Learn to Read, Write & Type with Talking Fingers (Crew Review)

Talking Fingers Review
Typing is an essential skill in today’s computer-dominated world, but my kids haven’t really spent any time learning it until now. When we got a chance to review Read, Write & Type from Talking Fingers Inc., I thought this might be a good chance to develop that skill.

About Talking Fingers

As the title implies, Read, Write & Type is more than just a typing program.  It is designed for students ages 6-8 who are learning to put together letter sounds to form words, so they’re working on multiple skills simultaneously.  Through colorful animation and a fun story line, they work through 10 levels to defeat a “virus” who’s causing trouble.  Along the way they practice letter and sound recognition, spelling, and correct finger placement on the keyboard.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
When the student logs in, the program remembers what they were previously working on and lets them pick things up right where they left off.  Students can go back and practice previous lessons by clicking on different places around the “city” in the opening picture.  However, if they don’t want this review the program systematically takes them from skill to skill, so there is no guesswork about what they should be doing next.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
The lessons contain a variety of activities practicing reading, putting words together, and typing with instruction on which fingers to use.  When each level is complete, the student earns a “Certificate of Merit,” which can be printed if desired.

This program could also be a great tool for students learning English as a second language.  So many language programs just focus on conversational English, but Read, Write & Type teaches the literacy skills of reading and writing that they’ll need to be successful in school.  Voice-over help is available in nine languages: Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish and Tagalog.

Our Experience

Elijah (6) is within the target age range for Read, Write & Type, so I decided to use it with him.  He’s already a strong reader, so he didn’t really need that aspect of the program, but I was intrigued by the prospect of helping him learn to type.  He got started and didn’t want to stop!  Even within the first half hour, I could see that this was going to be really helpful.  Eli’s very comfortable on computers, but he’s always used the “hunt and peck” method when it came to typing.  Right away Read, Write & Type had him holding his hands in the proper position and using specific fingers to type each letter.  The repetition helped develop the muscle memory he needed to make the motion automatic (though I did have to remind him a few times to think use the correct hand/finger).

Talking Fingers
Of course, seeing Elijah having fun on something new set Ian to begging for a chance to try it.  I told him it’s probably too easy for him since he reads really well for an 8-year old, but he pointed out that he could use some help with typing.  I gave in and set him up with an account and he enthusiastically jumped on the other computer and tried to catch up with his brother.  (Competition can be so motivating!) I appreciated that it also gave my boys a chance to practice and feel successful at spelling.

We had a little bit of trouble when using Read, Write & Type on our newest computer running Windows 10.  For some reason when using the Chrome browser we were sometimes unable to type the letters required, so we just switched to the Edge browser and continued with no trouble.  (We didn’t have issues with Chrome on any other computer, just that one.)

I can’t really say how the program works for students just learning to read, but I could see it being a wonderful tool because it introduces each sound individually and repeats it throughout the lesson.  When it comes to typing, however, both my boys had a lot of fun and I could see definite improvement.  It makes so much sense to teach typing at the same time as learning to read, and I just may have to try Arianna on it when she seems ready.  I’m already considering moving the boys on to Wordy Qwerty, the sequel to Read, Write & Type, designed for 7-9 year olds.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
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