Well, typing is an important skill -- not just for education, but for future employment as well. As children learn their way around a keyboard, they turn into better communicators, and they develop good writing habits.
Some school systems do teach typing to kids, starting as early as the first grade. And regardless of how children learn typing, the skill offers a lot of benefits to the table:
- Teaching them to type early: Age should not be a major factor, especially if a child is dedicated and interested in learning touch-typing.
- Develops useful skills: Typing practice lets children write more effectively. Plus, it helps children with their motor coordination problems, and they can express themselves better.
In addition, fast and accurate typing is a skill that will serve your children well, no matter where their academics and their future career will make them.
Yes, modern technology has let people type messages with just thumbs or pointer fingers on smartphones, but laptops and desktop computers are still widely used across classrooms, and your kids will be using them one day as they go to work in the office.
The less time kids spend on the mechanics of how to type correctly and efficiently, the better they can focus on the content that they're typing. It leads to work with fewer errors. And students who've mastered typing will be very flexible and available for lots of other assorted tasks.
Tips for Helping Kids Improve at Typing
In school and in the workplace, demonstrating efficient typing skills emphasizes how serious your kids are about productivity and their coming typing test. Touch-typing and a mastery of the skill leads to better focus and greatly reduced errors.
So here are some tips that will help your kids succeed at mastering typing.
#1 Set up a proper typing position
If your kids are in the middle of their hunt-and-peck for keys phase, don't worry! Everyone starts somewhere, and even the best of adults haven't quite grown out of it yet.
If your children are familiar enough with the keyboard, then the goal is to improve their typing skills without looking at the keys.
So before they get into their typing lessons, set your kids up for success by encouraging them to put their body in the proper position for their comfort and to avoid injuring them.
- Make sure your kids sit up straight in their chair, with the keyboard and the laptop situated at a comfortable height on the table or the desk.
- Their feet must be firmly on the floor.
- Keep their elbows bent at 90-degree angles, and make sure their shoulders, arms, wrists, and elbows experience as little strain as possible.
- Train their fingers to position along the home row (A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, and ;).
#2 Practice consistency in their typing patterns
Training your kids to be consistent with which fingers to press each key. In general, the better their consistency, the fast they can type later on. Kids can learn a specific typing system.
The only time they would probably have trouble with consistency is if they have bad habits about their typing pattern that slows them down or strains their hand. In the long term, your children can benefit from modifying their typing technique early.
Even in the short term, inconsistent typing patterns will only slow them down and interfere with their ability to type in a consistent manner.
#3 Keep hands static
As much as possible, try to stop your kids from moving their hands around too much. Too much movement will slow them down in the long run and maybe even tire their hands out.
If kids are having trouble with the current QWERTY arrangement, you can look into modifying keyboard layout before learning how to touch-type.
#4 Entertain them with games
As a parent, you're fully aware that typing skills are a must, but sometimes standard typing lessons just don't cut it. Some kids just aren't up to sitting through common teachings. We live in a world that's technologically advanced, so kids benefit from programs that are both educational and entertaining.
This is where gamifying typing lessons come into play.
The good news is that there are lots of typing games for kids, most of them for free, and all are designed to be engaging and educational while helping children score higher on their future typing speed test.
#5 Do some beginner exercises
When your kids are seated properly, you can try out some beginners' exercises that will help your children get the hang of their typing lessons.
- Type some easy passages as your kids see them.
- Let them go slow and be deliberate.
- Find out how many words they can type in a row without looking at their hands or making mistakes.
- Take note of which letter keys, fingers, or words are giving them trouble.
- Pay attention to your kids' posture and make sure they don't hurt themselves. Take breaks where they stand, stretch, and have fun.
Practicing Creates Perfection
Children's brains are always ready to learn new things. And in addition, practice leads to effective learning in the mature and developing brain. The resulting structural changes to the brain encode that learning.
Once kids learn the basics of finger placement and how the fingers move on the keyboard, letting them practice with intention can provide them with a lifetime of mastery that will make their academic lives easier and their careers a breeze.