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Resources: Ratatype

Ratatype is a brilliant resource for anyone learning to type. Using easy to follow lessons, clear diagram instructions and games and incentives to improve type speed and accuracy, learners can learn how to type fluently, efficiently and confidently.

Learners are encouraged by appreciation for their results and also, maybe more so, by appreciation of their efforts. Ratatype is similar to Duolingo in that it offers a goal (a cup and kudos) to keep learners eager to move on. Any ‘safe’ online learning tool that allows users to connect with friends is a great way to add an element of peer-to-peer competition into a home-ed classroom.

The typing exercises on the site are fun so learners relax using it, forgetting it’s a lesson. The more relaxed we are, the more information our brains can process and store. Progress is quicker if practicing the skill is fun. Ratatype is fun.

Ratatype for Home-Ed

  • Ask homeschoolers to read through (or read with them) the website’s typing tips.

These include how to maintain a decent posture, where to position fingers on the keyboard and remind learners that learning to touch type is a skill that relies on muscle memory, reenforcing the importance of practice.

  • Ask students to sit a typing test.

Recognising progress is an easy way to encourage learners to keep on learning; teaching them to recognise their own progress is an easier way – they encourage themselves to challenge themselves.

Testing a learner’s type speed before beginning a typing course, and repeating the test after completing the course, allows students to see their progress with regards to speed and accuracy; you cannot move on in the test without correcting spelling mistakes.

Ratatype typing certificates, available to download on completion of the test, encourage students to study hard to score higher second time around.

  • Schedule the course lessons (15 in total for a QWERTY keyboard) into your home-ed timetable.

Scheduling typing as an actual lesson gives credibility to the necessity of learning the skill.

  • Encourage learners to practice typing outside of lessons using the game mode…
Pacman + Typing = Happy Pupils
  • Once students have finished the initial course, keep allocating time in the homeschool week to allow them to practice and improve.

As more and more of life goes online the greater the necessity to learn how to type accurately with speed. If homeschoolers are struggling with writing, typing written exercises can make the process of writing easier.