and Your Child:
Keys to Success
Learning to keyboard
is an important skill. It potentially frees those students whose writing
output is slowed by the act of putting pencil to paper. This writing effort
may inhibit the student's ability to be creative and to do their best.
It is recommended that students begin to learn to keyboard by the second
or third grade. Keyboarding is differentiated from other computer skills
is defined as the correct finger placement on the keyboard and entering
words at about the same speed that the child can write using paper and
pencil. When students become proficient in keyboarding, they will be able
to enter words faster than they can be produced by using paper and pencil.
is defined as the use of a specific computer program designed for writing.
Keyboarding should ALWAYS precede word processing.
If you are introducing
and/or encouraging your child to use a word processor, here are some ideas
Computers can make
the writing process go more quickly, particularly if handwriting is difficult
for a child. Using the computer speeds up the processes of revising and
editing. Computers give writers many new options. With a click, your child
can insert pictures, change fonts, or even hear their writing read aloud.
This can bring more excitement to the writing task.
Computers do not
increase the quality of children's writing. It would seem that a tool
that makes it faster and easier to write would improve quality, but studies
show that this does not happen. No tool can ever replace the creative,
mental juggling that comes through the process of the writing task.
It is recommended
that all students learn to keyboard.
For some students
it is important that they learn to keyboard early. Consider the following:
Has your child traditionally
had a difficult time writing?
Does your child have
handwriting that is difficult to read?
Does your child complain
that writing hurts his/her hand?
Does your child take
a very long time to complete writing assignments?
If your answer
to any of these questions is yes, then keyboarding might be a strategy
to employ as soon as possible.
keyboard will take time and effort.
It is important
for each child to learn correct finger placement. This needs to be automatic
and rapid. Although your child will be exposed to keyboarding at school,
the practice time required to learn this skill is greater than the time
given to this task in the school setting.
Teaching Keyboarding At Home
your child needs a coach or instructor.
Perhaps you feel
keyboarding is best done with a course after school, a qualified instructor,
or a coach. This depends on your needs. Consider:
How much keyboarding
instruction does your child need?
How important or imperative
is it that your child learn to keyboard?
How motivated is your
child to learn?
Does your child understand
how keyboarding will help in the writing process?
Do you have the time,
energy, patience, willing child to supervise instruction yourself?
If you choose
to pursue teaching keyboarding in the home with you and your child, here
are some ideas to consider:
Develop a plan:
Learning to keyboard requires perseverance, time, patience. Your child
may or may not be as dedicated to this end as you are. Decide on reasonable
goals, motivators and rewards for your child.
your child's current keyboarding speed and knowledge of the layout of the
keyboard, what is a reasonable speed and level of accuracy that he or she
could attain? What time frame will you set for the attainment of target
speed or accuracy? Set reasonable goals with your child's input.
Like anything that requires practice, keyboarding does not happen quickly.
Providing motivators keeps your child well motivated. The best way to learn
to keyboard is through short, regular practice sessions. Incorporate the
practice of keyboarding with activities that will allow your child to see
immediate results and success. What motivators can your offer to help your
child keep up the practice pace?
are different from motivators. A reward is something relatively big, perhaps
to be enjoyed by you and your child together to celebrate the reaching
of the goal. Decide on rewards together with your child.
Modifying the goal:
What if it becomes apparent that they goal is not attainable in your set
time frame? Do not be afraid to modify. Setting a realistic goal is far
preferable to failure.
Setting a new goal:
Once the goal is reached, will you set another? Breaking the task into
smaller pieces and constantly rethinking and resetting goals is preferable
to setting a goal so far in the future that your child becomes discouraged.
Remember, your child cannot defer gratification as long as you might.
is an example of how you might go about structuring goal, motivators and
Setting the goal:
"Let us see if you can learn to keyboard at 20 words a minute with no errors
by January 15."
Providing the motivator:
"If you practice 15-20 minutes 5 days a week for 5 weeks, I will buy you
(a new pair of shoes? a new computer program? what is reasonable for you
and your child?)"
Rewarding the attainment
of the goal: "If, by January 15, our goal is met, I will (take child
to favorite restaurant? give a monetary reward? what is reasonable for
you and your child?)"
Modifying the goal:
If four weeks into your plan your child is nowhere near 15 wpm, think about
modifying. Perhaps you could extend the deadline or increase the error
Setting a new goal:
Did your child meet the goal? Great! Now set a new challenge. Rethink goals,
modifiers and rewards.
(excellent for younger children)
Mavis Beacon Teaches
The Software Toolworks
Success With Typing,
Typing Tutor 7.0,
(excellent for beginners and older)
Type to Learn!,
This information is being supplied by with the courtesy and approval
of The Paideia School
This web site was created by Roderick
for the primary purpose of teaching and demonstrating
computer & business skills..
Any distribution or copying without the express or
written consent of
Alton C. Crews Middle School or its creator is strictly
Any questions, comments or suggestions concerning
this web page or this site should be forwarded to
Hames, Computer Science / Business Education Teacher
Copyright© 1998, Alton
C. Crews Middle School: CS Dept