Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I think that I have said before that one of the things that I appreciated learning the most in high school was how to type. It's probably one of the things that I use the most every day. I was blessed to have a typing teacher that taught me how to type properly. I've determined to find a way to teach my children how to type correctly because I feel it is that important.
Now the problem is to find the right keyboarding program to us in a homeschool setting. I have searched and found free ones. I have even reviewed some. They have all been good. John Allen learned some basic keyboarding with one, but I still hadn't found anything for my youngest two until now.
KeyboardÂ Town PalsÂ is a very unique program that I feel younger kids who are learning to type would be drawn to. Joshua, our asperger's syndrome child, has been using it and loving it. It is like no other typing program I have seen. Why? Because it uses puppets to teach how to type!
They use an associative approach. An associative approach is when you train your mind to think of two things together. I learned the 10 plagues that God cursed Egypt with by using the associative method. I associated the number one with a pen and the number two with a coat hanger, etc. Here's how it worked.
I picked up a pen to write but instead of ink coming out there was blood. (The first plague was the plague of turning the water into blood).
Then I went in to my closet to get a shirt out but instead of a shirt hanging on the hanger there was a giant frog. (The second plague was the plague of frogs).
Okay, I know it's kind of different, but that's how I learned them, and it really worked. Later on, in my therapist days, we used the keyword (associative) approach to teaching the sounds of the alphabet. So, I know that the associative approach really works.
With Keyboard Town Pals the association is with puppets. Let me show you a little example. This is a preview of lesson one:
Now, I'll admit, the characters, like Miss Sunny, Amy, the Zebras, etc. looked a little silly at first. And the humor is somewhat corny. But, you have to realize that this is not for us, as adults, but for our kids and trust me, it really works.
Because my son is asperger's and doesn't sit well for long periods of time, he only does a couple of lessons at one setting but I could see how a child could sit and do all of the lessons at once. All of the lessons together only take about an hour. So, your child child could actually beÂ fully typing in an hour! It may not be fast, but it's proper typing and the more they practice, the fast they will become.
Joshua is really enjoying Keyboard Town Pals and I really like the associative approach. It may not be for every child, but I can really see it working for younger children and special needs children like my Joshua.
The other thing I really like about Keyboard Town Pals is the price. The cost is only $30 for either the web based version or the CD ROM version. Keyboard Town Pals also has several "companion" items such as coloring books, finger puppets, a concentration game and stickers that you can purchase. AND it comes in an English, Spanish or French version! To get to the Keyboard Town Pals website, just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted posts above. To find out what the other TOS Crew Members had to say about Keyboard Town Pals just click here. Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given limited time access to web version of Keyboard Town Pals in order to try out with my children and give my honest review on this blog.