I am a self-taught touch typer and as a result I am still far from speedy. As a self-employed entrepreneur with home educated kids, learning to touch type felt like an essential skill for them to learn. We started the journey with a free online version which the kids persevered with but it was tedious – even I found it boring. So after an extensive google search I discovered English Type. There is lots I have liked about the programme:
One payment covers one household
No monthly cost, just up front £29.95 which compared to many options is cheap
Engaging – the kids love it
Level-based learning which unlocks typing games as you go
Easy to use
When we need to upgrade one laptop the English Type team were quick to respond to our request for the key to download it again.
My kids started using the programme 2 years ago just before lockdown when they were 9 and 12 and they are proficient now. As with all skills, it still requires practice and the odd reminder to choose the tough type. However, the foundational skills are there I highly rate the programme.
I love things that are free and fun (this was a pre lockdown adventure.) We booked a course with our local apple store for our home ed collective group of kids. We were 15 kids and three adults and had 1.5 hours in the Apple Store learning how to make an imovie. As we were a big enough group we were able to book for just us at a time that worked for us, so we chose a quiet Tuesday morning. The two facilitators were fantastic and great fun. We had a short teaching session. Then the kids were put in 3 groups of 5 and given an ipad and shown what to do and then we took over half the store and created some short imovies – the kids demonstrating their wonderful creativity (we had a sock murder, a teddy bear kidnap and a superhero adventure!). The Apple team were there to direct and help trouble shoot. All 15 kids learnt quickly and were able to create a short imovie by the end of the session. We then had fun sharing what we had learnt. All this happened whilst other people were in the store shopping – felt quite surreal!
Apple runs lots of teaching sessions and when the store is open they have an app where you can check out what is happening each week. My kids have also done a session on how to code a Spiroball which was also fun. Sessions after school can book up quickly but there are lots in the day which work well for flexible home edders. Always worth getting to know the team and we have found they have been willing to run sessions for home ed groups. We just spoke to them directly and booked a group session. A five star rating as it was free and very enjoyable.
All three of my children use Codakid. It is a platform that allows kids to learn to code using scratch, python, minecraft and roblox. The kids watch videos and work through the levels at their own pace. They enjoy the learning and it is amazing to see what they create. I am not able to code at all and so find the support Codakid offers invaluable. We are regulars with messaging in and asking questions when we have hit a problem. The team at times as well connect and ‘take control remotely’ of our programme and troubleshoot when we are in a real mess! This is so helpful.
I am grateful my kids have the opportunity to learn this new language in a fun way. Every so often Codakid offer great discounts on their courses – that was how we were able to sign up all three of my kids. They also offer you the ability to try it for free which I always find helpful!