Children to Use the Computer Keyboard
Disabling the Backspace Key to Teach Typing
Once children start learning to
read and write, they often cast their eyes on
the computer. They want to use the keyboard.
There's something almost magic about the way
letters pop up on the screen. And that bit of
magic can help children not only learn the
computer keyboard, but if they're experiencing a
bit of difficulty learning to read and write,
learning the keyboard may just be that key to
unlocking the door to complete literacy.
Parents often ask me, “How young can I start my
children on learning the keyboard?”
Like most of my answers, it starts, “It all
depends…” I hate to keep saying that, but there
are so many factors involved. One is the size of
their hands and whether or not they can gently
rest four fingers of each hand on the home row
keys. If their hands are big enough, if they're
big enough to sit at a computer, and if they
really want to learn, they're old enough.
When I'm asked to recommend a keyboarding
program, I simply ask the parents, “Do your
children have any problem at all reading or
spelling?” If the answer is, “No,” then almost
any commercial program will do the trick.
The reason is that there isn't that much
difference between any of the programs. They all
teach in the first lesson the seven letters and
the semi-colon that constitute that home row.
And from there on in, it's a race to finish
learning all the letters in as few lessons as
But if the answer is, “Yes, my children do have
reading and spelling problems,” then commercial
typing or keyboarding programs may be very
frustrating to them. My theory is simply:
Good readers have built-in responses to spelling
patterns, so they can easily read and spell
non-words like: depotion, piction, incordation,
and cligging. Good typists are good readers who
quickly build upon these built-in responses to
develop new patterns.
Poor readers don't know the patterns and don't
know the words so they must type
Poor readers need training in spelling patterns
to become good typists.
If you can copy the following just as fast as
the above paragraph, then perhaps I don't know
what I talking about.
dGoo rdsreea vhae bltui-ni srspsnoee ot psllngie
pttrnsae, os tyhe can slyiea rdea nda pslle
nno-wdros lkei: dptneoio, pctniio, nicordation,
nda clggngii. Gdoo ytptssi rae gdoo rdrseae hwo
qckylui bldui pnuo htsee btln-uii rspnsseoe ot
dvlpeeo nwe pttrnsae.
Proo rdrseae dnt'o nwko hte pttrnsae nda dnt'o
nwko hte rwdos os htey mtso ytpe
Proo rdrseae ndee rtngnaii ni psllenig pttrnsae
ot bcmeoe gdoo ytptssi.
What then can parents do for their children who
have reading/spelling problems? Well, they can
create their own typing texts that help with
reading and spelling very simply.
Here is one ordering of the teaching of the
keyboard by lessons:
Lesson 1 a, d, l, and space bar. Lesson 2: s and
; Lesson 3: f, t. Lesson 4 r, j. Lesson 5 c, k.
Lesson 6 i. Lesson 7, h. Lesson 8 e. Lessons 9
through 14, shifting, commas, question marks,
apostrophes, quotation marks while the patterns
available are drill in. Lessons 15 to 28 will
have the letters in this order: g, m, n, b, o,
p, u, w, y, v, q, x, z.
Sample lessons in the beginning which parents
can create might look something like this for
Lesson 3 in which the f and t are taught.
fff fttf fttf aaa ttt at at at
ffttf ffttf fat (do three times)
at fat fats; fl fl flat flats; ffttf fttf fat;
(do three times)
at: slat; slat slats; flat flats; sat fat; (do
fff fttf all fall falls; all tall stall stalls
(do three times)
all tall; all tall stall; all fall falls; all
tall; (do three times)
fast last; last fast; fast last; fast fast fast;
(do three times)
fff fad fads; ddd dad dads; lll lad lads; (do
ttt at fat fats; flat flats; sat at fat; ;;; (do
a fat dad sat; at last a fast lad; alas; (do
This is the order of
presentation that is used in Individualized
Another ordering that works well and can be used
for the teaching of handwriting as well is: abcd
rst y efgh w ingklm opqu vxz. One letter per
lesson or unit and using only the letters
available to teach words that have the same
at Square One)
Making their own keyboarding
program can be very rewarding for parents as
well as saving them the cost of purchasing such
a program. For those parents who would rather
purchase a ready-made program, we do believe
that you might want to compare the AVKO's
non-commercial program with any of the other
programs on the market.
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