These days there are more choices. You can buy a curriculum. You can find a free one. I suppose if you're creative enough, you can make one up. The point is, there are options. I had been using the (free, online) BBC program Dance Mat Typing to let M1 teach himself how to type. He really liked it, and so did I. The problem is that there's no time limit. This is great when you're learning the basics - where to put your hands, key placement, and the like - but when you know where it all is and really just need to work on speed, it's not quite enough.
So I made the mistake of googling "free typing games." What a can of worms THAT opened up. There are 'free typing games' coming out the Internet yin-yang. I avoided the ones laden with viruses, checked out a few legit sites, and M1 even tried some of them, but none of them really caught his fancy.
I was looking for something better (I'm a mom... aren't we always looking for something better for our kids?) and ran across Funtotype.com. The first game I saw was Keyboard Ninja. I tested it. The graphics loaded easily and ran smoothly on my computer, and there were plenty of difficulty settings available - easy, medium, hard, home keys only, all keys, etc. I knew right away that M1 would love it. It reminded me of the fruit ninja game that he loves to play on his tablet. I called him over and let him give it a try. Twenty minutes later I asked him to stop and get food, and he actually whined. He told me he'd just scored more than 250 points and could lunch wait until he got to 300?
That's right. My boy turned down food for typing.
There are other games on the site, too, some geared more toward beginners and others presenting more of a challenge. Some are whole-word based and others practice letters. Some let you invent your own words and some present you with words to type. There seems to be a good mix. If you have any other typing sites or games that you like, let me know! In a world where typing fluency is mandatory, I'll take whatever help I can get!
Disclaimer: None of the above-mentioned sites know that I'm mentioning them. They're not paying me to say all this. If they want to pay me, I'll consider it, though!