Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Free Typing Resource~ Typing can be a Welcome and Needed Change for our Struggling Writers

We have a "new to us" free typing resource that we tried out today.
Thanks to a wonderful AKOL member who posted about this no-nonsense, easy to use, free versatile typing program.
My ten year old really likes to type and had been using a few other typing programs but did not like them too much. He tried this one tonite and absolutely loved it. He started at the beginning level and flew through much of the first lesson. He liked how it had no bells or whistles going off, he could see instantly after he had finished with the quick lesson how he did and really seemed engaged in wanting to do more.. - big relief here...
Typing can be a very helpful strategy for our special needs learners. Many who have graphomotor difficulty or dysgraphia can benefit greatly from learning how to type instead of the pressure of "perfect penmanship or cursive handwriting".
Don't misunderstand handwriting is very important but for some learners it can take away the love of writing a story or the ability to, in some cases. For older children with these difficulties typing can be a real way for them to excel and let's face it computers and technology (emails, texting, IM etc.. ) are here to stay~ we might as well help our learners adjust as best they can.
I think this program may finally be a great fit for my youngest. It can be hard finding just the right program for your learner. Mine tends to become a bit resistive to computers and using a program that has too many things going on all at once, this free typing program "fits our bill".
Here is some further information on typing programs and typing~
Attitude Magazine, an article on: Recognizing Dysgraphia in Children with ADHD
LD Online, an article for strategies for children in the classroom but can be also adapted in our homes~ Helping Children Who Struggle to Write Classroom Strategies
Kid on the Keyboard lists several age appropriate typing programs.
Here are a few typing programs that we have found over the past few years over at AKOL:
There are many, many more like typing games Penguin Typing... Gamequarium has many fun typing games, etc... there are just too many to list.
I hope many will consider typing as a real alternative to the dreaded handwriting for their learners if they are struggling. Writing doesnt have to be dreaded - quick 10 minute daily practices forming letters and writing signatures along with copywork should suffice. Typing can be a welcomed tool for many of our special children~
Happy Typing!


The Book Lady Online said...

Thanks for this post. We recently discovered that our 9 year old loves to type. We've been using Dance Mat, which he still loves, but I'm glad to see so many other resources. Thanks!!


Learners at Home said...

My son actually began with DanceMat Typing~ he loved it and enjoyed the characters..I like that particular program because it gives the learner a kind of gentle introduction to timers etc.. it was great for him. I had made up some progress charts for Dance Mat typing - just as a way of showing his progress which he liked very much too. (these are at my homeschool launch profile) :)

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