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?
ANSWER FROM READER:
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 Amazon.com.
CAN YOU HELP?
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.
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