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Christian Keyboarding {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

July 19, 2012

Christian Keyboarding

My family has been privileged to have been selected to write a review on  Keyboarding for the Christian School.  I have wanted to teach my children to type for some time now as that seems so important.  (I almost wonder if it is AS important as handwriting these days!)  We finally got our chance with Leanne Beitel’s award-winning program!

A brief overview of the curriculum is as follows:  Lessons 1-20 focuses on the alphabetic keys.  Lessons 21-25 work on numbers and symbol keys.  Lessons 26-29 zone in on the number pad.  Lesson 30 studies centering.  Enumerated lists are covered in Lesson 31 and lesson 32 practices timed writings.

The cute little ladybug, Mabel, appears at the top of most pages.  Just underneath her feet resides a verse from the Bible.  After you’ve learned to type, the practice sentences become scripture as well.

After your student has begun to master several strokes on the QWERTY keyboard (after lesson 6), they then begin timed tests to check their typing speed.  These are simple tests where the child types a certain number of words then you check for errors.  Afterward, you calculate the words per minute (wpm).  My children didn’t care for the timed tests much.  I think they found them stressful, but that could be because whenever we have formal “testing” they’re a little stressed – nothing new really.

How we used the program:

First, I printed the book with my own printer.  (See “Dislikes” below)  I punched 3 holes in each page and bound it in a folder to keep it together by the computer.  We then opened up a blank page in Notepad for them to do the actual typing.

I tried letting the kids (ages 6, 8, & 11) do it by themselves, but quickly realized, especially for the younger two, that I needed to instruct them personally – much like my keyboarding instructor did me – took me back to high school. 🙂  So, I read much of what they were to type out loud to them.  (See “Likes” below)  This made everything easier, except that I had to be right with them while they were learning.  But that’s really to be expected, I think, from a hard copy (in this case PDF) typing program.  My 11 year-old daughter was able to work without me standing by her side, but I had to check her lines after she was done anyway, so I stayed close-by.

Likes:

  • Comes in a “Large Font” edition.  I think the large font edition is the way to go because the regular font made it difficult for both me and my little typists to see and read.  I was trying to encourage them to keep their eyes on the hard copy and it was just too close together for them to manage without wanting to put a finger up there with which to “trace” the letters.  That doesn’t work when you need both hands on the keyboard.
  • Unlike web-based programs, your child will be typing from a hard copy much like they would if they were composing a research paper.  They get practice transferring information from paper to the computer.
  • It comes as a PDF so not only do you get it immediately, but you can also choose how much you want to spend having it printed.  (See “Dislikes” below)  You can print it at home, as we did, or take it to your local printing store for a real professional look.  They have the option of binding them there, too!
  • Could be used to enhance another typing/keyboarding program.  Although this program can be a stand-alone method, I can see where it could also be used in conjunction with an online typing program.
  • Students are being taught scripture as they learn typing – 2 in 1!  (Proverbs 7:1 – “My son, keep my words.   And treasure my commandments within you.”)
  • The lessons are short – Charlotte Mason style.  I love it!  This really makes it so your student doesn’t get frustrated or burnt out.

Dislikes:

  • It comes as a PDF so you will need to print it yourself or take it somewhere to be printed.  (i.e. Staples, Office Max)  Hard copies are available but they are $45, shipping included.  (PDF is not all bad though, see “Likes” above.)
  • The scriptures the students type are not always referenced.  I can understand that perhaps the author didn’t include these because she didn’t think it was necessary for the student to type the reference.  However, at the bottom of the page it would have been nice to have them referenced there.
  • It’s a book.  There is no automated anything.  It gets the job done, but there is no self-checking as you might have in a computerized version, so the teacher (me) had to be involved.  In this day and age of computers it’s easy to get used to letting your kids teach themselves some things.  I’m guilty of this.


This award-winning e-book is available for $12.95 (large print is an option for the same price).  The Elementary Edition we reviewed  is recommended for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade.  The author also has a book intended for 6th grade and up for $15.95.  See sample pages here.   Also, find them on Facebook.

My opinion?  You can’t go wrong for the price of only $12.95.  This book meshes well with a Christian-based homeschool curriculum.  It’s nice to find a typing program that doesn’t want to just entertain your students.  There are no gimmicks here, just straight-laced keyboarding with a Christian world-view.

Want to try Christian Keyboarding?  From now until August 29th, 2012, Leanne is giving you, my readers, 20% off your order!  Just use the code:  SUMMER2012 

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DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of Keyboarding for the Christian School for the purpose of completing this review. All the opinions expressed here are my own and are offered honestly in exchange for the product. The receipt of the product in no way influenced my honest assessment.
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