Teaching Children to Touch Type
What a precious gift – to be given…
A mother rang me to say that her 14 year old son had just told her that the touch typing course she had given him was “The best thing she ever did for him” – he was, apparently now just whizzing through typing up his school work and other assignments at a speed that was the envy of his peers. This was the same boy who had resisted going to the touch typing course like mad in the first place because “Why should I go and do a course in the holidays? I just want to hang out with my mates and anyway I like to lie in in the holidays…”
This story is repeated over and over as you can see if you read the feedback from other students who have attended the Verityping touch typing courses (www.verityping.co.uk ).
Another mother told me the other day that she planned to get her ten year old daughter to teach her to touch type because her daughter had a speed of about 45 words per minute and an accuracy of about 98%. The mother realises that if she also had such a skill it would save her an enormous amount of time at work.
The above two students do not have any specific learning difficulties but for those who do, then touch typing is a godsend. Those with dyslexia can be helped with spelling and when copying something can keep their eyes on what they are copying rather than having to continually find where they were all the time. Those with poor handwriting can now write clearly and with speed. Those with dyspraxia, while it usually takes them a little longer to learn, improve their co-ordination skills and they always learn in the end if they persevere. Hemiplegic students (who can mainly use only one hand) have been able to learn to type faster and more accurately than others with the use of two hands who have not learned to touch type and those who are partially sighted and others who are deaf have also learned to type really well. I love to teach everyone, of all ages, but feel it is particularly worthwhile for those with such huge obstacles to overcome, to help them acquire a skill that is of such value. This I find really fulfilling and worthwhile.
This is a poem written by one of my students:
Overcoming Dyslexia By Max Goldie
I found out I was dyslexic when I was eight.
After a year I went to my tutor Jane.
I learned to read, write and spell quite late
Some words I had to learn to spell again and again.
My mum and dad have helped a great deal,
Driving me there and back twice a week.
They have always made me feel very special
Even though my literacy is so weak.
When I was nine in school I had to read
But it was annoying because I could not.
At my tutor’s we tried very hard indeed
And my granny has paid for this - quite a lot.
Now I’ve read lots of books which were fun
And I can write and spell lots of words too.
Now it’s as easy as it is to run
And when I read aloud I don’t feel so blue.
Because my handwriting is so very bad,
My tutor, Jane, taught me to touch type
So now I type and type like mad
And my teachers at school no longer gripe.
And now I’ve nearly overcome my dyslexia
And there was a lot of hard work to do
So I am a lot, lot happier
Being able to read is like light shining through.
Max is now doing his GCSE's and uses a laptop for all his school work, including exams.
Touch typing is a most valuable skill for life. It is a bit like driving or riding a bicycle, once learned and practised it is not lost. Furthermore, it does not take that long to learn. Some people can get the hang of it in ten hours. To me it is one of life’s essentials.