Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Talking Fingers Read, Write, and Type

As part of the TOS Homeschool review crew, my boys and I got to review another great product recently. We were given the opportunity to use and review Talking Fingers Read, Write, & Type.

About the product:
Talking Fingers Read, Write, & Type is typing program available online or in CD format that teaches K-3 students phonetics, spelling, reading, and typing. This program was developed by a neuropsychologist and is designed toward how the young brain learns. Throughout this program there are numerous ways in which mastery of reading, writing, and typing is ensured. Students learn to sound out, read, and type every word that they learn. This program is also written in such a way that students get instant feedback on their progress and get to correct mistakes when they happen. Additionally, parents have access to a progress report on their child's achievements. Also included in this program are "review stations" where students review the progress they have made. A child cannot progress until they have mastered the previous skills taught. Read, Write, & Learn can also be used by students who are learning the English language (ESL learners). Presently this program has instructions in Spanish, Arabic, and Bahasa-Melayu with more languages being added in the future.

How we used the product:
Both of my boys (ages 9 & 6) are strong in their computer skills. They can navigate their favorite online game websites without any help and are proficient mouse users. However, they both needed to improve their typing skills. Needless to say, I was excited when we were given the opportunity to review this product. Initially I sat down with boys to get them started and then let them navigate the program on their own as I watched.

Lefty (left hand) and Rightway (right hand) walked the boys through their letter adventure. As the boys saved each letter from the character in the game that stole all the letters, the corresponding letter gets added back to the keyboard. During the adventures the boys both improved their reading and writing abilities. My oldest who struggles with sounding out words especially improved with this area of his reading ability. However, as expected the limiting factor with this program was my boys' typing abilities. Both boys often times resorted to "hunt and peck" but with gentle reminders returned to the proper hand positions this program had taught them. My youngest son whose hands are smaller and perhaps doesn't have the finger strength required to master typing struggled the most. However, with more time and practice I know he will be able to master this important ability. I am amazed at all my boys learned with this program and the best part is that they didn't even know they were learning, they were just having fun on the computer with Lefty and Rightway.

The boys and I both agree that this is a very well written and fun program that is packed full of reading, writing, and typing education.

Pricing information:
For this review, we used the online version which with purchase includes a 5 year subscription. Single use is $35, additional prices are: $55 for 2 users, $70 for 3 users, $85 for 4 users and $100 for 5 users.

Talking Fingers also has a CD version which may be more cost efficient for large families.

You can read more Talking Finger reviews on the TOS Homeschool Crew blog

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