Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: Ultrakey Online Family Subscription

UltraKey Bytes of Learning

UltraKey Online Family Edition

This was a fantastic surprise for my family! Bytes of Learning presents an Ultrakey Online Family Subscription which provided an opportunity to teach typing skills to people of all ages -- from young children to adults.   

As some of you who read my Blog may know, I am a huge fan of typing skills. It was actually a hobby I developed as a young child. I loved typing like other kids might want to play an instrument, and I practiced it regularly. One of my first and most favorite "toys" was an old manual typewriter I had at my house. I have tested my typing speed a few times and I usually fall between the 110-130 words per minute category. And that has been a huge benefit for me. 

Being able to type well has helped me in many aspects of my life. I have used it for my jobs even doing some dictating when I worked as an Editorial Assistant. I am able to type my Blog posts incredibly fast which allows me to keep up when I might otherwise fall behind. As a teacher the skills allowed me to create tests and quizzes in record time and shoot off emails rapidly. With the introduction of texting, I think the true skill of typing has been forgotten. And it is something I really want my kids to have. We need more than our thumbs in this age of technology!

Enter the Ultrakey Online Family Subscription. This is an incredibly affordable option for a family.  You can choose a 3-user, 5-user, or an 8-user option ranging in price from $30 to $50 for an entire year. 

I decided to use this program for my three oldest kids -- my sons Isaac and Sidge who are 9 and my daughter Abigail is 6. I also worked through many pages as well. My 4-year-old Hannah was a bit too young to use this yet. All three were able to easily use the program, however, you could definitely see that it was a bit more challenging for Abigail then it was for the boys. I absolutely think that anyone from about kindergarten through adult would benefit from this program.
Here is a picture of Sidge working his way through one of the sections. Look at his fingers on the right keys! I love it!!!

And here are some other screen shots (with descriptions of what you are seeing below each picture)

This is a screen where the the student can work through different passages.

Here is the layout of lessons. You can see that my son Isaac is on #5. 

Once he clicks into #5, he has various "lesson steps" to work through. 

Here is a screen shot of my daughter Abigail's progress as she works through the program. You can check your progress at any time. 

You can take an assessment at anytime and set goals for yourself on how good you will do on each lesson. Here is my practice passage for an assessment. 

They gave me my typing speed, and I was excited to see I was still up around 110wpm! Yeah!!!! It then sets a goal for me on the right. 

Here is where I can choose to take another assessment or just keep on with what I am doing. You can change your goals at any time. 

These are just a few examples of some of the screen shots throughout the program. 

Here's the bottom line: this is a GREAT and an incredibly AFFORDABLE program to learn how to type. Each of my kids enjoyed working through it. Whenever I find a homeschool "thing" that none of my kids complain about doing, I know I have found a good one! They did get a little frustrated some times because learning to type is challenging. However, when they did, they'd take a little break, and be ready to go the next day.

I honestly think typing skills are overlooked in this era, and I am not sure why. It is probably more important than ever to equip our kids with good typing skills. This is a program that we will be continuing to use even after the review period ends. 

A strong recommendation from our house to yours!

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