Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Typing Coach ~ A Crew Review

learn touch typing, typing for kids

How good are your typing skills? I’m not asking how good you want them to be, or even how good you pretend that they are, but how good they really are. When the opportunity to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach appeared, I knew it was time to give it a try and work on my own typing skills. The Typing Coach is designed as an audio course with some visual elements to guide the students. After all, I wanted to learn how to type something that wasn’t already on the computer, so I knew I needed a serious program, not just a fun game to entertain myself. In a little over a year our youngest daughter will graduate from High School. I don’t know what God has planned for me after that, but I figure knowing how to type correctly might come in handy!

The actual lessons from The Typing Coach are taught by listening to the audios and following the instructions. The lessons include a lot of repetition to help you memorize the keys, and then they suggest at least another 20 minutes a day of practice. To help the student (of whatever age) succeed, there are a few things the parent or classroom teacher needs to do before the student begins. Even though this program was originally geared for school aged students, I knew that I needed to be the student this time. So I read all the introductory things, and watched all the videos myself. If I were using this with one of our girls, I would have had them watch the introductory video alongside me. Then, there is a student packet and a learning checks packet to download and print. I found a folder to put the pages into so I could use my cookbook holder to keep it at a comfortable angle to read from while I practiced typing.

The Typing Coach, also known as David Kimball, is really encouraging, but with the caveat that the student needs to practice exactly as they are taught. Cheating by looking at the keyboard will not help you learn to be a better typist, it is just lying to yourself. Better that the student work towards doing their typing practice correctly, but slowly, than to go fast and continue to make errors. The Typing Coach does not allow the student to use the backspace/ delete key because he wants them to stay focused on the task at hand, and learn to type error free. A good typist is more concerned with accuracy than speed. The goal upon completion of the course is to be able to type 10 words per minute (WPM) with zero errors. After completing the course the students skills should continue to improve and their speed should increase as they continue to practice. 

I have wanted to learn touch typing for a couple of years now. I realized that it would help me more easily get my thoughts down in the computer, and then, up on the blog, if I could type directly to the computer without needing to look at the keys. Let me tell you right now that it is possible to learn to type when you’re older, but it takes a lot of patience with yourself… and maybe your spouse. Kurt made fun of me when he saw me sitting at the table with my great posture, practice pages, and paper to cover the screen. But don’t you worry, I will continue on through all ten lessons, even if he laughs again!

As I followed the instructions from The Typing Coach on the audios, I realized a couple of things. First, I have developed a lot of incorrect habits over the years by typing while looking at the keys. Secondly, these extra long fingers of mine might just cause me more than a little frustration while typing. This is the one time I wished I didn’t have such long, tapered hands. It took a lot of practice for me to be able to hold me hands correctly on the home row without accidentally hitting another key… and I have to keep my fingernails cut really short. Sigh. Ok, moving on.  :)

learn touch typing, typing for kids

As I mentioned before, there are ten lessons in the online course from The Typing Coach. It is designed to be completed over ten weeks, or less if you memorize the keys easily and pass the learning checks without errors. Here is the reality for me: lesson one was posture, and it was easy thanks to having a good Chiropractor. Lesson two was the home row keys and it took me a little over two weeks to master. I not only had to learn which key to type with which finger, I had to learn how to properly hold my hands over the keys while still being relaxed enough to type. That was really difficult for me. If you look at the picture below you can see just how arched my middle finger needs to be while the others are on the keys. That’s because my middle fingers are about half an inch longer than my index and ring fingers, and an entire inch longer than my pinky finger. So if you have stubby hands, this skill will probably be easier for you to master. Lesson three was the top row, and I’m ready to try my learning check to see if I mastered it. Because it is combining the letters from two rows, I really, really have to slow down and concentrate. It used to be easier to memorize, but now in my 40’s, it takes longer. 

learn touch typing, typing for kids

Now, IF I could have devoted twenty minutes every day to practicing, instead of just three or four times a week, I am sure I would be further along. But’s let’s just be honest here: I’m a working mom who home schools a high schooler and is a 4-H leader. Three nights a week of practice is more time to myself than I usually get without interruption! Anyone else in this boat with me? Than let me assure you that you too can learn how to type with The Typing Coach, just know it will take you longer if you cannot devote time to practicing five or more days a week. 

Overall, I like The Typing Coach program, and I plan to keep working away at it all summer until I master all of the keys and can pass the Final Assessment with no errors. I really think this would be a solid program for school age students to use, with some oversight from their teacher and/ or parent. If you are doing this at home, please make sure you place your student somewhere where they can clearly hear the audios without being distracted. Getting them a set of headphones might be the easiest way to accomplish this in a large family. The motto of The Typing Coach is “making the complicated simple” and this program does that. It does not make it easy, but it breaks down the complex skills of typing into simple steps that the student can continue to practice until they master them.

To read about the other Crew families’ experiences with The Typing Coach, click on the banner below.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

1 comment:

  1. interesting to read a review written from the perspective of an adult student. :)