When to start typing

A recent article at missoulian.com discusses at what age should schools start teaching typing. Some schools wait until as late as 5th or 6th grade to teach typing, while other schools start at grade 2.

“The quandary is: Are we creating a world of hunt-and-peck keyboard users by waiting too long to give formal typing instruction? Or might keyboarding lessons sacrifice time on spelling and sentence structure to teach something better learned in later years? “

The problem with this statement is you can teach keyboarding without sacrificing time on spelling and sentence structure. Why not make the spelling lesson to type the words three times instead of write them three times. Or do the common DOL (Daily Oral Language) on the computer rather than on paper. Computers are the tool that replaces the pencil and paper, not something that you have to do.

I’ve struggled with this at my last two schools. At my last school we started teaching typing in second grade with a hunt and peck method and moving to home row and ‘true typing’ in 4th grade. At my current school, students start typing in 1st grade using the hunt and peck method and ‘true typing’ in 3rd grade. All

I know is by 5th grade most of our students are typing in the 20-30 words per minute range and some as high as 50 wpm with 80% accuracy.

The thing that I ponder is; should we really be teaching our students how to type? I look at the Kindergarteners I have and think by the time they’re ready to type, keyboards could be obsolete. With the huge strides that are being made in speech to type software and voice recognition software, I can see the end of the keyboard is not to far off.