Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TOS Homeschool Crew Review - Keyboarding for the Christian School

 

Keyboarding for the Christian School  and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version are bare bones programs on how to learn typing. They are sold as pdf e-books. Both programs focus on mastery of the keyboard using the touch-typing method and drill practice using Scripture references.  Each lesson begins with an introduction of two new keys, followed by a review section for previously learned keys, and half the lessons include optional timed typing drills.

The Elementary version starts slower and with a color picture of the keyboard that is handy to print out each color goes with a finger and so the kids can see what fingers type which letters, numbers and other things on the keyboard. A piece of this colorful keyboard is included with most of the lessons also. They give a lot more step by step instruction in the elementary version too that is helpful for beginners to touch typing.

The upper level program also covers the following topics:
  • MLA Reports
  • APA Reports
  • Bibliography
  • Business Letters
  • Envelopes
  • Proofreader’s Marks
  • and more

Pros

  • a bare bones product
  • no bells or whistles
  • levels for elementary students on up to High School
  • no games or music to distract students
  • teaches lots of extra kinds of topics that will be useful in High School and College
Cons

  • words per minute and accuracy must be calculated by the student or teacher
  • no fun games, bells, or whistles to make things interesting
  • more work for the teacher keeping track of things
So you see some of the pros and cons depend on what you are looking for.



How we used this product
     Nathan used the upper level program and Christopher, since he has not had any typing instruction really, tried the elementary level. We were not able to afford to print the pdfs. Ink, the cost of it, and a shortage of $$ is an issue around here. I had the boys open the pdf in a window and make that window half the length of the desktop and as wide as the desktop. Below that they opened a publishing program (Open Office for us) and make that fit the other half of the desktop, and type in there. It is not the way the owner/writer intended but it worked for us.

What we thought about it
The boys like the product well enough. Christopher is happy with his hunt and peck typing for now. He will be required to do a 1/2 credit of typing during or before High School whether he likes it or not.

I am sorry to say that we prefer and will continue to use our purchased computer program that has lessons, timed testing, and games included in the program. I have used this program to teach each of my 3 older children and will use it for Christopher also. I have enough work to prepare for without keeping up with the kids typing practice and lessons. I like giving them a goal for their grades for typing and an amount of credits/time to have to complete and then let them use a program that will track their needs and prepare lessons based on the weaknesses they have. Our program also gives words per minute, accuracy and adjusted words based on the first two numbers, for each lesson. It is easier for the kids and I to track their progress. The kids like the bells and whistles of our program. They like the fact that they can choose their own music to type to and even download extra music if they want. The games aid their learning and make the practicing fun.

On the website they make this statement "Why choose a printable e-book versus a web-based program?  Think about the things you type.  Are they readily available to copy from the screen or are they something that you are looking at on a piece of paper?  Usually you are typing something from a rough draft.  If the lessons are only available on the computer monitor; your student will not get the needed skill of transferring information from paper to the computer." 

I talked with my older daughter, Rachel, about this, since she did the program that we have that is not printable; but on the computer. She said, and I agree, that if you learn to type without looking at your hands then it is easy to type from a written product like a report or personal writing. She was not taught to type from print material but because she was taught not to look at her hand when typing she can type from any print media.

I will probably assign some of the later lessons on things like Reports and Business Letters for Nathan to make sure he has covered those things.

Out of five stars the boys and I give Keyboarding for the Christian School products:


Both versions of Keyboarding for the Christian School are available as e-books.
Keyboarding for the Christian School for grades 6-12 is $15.95
Keyboarding for the Christian School - Elementary version is $12.95

Check out the FREEBIES tab for free sample lessons and other items.

Keyboarding for Christian Schools is offering a discount for $5 off of your purchase of $12.95 or more but it is only available until February 28, 2010! Get the code at the top of the page at Keyboarding for the Christian School.

2010 NEW YEAR SPECIAL: Purchase both the Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition and the Elementary Edition for only $22!  

OR Christian Keyboarding is offering a special Homeschool Teaching Package which contains the revised version of Keyboarding for the Christian School, Teacher Tools, and lessons Romans Road Enumeration and Columns (2003 and 2007), for a low price of $27

I do not know how long these specials will last so if you are interested buy soon. 

Other Products and Specials
  • New Product: Keyboarding Lesson Plans for the whole semester for only $9.95
  • Columns Using Word 2003 and Columns Using Word 2007 are now available for $3.95 each  
  • Creating Tables in Word 2003 or Creating Tables in Word 2007, Purchase either for only $5.95
  • For only $14.95, receive seven of my teaching tools (Curriculum Guide, Homework Ideas and Links, Syllabus, Quiz Ideas and Links, Technique Checklist, Teaching Tips, and an additional assignment) to create and teach your own Keyboarding class. Purchase the Teacher Tools and the E-book for your student or purchase a class set of e-books and the Teacher Tools for your school!
  • Sign up today for her monthly newsletter with free download or sample!
Check out the other reviews of the Keyboarding for the Christian School products here at the Homeschool Crew Blog.

***Keyboarding for the Christian School provided me with the Keyboarding for the Christian School and Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version, both in pdf e-books, so that I could do my review. Though I received this product for free I have given an honest review of them here in this post.

Debbie

    2 comments:

    Jill Ferrell said...

    Thanks for this very thorough and helpful review! I am now curious to know which computer program you used for typing. :)

    Debbie Phillips said...

    As I wrote above... "I had the boys open the pdf in a window and make that window half the length of the desktop and as wide as the desktop. Below that they opened a publishing program (Open Office for us) and make that fit the other half of the desktop, and type in there."

    We did not use a typing program. The Keyboarding pdf's were the program. They told the kids what to type. They opened a text document and typed the exercises in there. This is not a program that you upload to your computer it is e-books (or you can buy printed books).

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