Since typing is an invaluable skill to learn, I wanted both of my boys to work on this review for The Typing Coach Online Typing Course by The Typing Coach. Learning a new way of doing something can be a struggle, but I think that it makes you better in the end.
One of the things that I liked about this program is that it is an online program. I know that it's in the name, but I wanted to talk about how this worked for our family. You see, I have a laptop and then we have a laptop that both boys share for school related assignments. I don't like sharing my computer with the boys (I have to have something that's just mine, right?). I always feel like that mean kid at the sandbox who brings the newest and brightest toys, flaunts them, and then doesn't let anyone else even look at them. Maybe not that bad, but you get the idea. I do all of my work on my own laptop, which includes setting up all of the boys' school items. Since this course is an online course, I was able to set up both boys with their own user names and passwords and then bookmark them each so that when it was their turn to work through the lessons, all they had to do was go into the internet, then into their individual bookmark folder that I have set up for them, and type! I really liked that about this program!
Another thing that I liked about this program was that they played music on the audio while the student was supposed to be typing their lesson. My oldest wouldn't agree that this was a good thing, as he's kind of picky about his music, but I thought that it was a nice added touch.
I have to tell you that this program is different than most typing programs. Most other programs have you retype something that is already on the screen so that you get used to where the keys are without looking at your fingers on the keyboard. The Typing Coach takes it a step further. They add in the skill of not looking at the screen while you are typing. That's hard, people! I've been typing for a long time. I remember taking a keyboarding class my freshman year of high school and that was a LONG time ago! I worked through a couple of typing exercises and it was difficult to have the screen dark so that I couldn't look at what I was typing. It really got me to focus on the letters on the page and where my fingers were at on the keyboard. I haven't even really focused that much on my fingers because I was always looking at what was on the screen. I think this improved my typing accuracy.
Our boys had mixed feelings about this program. Our oldest, 12, has done more typing than his brother, 7. He is a little bit faster and he was able to go through the lessons faster, but not as fast as he thought that he would. The Typing Coach focuses on mastery skills - and - guess what? That takes time. Time is not something that either of my children like to take on anything other than video games. The Typing Coach forced him to sit and practice, a skill that is really important for him to learn. If you make one mistake on the "test", you can't move on to the next lesson. When they say "mastery", that's what they mean. This method, however, really improved his accuracy. He was dependent on the delete key (as I am), so this really forced him to focus on his accuracy.
When I had my 7 year old work through the same lessons as his brother, of course at a slower pace, he really had a hard time because it seemed as though the lessons were too fast for his little fingers to keep up with. I looked more deeply onto The Typing Coach website and they offer slower paced lessons! I thought that that was so great to offer those, so I had our 7 year old work through those lesson. He found those to be too slow. Really? Too fast. Too slow. You just can't win sometimes, but I thought that this was a great option!
I am thankful that we were able to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Program provided by, none other than, The Typing Coach. Even though it was a struggle, it showed us some things that we need to be working on (like not using the delete key so much) to help us become more accurate typists in the future.
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