8 Ways to Encourage Keyboarding at Home
Whether your student has access to a computer at home or utilizes school and public resources, it’s important to provide them with real-world opportunities to practice keyboarding.
1. Thank You Letters & Birthday Notes
If your family is big on writing thank you letters or birthday notes, this is a great opportunity for your child to practice keyboarding. Have your child begin typing thank you letters or birthday notes as opposed to writing them by hand. Although “Miss Manners” encourages handwritten notes, family members and friends will surely appreciate your effort to encourage your student’s budding keyboarding skills, especially if your child utilizes digital literacy skills to embed a photo or clipart in the note.
2. Designate a Homework Computer
Older children may be required to type papers and reports, or perform research online as part of their homework assignments. Having an established homework computer available to your child (especially if it has controls to limit social media or entertainment sites) is a great way to allow them keyboarding practice at home.
3. Visit the Library
Most libraries have public-access computers that your student can utilize. If you don’t have a computer at home, this resource can be invaluable for improving your student’s digital literacy skills. Even if you do have a computer at home, using a library computer for research, looking up books, or even playing keyboarding games can be a novel experience for students.
4. Consider Piano Lessons
While pianos and computers have a lot of differences, one thing they do have in common is encouraging fine motor control and finger isolation. In other words, both skills require strengthening and being able to move each finger independently of the other. If your student already takes piano lessons or is considering adding an instrument to their extracurriculars, practicing piano can be an excellent way to augment keyboarding skills at home.
5. Add a Keyboard to Tablets
Many students have access to tablets for gaming, social media or other uses. While typical typing on tablets often includes improper form, adding a bluetooth keyboard can encourage your student to use their newly developed keyboarding skills. Bluetooth keyboards for tablets are relatively inexpensive and can provide your child with one more outlet for practicing keyboarding skills.
6. Support Keyboarding Games
You may remember playing keyboarding games in the computer lab when you were a school child and the fun, gamified challenge as you practiced typing. Students today enjoy learning in gamified environments. Ask your student’s teacher if there is a typing program or website they recommend and encourage your student to play the game at home a couple times per week.
7. Encourage Proper Typing
Children are learning to use electronic devices earlier and earlier, but most of these devices include compact digital keyboards as opposed to a full-sized hardware component. While proper typing isn’t possible on phones, other devices such as tablets and laptops can lend themselves well to proper typing form. Most students are accustomed to using the seek-and-peck method (or thumb typing form) of keyboarding because of the digital devices they typically use. Encouraging your child to use their new proper keyboarding skills at home can help reinforce the new skills over the poor form habits.
8. Lead by Example
If you never learned keyboarding, you’re probably aware of the difference in speed and accuracy from proper typing form compared to the seek-and-peck method. Your child notices these discrepancies and will emulate your attitude if you’re opposed to learning proper keyboarding. Consider adding proper typing skills to your repertoire by using online adult keyboarding lessons. Your child will appreciate the camaraderie, and you can even make a game out of it by challenging each other to beat speed and accuracy records.
While typing skills may feel a little antiquated, the reality is that there is still an immense importance in keyboarding for students. Supporting this journey at home can help them master this skill that will fuel their digital development and career readiness in the future.
Founded in 1999, Learning.com provides educators with solutions to prepare their students with critical digital skills. Our web-based curriculum for grades K-12 engages students as they learn keyboarding, online safety, applied productivity tools, computational thinking, coding and more.
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