Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Story Time and Benefits of Signing

So I decided we would attend story time at the library this morning and it was a lot of fun. Free fun in this economy is a plus! Additionally, spending some time at the library made me think even more about the benefits of signing with babies and toddlers. It is no secret that I am passionate about signing.

One of the moms noticed that I was signing to Eliza during the program and asked if I did it because Eliza needed it or if I just did it for fun. Her daughter receives speech services and signing was recommend to help reduce frustration. I explained that I just did it for fun and that it really has become a part of our everyday lives. I can't imagine not signing at this point.

Another mom commented on Eliza's vocabulary and once again I explained that I believe signing is at least partially responsible for her success. Eliza probably has about 200 words- probably more- at this point. She is putting more and more words together in different ways everyday. She is a total chatterbox and picks words up quickly and easily. She is extremely confident when it comes to expressing herself. I can't help but attribute her success to ASL.

When you sign with a child you are increasing his/her vocabulary. For example, if you read Brown Bear with your baby you may only say bear, duck, horse etc. one time. If you are reading and signing you will probably say each word three- four times. Not all people learn the same way. I am NOT an auditory learner. You child may be a visual, spatial or tactile learner. If this is the case then signing will empower your baby to communicate and make sense of their world.

It frustrates me endlessly when I hear people say that children who are taught to sign will be lazy when it comes to speaking. This is so untrue! Signing reinforces the use of verbal language. Signing is not some trendy thing to do with your baby. It is a valuable tool in helping your little one communicate. Kids are like sponges and can soak up so much information before age 5 it is unreal. Signing is a fun way (you can sign with songs, finger plays, games, storybooks, audio books) to take advantage of their sponge brains.

I am tempted to volunteer at the library to teach a signing class. I am not sure if they would even want me to volunteer but I feel the need to share this with other moms. It is fun and a great way to bond with your child and I strongly urge you to SIGN WITH YOUR BABY or TODDLER! I haven't had much luck with my baby signs class biz yet-,mainly because I can't seem to find a location. However, I am willing to hold small in home classes. If you are interested in a class (and live in Jersey) please let me know.

This was posted on YouTube yesterday. It is one of E's favorite songs. Laure Berg is the founder of My Smart Hands and is one smart momma!

8 comments:

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

we are signing more now because it is helping Blake deal with his speech frustrations. I think providing a class at the local library would be great... you could teach parents to sign and read with signs... think of how beneficial that would be to so many families

Marcy said...

It's amazing how fast Donovan has picked up signing in the bit of time since I started doing it more seriously. It's tough since I don't always know what he means with certain signs-- for example "more" has become like a catch-all to him to mean all sorts of things. Just today he was in his high chair and singing "all done" and "more" interchangeably... um, what do you mean?? lol But it does help, like when we're playing and he stops to come over and sign "eat" to say he's hungry. Right now he signs about 5 words or so, I'm adding a few at a time... when I learn them and remember to use them consistently.

MoziEsmé said...

Oh I wish you lived in our area and started a sign language class at our library!

I've tried using signs from time to time - I incorporate a couple of words each week, but it's not a habit, since I don't remember much of what I learned in ASL class years ago and have to look everything up when I sign.

angela fazioli said...

can anthony and I learn signing together? I'd love to learn for him and for our future babies but is it too late to start at 12 months? let me know your thoughts. shoot me an email if you have a minute....

Future Mom said...

This is very interesting. The theory makes sense. I'm going to have to look into this and brush up on my ASL!

Thanks for sharing!

Tracy said...

A signing class at the library is a great idea. Not only would you be doing some community service you would also be getting your name out there. If the library goes along with it maybe get some literature, biz cards and some kind ofdiscount off a first class with you for the parents. BTW Stella now signs "more"

Beth said...

I JUST got done reading a blog post about how hand gestures increase a toddler's vocabulary. I was going to send you the link but there's a glitch with the site when I try to link to it. Anyway, you already know that it works. Thank you for spreading the word. I plan to sign with our baby. I wish we lived closer. I'd take your class.

CC said...

I teach a Baby Signing Class at the Community center. But so few people show up that I often have to cancel the class. :( :( :(

Keep preaching it though sister. You know I do!