Review: The Typing Coach

I have considered myself a relatively decent typist—meaning I don’t use the two-fingered-hunt-and-peck method, and I can type without really looking at the keyboard most of the time. But I also know that I can work much more efficiently if I learned how to type the proper way. I also wanted the kids to learn how to type properly because keyboarding is a way of life for this generation. So when the opportunity came to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach, I grabbed the chance.

The Typing Coach
What it is (and who used it)
The Typing Coach Online Typing Course is a series of lessons that makes use of audio, video, and downloadable resources, and a whole lot of hands-on (literally) exercises to help you learn how to type correctly—and faster and more efficiently too. The program guarantees that if you follow the instructions to the letter, and if you practice diligently, you will be typing at a rate of 10 words a minute, minimum, with at most one mistake per minute, if any.

Home screen

I wanted 10-year-old Raine to do this program, but it was like pulling teeth to get her to do the lessons and to practice. I decided to do the program myself. I learned that I suck at typing. I realize that have grown reliant on the [Backspace] and [Delete] buttons, and MS Office’s autocorrect features. So I actually am not a decent typist.

Raine, obviously, did not want to take typing lessons. Her attitude was mostly I already can type, why do I need to follow?

The lesson setup
There are seven lessons in all, and you can only move on to the next one once you’ve mastered the previous ones. So honesty is crucial here. Honesty, and the willingness to try things the way the program says you should. According to the Typing Coach, “This is the key. To be willing to follow instructions precisely, choosing to succeed in this skill. You cannot expect to succeed in your goal by not giving your all. You must master each step before moving on to the next. Each skill builds on the previous one.”

The course starts with the introductory matter: getting acquainted with the setup and the method, and printing out the student packets and learning check packets. You get a piece of paper and write out your typing goals. Then you go and do a Before and After Snapshot—typing out the Gettysburg Address in three minutes. If you do well in this one, I think you get to move on ahead. If not, as I obviously did, you need to move on to the first lesson: Having Good Posture.

The Before snapshot that disproved my belief of me being a capable typist

Once you get that, you can check it off your progress report and move on to the next lesson: the Home Row. You will listen to the audio as you practice the skills needed. In this case, it’s learning how to use all your fingers to type out the letters on the home row (the one with the letters A and S). After, you need to practice typing the lines printed in the student activity packet. Once you can type that with no errors, and without looking either at the keyboard or the screen, you can move on to the Learning Check test on the Practice & Testing Center page.

You just fill in your name and email address (optional) and the duration and type of test that you want to take. Your time starts once you start typing. At the end of the period, you get an instant score (and a report of your results is emailed to you). If you pass, you move on. If you fail, you need to repeat the entire lesson. The rest of the lessons proceed this way.

The Testing Practice Center

 

Our experience—a quick rundown
Personally, I like this program. Especially since I have been practicing and practicing and can never go beyond the home row. My fingers are not working. The muscle memory is simply not coming. Quickly, at least. The recommended practice time is 20 minutes daily and I’ve gone beyond that, but my fingers are still not cooperating. My pinkies and ring fingers are obviously not used to all that work. So sometimes they forget that they should be pressing down, or they get overexcited and spasmic and before I know it, I’ve typed out “asssssslll” instead of just “asl.”

However, this is challenging the bullheadedness in me. I will get to Lesson 7 Number Row, darn it! Even if I get carpal tunnel syndrome in the process (but if you follow the Typing Coach’s correct posture advice, you aren’t supposed to get CTS).

What we liked…and what was so-so
The plus side of all my slaving over this typing practice is that Breeze finally came up to check on what I had been doing. Then she wanted in on all the fun I was having, so she started on her own lessons. Raine finally wandered over and asked, “Can I try too?” So now we’re all doing it. At the rate I’m going, the kids will probably beat me to Lesson 7 and the Final Assessment (retyping the Gettysburg Address).

The website isn’t flashy or sleek. It can sometimes be confusing, especially in the getting-onboard stage. But the audios are practical and easy to follow. You can even download the audio, in case you want to be offline as you practice.

I understand the need to perfect the first lessons first before moving on to the next, but it can get frustrating if you really can’t get it. So I’m not sure if I like that or not. Both, I think. It’s helping develop perseverance and diligence, that’s for sure.

One thing I didn’t like was the test. The test and I don’t seem to be on the same page. I am following the letters that need to be typed, but the errors say that I typed an entirely different set of letters…and I’m not quite sure where those came from. The report emailed to you lists the errors, but it would be great to have the errors highlighted in the test text. Also, you aren’t allowed to retake the test immediately; you need to wait two days. I guess that’s so you can seriously practice.

The Learning Check Test that left me confused. The material I had to type is on the left, and the report about it on the right.

The verdict
Overall, this can be a good program for older kids (or really patient younger ones).

Find out how The Typing Coach experience went with other homeschooling moms. Click below!

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}
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