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Kids Learning How to Type

By Jodie Lynn


My daughter's school is offering typing as an elective course for fourth graders. I know she will use it frequently as she gets older but she's not really happy about it now. Is there an easy way to help her with typing: build up her speed and encourage her to enjoy it?


If you do not have a computer, get one that is not too terribly snazzy so that if something goes wrong, you will not become upset. Our son is also taking a typing class but one day while practicing, he hit a button on the keyboard and everything on our computer was lost. There are several ways to help your daughter realize that typing is not only useful, especially as she gets older, but also while she is learning it. There are practice sheets and several online sites where she can have fun and get really good at it. Just Google "beginner typing" and several links will appear. - Laura Smith in Wichita, KS


If your daughter is not particularly fond of taking typing, you might have to get a little creative, especially since she is going to have to spend quite a bit of time practicing. If she enjoys writing stories, once she has learned the keyboard, let her write a story for some of her relatives or perhaps even let her enter a story-writing contest for the holidays. Or, if she has a cell phone, she may already be a little ahead of the game in regards to a typical keyboard's layout. If so and she gets excited over entering a writing contest, let her get started on it. You will soon be able to come to a couple of conclusions: one will be that she is already pretty good at typing but would greatly benefit from further instruction, and the other would be she gets a tad frustrated and admits that she needs a lot more practice. Either way, my niece is your daughter's age and she tried out a new program on DVD-ROM by Mavis Beacon, "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing." It is created for learning how to type, specifically for ages eight and up. There is a family edition and a personal one. It can be utilized on a PC or a Mac, as well. The program is powered by UltraKey®, which is the success-based typing tutor. It's pretty cool and is enhanced with interface themes and options that allow the user to customize his or her experience so the teaching is at its most efficient and enjoyable. She enjoyed it and learned how to type very quickly. It's available on

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I have three baby showers to go to soon. Two are in mid-November and one is in the second week of December. These are my three best friends and I would really like to find some awesome and unique baby gifts. Please send me some unusual ideas but also ones that they can actually get some great use out of, maybe even after the baby gets older.

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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