Product: Keyboard Town Pals
Price: Currently on sale for 35 dollars US
Here’s a little secret for you….
I’ve been using computers pretty much all my life and I still don’t know how to type properly. My son, who learned how to type last year, looks over my shoulder and tells me I really need to learn how to type. I frequently make errors and I like to blame it on the fact that my fingers move faster than I brain, but the reality is, that its because I haven’t learned how to type. I don’t want my children to suffer the same fate so I was happy to let Morgaine try an online typing program, Keyboard Town Pals, that I was given to review from the TOS Homeschool Crew. The website said that my daughter could be tryping real words within an hour so I was anxious to get started!
First your child is introduced to Sunny who will be your child’s guide for this learning adventure. Finger placement is then taught by introducing the middle row where you fingers live as Home Key Street. The bottom row is called Downtown and the row above the middle row is Uptown. In addition to Sunny, there is a whole bright case of puppet characters (In fact, there’s a character for every letter which is what makes Keyboard Town Pals unique.).
Here are just a few of the friends your child will meet in Keyboard Town:
Through 8 short lessons, your child is introduced to each character on Home Key Street and their corresponding friend Uptown and Downtown. Thru stories your child gets to know the characters and the fingers used to type each one. Your child will be asked to type letters and words but this activity is not timed, nor is it corrected. The backspace key is disabled because mistakes don’t matter and there is no testing at the end of each lesson. This is supposed to make learning to type stress free. Here’s some more about Keyboard Town Pals from their website.
On Why Keyboard Town Pals is a Better Way to Teach Kids to Type:
- Children proceed at their own pace
- The puppets, humor and music are very entertaining
- The children easily recall the storyline
- Children will want to view it again and again
- No fear of making mistakes
- No racing against the clock
- No testing
- No scoring
- No anxiety
What are some of the special features in Keyboard Town PALS?
- We de-activated the delete and backspace function in the program since we do not dwell on mistakes.
- The program may be used in two- ½ hour lessons or smaller time-segments such as eight mini 6-7 minute lessons and is especially helpful to children with learning differences.
- Colors can sometimes have a soothing effect for students with certain disabilities. Therefore, Keyboard Town PALS offers a choice of fonts and background screen colors.
- Keyboard Town PALS is the “missing link” between the child’s intellectual capabilities and the technological world around him or her. Understanding the keyboard liberates creative expression, offering every child a greater possibility of success in school and life.
Morgaine has gone through this program several times already (it’s only an hour long afterall) but she hasn’t learned how to type. in fact, she doesn’t call this program Keyboard Town Pals. She calls it Spelling Town Pals and I admit that he spelling has improved more than her typing since starting this program. Oh well, she has learned something and perhaps the typing would have come given a little more time.
I, personally, would have a hard time justifying paying nearly 40 dollars for this program. The puppets were okay for my six year old daughter but they won’t hold her attention for long. The whole program is only one hour long and perhaps so kids learn to type in that hour (which is great!) but it seems expensive for that short of a program. I also did not like that my daughter could sit and watch the video and not type anything yet have Sunny tell her that she was doing a good job. I prefer a program that gives my children actually feedback on how they are doing. If you have a child that does indeed get stress by timers and tests this might be a good fit for your family. I also believe that it would work well in families with children that have special needs. I can see the stories working well with these children and certainly the more laid back and fun approach would be particularly suited to these children.
I invite you to visit their website to find out more about Keyboard Town Pals. There are also many reviews of this product available on the TOS Homeschool Crew blog (several by families with special needs children who quite enjoy using this products).
**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.