Our third-grader has an email account. We had to set up an email account in order for his iTunes account to work. Sigh. Password overload starts early.
Now that he has the account, though, he uses it to communicate (in a very third grade way) with far flung family. When he started sending emails, we couldn't bear to watch the slow, hunt and peck typing. We instituted a rule that he has to play x minutes of typing games before he can play email. There are a zillion of them out there in many themes. Charlie likes a boring one called Typing Tidepool. His cousin introduced him to the BBC's DanceMat Typing. Me, I'm fond of Spacebar Invaders, but Charlie doesn't seem very interested in that one.
We have already seen an increase in Charlie's typing speed, and he actually touch types from the home row. Typing is a skill he'll need to succeed, and it's so much better for him to learn it now while his brain is plastic enough to create the quick progress he's already made. I didn't learn to type the correct way until high school, and by that point, it was pretty tough to learn.
Because handheld devices will replace desktop and laptop devices, maybe we should also start him on thumb typing. He'll have an advantage over us sausage-fingered adults. His thumb pads are tiny!
4 months ago