A long, long, time ago, when I was in my mid-twenties, I was embarking on a transitional phase of my life concerning my employment. I had recently left the hosiery trade. The city of Leicester was widely known for its trade in shoe manufacturing, making clothes; particularly jumpers and tights. Many of the really big companies, such as Pex, British Shoe, Corahs, and Kempton, couldn’t compete with cheap foreign imports and so these factories closed during the 80s and 90s and they’d been in operation for over 100 years. The Industry was a really big concern in the city of Leicester where I lived. It was regrettably coming to an end, so I decided to begin training for another career and education was my goal. I did a stint in office work, which didn’t really appeal to me, so I began a 2-year course training to be a school support, and it’s the best decision I ever made.
Anyway, I digress again.
The reason for the introduction was because I was sent to a school today where I was looking after 2 children with additional learning needs and we were really enjoying a game they had been introduced to the week before called ‘Typing Club’ on the computer. The reason I mentioned the above, is because it reminded me of the time I spent working as a receptionist within a Doctor’s surgery. I remember having a conversation with a locum doctor at the time who said that of all the most important things she’d ever learned it was the ability to type, and after learning to touch type myself I can definitely agree with her statement.
I must admit I do have a few friends who can type using two fingers quite quickly and I admire them for it, but I wouldn’t get very far this way. To actually touch type has become invaluable to me throughout the past 20 years of my life and career. I feel it saves a great deal of time when writing letters, typing emails, job applications, writing for my blog, helping children at school and typing up essays with thousands of words. I try and encourage my boys to learn and explain the benefits that they will gain when studying at college and University and the time it will save them, but unfortunately, they are not really interested; they have more important things to do like sleep, order cheese toasties from their mother and play on the PS4!!
I learned to touch type using an old mechanical typewriter and the ‘Pitman’ book. It was quite primitive, but worked and took me around 3 months to complete the course at a steady pace. I’m not a quick typist, but I can comfortably type around 40 wpm, which is good enough for me.
So, after saying all of this, if you fancy having a go at learning to type then this free typing programme, that myself and the children were using at school today is excellent to use for adults and children. There is a school version for kids and you can track your progress and work through the lessons. The languages that can be used are English, German, Japanese and Spanish.
Here is the link to the website: http://www.typingclub.com
I have also included a few more links to some great online programmes that you can use to aid your child’s learning that we use in schools.
http://www.topmarks.co.uk A brilliant website that you can use for children from the age of 3 up to 14. It includes loads of educational games using Maths and English. There’s also a parents resource section that includes advice on playing with sand, learning through cooking, help with homework and bullying. The information and games are relevant and fun.
http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk An online phonics programme for primary school children. It begins with phase 1 and runs through to phase 6. It’s good to find out what phase your child is studying at school and help them with this at home. There is a parents section that answers questions about the role that phonics learning happens within your child’s age range. All children are taught phonics from nursery so it’s good to use this resource yourself.
http://www.bbc.com/education BBC bitesize is a resource for primary or secondary education. The website is vast and covers EYFS through to year 11 and beyond. It includes everything studied within the national curriculum and each subject is included giving details of what the children are studying for their age. There’s lots of stuff for young ones to get stuck into. It’s really very good and interesting for adults too, I can spend a few hours learning loads myself reading it. A great website.
I hope you enjoy having a look at these and choosing some to help with your child’s learning x