Keyboarding is an essential skill in today's world. And while you'd probably be hard pressed to find a child who didn't know how to press on a keyboard and makes letters appear, most start using a keyboard WAY before they learn to use it correctly. Enter Christian Keyboarding, and their Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary Edition.
Don't let the title stop you. While this was developed for Christian schools, it is completely usable in a Christian homeschool with no adaptation. Each lesson is short, teaching only 2 keys at a time. And each subsequent lesson reviews the previous keys learned as well as offering practice on the new ones. The pages are uncluttered and the lessons are simple to complete. The elementary edition covers only the basics (letters, numbers, common punctuation, the number pad, horizontal and vertical center justification, and enumeration). The regular edition covers all that and more, like formatting essays, and addressing envelopes, etc. The books are available as e-books or in print, but the author encourages the printing of the e-books so that children develop the ability to transfer information from paper to computer.
The pros: The Elementary Edition features Miss Mabel the ladybug on each page, but beyond that, it's not overly "kiddish". We reviewed the large print edition, which I really liked. Instead of printing the book, I loaded it onto my Kindle Fire, and then they did their lessons. That way, I was spared the expense of printing, but they still developed the transfer skills. I liked that this in non-consumable, and each lesson takes only a few minutes a day. I had all 3 of my older kids do this, and when they are done, I will likely get the regular edition for the older ones to learn the other skills it teaches. I love that when they get to the point of being able to type sentences, they are typing scripture. And the formatting lessons involve them typing and formatting entire passages of scripture. They have to type something...it might as well be something that feeds them spiritually and gives glory to God.
The cons: If you aren't Christian, this is not the program for you, although you probably picked that up from the title alone. Other than that, not cons here.
The bottom line: My kids are definitely going to finish doing this, and like I said, they will probably move on to the other version too. (We'll just skip the beginning lessons that teach the keys since they will have already done that.) The elementary e-book version is only $12.95, and the older level e-book is $15.95. They offer other typing e-books too, such as columns or tables. To order any of Christian Keyboarding's books, go to their website. For an even better deal, enter SUMMER2012 as your discount code, and you will get 20% off your order through 8/29/12.
To see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say, go to the Crew blog.
Legal disclaimer: As a member of the Crew, I received a free download of Keyboarding for the Christian School Elementary Edition for the purpose of giving my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.