A typing club is a great way to jump-start a mid-summer learning slump. We all start with the best intentions when it comes to teaching our kids new skills during their time off. But it is easy to let them slide. Here are three ways you can incorporate a DIY typing club into your kids’ mid-summer plans.
But first, why would you want to host a typing club?
- Students are motivated to learn when they see others learning.
- Most of us (adults included) enjoy learning when we can see its purpose. And watching others use keyboarding skills shows your child how valuable the skill is.
- Hosting a typing club can be done online or in person, so it’s a flexible way to get kids together to do something productive.
Typing Club Ground Rules
You will need to set some ground rules for your typing club. These can be minimal and few, but they are important. Here are some ideas:
- When you are typing, you are typing. You are not playing a video game, checking your email, or messaging with a friend. (However, these activities will all be easier after your typing club takes off!)
- The only members of the typing club are those you have pre-approved. This will vary by parent, but you may want to limit the number of students to those whom you know in person. Maybe they’re neighborhood friends or classmates from the last school year, but knowing them in person is a great way to eliminate some of the unknowns of online activity.
- See something, say something. This is a great boundary to set for pretty much any area of your child’s or teen’s life. It bears repeating as they grow since teenagers may not remember all those childhood lessons you instilled. This rule basically applies to alerting a trusted adult if there’s any questionable activity going on – online bullying, cheating, or language/images that are inappropriate.
Strategies for Conducting a Typing Club
- Decide who will participate. This will involve parents of your child’s other friends. Ask them if they’d like their children to take part.
- Choose which program you’ll use as a guide. There are a plethora of typing programs to guide students. Some of those are TypeTastic, Typing Club, and several other software programs that you can research. You’ll also need to decide if the typing club members will meet periodically in person or online through video chats. (It’s easy to set up a Facebook room or a Zoom call for students to practice together, but it may also set up distractions. So it’s best to decide this with the other parents.).
- Agree on typing club rewards. As a parent, you want your child to learn, but you also don’t want them to feel bad if their friends pick up typing quicker than they do. So one of the important parts of conducting a typing club is to establish how rewards will be given.
You can do a few different types of rewards: speed and time, letters learned, or minutes logged. Speed and time relate to how fast your child is typing and what percentage of accuracy and growth he or she has. Choosing a program that sends you monitoring reports will be important if you want to reward each child in the club based on these parameters.
You can also simply have each student set a timer and log typing time throughout the last few weeks of summer. Rewards can be given out for the student who practices the most consistently, logs the highest amount of minutes, or the one who learns the most letter placement keys.
Aside from time logged or students practicing with consistency, the other options will need to have monitoring tools built in so that you know which keys your student(s) are learning and how fast they are typing.
Non-Competitive Typing Club Reward Systems
If you don’t want to host a typing club where competition is a key factor, you can always set some basic scaffolding rewards. These are easier to monitor as well.
For example, you can model, either in person or through Zoom, how students begin by placing their fingers on the home keys. That can be the baseline reward for each student. Once they’ve learned to begin their keyboarding session on the home keys, without being told, they get the “level one” reward.
You can choose what the reward is, or let each parent choose the reward for his or her own child since every student is motivated differently.
The next, “level two,” reward might be when students are practicing three out of five days for two weeks straight. Another level, perhaps the third tier, could be that students have logged a minimum of 60 minutes per week.
You get to decide how to monitor and motivate students in the club. They can even work with you to set their own motivators and rewards (that’s often the best way to engage a group of students anyway).
At the end of the summer, all the students can gather together to celebrate their keyboarding skills progress. Whether it’s an ice cream party or a trip to the movies, you and the other parents can come up with a way to honor all of the students’ hard work.
You may wonder when your child should begin to learn keyboarding skills. At Learnwell North Georgia Hybrid School and in our Learnwell Navigator Program, we begin integrating typing by the fourth grade. But if students want to learn sooner than that, it’s up to parents to help them get started.
Are you interested in learning more about Learnwell’s educational options? Learnwell North Georgia is a K-9 hybrid school available to families who live in or near the Alpharetta/Cumming area. Learnwell’s Navigator Program partners with parents anywhere in the world to teach their children with confidence in grades K-7.