My sister is a career typist and she gave us a super shortcut for free typing practice. Simply type "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." over and over.
It's the best keyboard practice advice I'd ever heard. It was so simple that I did not recognize it at first, although it has worked for our children and gives them time to practice when they are offline.
"The quick brown fox...." has all 26 letters of the alphabet. Simply type this phrase, on something like Notepad or Sticky Notes, as often and as fast as you can. Practice, practice, practice. Review, review, review!
"Once you know the alphabetical 26 keys, you can increase your speed by practicing as often as you have a chance." Keeping the notepad or a sticky on your desktop, keeps it handy for frequent use. Simply delete a few lines and continue. I wouldn't recommend Word for this as the formatting frustrates beginners.
This is pretty neat. We have re-made all our printable worksheets so that you can type on them to leave notes or directions. Also, your kids can fill in their answers on the computer which can save you time, paper, and ink.
Now your children can get some free typing practice on their other school work and they can work in their favorite fonts, sizes, and colors. See more about our printable interactive worksheets here.
'Back to the notepad.
The children can "doodle" a bit while they wait for other programs to load on the computer. Truly, they have immediate feedback when the words do not line up in columns. Their own eyes usually catch the errors because the lines do not line up when there's a mistake.
The same notepad on the desktop will work for any of the children who use the same computer. Simply erase half the page or scroll down some. See the image at the top of this page for a starter.
As a matter of fact, I think that it is true that if one wants to type, one will. Listen to what one of mine asked.
"Mom, when can I have my own Pinterest account?"
"When you can type and spell well."
This answer made the world of difference to her interest in typing and in doing her school work well. I was so glad for that totally impromptu answer!
Keyboarding practice is fun when you know some easy typing tricks. Regular asdf? Voice entry? Swype?
You do not really need a typing program or speed tests if you have a real reason to want to type. Or to Swype.
Ok. I never thought that I'd say this, but maybe those who use touchscreens won't need to learn "how to type" the way that I had to learn it.
So. What about Swyping versus typing? Hmm....
So far, the only place that we have Swype in our house is on our Android phones; but it makes sense that if the industry is going to go this way, we'd better check what is being used in our children's schools and the workplace.
Swyping on our Android phone is as good or better than typing for hitting the right keys on the keyboard.
I've seen students Swype across the letters as fast or faster than they or I can type! My daughter sure does.
I think that it is still good to teach typing practice, but Swyping might be a whole lot faster. It's sure a world better than hunt and peck.
We've got four children who have used the program Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing which has a program that starts with finger placement and adds practice typing skills of each of the new keys as typing improves. It keeps track of errors and adds more practice for repeated errors.
It's nice to have the immediate feedback along with the scores. Also, it includes many typing games for kids.
I know homeschools that accept this in their business courses and simply offer a chart to record times and scores for the transcripts.
Mavis Beacon has keyboarding practice from several perspectives. The games encourage accuracy and speed. Some of our children did not like the feature that some of the games can't be skipped. Just like I did they tense up when they're being timed; but they have all learned to use the keyboard with a minimum of parent/teacher effort using this program. Of course, this is the feature that I like best.
Several users can use Mavis Beacon's programs while keeping track of their new practice typing skills. They can go back to the acquired level whenever they return by simply choosing their own user name. We have found this so handy with our kids. So, in a way, this is homeschool software because you have a tutor that does the teaching work for you and the children finish or get to the level you desire with their own self-study.
Keyboarding practice is easy with Mavis Beacon since there are incremental steps in the practice and in the typing games and even a practice typing test for each level. There are simulations for practice typing online, skills to learn for using Microsoft Office Word and more.
A fabulous feature with Mavis Beacon is the ability to Import Your Own Text if you have Microsoft Word 2007 or higher. This way the children have typing practice on the material of your choice. Upload your favorite literature or Bible quotes and practice away. I still think that "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." is awesome for free typing practice. Just copy the phrase and paste it in a handy place.
With Mavis Beacon there is practice for English, Spanish and French.
As with the other versions of Mavis Beacon there are:
And so much more! Many times Mavis Beacon Platinum is on sale at Amazon so you can frequently get a good deal there.