Friday, 9 March 2012

Not Your Type?

I don't understand those of you out there who are computer literate but tolerate crawling around the keyboard at the speed of a slug.  Way back,  I borrowed a portable typewriter in a vinyl case, bought a 'Teach Yourself' book and spent a very productive fortnight  learning to touch type. It's a skill that's served me so, so, well over the years. And it saves people having to decipher my messy scrawl  that might have come in handy  if I'd become the doctor that Papa Lovelygrey would have liked me to be.

A quarter of a century later and it's Louis' turn to teach those digits to tap away at an lightning pace. It was one of the recommendations in the report that Christy, the educational psychologist prepared for him to compensate for his difficulties with writing and spelling. Of course, tuition has taken a hi-tech turn and there's a myriad of software solutions.   The good news is that this isn't something that you have to throw money out.  There's plenty of free resources out there.

Tried and tested by Lou comes the BBC's Dance Mat Typing .  It must be fun as it hasn't been too onerous to persuade him to persevere with the twelve part course.  He's advanced to lesson six out of twelve and tells me that he now knows how to type  p and q with his pinkies.  School are supplementing this learning with their own lessons for a small group of lads with similar difficulties.  And it seems Louis home study is paying dividends...slowly.   For this week he proudly came home with a speed typing certificate.  With his breakneck speed of four words a minute, he's easily the best in the class!


  1. Well done Louis! I just don't understand why every single child in the land isn't taught to touch type -- it's one of my pet obsessions. It's just a necessity in this day and age. I insisted on learning to type in the sixth form at school and was sent to the portakabin with the girls of whom very little was expected (awful system!!). They were made to learn to type so that they could be secretaries but I had to beg. They didn't like me being in the class with them! But I did learn and when I got to college I used the typing to volunteer to edit the college newsletter and I'm sure that set me on the way to my career (books) so it was definitely worth doing. Sorry to go on at such length. I've tried to bribe my own kids to learn and they keep starting but never quite finishing the course (dance mat).

  2. I taught myself to type with an old Underwood or Imperial typewriter and a Pitman book. I am so glad that I did so, now that I spend so much time on my laptop.

    I do think that children should be taught touch-typing as soon as is feasible in this day and age.

  3. I forgot to congratulate Louis, I am so sorry! I just tried the website you linked to, good fun other than the awful voice.