When we think of essential life skills for our children, touch typing isn’t something that is often discussed. But that really shouldn’t be the case, as learning to touch type is one of the most valuable skills that a child can learn.
It can not only help them with their school work but can also set them up with an advantage in later life when it comes to exploring job opportunities. Many jobs now require quick typing skills, but with advances in technology that’s set to become even more important.
There are also physical and health considerations, as learning to touch type correctly can help improve posture, reduce time spent at the keyboard, and reduce the risks of RSI.
In fact, there are many reasons that children should learn to touch type.
We’ve put a list together detailing why touch typing is an essential skill that all children should learn. Continue reading to find out some things you might not have known about the benefits to typing efficiently.
Typing helps kids work more efficiently
Children who learn to touch type can work far quicker as they won’t have to look down at their fingers as they look for the correct characters to press.
Whether they are working on a school assignment or with a home project, they will be able to focus purely on the getting their ideas out on to the screen, rather than wasting energy and time trying to find that elusive letter on the keyboard.
Trained touch typists can produce up to 80 words a minute (wpm), compared to a non-touch typist where it could be as low as 10 wpm. Just think how much more efficient and focused that will make them.
Typing can improve English language skills
Touch typing engages various cognitive aspects of a child’s brain as it’s a very demanding motor activity.
This results in the child being a lot more focused and conscious of what they are typing, as they will want to write the words out correctly.
With this improved level of focus and engagement, it can help the child to improve their written English skills and also their spelling.
Typing gives kids an advantage in education
And naturally, having that increased speed can lead to advantages for children in school, plus throughout their academic life up until they leave college or university.
If your child can produce computer written work and tasks at more than twice the speed of a non-touch type trained child, it stands to reason that it could help them to get ahead.
In secondary education and beyond, the majority of assignments and essays are expected to be typed. By learning to touch type, children could shave hundreds of hours off the time they spend producing their work.
If they learn at a young age, then they will reap the benefits as they progress through the education system.
Typing give kids an advantage in their future career
For many years now, jobs that require keyboard and typing skills have not simply been limited to administrative roles.
With advances in technology, the rise of robotics, and an ever-changing job’s market, the ability to touch type is going to become even more important for future careers.
Even today, given the prevalence that computers have in the modern workplace, a typing speed of 50 words a minute is generally seen as the bare minimum employees should be able to achieve in order to be viewed as efficient.
In 2014, a study by Microsoft found that 43% of bosses think that typing efficiently is a crucial work skill, but more than four in ten British employees could only use one or two fingers to type. More than half of those studied could not achieve 50 wpm.
Professor John Sutherland of University College London said in response to the study:
“Typing is an incredibly important skill both in a personal and professional context. If it is a skill you lack, you are very much limiting your chances in the jobs marketplace.”
Children who learn to touch type will undoubtedly have an advantage in their adult life when it comes to career progression and possibilities.
Typing helps kids with specific learning difficulties
Learning to type can also help children with specific learning difficulties such as ADHD, dysgraphia, and dyslexia, where the will often struggle to write by hand.
Whilst not reflection of a child’s intelligence, a learning difficulty will often hold a child back in the classroom if they feel anxious, embarrassed, and frustrated. Learning to type and using the keyboard effectively could help in scenarios such as this.
For example, typing can help children with ADHD who might otherwise produce messy written work due to a lack of focused attention when writing by hand.
Those children with dysgraphia can find it painful to hold a pencil which makes it a struggle to compose hand-written work. They will almost always produce better written work when typing on a computer keyboard.
With dyslexia, typing can help children to break words up into component sounds. The tactile element required with pressing buttons on a keyboard can help them to manage trickier words and they will find it easier than writing by hand.
Typing can be taught from primary school ages
Touch typing should not be considered a skill just for adults, or older children.
By the age of seven, children’s hands are just the right size to command the layout of a computer keyboard.
They also benefit from having better concentration spans than they had previously, and if like many children of that age love to use a computer, should be at the ideal stage in life to get started.
The FunTech touch typing summer camps are aimed at children aged seven to fifteen years old. We believe the younger that the child learns the better it is, as otherwise they could develop bad habits over time that are then harder to “unlearn”.
Typing is a life skill kids will never forget
Just like learning to ride a bike, once your child has mastered typing it’s a skill that they are unlikely to ever forget.
Younger children particularly have the ability to absorb information at a rapid rate and learning to touch type will become committed to their muscle memory… just like so many other activities that are learning during this stage of their life.
Typing can be fun to learn
Touch typing courses for kids are designed to be fun and interactive.
At our kids’ summer camps, we use a program called FunTyper. It’s a revolutionary reward-based touch-typing system that transforms dull and repetitive practice into compelling game play.
Once your children have learned to type, they can also take those skills into other environments, not just school.
For example, many of the children who learn to type are able to play those multiplayer video games much quicker, where typing and commands and messages is a key part of the game.
If your child can’t type accurately and at speed, then the chances are their team mates aren’t going to be able to come to their rescue quickly during the game play!
Typing correctly can have health benefits
At FunTech, we aim to equip children with sustainable computer habits that will help them to keep healthy and be more efficient.
By learning to touch type correctly they could end up spending less time at the keyboard and also reduce the risks of repetitive strain injury (RSI) and lower back pain.
If you are hunched over a keyboard, staring at the keys trying to locate a specific character then that’s where problems can start.
By learning the correct touch-typing techniques and proper posture, you can go a long way to reducing these types of health risk.
Typing isn’t taught in many schools
Despite computers and keyboards now being commonplace in school classrooms across the UK, the actual touch-typing element is rarely taught as a skill.
This is in contrast to other countries such as Australia and the United States where keyboard skills are part of the curriculum.
That’s why we believe it is so important to encourage touch-typing at home or enrolling a child on a typing course where they can learn in a fun environment.
Typing quickly and efficiently saves you time
Just by doubling your typing speed from 25 words to 50 words per minute, you can effectively half how long it will take you to perform a written task.
For children that could mean that they get homework and assignments completed a lot quicker, meaning that aren’t sat in front of a computer screen for long periods of time.
As an example, writing a 250-word piece of content will take around 17 minutes for someone who has a 15 word per minute speed, but will only take 4 minutes for a typist with a 60-wpm speed.
How FunTech Can Help
If you have a child aged seven to fifteen years old then you might be interested in finding out more about our touch typing summer camps.
Our tutors use a program called FunTyper which lets children progress at their own pace in a fun and interactive environment. We turn learning to type into a fun game which makes the whole experience individual and personalised.
Our tutors are superb motivators ensuring that all physical aspects such as correct typing technique and good posture are always adhered to.
We are Ofsted registered and offer a fun and structured leading environment over the summer holidays, with classes sizes being a one to eight pupil tutor ratio.
Our touch-typing lessons for kids run from 9am to 5pm on weekdays during the summer holidays.