Saturday, January 24, 2009

More about Fine Motor...

I, too, had horrible penmanship. My mind was always racing faster than I could (legibly) keep up.

I'm thinking I need to get them a keyboarding program and just teach them to "type".

Actually, I spoke to a specialist who said that "they" (you know, "they", the so-called elite education specialists) used to think that kids needed to write manually for their brains to be wired properly. (Really, and just how did agrarian societies function?)

These are the same people that say that if your baby doesn't crawl he'll have difficulty learning to read, and other such nonsense.

Anyway, now "they" say that it doesn't matter. I mean, yes, they need to learn to write to function in society, but it isn't accomplishing some obscure brain development function. Actually, learning to keyboard (I guess I shouldn't say "type" anymore) has some additional benefits.

When I spell a word wrong, I get immediate feedback. On my computer a misspelled word gets underlined in red, and a grammatical error in green. Right away I know I need to check/fix something. I don't go on spelling the word wrong, over and over. (At least, not usually!)

Also, you get "muscle memory" working for you. Just like I know some friends' phone numbers by 'feel' more than by number, my fingers know the feel of common words. So kids (and adults) can actually have the proper spelling reinforced by the feel of the movements their fingers make in typing - oops - keyboarding, them.

Anybody know a good program for kids? Affordable?!


Deborah said...

We bought a Mavis Beacon one at Winners. (It's one of those stores that gets everyone else's leftovers and can therefore sell it at a lower price). For the price, it works well for us -- when they use it. A couple of them have resorted to hunt and peck. I think I'm going to have to start the "you can only play on the computer after you have practiced typing for twenty minutes first" routine again.

Julie said...

I'd heard of Mavis Beacon. Glad you like it :0)

I'll watch for a copy.

Denise Portis said...

My kids were "late keyboarders". We used Typer Shark, and frankly? The program was so much fun I got addicted myself and ended up improving my speed. It starts out as if you don't know keyboarding... and you can take skills tests. The games are AWESOME, and motivate kids (and 42 year old moms like me) to do the skills sections to be able to do game time. There is a trial version that is free...

Julie said...


I'll have to check out the trial version.