Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Read Write Type

I've been thinking for a year or so that, in our computer dependent world, the girls needed to learn to type much younger than was needed back in the dark ages when I was in school. I'd done some looking for free online options but hadn't done any serious hunting, then when I saw Read Write Type from Talking Fingers on the list of possible reviews for the TOS Crew, I decide to hold off & see if we were lucky enough to review it. And we were!! Woo-hoo!!

We received a one year license for 2 users (since we have 2 children in the product's age range - 6 to 9) for the online version. Both girls are loving it! I sat with them when we first installed it, to make sure they knew what to do, and emphasized the need to put their fingers on the right keys (at least at the beginning, it told them the proper fingering but didn't put any emphasis on the importance of using that fingering all the time, I would have liked to see frequent reminders at least in the first few lessons, as they learn more letters, the benefit of proper fingering becomes more obvious). Since then, I've pretty much turned them lose with it. The online version is set up such that I can log in as the parent (administrator) and check their scores. The main screen tells me which lesson they're each on, and their overall percentage in reading, phonics, spelling, and overall. If I click through to each child individually I can see how they did in each of those areas on each lesson.

I have noticed that the girls often will ask me about spelling for things like words ending in ck, or some with a silent e. So, if you are looking primarily for a spelling/phonics program, this would at least require more parent-participation than I've provided, if it has given them the phonics rules to know which is which, they haven't picked up on it. Since my main desire for this program is that they learn the typing, this isn't a concern for me. I've seen their spelling and reading improve on it's own, just from reading and copywork, so I'm fine with that. They love playing the "games" and are able to advance quickly, which is a key for A2 especially in keeping her from getting frustrated.

As I mentioned, I have pretty much turned them lose with it. Each day during "school time" they have time to work through however much they want to. They love finishing a level and getting to print off the next certificate.

We received a one year online license.  The online pricing is shown here  Our 2-user license costs $55.  I think we definitely won't need more than one year's use per child, so families with one child or 2-3 closely spaced children, would probably do well to get the online version. There is also a CD version available for $79, so families with lots of children, or children who would be ready for it different years, it seems like this might be a better option (although I notice it says it's not Windows 7 compatible so that would be another consideration).  Additionally, for us, an advantage of the CD version would be the ability to use it off-line.  We travel alot and the girls like to use their netbooks in the car, so an offline version would be nice when we're in the car.  Additionally, sometimes when we travel there are limits on our internet access (for example, in Williamsburg, we used a friend's timeshare, and only had access on dh's computer while there), so again, the ability to work offline would be nice.

So it's a trade-off each family would need to consider based on their specific situation.

Talking Hands also offers a sequel to Read Write Type, called Wordy Qwerty

This has been a great, fun, way for my kids to learn typing. I think the stated age range of 6-9 is about right, an early reader might enjoy it at a younger age, I think older children would prefer something less "cutesy", but I would recommend this program for teaching typing to this age range.

Disclaimer: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for writing an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

1 comment:

Jill said...

My kids loved printing the certificates as well. Good review.