views on touch typing aged 8

(41 Posts)
selfesteem Sun 14-Jul-13 22:17:37

Any views on an 8 year old learning touch typing? If successful can you recommend a fun programme to teach it.

Acinonyx Sun 14-Jul-13 22:23:07

Oh me too - bump - I'd like my 8 yr-old to touch type.

JollyShortGiant Sun 14-Jul-13 22:26:08

Watching with interest. I taught myself to touch type at about 14 by tippexing out the letters on my keyboard keys. But I was already a competent typist so found it pretty easy.

RayABlokeIUsedToKnow Sun 14-Jul-13 22:28:45

BBC Dance Mat Typing is a free online touch typing resource for children...and me! I used it to teach myself touch typing and it's brilliant!

Schmedz Sun 14-Jul-13 22:33:11

Touch typing is a brilliant skill to have and the earlier you can start, the better! Thanks to Ray for a great website suggestion...

selfesteem Sun 14-Jul-13 22:40:18

Does everyone agree that the BBC site is the best??

basildonbond Sun 14-Jul-13 22:51:19

bbc site is ok but very limited - ds whizzed through in no time but was definitely not a touch typist at the end

Mavis Beacon did it for him ... but he was 10 so that bit older

He's brilliant at typing now - ludicrously fast - and it's made so much difference to the amount he's able to write (handwriting v slow and painful for him)

sadmum1000 Sun 14-Jul-13 22:58:33

My DS who is 8 had to do this at school this year and was struggling - after a bit (ok a lot) of research I bought him a nessy fingers pc game on eBay. He loves it and has improved.

Pyrrah Mon 15-Jul-13 10:13:31

I wish they'd teach touch-typing at school rather than cursive handwriting - this is what many of my friends in the USA's children are doing.

Such a useful skill.

I did Mavis Beacon years ago...

Elibean Mon 15-Jul-13 11:06:59

dd1 is 9, and has decided to learn to touch type as a 'holiday challenge'.

She is using BBC's Dance Mat, which is brill and is learning fast.

I think it's a hugely useful skill, to be learned before starting secondary school - I'm so grateful I can touch type, though I never used it for work.

youcouldnevermakeitup Mon 15-Jul-13 13:44:50

Ds is learning at school using the BBC website. I think it is a brilliant skill to learn and am pleased it is part of the curriculum at his school. His speed has improved enormously but he is still not able to 'touch type' as I do not think his fingers are long enough! It is really hard to learn properly at this age.

Elibean Mon 15-Jul-13 14:21:20

Yes, I think dd would have struggled a year ago. Now, at 9.5, it's no problem (ditto piano - improved enormously as fingers grew this year!)

AChickenCalledKorma Mon 15-Jul-13 16:09:44

DD1 has worked her way through the Dance Mat typing programme, but still really struggles with typing. She gets very frustrated by anything that has to be produced on a computer. She's in Year 6 so it's becoming real issue.

Think we'll give Mavis Beacon a go and see if that's better.

I'm disgusted to see that the latest reforms for the national curriculum STILL have loads of emphasis on beautiful handwriting and bugger all about typing. We are not educating Victorian clerks any more!

Ferguson Mon 15-Jul-13 17:44:18

Hi - retired male TA here :

I was taught to touch-type in the RAF National Service in 1958, and have been doing it ever since!

For a couple of years I taught Yr2 as a lunch-time activity, but I selected children I knew would have the patience and self-discipline to do it, but it is quite a big 'ask' at Yr2.

I have also done some with Yr6, again as a 'club' activity rather than in lessons. In both cases I made the resources myself, though Yr6 children also used an on-line program.

The BBC Dance Mat is fine to get children (and maybe parents!) started. I haven't used Mavis Beacon myself, but it is often quoted, though I get the impression it could be a bit 'stuffy' - but it may have been undated now.

Somewhere I did have a list of alternatives, and if I can find it I will come back with info. I may also have a 'help list' I once compiled on how best to tackle the skill, which I'll try and find.

It is certainly a useful skill to have, but it is MUCH easier on an 'office' style computer keyboard, rather than a 'lap-top' which does not have the correct 'feel' or 'reach', but I guess the office keyboard is getting phased out in many locations these days.

Watch this space, and I'll try to get back with more info in a few days.

Cheers

Ferguson Mon 15-Jul-13 18:48:23

Hi again -

Easier than I thought it might be - I have found a link regarding touch typing, which I'll try and post below : www.educational-freeware.com/news/top-5-free-typing-tutors.aspx

if anyone wants any further help, you can 'message' me. And sometime I'll have a look at Mavis Beacon.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

selfesteem Mon 15-Jul-13 20:31:57

I was planning for DS to use a proper keyboard not a laptop. Some one mentioned finger length being a problem, has anyone else found this?

DS is the size of a 3 - 4year old with weak muscles for writing hence the suggestion to try typing but that makes me think his fingers will be too short.

Sunhasgothishaton Mon 15-Jul-13 20:38:58

Recommend Mavis Beacon - my mum taught me to touch type at 8, and I've taught both of mine from the same age, and both very competent typists now.

RussianBlu Mon 15-Jul-13 23:35:24

Great thread. Such a useful skill to have. Helped me hugely when studying and had to write long essays. My son has also been asking to learn so this thread has been very informative. I remember taking exams in high school for typing but cant remember what they were called.

Ferguson Tue 16-Jul-13 17:35:36

RussianBlu - 'RSA' was the standard one - Royal Society of Arts; and Pitmans was also common. (I see they do 'on-line' tuition, but don't know the cost.)

Elibean Tue 16-Jul-13 17:51:38

selfesteem - I was one of the ones who posted about finger length, but in dd's case I suspect she just didn't have the staying power earlier on, so it's not just size smile

I suspect it is easier with longer fingers, so you can reach all the keys without having to leap about - but, like piano, leaping is possible so if he's motivated I would think your ds might manage. Especially on a smaller (laptop?) keyboard.

Elibean Tue 16-Jul-13 17:52:59

I learned to touch type at Sight and Sound in Bristol, a million years ago - starting with manual typewriters, then electric, iirc! RSA sounds familiar.

Ferguson Tue 16-Jul-13 18:06:34

Elibean - NO! not a laptop, not correct 'feel' or 'reach' (we already covered that - you're not paying attention!)

ChunkyPickle Tue 16-Jul-13 18:17:09

I remember that touch typing (don't even remember the name, was on an RM nimbus) was a game for us when we were little (although I was about 10 when we got our first computer)

Because it's my job, I can type super fast, and the initial touch typing lessons mean that I naturally keep my fingers in the right places, but so much of it is just practise.

I can type faster now that I'm on an island keyboard (like a Mac) because the travel is so much less than on the old super-clunky keyboards, also the pressure required is less. I don't know the pros and cons of learning on a small laptop vs. a full size keyboard, but I don't have any trouble switching between so I personally don't think it's a big deal to learn on a laptop, especially if you have smaller hands (as a kid would)

culturemulcher Tue 16-Jul-13 18:24:11

I'm going to try to get DD8 to learn to touch type over the summer holidays too.

I've found this one which is a bit dull visually, but I think gives exactly the kind exercises and repetitive practice you need - unlike BBC Dancemat.

Would be great if everyone reported back to see which sites actually worked smile

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