Finding a good keyboarding program is the best means of acquiring the second nature skill of typing. I was recently sent Leanne Beitel’s Keyboarding for the Christian School, in PDF format, to review for the TOS Crew.
First of all, my kids type quite well, so getting a feel for using this program from the ground up wasn’t going to happen. However, I did print out some more complex sentences and scriptures for the girls to try, as well as some practice on the number pad which I don’t think any of us have worked on memorizing.
A PDF book is easy to use, if you have never tried one before. You just store it on your computer, instead of on the bookshelf, and print out the pages you need for practice. Keyboarding for the Christian School is a “no-frills” instruction manual, with some black and white pictures or diagrams when necessary and very basic page layout.
Maybe I have been brainwashed by years of color photos and interesting graphics, but for me, the book lacks a lot of flourish. I know, I know, that is not the point!!!! I am aware that there is much to be said about teaching kids sans all the bells and whistles...but I am just one that’s wired to like color and creativeness and I think it has rubbed off on my kids as well. (Maybe the big red and yellow swirl on our kitchen wall has something to do with it). When I contemplate handing the pages from Keyboarding for the Christian School to my kids to learn typing from scratch, as compared to the Typing Instructor CD that we used when they were little (full of graphics and games), it seems like giving them the choice between plain, boiled chicken and seasoned, marinated chicken off of the grill. Which one do you think they will prefer?
Certainly an older child or adult could appreciate learning keyboarding for strictly the educational value in this keyboarding book, but even then, I think a computer CD-Rom would have more to offer if one was starting from the ground up with no typing skills.
On the other hand, when our kids need to type a paper that they have written, or maybe a quote out of a book, they do need to know how to look at the draft and transfer that to the computer. In this way, Keyboarding for the Christian School provides good practice. There are also scriptures provided throughout the book for many of the keyboarding exercises. However, this is something a parent could provide on their own.
I hate for this to sound like a negative review because this really is a product that fulfills certain needs. The content is good and provides practice on many things that someone who is fluent with basic keyboarding could use for further typing expertise. Practice with Tabs and Columns and the number pad, as well as other lesser-used skills are tackled in the material. It seems geared toward helping with many Word-processing skills, which I must admit I have very little knowledge about the relevance of in this age of computers.
But, for kids that are just learning basic, from scratch, keyboarding skills, I would say there would be much more appealing options on the market. However, if you are one that desires no-frills practicality (obviously not me) then this would be a good fit, as well as for those who wish to really work on things less straightforward than typing a paper, with greater Word Processing skills.
To look into Keyboarding for Christian the School further (it can be purchased for $15.95), and to see what other products are offered, check out the website by clicking here.