Homework Assignment Too Difficult for My Child? What to Do?

Updated on May 31, 2014
T.T. asks from Baltimore, MD
38 answers

My son is in first grade. His teacher pulls a small group of the more academically advanced kids for small group reading circles and gives them higher level homework, all of which is great. The latest assignment has her having the kids write a short story, type it up on the computer, and make a diorama of their favorite scene.

I have no problem with any of this assignment except the typing part. My son has never typed at all. When I asked the teacher about it, she said she thought it would be a good exercise to have him get familiar with the keyboard, especially considering they are going to have to know how to type when they start common core testing next year. She said that he could just type the first paragraph, because his story is particularly long. He tried it, and it was extremely slow-going and poorly done. He was spending so much time on it and getting so frustrated to the point of tears.

I agree that it is good for him to learn to type and maybe even soon, but I really don't want this to be his first foray into typing. I would prefer that he learn how to type the correct way the first time, instead of doing this hunt and peck thing, when he doesn't even know how to work the shift key to capitalize. It would be one thing if he were learning this in school, but she is effectively asking us to either teach him ourselves or have him teach himself. I don't normally like to countermand a teacher, but I feel this assignment is really out of his depth.

What do you think? Do you think this is an unusually difficult assignment for a first grader? Do you think it is unreasonable for me to ask whether we can skip the typing part or suggest an alternative assignment to fulfill the typing requirement? I wouldn't mind having him do even basic keyboard skills on the one of many keyboarding games you can find online, but I just feel like asking him to type up even a few sentences is more than he is capable of at this point. At the same time, I don't want to be the parent that swoops in and rescues my kid anytime something is a little bit hard for him.


Thanks, everyone!

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So What Happened?

Just to clarify, I don't think I have particularly high standards when it comes to his typing. And I don't hover. He had handwritten out his story, and he was just transcribing it. There were errors throughout the transcription, because he doesn't know where any of the letters or the punctuation keys are. I don't really care about the errors, but I don't see the point. It's not teaching him how to write, and it's not teaching him how to type. I showed him a couple of tricks (like using the shift key to capitalize) and left him to it. I came back in a few minutes later when I heard him sobbing in frustration.

It would be one thing if this was a long-term project, but he received it today and it is due on Friday. He is supposed to learn how to type well enough in three days to do this when he has never touched a computer keyboard (other than the arrow keys for certain games) before? I personally think that typing needs to be taught somewhat independently of a writing assignment. They need to be taught where each letter is, where their fingers go, where home row is. I feel like hunting and pecking is only instilling bad habits that they will have to unlearn when they finally do end up learning how to type properly. If I had any inkling that this was going to be an assignment earlier in the year, I would have had him gradually practicing in the preceding weeks and months. I never had a timeline about when he would learn to type, as I figured the school would be the one to teach him if he didn't show an interest in it on his own. Which he never did. He has never had a computer class at his school, so it is surprising to be told, "Hey, have him type a paper in less than a week" when there has been no indication prior to this that he needed to know how to do this at this age or grade level.

I think what I most object to is that my son is left to having to learn what is an essential life skill ad hoc, at the last minute, and in not the proper way for no good reason as far as I can see. I'm happy to have him practice this over the summer - and I will - but this just doesn't seem like the best way to introduce him to this. There are plenty of ways to make this fun and to learn it right; I don't think this assignment accomplishes either.

ETA: I wanted to add that I actually love my son's teacher. I love that she is willing to differentiate for the more advanced students, but sometimes I think she is so enthusiastic and such fans of them that she overestimates what they are able to do. I don't think she would have ever marked him down a grade for not being able to do this, but I wanted a reality check for myself that I wasn't being unreasonable about questioning at least that part of the assignment. Again, I don't want to be the parent that doesn't let my kid struggle, but, if he must struggle, I want it to be toward some good end.

Featured Answers



answers from Houston on

If knowing how to type will affect his grade, then you need to teach him and he needs to learn it.

That being said, there is no way I could complete an assignment like that in a week if I didn't know how to type. So yes, that is asking too much.

If it doesn't affect his grade, then I would be at the keyboard typing his story in myself, as long as he did the writing himself.

Tbh, I'd rather see math skills pushed on kids in 1st grade, not all this reading, writing and typing. If ya'll are following Common Core, then I'd forget mastering typing and start pushing math methods asap.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

His hands are too small for a regular sized keyboard and he doesn't have the manual dexterity yet.
It's fine if he wants to play with it a bit but typing for a homework assignment in any grade under 4th grade is just not realistic.
Face it - most parents would be doing the typing for the kids this age.
The typing part of this over the top for this age group of kids.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

Luckily, summer is upon us. Great time for catch up. We played computer games when my kids were little. Helped them learn spelling, pick out their letters etc. Lots of good educational/fun things. He will be ready by August!! :)

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Richland on

No I don't consider it difficult. My kids could type, hunt and peck mind you, in kindergarten. There is nothing wrong with hunt and peck and to be honest most of my coworkers find my typing by touch to be nothing short of magic.

I think you are the one adding the pressure by wanting him to do it "right".

If you are going to wait until it is taught keyboarding is a middle school class.

Per your what happened and a few other answers, she told you to try to have him type the first paragraph. A paragraph in first grade is around four sentences. 200 letters max, maybe 8 punctuations. Everyone who is going oh so hard at 10 letter, not words, per minute that is 20 minutes. There is just no way 30 minutes tops to familiarize a child with the keyboard would frustrate a child. There are pictures on the keys and the comma and period are right next to each other next to the shift key.

I stick with my original opinion, mom frustrated the child because there is nothing about this assignment that should have been hard. He already did the hard part which was write it.

What is really funny to me is mom missed the effect on next year. When all the kids but his group start on the computer he will have a clue, he will be producing at blazing speeds, maybe five words a minute, do you think he will be frustrated then?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

As a retired teacher I DO NOT AGREE with her having him type the assignment. Now if they have had 15 mins of typing tutor or some other teaching typing program every day and they have been learning the keyboard, then sure, by all means ask them to type it. But having a child "hunt and peck" around a keyboard to "challenge them" is downright irresponsible on the part of the teacher.

Hunt and peck is NOT OKAY, for any age. Yes, typing is necessary in our fast paced technological world, but should never be a painful experience for a 6 year old. And PS to the parents out there who hunt and peck, go learn how to type. Everything will be much more fun for you!

You are right. You do not want your son to hate the computer and typing. Before next year, you may want to play some typing games with him. There are many on line. Teach him the right fingering, teach him how typing can be much faster than writing when he knows how how to do it right. Show him the power of learning it and he will enjoy it. Everyone likes speed when finishing stuff. Typing is fast! Show him how it can be fun.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Keyboarding? Really? This starts in K in our district and most students have already been introduced to it by preschool.

If keyboarding is the issue, work on that aspect. No, do not ask for special privileges because keyboarding is essential with today's students. Our school uses Paws in Typing Town which helps them practice. I don't know if it's readily available for anyone's use but if not, there are plenty of programs to help with keyboarding.

It's a mainstay in our school beginning with K . The K students often type short reports, in 1st the students are learning to look up info for references and type reports and it expands with each level. Part of the language arts stations provided are Paws in Typing Town so the children learn keyboarding.

All students beginning with K are given a login and password at the beginning if the year and mist have it memorized but notecards are available for reminders at the computer stations for those who need it.

Ask your child's teacher for the best programs your child can use to also train at home and over the summer. Keyboarding is vital to the success if you student as they move up grade levels.

In high school AP programs, they make short movie presentations. They need to know technology and how it works!

Also... Your child will be (or should be) expected to do power point in elementary as well. Our 3 rd graders are well versed on
Power point

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

I don't think it is too difficult but then my first grader has had computer lab for two years now and we have her type whatever it is she wants to Google at home (ex. She wanted to know if there was a difference between a shrub and a bush so I had her type that). Toward the end of the school year each student in her class typed a short story to share. Just let him peck it out and then you can go through it and show him how to capitalize if need be. Dont worry about proper spelling, format, etc.

I don't think you should feel too put upon if you have to show your child how shift works.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Our kids are not taught keyboarding at all since most of their typing is done on iPads and other hand held devices. Proper typing techniques really aren't considered terribly important these days it seems. Typing on the iPads seems to come naturally to the kids, and even the youngest grades are way better at it than I am! Is an iPad an option for him to type the report on?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I have no issue with a teacher challenging a student to excel or work a bit above level. But I do have issues with a teacher requiring students to use a skill that hasn't been taught. If typing is taught in your school system in kindergarten, and your son wasn't in the system then, and so missed learning this skill with his peers, then it is incumbent upon you to figure out how to catch him up. If it hasn't, then she is wrong (in my opinion) for making it a requirement. A better option would be for her to add bonus points for it, if she wants to encourage it.

My kids didn't learn to type that soon. And some kids are easily frustrated by this stuff if they haven't been taught. I understand that the schools are moving towards all assignments being done digitally... but they need to ensure the students can communicate that way first. Just like she wouldn't require him to write ANYTHING if he hadn't been taught to WRITE with a pencil/pen in his hand. It's inappropriate.

If you want to get him some learn-to-type software games and teach him proper keyboarding, that's all well and good. And will be a great benefit to him. But he shouldn't have to do a crash course to complete this assignment, when he hasn't been taught the skill.
Makes no sense to me.

"He'll need to know soon enough anyway," or "most kids already hunt and peck well enough," or "tablets don't use true keyboarding anyway" or whatever excuse is just that. An excuse. If the skill has not been taught, he shouldn't be required to utilize it to complete a graded assignment.

I bet they haven't taught cursive, either. Would she require him to turn this assignment in written in cursive? Same thing in my book.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Are we talking a 3 page paper or a paragraph? That's the key. It's a short story about the diarama - 1-2 paragraphs maybe. A paragraph is 3-4 sentences.

There are fully grown men in my office who type with 2 fingers. Hunt-&-peck. If he writes it out first, then types the words he has written by LOOKING at the keyboard, he will do fine. EVERYONE starts with hunt and peck, so don't look for typing perfection at this age. I didn't learn till high school and wasn't good till college. Expecting him to type "right" just on the first try is setting the bar too high.

My 7 year old uses the computer and hunts & pecks to find the videos he likes. The more you type, the better you get. I wasn't GOOD at it till I was in college and had to type all the time.

He'll be done quickly. Heck, if he types 1/2 of the sentences today, and 1/2 tomorrow, then he'll be done. Break it down into pieces.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My kids are a little older and since they weren't exposed to typing much in first grade, they could write or type reports like this. Or the parent could type for them. I guess some districts teach earlier but nothing to be ashamed of if yours doesn't so your son doesn't type yet. We live in a fairly wealthy area near a big city and ours doesn't teach it much in first grade. So I wouldn't feel funny asking if you can type it or he can write it. Typing is a manual type skill. It's just a matter of time to learn it so he will. Really. But he hasn't yet. No big deal. I helped my kids in first grade btw to a degree sometimes I worried it was too much. But I wanted them to gain confidence and not get so frustrated they hated school. Now a few years later my oldest does great and just goes and does her work with not much help from me at all. So I'm glad I helped when she was so young. I don't think you should worry either for this.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think that his teacher is doing a good thing. She probably sees potential in your child. These days things are so advanced. Let him do it whether he capitalizes or not. Let him make his mistakes he will learn from it. Give it time he will enjoy the computer. I have an 8 and 11 yr old that love the computer from an early age. The key word is that he tried and did his best. I found it that I would pick up the pieces when my son would cry and tried to be his helping hand until my husband said I need to stop. I allowed him to do his best on his own and if his grade was not so great we would discuss his grade. Next school year he will be in 6th grade with pre ap classes. Remember teachers can not spend quality time with one child that is when a parent steps in and helps their child.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My 2nd grader had to present a powerpoint presentation to his class yesterday. He had to do all the typing himself, plus he inserted some pictures, etc. It's 5 slides long, and every slide has multiple lines of text.

Last year he did a project on the solar system and had to type up facts he had learned about the planets.

I'm not bragging, just pointing out that, no, what she is asking doesn't sound significantly out of the ordinary to me. What does surprise me is that you say he hasn't used a keyboard before. Even if he hasn't used one at home, my son goes to computer class once a week at school, so all the kids are definitely exposed to keyboards. If your school doesn't have your kids using computers as a regular part of their education, I'm worried about the quality of your school.

All that said, I think you should take this as a sign of what is to come, and if you want your son to learn to type properly before something like this comes up again, you should work on it over the summer.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Most kids don't take typing until they are what, in junior high or high school? I don't know it they have an actual typing class in elementary school now though. It would be a good idea but waiting until a kid can read fluently and is better at manual dexterity would be a much better idea.

There is so much research out there right now that shows when kids have homework they learn to hate school. Then they don't learn as much. The research shows that kids that do homework actually make lower test scores than the kids that had no homework at all, NONE.

So I'd tell the teacher he didn't have enough time to do the typing part then just turn in the hand written part and the diorama if he gets it done.

Kids need to be outside playing and having fun after school and not sitting inside doing needless work that will only make them bad students.

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answers from Chicago on

There is a sentence that every teacher of preschool and lower grades knows. The sentence is "its the process not the product" this assignment is not just about how great his story is. its also about getting it down on paper and getting it out of his head. its about following directions. your son can do the hunt and peck thing. he will be fine. It may take him hours and hours but he will be fine. This is his homework not yours. let him do it at his own pace. and let him turn it in the way it is. she can then say "wow you did a lot of typing, next year we are going to work on computers and you will know where some of the keys are" which will make him feel good about it. You can show him the rudimentary stuff. Here is the period, here is the question mark and here is how you make a capital letter. And then walk away. Its hard to believe that in 1st grade your son has never played on a computer at all.

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answers from Louisville on

I think it's kind of bs, myself, and think it has less to do with the kids getting exposure to the keyboard and more to do with the teacher not wanting to deal with the kids' handwriting.

Personally, I'd just type it myself, and if she had a problem with it and graded my kid down for it, you can bet I'd be causing a big stink over her expecting something my kid hadn't be taught yet.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If he's working on this at home then let him type it however he wants to type it. I think he's picking up on your frustration with the assignment. The teacher's goal is to have him put his thoughts on paper. Yes everything is spelled wrong and has incorrect punctuation because he's in first grade. Punctuation and spelling will come later. Right now it's getting thoughts out in writing and getting use to working on the keyboard because he'll need that for future testing.

These are things he will build on in the coming grades. It doesn't matter that you think it's stupid.Sit next to him and have him type the first couple words of the sentence and then type the rest for him. Do it until his entire story is done. You are kind of making this a bigger deal than it needs to be.

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answers from Dallas on

My first grade son has been typing throughout first grade now. In fact, the other day he and his younger brother had to wait for me in the library while I spoke with his teacher. When I came back to get him, he was making a power point about Uranus complete with clip art "just for fun". I was floored because I don't even navigate PPT that well and I teach at the university level!

I am not saying this to brag but to point out that my son, who doesn't always have a high tolerance for frustration and struggled with typing at the beginning of the year because of his tendency to daydream and goof off is now off and flying with it. They do still have to write by hand A LOT. But they have them write the first draft by hand, then edit, then type up or "publish" their stories on the computer.

I didn't teach him typing and now that I let him on our computer at home I see him still hunting and pecking. But I think that is probably the way this age group does it. He plays piano beautifully, but I am not sure he would be ready for a real typing lesson anyway!

All of this to say, I never would have thought, much less tried with him, especially with hhis frustration, yet here we are at the end of first grade and he can do it!

He will be okay mom. Just leave the room and let him work on it at his own pace. The stress he feels may be from you watching him. Goodness knows a lot of the anxiety on my kiddos part came from me hovering. Once I stopped doing that he seems to be doing much better!

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answers from Dallas on

The assignment is ok but your standards for typing are causing the problem. As long as they start the sentence with the capital and end itch a period, anything goes. Any phonetically spelled mess is good. Call his teacher and ask her standards for this and let her know of his perfectionism and frustration. And lower your standards accordingly.

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answers from Washington DC on

My son is in first grade and can type just fine. It hasn't been taught in school, but because he uses the comptuer for so many things, he can do it. Sure, he doesn't type as fast as I do, but he can get around just fine.

This is where I think people keeping their kids from technology is a bad thing. My kids have always playerd computer games when it's too cold or rainy outside, and they have no issue finding what they need on a computer. They certainly aren't glued to it, but they are knowledable in it.

I don't think the teacher is expecting too much...especially since in first grade they are simply looking for the best a child can do, not a doctoral thesis.

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answers from Washington DC on

I would talk to her or email her and communicate this. "We tried the typing. It was extremely frustrating for him as he has no experience typing like this. The rest of the assignment is done, without the typing."

Or you can say, "Son was unable to complete the typing portion due to his inexperience with typing and his frustration with that portion of the assignment. After he struggled to complete it, I typed it for him. I have also attached the handwritten copy so you can see that the story is his work."

I would then have him do it, neatly, with pencil and paper. If you get a chance to talk to her in person, you may want to also say that you love that she does these advanced things with kids, but there are still skills that not every child can do yet so please bear that in mind for your son at this time. Being smart in math doesn't = being smart in reading and writing. Writing with a pencil doesn't = typing.

And then I would look for a typing program for children. We got Mavis Beacon for my stepkids but they were older. I don't know what would be good for a first grader. My DD is in kindergarten and if someone asked her to type, she'd be all thumbs. I think it is unrealistic to ask a child who has never typed to suddenly type an assignment. I would have him complete it without the typing. You can practice with him on your own time, or over the summer.

I would also ask the school or his 2nd grade teacher at the start of the year what preparations are given to the children for the computerized testing and what you need to do at home to prepare him to use the computer. There may be more practice in 2nd grade in the school lab.

Not every new typist will do it "right" and not every first foray will be fun and rainbows. But if my DD had an assignment she was this frustrated over and I could not get her past the block on my own, I would do what I could and contact the teacher. We have written notes before saying, "We worked for 2 hours on this assignment and SD was unable to complete it. She struggles with this particular concept. Is there a time she can meet with you to review this type of problem?" And then asked SD to meet with the teacher at lunch or after school. There is just a point sometimes where the kid is d.o.n.e. Most teachers are willing to work with you if you communicate with them.

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answers from Cleveland on

my dd at this age was begging to type.

just wondering are you really going to wait until upper elementary to have him touch a keyboard? so that he can do it properly when his fine motor control and hand size are appropriate. It would be ideal if no child touched a pencil until 5 yo either but they are so excited and love to scribble and "practice".

I would break it down and spend 10 mins w my kid showing him how.

I really think the teacher has no evil intent.

I would allow him to find the letters on the keyboard and do one sentence per day or one sentence every 30 mins w breaks inbetween.

I bet, most of the kids were writing simple sentences I have a cat. and instead your son expounded quite a bit and was more like ITs was a dark and stormy night, the lonely black cat with white paws that likes to drink milk was sitting on the steps to a big green house where a little boy named Frankie lived.

not worth making a fuss about, asking for clarification of expectations totally ok.

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answers from New York on

At this age the teacher is not expecting punctuation and capitalization for the first time on the computter. She is looking for him to try out and get the feel of the computer keyboard. Teahcers don't want flawless products - they want things to be true to the age. SO - the typed first paragraph should look like a 6 yr old typed it. Then, ast eh teacher suggested, type the rest for him. The other concept the teacher wants to communicate is what it feels like to have a "published" story. It's one thing to think up a story and write it out, it's another thing for the student to see it looking "finished".

Let him try typing out the first paraagrph as best he can - then take over.

Make two versions - one with his typed paragraph to start it off, and another that you've typed all of. give both to the teacher. If your son is very particular he may only want to show the one you typed - but let him decided. (then show both to the teacher).

have fun!

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answers from Washington DC on

i think you have to pick your battles. the teacher isn't really being unreasonable, and has even given you the 'out' of just having the first paragraph typed. but if you have not yet exposed your child to typing, and yet still want this 'first foray' to be positive, you've kind of boxed yourself in, haven't you? it's through hunting and pecking that people realize they WANT to learn to type correctly. no one does it right the first time.
i'll bet if YOU take the pressure off him to do it 'right' he'll manage it just fine. if this 'first foray' isn't perfect it won't affect him for life. this isn't a myth where once something is done it can't be undone.
my kids never did the typing drills i went through to learn a QWERTY keyboard correctly and STILL type (or thumb) with blinding speed.
just let this play out without a lot of angsting about how hard it is or how perfect the result, and start working (in a relaxed fashion) with your son on keyboard skills at home.

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answers from Austin on

This is so not a big deal. If you honestly do not think this is something he can handle or is something you do not feel is important, don't make him do it.

I always say, homework is for the child, not the parent. I did not hover over or around our child. She knew if she needed help to just ask and I would gladly assist with answers to her question. Sometimes, she just wanted me close by.

In schools, they no longer teach "Typing". That is so far gone. It is now keyboarding and most families with computers allow their children work with the keyboard to help with spelling, fine motor skills etc. It is just one more thing we can use as a tool to reinforce learning letters.

This teacher is doing enrichment. I always loved this with our daughter, because it gave me ideas on fun things to do to help our daughter expand her learning and learn new skills.

I am guessing it never occurred to you to let your child play on a keyboard? Nothing wrong with that.

If he becomes frustrated, just tell him," it is ok, this is your first time, just do as much as you can and then stop, Teacher just wanted you to give it a try."

Have him do HIS best on this assignment, No apologies needed if it is not perfect OR even not completed. If he did his best, Awesome! Just write a note, "first time on the keyboard!" lets her know this was a new thing for him.

Our daughter has always been very bright. There are things that came easily to her and other things she had to work really hard at. BUT I never did the work for her, I never made her finish work that was too difficult, I would ask her. "Did you try? Did you do your best? If she answered yes, I left it at that.

Not to brag but just to give you an idea, she was towards the top top of her class Not quite top 10% but was a National Merit scholar in the end. But she did not get all A's, instead she got the real grades that SHE earned. Not me sitting there correcting everything, or making her redo her work unless she felt she wanted to or needed to.

He is only in first grade, he has many years to learn to be proficient on a keyboard. This summer this can be a fun thing for him to practice. I recall in 4th grade is when they started turning in real reports that needed to be sent printed or emailed to the teachers. Good thing because once they were in 6th grade, that was 90% of how the reports were sent in.

Just relax and reassure your son, if he did his best, that is awesome!

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answers from Cleveland on

I agree with AV's answer and can't believe how many people are giving you a hard time! He's in 1s grade!! We're all told not to have our kids on "screens" all the time and now you're being given a hard time bc he's not keyboard proficient yet?? I bet if you tell the teacher he just didn't take to typing but as she knows, he's a hard worker and you don't want to discourage his interest in writing by tying it to typing so you are having him write it neatly, I'm sure that will be fine. My kids haven't done a lot of typing and my oldest is in 4th grade. It appears schools handle this differently and my kids have been busy playing sports, playing with friends, using their imaginations etc so I'm not going to feel badly, nor should you, that they are not great typists yet. My oldest does have to work on it this summer but she's older than your son. My youngest in 2nd grade did surprise me by sitting herself and typing a story... So I agree it can be done but this isn't your son's "thing". No worries. He's a boy in 1st grade. I bet the teacher just didn't expect it to be a problem bc it is a short piece but if she knew it was, she would say forget it. If the school isn't teaching it, it should not be a requirement!! I think these early grades are to foster a love of learning, teach organization, introduce how to write etc. Help from parents or intervention to help your child blossom isn't too much swooping IMO. As they get older, yes. But not at these ages from what I have seen.

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answers from Washington DC on

I agree that you don't want his intro to typing be so unhappy. He should really be having a keyboard skills class at school. Mine started in preschool or kinder and now that he is older, he is comfortable typing.

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answers from New York on

My son had to do a biographical report in 1st or 2nd grade for school. I had him try to type a little by himself, then took over the typing while he dictated. If I were you I would tell her he tried a little but then you had to take over. I would just about guarantee you that is what she would want you to do, rather than setting him up on a course to dislike school. Then I would ask her if she has some typing websites/software/etc that she recommends for him to learn on over the summer.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

My first grader has a lot of fun texting me from the iPad or my husband's iPhone. we can be in the same room and it is fun.

All the kids in his class are exposed to keyboards in the classroom (we do not have the old fashion keyboards at home).

I would not be happy with the time frame. I like having the weekend available incase the workweek is hectic.

Every child is different. It sounds like your child has a lot of strength if he is in the advanced group. My first grader struggles with handwriting. This could be a reason he enjoys typing.

edit: The average first grader in public school is not expected to type paragraphs. My son is expected to write neatly with proper punctuation and capitalization. The teacher should be more than happy with handwritten work. Heck, if I was the teacher I would expect it. It is a good way to ensure an overly enthusiastic parent did not take over the typing, not to mention the story.

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answers from Louisville on

Does any school still teach typing? Most kids are on the hunt-n-peck system - or whatever some got used to w/texting...

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answers from Santa Fe on

Just tell her, I'm sorry but my son is only allowed a small amount of screen time each week and he did not have time to do this. We don't allow time on the computer in our home. He is only 6 and we believe in kids not spending time on computers. I do not allow this, so please do not let it reflect on his grade. By the way, my son is in 4th grade and this year, for the first time, they were required to type up book reports and many assignments. They did not get any formal typing lessons. They had to do the reading, research and writing at home. The book reports had to be hand written in cursive in their notebooks. All the kids had to type it up on the computers in the classroom because a certain percentage of kids in the class have no computer at home. They did quite a lot of typing this year. But 4th grade is VERY different than 1st grade!

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answers from Seattle on

My kids take "Typing" in computer lab and it doesn't seem that strict as far as finger placement and all of that until the later elementary grades. In 1st and 2nd grade it's mostly about playing games to find the letters and then typing a few sentences. My 2nd grader has to type a paper every few months, but nothing major. I too worried about him learning the incorrect finger placement and "hunt and peck" style, but realized that any experience with the keyboard will help him on the online testing they have now. The kids really do need to know how to type, even if it's hunting and pecking. They teach them finger placement here in 3rd grade and on...and they probably try in 1st and 2nd, but most of the time they just play games to familiarize the kids with the keyboard. For this project, I would just let him try a few sentences and then have you type the rest. Then set him up with some fun computer typing practice games so he can learn at his own pace.

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answers from Williamsport on

I think it's weird to expect such an advanced assignment in a subject that hasn't been taught. If they had been working on typing in class it would be one thing. I am also not a fan of how handwriting is glossed over in favor of typing younger and younger. Humans can do it all- write in two styles AND type -and they don't need to type at such young ages imo but they do need hand eye coordination and other intellectual development that WRITING provides. That said, just have him do his best and if he gets any guff just say he hasn't learned to type yet. She she should know that since she herself did not teach it.

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answers from New York on

I think she just wants them to try. I can't imagine she will score their typing.
Let him write it and type it. I am surprised he has never used a keyboard.
Did she say typing has to be perfect. I doubt it. She just wants them to try IMO.

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answers from San Francisco on

I'm with you. That is very difficult for a 1st grader. He's just now learning how to put sentences together to create a paragraph/story. Now add in the typing, and it's just over the top.

Not to mention that she is effectively REQUIRING students to have a computer available to them. If she is going to REQUIRE it, she needs to provide it. Ask her when you can pick yours up!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

The school system my girls are in has been teaching them how to use computers since kindergarten. They started teaching them to type in first grade. This year they started incorporating Chromebooks into the classrooms and by the end of the year next year every classroom should have one from kindergarten through high school.

No, first grade is not too young. This teacher is not revolutionary. She's a good teacher doing what's appropriate. She knows the skills the children are going to need very soon and now is the time to get them familiar.



answers from Anchorage on

My first question was, what is wrong with expecting you to teach the child this yourself? Do you think every new skill should come from the school?

But, with this being first grade, not 3rd or 4th, I would not consider it unreasonable for you to let her know that you do not feel he is ready for typing yet.



answers from Richmond on

first graders typing ?? oh, please..its a bit advanced for first graders, dont you think..oh, wait the teacher didnt think about it being advanced for first graders , did she ? find another teacher for the child, obviously the teacher is looking more at getting a raise and a pat on the back from the principal, then being concerned about what are real life expectations for a first grader!
K. h.

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