May 24, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: The Typing Coach

Typing is a vital skill these days. My kids all spend a lot of typing on a keyboard, however, mostly they "hunt and peck" and none of them have a really good grasp of actual typing. This is why I was happy to get a chance to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach.


The Typing Coach

The Typing Coach is an online program (as you can probably tell from the name, huh?) but also requires you to have a word processor. You will also need to print off pages for your child to work through the lessons.

The Typing Coach is an incredibly simple program. We have used a lot of different typing curriculum and they all seem to have some sort of gimmick to keep the kids' attention. The worst ones were the ones with games involved. The kids didn't learn much typing but they certainly had fun! (did you catch the sarcasm font?) The Typing Coach is not like that. It is not flashy or showy or gimmicky. 

However, it is by far the most effective method we have used. By. Far. 

First, it starts at the very beginning, assuming your student knows nothing about typing at all. There are seven lessons and the first one is called Good Posture. In it, the kids learn how to sit at the keyboard, where to put their hands and that they need to look at the info they are typing, not the keys and not the screen. 

After that, they start with the Home Row and learn each row in turn, finishing up with the numbers. 

The method is simple. First, you print off the written part of the lesson. Then you sit yourself properly at the keyboard and start the lesson. This involves listening to the audio instruction and doing exactly what the instructor (David Kimball) says. There are also videos to watch scattered throughout the course to further explain.


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For the purpose of this review, I had my two youngest do The Typing Coach. They are ten and eleven and are used to working fairly independently. I printed off the paper part and they took it from there. The site was easy for them to navigate because it is all on one page and they had no trouble figuring out what to click when. Once they started the lesson, they could simply follow the audio instructions. 

They could work together, or individually. We started out together, but as Daniel progressed more rapidly than Abbie, they soon started working alone. 

The lessons consisted of them opening their chosen word document, starting the audio and working away. He gives step by step instructions that are easy to follow. He even tells them when to take a break.

At the end of each lesson, there is a series of three tests where errors are counted. Once you finish these tests with no errors, then you start the next lesson. 

You are supposed to advance at the pace of one lesson a week. But you are also not supposed to move on until mastery has been achieved, so my kids did not go that quickly. (This is also why Daniel moved ahead of his sister.) They just kept repeating the lesson and taking the tests until they had error free tests. This was not a big deal for them at all. They were pretty matter of fact about it and were so happy and proud of themselves when they did pass the mastery test!

There is also the option of slower paced lessons for younger or special ed kids. 

To be completely honest, I did not expect my kids to like The Typing Coach. It is not a fun program. There are no games. No speed drills. No excitement. No entertainment. However, after I got them set up and they knew what to do, they dove right in and enjoyed themselves! I think they realized they were actually learning the skill. Or maybe they just were not distracted by the usual frills that come with a typing program. Whatever the case, they eagerly went to work every day and I usually had to tell them to stop practicing and move on to their next school subject. 

Even though we are not finished with the course, they both have shown marked improvement and are very proud that they no longer have to look at their hands. They might even be just a little bit better at typing than their older siblings! That's motivation!!!

Here is what they have to say:

Daniel: I liked it because it taught me how to type and how to type fast! I liked it because it was easy to use. I recommend it to people around my age. 

Abbie: I like it because it helps me learn typing better than the other typing things I've done. I wish he would talk faster when he is telling you what letters to type so I can type faster because it doesn't feel challenging enough. 

I also liked the program and loved that they learned so much! I liked that it was not teacher intensive. We still have time on our subscription so they will finish up the program as "summer school" and my older two kids will have a go at it as well.

In short, if you are looking for a program that teaches your child (or adult, or you!) to type, The Typing Coach is for you! 


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