Monday, November 30, 2009

typing instructor for kids review


when i was working out my high school class schedule, my mom insisted that i had to take typing class, even though the typing teacher was notoriously difficult (in other words, she rarely gave out an "a").  much against my own wishes, i suffered through the class that probably had the biggest impact in terms of preparing me for college.  being able to type is a skill that is essential, especially in the computer age.

of course, zoe really should be learning to type now, instead of waiting for a high school class.  she has computer classes at school, she occasionally plays a game on the computer and she emails a pen pal and family as often as she can.  she already tries to place her hands in the right place and remember where the letters are but it is a slow and laborious process for her.

that is why i was so excited to have an opportunity to try out timberdoodle's typing instructor for kids.  although timberdoodle is most known for homeschool supplies, i have found that they have a wide selection of educational games and toys that our kids would really love for christmas or birthdays (hint, hint!).

here is what timberdoodle has to say about the typing program for kids:
Using proven typing techniques, children will master the keyboard while journeying with Toby and Lafitte to five imaginative lands where they learn proper typing techniques and build keyboarding skills. Just choose a Typing Plan, set a word-per-minute goal, and as your child explores Typer Island he will learn typing along the way. The engaging lessons and exercises teach children important typing skills, including speed and accuracy. If your children find your old typing program boring, and if you are looking for the right balance of education, entertainment, and motivation in a typing program, then consider the award-winning Typing Instructor for Kids 4.0.
This latest version of the interactive fiction typing game, Typing Instructor for Kids 4.0, offers thirteen action-packed, multi-level games; graduated drills and lesson plans; hundreds of activities, exercises, and tests; and bilingual learning in English and Spanish.


zoe, of course, was very excited about the new program.  she will use any excuse she can to play on the computer.  i was just thankful to have something to offer her that will benefit her for many years to come.  she likes the different challenges and games and is starting to make some progress in her typing ability.

if i had it to do over again, i would have chosen the typing instructor platinum for macs.  she has to use the program we have now on bill's laptop and i think it would benefit her more if she were using a real keyboard and sitting at our desk.  i thought at first that the mac program was for adults instead of kids but the ages listed in the catalog are for 5+.  i like the graphics and games available for the typing instructor platinum better as well.  if you have a pc and want a more deluxe version of the typing program, there is also a typing instructor deluxe version 17 available for pcs.  this also seems to have nicer graphics and more games to choose from. i think that this version we have is good for now, and she is certainly quite pleased with it, but i would probably choose to spend a little bit more money to get the program that can grow with her more easily.

all three are available and on sale now from timberdoodle.  the kids version is on sale for $8.  the mac version is available for $16, and the deluxe version is on sale for $9.95.

for the people who think to check this kind of stuff, here are the system requirements for each program:

Mac System Requirements
PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel Core Duo processor; 800 MHz processor or higher • Mac OS X 10.4.6 10.5 • CD-ROM Drive • 580 MB Hard Drive space • Video card with 32 MB of video RAM • 1024 X 768 resolution • Speakers
Internet Connection Recommended


Windows System Requirements
Pentium® 133 PC or Higher • Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, XP, ME, 2000, or 98 • 50 MB RAM available • 580 MB Hard Drive space (full install) • Double speed CD-ROM Drive • 800 x 600 16 Bit or higher display • 16-bit Sound Card • Speakers or Headphones • Mouse
Recommended: Internet Connection
Required for Typing Games: DirectX® 8 - compatible video card



Kid's Version System Requirements
Pentium® class PC or higher • Microsoft® Windows® Vista, XP or 2000 • 480 MB Hard Disk Space Available • 128 MB RAM • CD-ROM Drive • 800 x 600, 16-Bit Color Display • Sound Card • Speakers or Headphones • Mouse • DirectX®8 Compatible Video

 if you have been looking for a fun and educational way to teach your kids typing, i think these programs offer great possibilities at very affordable prices.

for this mamabuzz review, i was provided with a free copy of the typing instructor for kids program from timberdoodle.  i was in no other way compensated for this review and the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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