Saturday, January 23, 2010

TOS Crew Review -- Keyboarding for the Christian School

Typing has become a necessary skill in this age of the computer. My high school did not offer a keyboarding or typing class, and I took advantage of the hunt and peck method through college. I actually got pretty good. I could type 35 words a minute with 95 percent accuracy.

Well, a few years later I ended up teaching typing, so I figured I should really learn, too. I spent a couple weeks really working on learning to type properly and almost doubled my typing speed with roughly the same accuracy. It has made my life significantly easier knowing how to type correctly.

So, now in teaching my own kids I have found it important that they learn to type starting at an early age. If you find yourself in search of a tool to help with this skill as well, keep reading.

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Product: Christian Keyboarding
Details: A typing curriculum for students utilizing some Scripture selections.
Price: $12.95 for the Elementary Version (K-5) ebook; $15.95 for the ebook for older students (6th and up). See below for current deals and combo discounts.

What we loved . . .
  • Immediate access-- Since this is a down-loadable ebook, you receive it immediately after purchase and can get started with it right away.
  • Easy to follow-- The books are set up like the typing books that I used when teaching keyboarding. Each lesson is clear in expectations and duration.
  • Scripture use -- I appreciate any curriculum that takes a necessary topic and incorporates Scripture use. While there is nothing spiritual about typing, these books bring your mind to the Bible, something we can't do often enough. Obviously, it doesn't jump right into verses, but once the letters are learned, verses are incorporated into the typing assignments.
  • Word processing basics -- While the focus is clearly on typing well, the lessons include some basic instructions on using most standard word processing programs and include necessary skills for preparing reports (centering, setting tabs, etc.)
  • Freebie pages -- To get a look at the type of lesson these books offer you can check out their Freebie page with sample lessons and resources.
Some considerations . . .
  • Not an easy program for young children to use independently. Because this is a book and not a software program young kids must be guided through the work. Even older kids will need some accountability to make sure that they use the material correctly and have typed as they were supposed to. Since typing is outside of the "core" subjects, I generally prefer a program that they can work through independently with just occasional feedback from me.
  • Not a "fun" product to use. While the elementary book especially incorporates a good bit of color and a cute ladybug, these books teach typing in a very structured way through repetition and drills. Obviously, people have learned this way for decades, so it works, but it isn't really fun for most students.
  • Works best printed out. While it comes in ebook format, it is difficult to fit both the word processing program and the book on the screen at the same time, so it works best to print the pages your child will be typing from before assigning the work.
While I appreciate the idea behind this program, infusing Scripture into typing instruction, I think the program lacks that something special to keep children's interest. I see greater benefit in the program for older students as that offers more than just a basic keyboarding course. It is definitely a solid course that will help your child learn to type or type better if they use it diligently.

From their site, some deals that you will find there currently:
Need a Coupon to start the year right? Type NewYear5 in the Discount Code section for $5 off of your purchase of $12.95 or more available until February 28, 2010!

2010 NEW YEAR SPECIAL: Purchase both the Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition and the Elementary Edition for only $22! Yes, this is a big savings! So, purchase your e-books now for only $22 for both typing books!

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This typing curriculum was provided to me free of charge from Christian Keyboarding as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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