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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Typing 101 with Mr. Fleming.

I still call it typing.  I know.    I am showing my age.

I took typing in high school with the scary, intimidating, Mr. Fleming. 

He would sort of stealthily troll the aisles and then bark out commands....or let everyone know who horrible you were doing.

And, I was horrible.  Truly horrible.

Which broke my mom's heart....(okay, she probably didn't feel that strongly about it).....but,  she was a really fast typist and had worked as a secretary, at the University of Minnesota, before she started having babies.  After she had babies, she took on typing work from home to supplement my dad's income.

She would always say what a valuable skill it was to have.

My sister, Karen, unlike me,  was a fabulous typist (Mr. Fleming loved her - really all her former teachers loved her - ask me if I have issues with that?  :)  Actually, I don't.....but it did get a little old hearing the "You're Karen's sister?  Well, then I expect great things out of you!") 

Karen was also a shorthand champ.....literally.  She even went to San Antonio, Texas to compete at the National Deca competition.  I can't remember how she did....but I am pretty sure she placed in her events.  (I know....who knew that had such competitions?)  Even with that stellar background in the secretarial fields....she actually went on to become an electronics technician....not a secretary.

Enough about Karen....back to me now.  

Fast forward a few years and I ended up taking typing in college.  I was a bit better....but, really, still not  a stellar typist.

Fast forward a few more years and I had gotten a summer job as a junior secretary for a friend of my mom's from her University of Minnesota days.

Lo and behold, when I was typing everyday....I got better and better.....faster and faster....and more and more accurate.  In those days, we used carbon even those were clean when I finished my tasks! We moved on from actual typewriters to computers ( I was even in charge of reading the manual and teaching the other office members how this new fangled contraption would work)

Fast forward a bit more and I started having babies and took on typing work from home for extra money.....just like my mom.

Fast forward a few more and I was working as a Recording Secretary (sort of like a court reporter but without murder trials and things) for cities and businesses all around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.

I am a really good typist. I am still really fast.  I am still very accurate. 

I still haven't found anyone here in Georgia that will give me a chance to earn a little extra money....but, it is a skill I will always, who knows....

Once again, my mom was right.  Typing is a really valuable skill to have.

So, watching my kids hunt and peck on the computer keyboard drives me a little crazy.  I love to freak them out and type while I talk to them and look right at them, not the keyboard.....or the monitor.  Looking at their creeped out, astonished little faces doesn't get old.

My hope is that someday they will be able to freak out their own kids and do the same thing.

Christian Keyboarding  is a way to get them started on that path....without a scary Mr. Fleming!

It is a basic typing curriculum that uses Bible verses for inspiration and also for typing practice. 

Is it always exciting?  No. Is it super fun and colorful?  No.  Are there bells and whistles and catchy tunes?  No.

Is something that everyone will need and you should muscle through and learn the right way? Yes.

The days of people who say that the have no time for computers or learning how to type are long gone.  You need to have this basic skill to every career field that exists.

Since we don't have a fancy reader device, I just printed the pages as we went along...if we hadn't been low on colored ink, I probably would have printed the whole thing and put it in a 3 ring binder so I would just have it on my shelf.  I will print the rest as we go and just add them, so eventually I will have the whole book at our fingertips.

The lessons are short and don't take much time.  They start out with teaching basic typing skills, including your posture while you type.  By the end, when you have the QWERTY keyboard stuff down, they teach you some other useful stuff like centering and lists.

The version we used for Elementary students ages K-5th grade is available for $12.95 for the PDF version of the book.  Or you can have them print the book for you and it would be $45 which includes shipping and handling.

FYI - I wish we had gotten the large print edition....some of the print in the lessons is a little sort of ruins the good posture while typing thing if you are hunched over trying to see the little letters on the page. 

The version for older students 6th grade and up is called Keyboarding for the Christian School and the PDF version is $15.95. 

She has a few package deals available on her website where you get both the Keyboarding for the Christian School, Revised Edition and the Elementary Edition for only $22

Or, one specifically with homeschoolers in mind where you get  Keyboarding for the Christian School, Teacher Tools, and lessons Romans Road Enumeration and Columns (2003 and 2007), for $27.

The creator of these keyboarding programs, Leann Bietel, has graciously offered any of my readers a discount off her already good prices.  You can get 20% off, just enter the code:


But, it will expire August 29th, 2012

Trust me when I say that this method of learning to type is a lot better than what I went through with Mr. Fleming.  I try not to sneak up on my students and scare them while they are working!  I am nice that way!

See what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought.

Disclaimer:  I received a free PDF copy of Keyboarding for the Christian School in exchange for an honest review.