Monday, November 14, 2011

Keyboard Town Pals TOS Crew Review

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 We use the computer just about everyday for some aspect of our homeschooling, and also just for fun. My boys use the computer for all of their essay work as they have very poor fine motor skills due to their disabilities. If they didn't nobody would be able to read any of it, but on the same hand they have struggled with learning to type correctly. No matter how hard I try they just did not get it. They found most typing skills programs too boring to hold their interest.
  TOS Crew members were given the opportunity to review Keyboard Town Pals software for the computer for 6 weeks.  My boys have been so frustrated with typing they were a little skeptical, but after convincing them that this is different, there are no timed tests, no counting your errors and always telling you what you are doing wrong, they seemed to relax a bit and enjoy the program.

   The main character Sunny, introduces you to the keyboard and the "town" and it's residents who will teach you to type key by key, row by row. The program is taught in a fun, bright way that keeps kids engaged while learning to type letter by letter and where to hold their fingers on the keys. Always positive and I am sure that is why it worked with my boys. Many programs are always pointing out the keys you hit wrong and test your knowledge in a short amount of time and if you fail to do it in the allotted time you don't move on. My kids do not do well with timed tests and I am sure this is where we were coming up short in our efforts before.

  After Sunny introduces the kids to the town she then slowly introduces them to the PALS. Seven cute character puppets beginning with A for Amy. These cute puppets take the kids through their town all the while teaching the children to type in a fun way.
   PALS are more than puppets it is an acronym for the style of learning being taught in the program. The Purposeful Associative Learning System is the way in which keyboard skills are taught in this program. Creators Rita Herman and Donna Katz use meaningful association to excite children to complete lessons.

 If you would like to see a sample of one of the lessons view the video below.

 The children can learn to type in one hour. It is simply amazing, I did not believe it until I saw it myself. Now the recommended age on Keyboard Town Pals is 6-12 and also many children of all ages with learning or developmental disabilities. 

Parents can purchase the program in either a CD Rom for $35 on sale with free shipping or Web-based package for $30 on sale , with English, Spanish, and French versions available.

The Keyboard Town PALS program centers around children who can recognize all the letters of the alphabet. However, the program “Little Hands Can Type” is also available for purchase for younger children.

I know this program worked for my kids ages 11 and 13, both of my boys have Asperger's Syndrome and suffer motor delays. They now truly enjoy their computer time, and can type just like mom. Now it did teach my kids to type in an hour but we spend and hour a week practicing so they can get better and gain speed, but this program was a great foundation for getting started.  After the kids finish and perfect the lessons there is a great little assessment that has them type the alphabet forwards and backwards, and then type there name with their eyes closed, my kids get a kick out of that. 
 As always never just take my word for it check out the thoughts of my fellow TOS Crewmates  and what their kids had to say about Keyboard Town Pals.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or

services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it

on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally

and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance

with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the

Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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