Computer Skills Recommendations

 

Teach them keyboarding skills EARLY!

Many children today are using the computer as early as three or four years old to play games and practice drills. Unfortunately, these same children are also learning “hunt and peck” habits which makes it extremely hard later on to learn proper keyboarding techniques. My recommendation is to allow your child to only use the mouse during these early years so they do not acquire these “hunt and peck” habits. As soon as he is ready to learn keyboarding (eight years old in most kids), put them on a typing program such as Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.The goal is to get them to type at a minimum of 40 words per minute (wpm) within a year or two. For a high school credit with a grade of “A”, they should type a minimum of 60 wpm at 90% accuracy or better.

I highly recommend that you obtain a “skin” to cover the keyboard (available at computer stores) or use small pieces of masking tape to cover the letters on the keys. Otherwise, they will be tempted to stop and look for the letters. Require a minimum of 10 minutes per day on keyboarding skills until they reach the desired speed and accuracy.

Once your child is typing using proper keyboarding techniques, teach him to use all or some of the programs listed below. Your child does not have type at 40 wpm to use these programs, but force them to type properly by keeping the keys covered. This will help them acquire the desired speed and accuracy.

Word Processing

Most computers come with Microsoft Office which includes Microsoft Word®. If not, I recommend that you purchase it and teach your child to use it. This program is used by a majority of businesses and your child's ability to use it could improve their employment prospects.

Teach them to use Microsoft Office program by using any of the following:

History of Computer:

Multimedia

Kids love doing multimedia on the computer. Multimedia software combines graphics, text, sound, and video in one program. This is a great way to get them to create projects related to their studies. It will not only make the subject more fun to learn but your child will actually remember more of what they learned because they are using all of their senses. This is very important for the audio and hands-on learner.

The program that is most frequently used in schools is Powerpoint®. You can learn to use these programs and other from:

Database Construction

A fun way to learn about database construction is for your child to keep track of any collections you or your child has: personal library books, baseball cards, collectible dolls, etc. Software for database construction includes:

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are used to keep budgets as well as charting, plotting, and other statistical functions. Following are resources for teaching the use of spreadsheets:

    KNOWLEDGE ADVENTURE CRUNCHER 2.0 - a “student- and teacher-friendly spreadsheet featuring six easy-to-follow tutorials and 20 new cross-curricular learning projects. Young students learn how to use spreadsheets across all areas of the curriculum as they organize, chart and evaluate all kinds of information.” This is available used on Amazon. Unfortunately, they have discontinued it. It you can find a used copy that works on your computer, get it! A fun way to learn for students in grades 3-8.

    Excel software can be purchased with Microsoft Office or as a standalone.

    The best resources for learning this program are: Learn & Use Microsoft Excel in Your Classroom, Lynda.com and Visual Quickstart Guides.

How to Use the Internet

To prevent problems with the Internet, use an Internet provider that uses a filtering system and put your computer in a high-traffic room such as in the Family Room. Teach your kids how to use the Internet and how to avoid dangers. Recommended resources: 

Scope & Sequence of computer skills for K-8th. http://www.shelbycs.org/technology/scope_sequence.html

Back to Curriculum Recommendations

.

 

Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes