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Choosing between typing programs...


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I would like to ask for some help in this decision...


DS1 is 7.5. He has struggled to learn to read and is not yet really fluent. He is a vision therapy patient with issues in tracking and convergence, and challenges with visual sequential memory. He is a very reluctant writer ... putting words on paper is painfully difficult for him. He does not write in sentences unless required, and then makes them only single sentences, with as few words as he can manage to use. He is really good as using phonics to sound out words but not to write them. He struggles with both reading and writing non-phonetic and short frequent words. He also sees a reading tutor once a week. I suspect he may have a type of dyslexia and dysgraphia. I may pursue an evaluation for those after he finishes the course of vision therapy (he is almost done).


Anyway - since writing by hand is so hard, and he likes the computer, I decided to introduce keyboarding. He has done the first level of Dance Mat and is doing well with it. I will have him finish Dance Mat as a way to learn the positions and strokes for all the keys. After he finishes Dance Mat, I would like to move him on to a typing program that will give him practice typing specifically words and sentences, when he can see what he is supposed to type, and the program doesn't take it away too fast, or only provide the sound and not the printed words. He has previous experience with the Click'n Read program, and based on this, I know he will have issues typing anything if the words are taken away, or he has to hold spoken words in order in his head, or he feels under any sort of time pressure.


The two programs I am looking at are Read Write & Type by Talking Fingers, and Typing Instructor for Kids. I would like to find out which program offers the most practice typing real words and sentences, when he can look at them, and his time is not limited.


I like the idea of hooking up typing to phonics and spelling in Read Write & Type, but he may be beyond the point of benefiting from that - he really seems to get phonics, and his spelling challenges are with non-phonetic words. I have some concerns based on a review I read, that the program dictates words they have to type, and I don't think he could do that. I think I also read that you can't go back to a previous point in the program (the online version), and since he needs a lot of spiraling, I'm not sure that would work for him. Can anyone confirm these things ?


I know almost nothing about Typing Instructor For Kids. I watched one video review of it. There was a part where they were choosing nursery rhymes to type and I liked that. The website doesn't show screenshots or anything. Would this program offer the kind of practice I am hoping to find for him ? I would like him to be able to see what he is supposed to be typing, with no time limit, have it be real words and sentences, and go back to the same point in the program to practice as much as he needs to. Can this program do that ?


Thank you for any information !

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We love Read, Write and Type, but it was at the perfect phonics level for my guy at the time. It may be too simplistic for an older or more advanced child. The phonics portion is at what I would consider a beginning reader level. Wordy Qwerty is for the next level and we haven't tried it out yet.

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I can't comment on the programs you've mentioned, but I chose to use Type to Learn for my child who has struggled with writing and fine motor skills after hearing a number of parents state that was what was recommended to them by professionals who had diagnosed their child with dysgraphia. I believe it is supposed to give a lot more practice than some of the other typing programs.


My son just started using it a couple of weeks ago and is really enjoying it. I have an older version, but Homeschool Buyers Coop was offering a deal on the most recent one not that long ago.



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