For students who struggle with handwriting and getting their thoughts on paper efficiently, becoming proficient with keyboarding can be a life-changing skill. It’s also a critical skill 4 life for students with typical learning profiles.
After helping dozens of students learn to touch type this summer during my keyboarding intensives, parents inevitably ask what their child can do to keep improving their skills. Here is a short list of fun ways to practice:
1. Compose emails to family members or friends. What grandparent wouldn’t be thrilled to get an email from their grandchild?
2. Type stories, poems, or lists. I had a student type a list of all the players he would choose for his football dream team and another type a packing list for their summer trip. How about typing a back-to-school shopping list?
3. Transpose favorite quotes, song lyrics, or passages from books. See how well your child can keep their eyes on the text they are copying from. This is a great skill to develop if they need to type a paper that was initially written by hand.
4. Write comments on a blog post on a topic of interest.
5. Use apps like Book Creator, Story Kit, or Scribble Press to create and even publish books. Since these are apps, remember to have your child use an external keyboard to type instead of using their fingers on the tablet screen.
6. Play online typing games to work on improving speed in WPM (words per minute) and accuracy. Some of my favorites are NitroType, KeyBR, Sense-Lang’s Games (they have lots of great games for different interests like kayaking, traveling, cooking, Spanish, etc.), and TypeRacer (this is a nice one for monitoring typing speed in words per minute).
7. Type notes while listening to a TED Talk of interest. I love having my high school students do this one!
After finishing a Skills 4 Life keyboarding class, I recommend that students practice a minimum of three times a week for 15-20 minutes.
I’ve seen many students double their typing speed in a matter of two to four weeks. As always, having your child practice in a way that is fun will make it more intrinsically motivating.
You can even have your child type a progress sheet to track their words per minute improvements throughout the summer. Happy typing!
About Skills 4 Life:
Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding & executive function coaching, but also work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies & activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at www.skills4lifeot.com, or you can contact our office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.