The Typing Coach is a self paced online course developed by a veteran typing teacher named David Kimball. Mr. Kimball aka The Typing Coach uses a systematic approach to quickly wean the student away from hard to break habits like looking at the keyboard or typing with two fingers. Other bad habits he wants to help you break are sitting huddled over the keyboard and looking at the monitor while typing. By taking The Typing Coach Online Typing Course you can break the cycle of these bad habits in just 10 weeks at a pace of one lesson per week. The course consists of videos, audios, tips, and downloadable (PDF) instructions. The Typing Coach Online Typing Course can be used by anyone ages 8 to adult.
For review purposes I received a one year subscription to The Typing Coach Online Typing Course. The course consists of seven lessons along with an introduction and conclusion. There are slower paced lessons for students ages 8-11 and those with special needs. Regular paced lessons are for students ages 12 and up who can do the lessons more independently. To take the course you will need a computer with internet access, a printer, and access to a word processor (like Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or Google Docs). These are a must in order to do the program as designed.
A one year subscription is only $17 a year per student. You can even try a free lesson to see how you like it. The lessons will cover things like:
-Having Good Posture
-Number Row, ectThe process to get started after you create your account and pay is to first get familiar with how it all works. There are some helpful video tutorials including a visual tour of the course. Read everything in the course introduction section before attempting to get started. Watch the videos too because it shows an overview of the course and explains what and how to’s. You will also need to visit the Teacher Resource Center to download and print out important information like the Student Packet and Learning Checks. The Student Packet (Audio Course) is needed for the audio lessons and practice the student will be doing. The Learning Checks are especially needed over in the Practice and Testing Center.
My son needed more typing practice so I wanted to see if he could learn how to type from The Typing Coach. He has tried several keyboarding and typing programs in the past. The only thing he got out of them was to learn some of the keys and where to place his hands on the keyboard. Unlike this program, they were not geared towards mastery. In fact this typing program uses the old fashioned way to learn how to type. Back when I started high school we learned how to type using typewriters. There was no monitor to look at or backspace button to correct your mistakes. Our paper or workbooks were propped up on a stand to our left and we did not correct any mistakes we made until later on when we had to use a rectangle shaped correction paper that had to be fed through on top of our typing paper. Well that was an interesting trip down memory lane. Now back to what I was saying.
In The Typing Coach Online Typing Course you must go through each section in order starting with the Course Intro. There is to be no skipping anything. The fact that the typing coach Mr. Kimball emphasizes no errors is one instruction the student must take seriously. He or she cannot move on to the next lesson until they have mastered everything in that lesson. Skipping around will be “detrimental to his or her long term success”. Following the instructions given carefully and practicing daily will help the student learn to type accurately and proficiently. It is suggested that practicing at least 20 minutes daily will help reinforce learning.
The video showing the correct way to position your hands really helped him as well. He had problems letting his hands lean to the sides or his wrists laying flat on the keyboard. This resulted in him hitting the wrong keys whenever he typed. Now he can keep his hands curved in the right way for better typing.
My 17 year old special needs son was struggling quite a bit at first. After a couple of weeks it seemed we were hitting a brick wall. He could not get past the home row section error free. I contacted David Kimball and through several messages back and forward between us, he helped me to “knock down that brick wall”. He suggested to have him try going through the slower paced lessons. We still were having trouble getting my son to the zero mistake mark he needed to pass the typing test. He got tired of having to keep repeating the lessons over and over again. I kept reminding him he didn’t have to “be perfect”, but needed to have “no mistakes”.
Another thing I share with David was a modification I had made to help my son. What I did was cover up other words and lines on the page so that he only has to focus on the part he has to type. Some students like my son struggle to process their thoughts/movements. Now having to cover the screen when typing is already part of this program. My son hated this because it really challenged him. I did not let him off the hook on that because it is an important part he needs to get used to. I just used the modification when he was practicing, and when he had to go over to the Practice and Testing Center.
I also kept reminding my son to type slowly and carefully. He was so worried about beating the timer (because it is a timed test) that he would try to type fast as he could. As you can imagine he made many mistakes that way. I’m so glad to be able to share that we had a breakthrough a few days ago. He took the Learning Checks Home Row test #1 and 2 and passed them both with zero errors! This meant he could move on to the next one.
When he did the Learning Checks test #3 he only had 1 error. That is better than he was doing before with many mistakes. When you get an error you have to wait 48 hours before the system will let you retake the test.
As for other modifications if my son were to do The Typing Coach when he were younger, I would have him wear headphones to drown out any other things around him that could be a distraction. Without the modifications I don’t think this program would have been a good fit for him. David Kimball is working on improving The Typing Coach program for special needs. Through suggestions from other homeschooling parents like myself he has put up more detailed videos and instructions for special needs students. I really appreciate he was willing to listen to feedback for making the program work for them.
Thank you for taking the time to read through my review. Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also had a chance to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Course. Click on the banner below to read what they had to share.
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