Nine years ago my oldest son, Matthew (now 17), loved to play Reader Rabbit. This was a computer reading game and he had a great time with it. Now, 9 years later his brother, Ben (8), and sister, Rebekah (7), have been playing Read, Write, and Type! by Talking Fingers. They love playing it as much as Matthew liked Reader Rabbit. I only mention Reader Rabbit because I have found out from the website that one of the developers of Reader Rabbit also helped develop Read, Write, and Type!
Read, Write, and Type! is a phonics, spelling, keyboarding, and word processing program. Using the characters, Lefty and Righway, kids work their way through 12 levels. Within these levels kids will “free” letters from Vexor the Virus. They then progress to spelling, reading and story writing all while practice their typing skills.
- Identify sounds
- build words by typing sounds
- read and write simple stories
- create your own stories
- send simulated e-mail stories
- play games for extra help
- practice sound recognition
- extra help in reading comprehension
- parents can print out reports of student progress
My kids really enjoyed the Read, Write, and Type! program. They were both very excited when they learned they were going to learn to type. With the way this program is structured kids can progress at their own pace. If they need extra help, they do not move on to the next level. They are not told they need extra help, they just continue to play games until they “get it.” They both also really liked getting the certificates that can be printed out after each level. Ben and Rebekah are at two different reading levels, so I was interested to see how each of them liked the program.
Ben reads above his grade level and is a terrific speller. I wondered if he would be bored with the program. I found out that he loved it. While he did not need the reading or spelling help, he did not know how to type. I found that he did not get bored in the early stages because his attention was held by having to concentrate on his typing. Did I mention he does not like to get any answers wrong? This aspect of his personality also did well with this program as he could do well from the beginning and easily transition into the more advanced aspects.
Rebekah also reads above her grade level, although reading is not her favorite subject. She also has quite a bit of trouble spelling. She thoroughly enjoyed Read, Write, and Type! I knew it was a winner for her when she asked to play on Saturday and Sunday. Rebekah caught on to the typing fairly quickly. She is not like her brother in that she does not mind getting answers wrong. She just says “Oh, well” and presses on to the next thing. There were two features that I feel really helped Rebekah in her reading and spelling. The first is when she would have to look at a picture and then read 4 or 5 sentences and pick which one was about the picture . This forced her to slow down and read each sentence carefully before making her choice. She also improved her spelling by having to slow down, listen to the word and concentrate on the beginning, middle and end sounds.
I liked that this program captured my kids attention. I would find them singing the opening jingle at various times during the day. (“I talk and my fingers obey”.) They each were able to learn and practice very important skills of reading, spelling and typing. I liked how the program paced itself to each individual student. I also liked that I had a parent screen where I could monitor their progress. I could see what the grades were at each level. Ben was making 90’s and 100’s, but Rebekah was getting a wide range of grades from 70’s to 100’s. I was able to adjust the program so that she would not pass a level until she achieved an 80%.
One thing I did have to monitor at the beginning with Rebekah was making sure she was using the correct finger position. I found her just using one finger from each hand. Once we corrected that and had her older brother or sister sit with her a few times, we have had no more problems.
SOFTWARE FORMAT AND PRICING
Read, Write, and Type! is available from Talking Fingers. It is geared toward kids from grades Kindergarten to 3rd grade.
There are two ways you can buy this program.
ONLINE VERSION –five year license (This is what I reviewed)
One user $35 Two users $55 Three users $70 Four users $85 Five users $100
HOME BOX EDITION- yours forever
Multiple user $79
The Home Box edition includes 2 CD Rom’s and many features. To see all the features visit the features page at the Talking Fingers website.
Visit the Crew Blog to see what my other crewmates thought of Read, Write, and Type!
As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received Talking Fingers, Read, Write, and Type! online version for free in exchange for my honest review of their product.