Thursday, May 25, 2017

Learn Keyboarding Skills with The Typing Coach {REVIEW}

The Typing Coach
Earlier in the year, several of Mr. B's therapists and doctors suggested I allow him to type out his answers, rather than hand write them. They explained all of the mechanics of writing, and how he spends so much time trying to form the words, then make the letters, spell them correctly, etc. that he loses what he wants to say because his thoughts move faster than his brain will allow the mechanics to take place. I hadn't yet settled on a keyboarding program to teach him how to type, and we came across The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach.

The Typing Coach uses progressive, self-paced lessons to teach proper typing skills. These lessons utilize both online and written components for a well rounded learning experience. They say by the time you finish the course, you should be typing at least 10 words per minute, with no more than 1 error per minute, and that if you continue practicing with the program you will only improve. 
The Typing Coach
Our Experience:

Mr. B really enjoys sitting at the computer and doing the lessons. We started out at the very beginning, and I chose to do the slower paced lessons. I really  like how everything is easy to find. Y'all know me, I have to have billboard obvious login and billboard obvious navigation. The Typing Coach has that. Here's a screen snip of the navigation. I can easily choose what I want from the menu.



We started with Course Introduction. I like the check boxes! I can have Mr. B check off what he has completed each day, and this gives him a physical visual of his progress. And you can easily just click these little boxes, and they check off. 


Another little detail that I really appreciate is the guided instructions. See here on this screen snip? At the bottom it says, "Click here when finished to watch a video tour.." Mr. B knows exactly what to do next, without the need to depend on me for directions. It's right there, linked, and ready to go. 


Like I said before, they offer slower paced lessons, as well. This is really great if you have a younger child, or perhaps a child who needs a little more time due to fine motor issues, or whatever the case may be. I chose slower paced due to fine motor. You can always go back to regular, so I wasn't too concerned. 


I would have Mr. B master the slower paced lesson first, then work through the regular lesson next. So we spend double time. The regular lessons are a little longer than the slower lessons, and do not include a video. They include printouts and audio. I have searched, and the only videos I found during our course are under the Slower Paced Lessons. It's quite possible I've not seen them since I need flashing lights saying "It's HERE!" before I can find links like that (HAHA) but as far as I can tell, the videos are under Slower Paced Lessons, and not the regular ones. I would like to see video links under both! That would really be a huge benefit. With that said, here are some screen snips of the videos. I took these from The Home Row-Slower Paced section. 

I thought all of the videos were going to be cartoon based because of this haha! No, they aren't. I'm not sure if I was delighted to discover that, or saddened haha! 


I like the camera angle here and how the home row is lit up. This really helps Mr. B to focus in on only the needed parts. With autism, it's so easy to get caught up in all of the external data around what he is looking at, that he can get lost. THIS method, of lighting only the part you're working on, is a real help for him.



I also really like the video showing proper hand placement. This really helps special needs kids, and regular ed students, to be able to emulate the coach, and know exactly how to place their hands.




I also like how we can see a child doing the lessons, and the video is shot in such a way that we can see exactly what they are doing so our own students can do the same.

Overall:
I like how the program is not game based, but I do wish there were a few fun game like activities included as an end of a lesson motivational thing. I also wish there were more videos included in the regular lessons. The Audio is nice, but it's hard for Mr. B to focus on just audio. A Multi-sensory approach with the audio plus visual would be great. I really like this program, but the regular lessons lack that visual component that I think would make it truly exceptional. With that said, I really like and prefer the slower paced lessons due to the video.

The PDF packs are not little by any means, and really do cover a lot of ground. This is not a course you could easily complete in just a couple of weeks. It's intended to do one lesson per week, for 10 weeks. That was our intention, but I found we had to move a little slower at times. I had Mr. B doing the slower paced lessons, then the regular based lessons, too. So we moved slower. It is easy to adapt and go back and forth through the lessons, so that worked well for us. Overall, I like it.

Does The Typing Coach Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

There are slow paced lessons and regular lessons. You can navigate between them. We chose to do the slower paced first, then the regular lessons afterward for more practice. It is an online program, so you are limited to your membership time frame. It is not advised to skip. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

This covers multiple ages-from child to adult. The lessons are not "babied down" at all. There are no hidden fees. 
 
 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

The slower placed lessons have video. I did not find video lessons in any regular paced lesson we did, so ADHD or other special needs kids may get easily distracted during the regular lesson audio. Lessons average 15-20ish minutes in duration on the audio and video. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

The typing lessons are just your standard typing lessons. You're not going to be able to use any portion of this to fulfill a doubled up requirement. In other words, you're not going to be typing out Charlotte Mason style copywork during your online lessons. 


Please check out The Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews! 

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}
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