Talking Fingers has a program that combines phonics with typing skills called "Wordy Qwerty". Before I tell you about Word Qwerty, let me say that I am a firm believer in phonics and the ability to type with speed and accuracy is only going to grow in importance in the coming years. Wordy Qwerty provides what I believe to be 2 key components in a complete and thorough education.
Wordy Qwerty is targeted for children in 2nd through 4th grade - keep in mind that my children are older than the targeted audience, so my review is written from a perspective of "looking back" through the years. It might be possible to use Word Qwerty with a child in 1st grade if they were ready for it, and it could be used for 5th grade students (the primary user in my family was my 5th grade daughter).
Wordy Qwerty builds on early reading and basic phonics skills, and teaches 20 important spelling rules. Each rule has an accompanying song that aids with memory retention. Not everything can be learned to a sing-song tune, but I have found that teaching key rules and principals with music helps younger students retain the information and recall it more easily, no matter what subject is being taught.
Moms, when using the online edition of Wordy Qwerty, you will have your own log on where you can track the progress of your children at a glance, no matter how many of your children are using the program. It enables you so see all of your student's percentile grades listed on one page. You can also click on individual student's names to view a graph that shows specific progress in each lesson.
The Wordy Qwerty Home Edition has 20 lessons, and each lesson is broken down into 6 activities. The typing games have "hints" when a word is misspelled, which may or may not be your preferred method of teaching spelling but it really does work. I like the fact that spelling/phonics are combined with typing skills. This just plain makes sense to me; after all, what good is it to type at 90 WPM if your accuracy (i.e. spelling) is 30%? Or vice verse? (And yes, I realize you could not type 90 WPM with 30% accuracy - I'm just making an exaggerated point LOL).There are also catchy songs that help with phonetic recall. There are a variety of games, and they aren't overly repetitive (which is a plus for most kids).
Wordy Qwerty's page for students allows them to see how much progress they have made, which seems to be important in a typing program, at least in my family! The lessons are very "doable" and students can easily work through several activities in one sitting. For example, if you assign 30 minutes on Wordy Qwerty the student could work all the way through all 6 activities (or one entire lesson). I'm not saying that is the way you should assign Wordy Qwerty - it's just an example of the flexibility of the program.
At the website - www.TalkingFingers.com - there is a free demo available (using the free demo gives you access to a 20% discount on your purchase!). You can also have your child use an assessment module to ensure proper placement and use of the program. Of course there is an FAQ page that answers questions about the entire Talking Fingers product line, and at the website you can find updates, resources, product videos, and more.
Their products include Wordy Qwerty Home Edition (contains program CD, program guide in 3-ring binder, & audio CD of all the songs) and sells for $35; other Home Software products (5 year subscription) from $35-$100 depending on the number of students; CD products (not compatible with Windows 7 or Mac); School Software and CD products; the book "Making Speech Visible" for $18; the book "Our Big Blue Schoolhouse" for $10. Visit their website by clicking here: www.TalkingFingers.com
Have a blessed weekend everyone!
Day 96 done :)
Jan L. Burt