I learned how to type when I was in high school. It was one of those "mother knows best" moments, since I was appalled by the concept (Secretaries Type!), but mother insisted. My typing teacher was hilarious. This was the seventies, and she was matronly, with a stentorian voice and tall, jiggling bun at the top of her head. It was a huge room, full of perhaps 50 typewriters, and she would walk back and forth at the front of the room, headset on, saying "a, a, a space, b, b, b space" and so forth.
Thinking back, the really horrifying thing is that this poor woman had to grade our typing papers every day. Can you imagine? That's right up there with being a can-checker at the soup company!
But she did. And we learned by rote. Training our fingers again and again and again.
My son is 9 and needs to learn how to type. I was very interested in typing programs and bought several, to my horrible disappointment. Apparently brains have changed in 2009, and there is (gasp!) no repetition involved in teaching children how to type!
What a pile of malarky. I can't even remember the name of the first typing program that we got, but it was fairly useless. And the Spongebob typing program was not only useless, but gratingly irritating!
Of course it makes a bit of sense. To really learn how to type, you pretty much have to take the "fun" out of the equation, pull your chair up to the table, put your fingers on the keys, and work. Right?
Another thing is that all typing programs seemed to assume that the person knew where to put their fingers, and just did drills. Nope. Not right.
This program from the BBC is a free program, and I think that it's one of the best introductions to typing for young children that we've ever found. Look! They have your child practice where to put their fingers. Yay!