Is touch typing an essential skill for children or is it just a “nice to have”?

Learning to touch type has some great benefits.

While you might have a mental image of rows of young ladies sitting behind their manual typewriters, touch-typing is not an outdated practice and is becoming more and more relevant. Learning to touch type is actually a really valuable skill, easier to pick up as a child.  It can be a skill that helps both at school and in later life when they come to seek a job.

With technology as it is, fast and accurate typing in the work place is really important.

So why is touch typing a necessary skill?

  • Learning from a young age will be a great benefit when progressing through school and beyond.
  • Children who touch type can work a lot more quickly as they don’t need to look down at their fingers to look for the correct keys. They will spend less time in front of the computer screen in their free time, doing homework.
  • They can focus on getting their ideas down rather than spending too much time looking for the right keys to press.
  • It makes drafting and editing easier as ideas can be deleted and changed without messy crossing out.
  • It helps reduce the risk of RSI as pressure is spread out over all their fingers and good posture is encouraged.
  • A touch typist can type faster and produce work more quickly.
  • Learning to type can help with spellings as it relies on muscle memory to learn patterns for words rather than trying to remember spellings parrot fashion.
  • In secondary school and beyond, the majority of assignments and essays are expected to be typed. By learning to touch type, children can save a lot of time preparing work.
  • Learning to type can also help children with specific learning difficulties such as ADHD, dysgraphia, and dyslexia, where they will often struggle to write by hand. As mentioned before, learning to type relies on muscle memory (also used in sport) rather than a good memory.  Typing fast is also great for exams where children may be using a laptop.  Learning to type means there is less concentration on neatness, pencil grip and mistakes as errors can be deleted.
  • Believe it or not, typing can help handwriting as fingers are strengthened and have more dexterity.
  • Typing is a life skill. For an initial outlay for a good touch-typing course, they will learn a skill for life.
  • Touch typing may sound difficult to master. Children learn at different paces, but on average, they should have reached a good speed and accuracy after 10 weeks (with practice in between lessons).
  • Unfortunately, it isn’t part of the national curriculum yet, but it should be!

So is it essential?

With all these benefits, it does look like Touch Typing is an essential skill.    Did you learn to touch type when you were a child?

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