slice of life · technology

Typing Boot Camp

I learned to type when I was in fourth grade. As a result, I type 87 WPM.

Isabelle is in fourth grade. She hasn’t received any typing instruction yet. As a result, she types 6 WPM.

Seeing as Isabelle just had her first writing assignment on Google Slides (which I typed for her so she wouldn’t get frustrated) AND is staying in an all-remote class until she’s vaccinated for COVID-19, I thought it was about time for her to learn how to type since I don’t want her to view me as her personal typist.

Enter our unofficial “typing boot camp.” Every day of her winter recess, I am insisting that she works on so she can learn some keyboarding skills.

Day 1 went great. Day 2 was less than fun. Today is Day 3 and she reminded me when it was time to practice typing. So, that’s progress.

The biggest struggle I’m noticing is that she doesn’t use the correct fingers for some of the letters. Thankfully, Isabelle accepted my redirections on finger placement today.

What she doesn’t care for is when I tell her to work on her posture. She has no desire to sit at 90-90-90. This is how she sits:

“Criss-cross applesauce”

I guess we’ll work on proper posture later…


27 thoughts on “Typing Boot Camp

  1. I thought about a little phonics boot camp for both my girls over break… we haven’t gone there yet! But they could use it- this typing boot camp will be a gift that keeps on giving. Good luck!

    1. Maybe make some fun phonics centers/stations around the house?

      Typing is such an important life skill. Isabelle knows this. Honestly, I think she had more buy-in after today’s session since she had learned enough letters to start typing real words.

    1. Yes! I don’t expect her to be fast by the end of break, but if she doesn’t have to hunt and peck — since she’ll know where all of the keys are — then I’ll consider that a step in the right direction.

  2. I wish all parents did a typing boot camp! At my previous school we were 1:1 so for the first 6 weeks of school did 15 minutes a day of typing (most days). My current school is not 1:1, so typing boot camp just is not practical.

  3. I learned to type a bit in school but it was when I was in the military (Communications) that I really learned, sitting for HOURS each day (not an exaggeration) just typing typing typing … and then when I was a newspaper journalist, that typing came in handy as I hunkered down at deadlines, my fingers pounding the keyboard. It’s an important skill. BUT I just replaced the entire keyboard on my computer for the second time — maybe I need to find some more gentle finesse?

  4. At my former school we had a computer lab where we taught keyboarding to all the students. I consider my touch typing training essential. Especially now, extras like handwriting and typing, grammar and spelling, seem to have fallen from the curriculum, but are still essential skills. Keep plugging away, this skill will give her space for other thoughts as she writes.

    1. Don’t get me started on cursive disappearing from the curriculum. I think that one’s so important, which is why she worked on it during the summer. I even make her cursive worksheets, which she detests. (Too many battles for me to fight…)

  5. Please tell sweet Isabelle that I learned to type around her age, made money typing for others in high school & college, and got my best paying job (temp in New York City!) based solely on my typing skills. I am the go-to “recorder” for most meetings and my students think it is both incredibly cool and bizarre that I can talk to them at the same time that I am typing! There are some great online tutorials that are more like games 🙂

  6. Looking good to me! I didn’t learn how to type until high school keyboarding. I was a star in that class! Typing was so fun for me. When i was in college, i got a job as a project assistant for a grant on early childhood education. Much of my job was retying articles and it really made me an even better typist! When I type in class, my students always marvel at how fast I type. My students haven’t been learning typing, though there is an app available to them and you are making me think I need to introduce that to them again! I thought children weren’t allowed to get the vaccine- I heard 16 and above? Is there a vaccine for COVID-19 that will be available for children?

  7. I think there is a fallacious assumption out there that kids will just pick it up naturally so we shouldn’t “waste time” teaching keyboarding. When I was a school librarian, I taught it to third graders. They loved it. It made them feel so grown up. And it made them better typers.

  8. I am chuckling over “typing boot camp” and must make a true confession: I am a terrible typist! My father wanted me to take business typing in high school – his idea of a great career in my future was secretarial work like my aunt, who did have a good job with civil service. My performance in business typing was abysmal. I hated every second. That Isabelle ASKED to continue – amazing – that’s definitely progress! She’ll master it. She has a master coach. 🙂 I can at least celebrate my good posture, if not efficacious keyboarding.

  9. My mother *made* me take typing when I was in high school. It was a full year elective & I was livid. And now… I type very quickly & accurately. I’ve gotten jobs because I can type quickly. When I lived overseas, I would often switch the keyboard language to English and touch type rather than hunt & peck on a keyboard with a different organization. That typing class was definitely worth it. That said, I’m with Isabella in at least one way: I’m typing while leaning back in a chair with my legs up, and my laptop in my lap. Best of luck through the rest of typing boot campl

  10. Poor kids! We are having cursive boot camp at our house. I know Claire won’t learn it otherwise and she’s very excited to do so. She’s got some bad printing habits so I think this is a good time to transition her to a quicker way of writing with a pen or pencil. Spencer is going to start spending some time on his typing skills though. He needs to computer for his writing so he might as well get good at using it!

  11. What a great use of a winter break – to create a very specific project, and dive deep. I loved my typing class – but I was in TENTH GRADE (I’m quite a bit older than you, I suspect). I have always been so thankful that I had that typing course. Yes, I would be forgiving and oblivious to the posture, make it about the typing. One thing at a time. Have fun! Happy New Year!

  12. My fourth graders are learning to your this year using typingclub. They have to type the essay portion on the big STAAR test this spring. They’ll be impressed with your typing speed!

  13. oh funny – at least she is not curled up on the couch or her bed typing. The kids at our schools get typing in media class so the classroom teachers don’t really even think about teaching that skill. New learning for classroom teachers as well. we need to rethink what all goes into a students day – across the curriculum. Good Luck! Happy typing!

  14. It’s great that Grace is willing to participate in the bootcamp. I hope that seeing progress gives her extra motivation. In a year she won’t even remember that she used to type slowly. Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  15. This is great! I know that not being able to type comfortably and fast has been a real challenge for lots of my middle schoolers through this year, and 2019 too, since here in Haiti we were online much of that year as well, for political reasons. Ruth,

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