Recently my oldest son and I reviewed the elementary version of a keyboarding program called Keyboarding for the Christian School. This program is intended for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade and recently won Best Exclusive E-book from Small Christian Publishers this year.
Leanne Beitel created this curriculum in order to have students reading and typing the Word of God as they were learning how to use a keyboard. Keep in mind that a beginning student is not going to have the skills necessary to type even words at the beginning, but by the end of the course they can type passages of Scripture.
Keyboarding really is an essential skill in this day and age because children are using computers at such young ages. If you can start your child off with the proper techniques and some basic keyboard knowledge it will be such a great skill for them to have. Plus, if you teach them while they are young they will learn the proper way and you won't have to break any bad habits.
This program is available in both regular and Large Print. The downloadable program retails for $12.95 and the hard copy for $45 (which includes full-color and shipping and handling.)
How the Program Works
This is a pretty basic program. It is not online and is purposely done that way in order to teach your child to look down at the paper and type what he reads rather than copying key strokes and such on a screen. Besides, it is nice to help our child develop the discipline of using a program without all the bells and whistles.
Carter completing one of his keyboarding lessons
There are 32 lessons and they are taught using the QWERTY keyboard. Lessons cover letters, numbers, symbols, centering and more.
How We Used This Program
We used the download version of the program so I printed the lessons off as needed. I generally don't like printing too much to save on cost, but something like this is better if the child is not reading it from the screen and then typing. Besides, you can print in an "ink save" mode and it will help cut down on cost.
I will say, we did not progress very far into the program for a couple of reasons. Our son really did not enjoy having to learn keyboarding so sometimes in order for it not to be so overwhelming I broke the lessons up a bit.
Other times I had him repeat a lesson in order to develop confidence and accuracy. I was happy to have him complete at least a portion of the lesson and figured this would be the type of thing we'd have to take at our own pace.
It was fascinating for me to watch him complete the lessons. I was pleasantly surprised and was happy to encourage him along the way.
However, in order to help remedy his lack of desire to complete his lessons, I did add the keyboarding to his list of "chores" on his "My Job Chart". (My Job Chart is a free online chore program that we love!) That did seem to help motivate him a bit.
I plan to give him a break for the summer now that the review is over, but keyboarding is going back on his Job Chart once school starts up again next month!
This program is of course available for Christian schools and I think would be a great addition to any elementary classroom. (In fact, I'll be suggesting the program to my sister who teaches 2nd grade in a Christian school.)
If you're a homeschooler you might want to note that Leanne offers a Homeschool Teaching Package Deal. For $27 you canpurchase Keyboarding for the Christian School, Teacher Tools, and lessons Romans Road Enumeration and Columns (2003 and 2007).
Leanne is also offering my readers a 20% discount on their purchases by using the promo code SUMMER2012. This code expires August 29, 2012.
Although this is irrelevant to the actual curriculum, I would suggest Leanne might look into getting an updated site for www.christiankeyboarding.com. I think ease of check out could be improved, as well as the aesthetic presentation of the web site as well. These days it can be relatively easy and inexpensive to have a web designer create a wonderful looking and easy to use website.
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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.