Good Questions Deserve Good Answers!
What will my child know after watching a one hour video? Your child will know the location of the 30 letters and symbols on the computer keyboard and the correct finger used to press a key. And after a week or two the fingers will become tools allowing your child to express creative thoughts and ideas instead of constantly looking down searching for the right keys and interrupting his/her thought process.
Doesn’t my child need to practice? Your child will not be subjected to dozens of boring exercises but will apply the newly learned typing skill through the “learn by doing” philosophy. Instead of drills, your child places his/her fingers on the home key street keys and types; recalling the storyline. After completing the one hour video, your child may click on the Assessment button and type the A B C’s forwards and backwards. After that, open a word document for your child and suggest typing the A B C’s again but this time choosing different fonts and colors. After only a week or two of keeping the hands on home key street and recalling the story, every time your child types, typing will become automatic without the need for mindless hours of practice and you will experience the joy of seeing your child master a new skill!
What is my role as a parent? Your role as a parent is to be a positive enthusiastic supporter of his/her efforts and display an appreciation for the value of “doing things correctly.” When your child receives your acknowledgement and praise for mastering a new discipline, he will internalize the message that his time and effort has been worthwhile. Oh, and always make sure that your child places the fingers on the home key street keys and as he/she types, recalling the storyline.
Do you have a program that furthers typing instruction? No need to purchase any other programs. When your child completes the entire program, he/she will know the placement of all the letters and symbols on the keyboard. They will be using proper finger technique and will have their eyes on the screen.
Many of you learned to type in high school and you are probably glad you did (even though it was stressful) because you are now on the computer daily and knowing how to type properly is saving you tons of time. We know you want your kids to learn to type correctly because when they grow up the world will be even more technology based. Another reason why they should learn to type is that kids who type correctly do better in school, have more pride in their work and are comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas through the keyboard. The problem is that the typing programs available are not age appropriate. Just look at all those programs that are sitting on your shelf collecting dust!
Do you think your child has the patience to spend endless hours practicing 146 boring exercises? Who are we kidding? They won’t do it and you know it!
Be an early adopter; a trendsetter and a trail blazer and purchase our innovative method and take the pain out of the process of learning to type!
Children’s Book Publisher’s Letter
As Editor -in- Chief of a children’s publishing company, I’m always looking for educational computer games to keep my kids busy and have them learn something at the same time. Most programs are very disappointing, and my children lose interest quickly. After reading the rave reviews, I decided to go to Keyboard Town PALS web site to find out more about the program. To say the least, I was intrigued that the program promises to teach elementary school age kids the proper way to type on a computer keyboard using memory techniques instead of drills and no harping on mistakes. And to do so in an hour! After all, I spent two years in high school trying to figure this out. I am sure that my experience with typing is not unusual. It was horrible. The teacher was worse than a drill sargeant and we were constantly pitted against one another trying to type as quickly as we possibly could. For two years we practiced. The unspoken message was that everyone in the class was a loser except for that day’s winner. Some of my friends gave up, and some cheated. None of us became professional typists where speed and accuracy real do count.
In the end the torture was worthwhile, since as an editor I am on the computer every day for many hours. It was one of the most valuable courses I ever took. I use that skill more regularly than any other bit of information that I learned in high school. But the thought of my kids having to go through the same drudgery was just plain depressing.
Turns out, Keyboard Town PALS is so much more than a way to keep kids busy. I’m even thinking that being able to type properly will give them a leg up all the way through school! Today, every little advantage helps and diligent parents are constantly on the look-out for those products that are worth the money. Plus, the world is only getting more and more technical. They’re going to have to type anyway, so why not with their fingers firmly placed on the correct keys?
What’s great about the PALS system is the fun that’s built in… corny tunes and silly puppets. I really appreciate the values taught as well. The company really wanted this to be entertaining so they made many of the puppets’ “voices” recognizable. From Groucho Marx, Larry David and William F. Buckley to Jack Kennedy. I think the Woody Allen puppet gets sick and throws-up (what great casting) and Cary Grant, Jimmy Durante and Walter Chronkite are perfect. One of the puppets whose name is Slash has a heavy New Jersey accent and could be on the Sopranos. He asks, “You lookin at me?” and then proceeds to firmly suggest keeping your eyes on the screen or else! But my favorite puppet is Dora. She has so much personality. Her accent is 100% Brooklyn and every time she appears on camera she introduces herself to the audience all over again. “Hi, I’m Dora.”
Then there are the punctuation puppets like period, question mark, slash and the comma. My kids got a big kick out of these because they had never seen puppets like that. On a more serious topic, Keyboard Town PALS deftly addresses the current issue in schools of bullying. There is a complete turn-around by girls who are clearly going to exclude another from the team. They are being clicky and don’t want to choose the new girl. How current of Keyboard Town PALS to tackle this difficult subject! But before long the girls regret their comments and are so upset that they begin to cry hysterically and say those precious words, “We are sorry.” As you can see, not only have my kids watched the Keyboard Town video several times, but all of us have absorbed the meaningful lessons (and) solid values as well. The kids continue to watch it just for the fun of it, and my toddler is even learning his A B C’s by hanging out with them.
I actually called the company recently, to ask if they make any other products. To my surprise, there are a whole array of Play Products that are to be used after viewing the show. I bought the coloring book, the playmat, the stickers that have pictures of the puppets and all the letters of the alphabet and punctuation marks taught in the show, and the matching card game. These Play Products occupied my kids for many more hours of play/learning and we have even reordered a few items! As we were about to hang up, Donna Katz, the president of Keyboard Town PALS, told me that I should keep my eyes open for several new products coming in the fall ’09. Donna told me that the entire program’s instructions are being translated into Spanish. She mentioned another program that is ready to go called, ” Little hands Can Type”, which sounded amazing. I guess my toddler will just have to wait for the fall to try this program that prepares preschoolers by introducing basic computer keyboard concepts. I have got to see this!
Something totally unexpected but very appreciated was finding the Virtual Journal page on the drop down file bar in the video. This feature gives my kids the option to email their favorite puppet. They enjoy this pen pal relationship and send each other, on this secure site, jokes and riddles. This is really clever of Keyboard Town PALS as it gets the kids typing without thinkng about it. I bet that is why they did it. Every time an email arrives from a puppet, everything stops in our house. We all want to hear the latest joke or riddle. One of my kids asked the puppet for a poem and as a writer, I must say that it was very well written and thought provoking. We discussed that poem and its message for days. Then just as I had hoped, my daughter sat down at the computer and composed her own original poem. She was so please with herself and sent it back to her puppet pen pal, anxious to get an email in return.
I recommended the software to several friends and I am now the go-to person for innovative, cutting edge products. One of these friends even tried the program with one her kids who has special needs. She strongly believed that learning to type would give this child confidence. He would be able to express his feelings but best of all, others would be able to read his work. She has a shelf full of discarded typing programs that did not do the job. He learned to type using Keyboard Town PALS software just as his siblings did and it has changed things for him dramatically.
Keyboard Town PALS was a great purchase for the summer. Now, I don’t mind seeing my children spending time on the computer, even on a nice day.
Dina Rosenfeld, Editor-in-Chief,
Read a letter from a parent who purchased keyboard Town PALS software to teach her kids typing.
Here are 5 Key Sheets to successful keyboarding with Keyboard Town PALS.