop computer. There is also an iPad app for learning on the go.
  • It’s easy to sign up for free trial – and to get started too.

  • Payment options – and a money back guarantee.  I appreciate both, don’t you?

In closing

Keyboarding is such an important skill – you don’t want your kids hunting and pecking.

This program works.

You might want to give it a try. 🙂

 

Did you like this Touch-Type Read and Spell Product Review?  We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews at https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

TypeKids Product Review

My mom didn’t learn how to type until she was in high school.  I learned in my tweens.  And now, my kids are learning in the early elementary grades.  Why are today’s kids learning to type at such an early age?  I can’t answer for everyone, but in our family, we believe keyboarding is a really important skill.  Because of this, we started looking for an online keyboarding course that would appeal to early-elementary aged kids.  And guess what?  We found a GREAT one – with cute graphics, stories, fun games – and MORE.  What is it?  TypeKids!  And they offer a Spanish version as well – mecanografia.com.

What does TypeKids offer?

TypeKids offers a 30-lesson program that teaches touch typing to elementary-aged kids, using the following instructional elements:

Animations Explaining Technique

The correct typing technique is explained with clear animations. The lessons start with the base position for the hands and gradually builds up to include more keys (a new letter is added each lesson).

 

Correct Posture

The correct way of sitting behind the computer is emphasized and explained throughout the course.

 

 

Intelligent Algorithm – Individualized Teaching

The program detects which letters require more practice and changes the exercises accordingly.  This keeps the amount of repetition to a minimum.  I’m such a fan of this – as it keeps my kids interested in what they’re doing.

 

A Fun Pirate Story

In each lesson, part of a story starring Captain Forty and pirate Jack is revealed.  The story and the graphics appeal to both my son – and to my daughter.  And honestly – I like the graphics too!  🙂

 

Kids can Earn Coins by Completing Exercises

Accuracy is rewarded with coins at the end of each exercise. Coins can be cashed in for the opportunity to play fun/educational typing games.  My kids love rewards – and they enjoy the games.

 

Yes – FUN Games

Seven different typing games are available. The games are entertaining and they serve as additional practice.  Games become  increasingly difficult over time, as more letters are learned. This ensures that games that were unlocked at the beginning of the course, are still challenging towards the end of the course.  Brilliant!  🙂

 

Reward Badges

Who doesn’t love earning badges?  Just like reward coins, my kids LOVE badges!  Yours too?

 

Treasure Hunt

OMGosh, the fun never ends!  Because really, who doesn’t love a treasure hunt!?!

 

What do I like about TypeKids?

  • I like all the above!  I like that the classes teach proper posture; I appreciate the algorithm/individualized teaching my kids receive; the darling graphics – I’m crazy about the pirate theme; the games; the coins, the badges; and MORE.
  • TypeKids works! Even I’ve learned new things from this program and I’ve been typing for DECADES (as an example, I never noticed the little bumps on the J and the F keys).
  • I appreciate the helpful hints – for instance, it didn’t dawn on me to have my kids say the letter when they type it.  It helps with learning – and it helps my daughter so she doesn’t get ahead of herself.  When my daughter doesn’t say the letter, she makes more mistakes.
  • The parental progress reports are appreciated.  Each time my child completes a lesson I  receive a  detailed progress report.
  • There is a free trial.  I like free trials.  I knew mid-way through the free trial, that we wanted to continue with the program.

 

  • Plus, you get a one-month trial period after purchasing, with a full money back guarantee. I’m a fan of full money back guarantees.  It shows me the company believes in their product.
  • And there’s a family discount.  That’s nice too –  because it’s great for multiple kids (both my daughter and my son are going through the lessons).

FYI, here are some screen shots from the TypeKids lessons –

After just two lessons, you can see the points, badges, and treasures my daughter has earned.  The canon allows her to play the shark game (screenshots above).

In Conclusion

I’m a total, gigantic fan of TypeKids!  I heartily recommend it!! 🙂

 

Did you like this TypeKids review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews