What little one doesn’t love being on the computer, right? Both my five-year old and eight-year old are often on their laptop playing games, making goofy videos, or writing crazy stories. The only problem with the stories is that they really can’t type all that well. Basically I call their typing style is “chicken pecking”. It takes them FOREVER to get one line done and eventually they yell for me to type what they are saying. Not that I don’t enjoy helping them make up wacky stories, in fact it’s rather fun. However, I can’t always stop in the middle of what I’m doing and in the end they get frustrated.
Talking Fingers Read, Write & Type
Recently our family has been using Talking Fingers Read, Write & Type. The program provides early writing and spelling practice for students while they learn phonics with Read, Write & Spell. This has been an amazing program so far!
What is Read, Write & Type
Read, Write & Type by Talking Fingers, Inc is a very unique learning program that teaches children keyboarding, spelling, phonics and word processing through games. It’s designed for children ages 6-9, and also offers special features for students with learning disabilities and ESL learners.
Read, Write & Type is filled with fun and colorful characters that take you on adventures into their world. It’s filled with music, stories, and animation which are sure to delight any child. My five-year-old has had a blast with the characters, but his favorite is the computer virus called Vexor. Vexor is always trying to steal the letters which in the end prevents the storytellers from telling their stories. In order to save the letters, the child teams up with Lefty and Rightway (two helping hands) and takes on Vexor. This is when the typing and phonics (and laughter) really come into play.
How we use it:
I chose to use this program with my five-year-old and he has really enjoyed it. He can already read but still has benefited tremendously from this program. Depending on the lesson, we do either one to two letters a day. He is very much a perfectionist and refuses to move his fingers off the keys at all which means that depending on the letter of the day, it can take a while for him to reach his little fingers up to them.
What’s so amazing about Read, Write & Type is that not only is he learning typing skills, but he is also improving his reading skills. I love watching him type with this program. He automatically makes the sound of the letter as his little finger touches each key. It’s such a wonderful way for them to learn to associate each sound with a letter.
During the program, you work on unlocking letters. After completing four letters you earn a certificate. The look on my little dudes face was priceless when he earned his very first certificate. His entire face lit up and of course, we had to print it out. He was just over-the-moon excited and immediately had to show it to his daddy when he walked in the door. It’s amazing how little things like this are such an encouragement to them. Once he unlocked his first one, he was determined to do more.
For the most part I sit down with him while he does his lesson, but it certainly isn’t a program where that’s necessary. You can always check on their progress by seeing the certificates, as well as by using The Bonus Blimp and Power Fountain.
The Bonus Blimp (which for some reason, Luke could play all day long) keeps track of what he does and will redirect him to any activity that he may need a little extra help on. Also, the Power Fountain is pretty cool since it shows their keyboarding speed and accuracy. Luke’s speed is rather slow at the moment, but his accuracy is spot on. He is just extremely focused on hitting the correct letters as he goes, and keeping his fingers in place. I always know when he hits the wrong one because he immediately jumps.
Since starting this program, I’m really amazed at how much better his typing skills have become. Not only that, but I really feel that it’s helped to improve his reading and spelling even more. We look forward to continuous use of this program and highly recommend it.
Curious in learning more about Read, Write & Type? Head on over to their site and give the FREE trial a try. Also, if you prefer to not use this program online, you can purchase a CD