CLASSES AND PROGRAMS
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Signing With Babies And Children: December 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Physical deficits and lack of verbal stimulation were quickly ruled out. There were also no major traumatic events in her life at the time.
Of course what the other moms in the class thought was “OMG, what if the rumours are true and Signing DOES stop speech development? Does it make them lazy?”
Let me emphatically say ‘NO IT DOES NOT!’.
40 years of research has proven that Signing enhances verbal development. To my knowledge there has never been any evidence to suggest the contrary.
I have seen this a few times in my 5 year career as Baby Signing teacher. Around the age of 12-14 months, babies hit a major developmental milestone. Apart from the physical (starting to walk or pull themselves up), their understanding of the world also increases – and with it their vocabulary. Some babies go through a brief time where speech is put on the backburner while the information is processed – only to then burst out with a language explosion which surprises the parents! This is perfectly normal in the area of speech and language development and other areas of development as well.
My advice for those who are going through this experience is: Don’t stop Signing, carry on and make sure you always say the word. Be patient – and prepare to be amazed!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Just yesterday, my 9 1/2 year old son asked me to "turn off my voice" and speak to him only in sign. As I did, I watched his face go from understanding to confusion and back again. He then said "Cool Mom. But I only got part of that... I need you to teach me again." :)
Last week on the subway, my kids were sitting together and I was across from them. It was too loud to hear each other well from across the aisle, so my 7 1/2 year old son signed to me "When is our stop?" :)
While we do not sign together consistently anymore, sign language continues to be a part of our lives and our communication. It has been extremely helpful in clarifying their thoughts, expressing feelings that words just can't, and solidifying new (English) vocabulary. It is a means of communicating clearly when we are too far apart to hear each other, or in a place where we need to be discrete.
Incorporating sign language in your family with your young baby has wonderful benefits.... And remember that kids of all ages can continue to thrive with sign around them.
Both of my children began to sign when they were just over six months old! You can read about our journey at www.mybabyfingers.com on the Our Story page. Check out our products page for books that can help get you started, and consider joining a class in a neighborhood near you.
(Lora Heller, Founding Director, Baby Fingers LLC)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
What an amazing opportunity to teach your child the sign for LIGHT. Many kids confuse the concept of ON and OFF. ON and OFF have a similar sound and concept. Signing can be the perfect visual tool to teach the difference between the two for promote literacy.
In the matter of fact, any opposites can be taught by signing in such a easy way: HOT or COLD, ON or OFF, UP or DOWN, YES or NO and more. Play with the signs and have fun as a game. I am a true believer that what starts as a game can be easy taught to any child (especially when you want to say NO).
Have fun signing LIGHT this Holiday Season. It all starts with the present within, the light we create in our hearts.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Written by: Laura Berg, Founder of My Smart Hands http://www.mysmarthands.com
Monday, December 8, 2008
One evening after dinner, I was washing dishes - by hand! I turned the water off to begin drying the pots and pans... only to hear splashing water... from the dog dish... in the kitchen!!! The then 13 month old Paige was playing in the dog's water dish - again! I turned to look at her, past my husband, spoke in an "angry" mommy voice asking, "Paige, do you see this face?" pursing my lips and lowering my brow.
Paige turned towards me, pulled her right hand out of the dog dish and signed "GRUMPY"! My husband and I burst out laughing! We missed the discipline opportunity but gained the wonderful moment of self teaching that Paige had accomplished on her own - WOW! Conferring, my husband and I realized we had not shown Paige the sign for "GRUMPY", Paige learned it straight off the new Signing Time DVD we had simply played for background music.
Don't under estimate the learning ability of your little one - especially in play mode!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Following on from my last Blog contribution about Signing and Literacy, here are some basic tips how to start off teaching your child to recognise letters:
You can start this as soon as you begin signing to them, no matter how old they are.
STEP ONE: Learn the manual alphabet !
TEACHING PHONEMES (SOUNDS):
· Start showing your child the first letter of their name when you say their name (=namesign)
· Add more namesigns for other people who are important in your baby’s life
· When you think you and baby are ready, occasionally emphasize the first letter, ie ‘B-B-B Ben!’
· Progress to other things around you ‘T-T-T tree’
TEACHING GRAPHEAMES (written letters)
· When your child can sign some of the letters herself, start showing them the printed letter for their name
· Add a letter a week
· Encourage her to sign the letter when she sais its sound
· Invent fun games to play, ie: spot the letter ‘H’ on the cereal packet or in the shops. Make up memory cards and play this
Always make it fun and make it into a game. As soon as it becomes difficult, stop – and carry on another day.
The aim of the game is to explore your child’s potential without forcing her to exceed the limitations she has – remember every child is different!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
A familiar scenario: It is 4 am and you wake up to your child’s cry. You go to their room, try to figure out what the problem is, and then try to make things better. It is late (actually, extremely early), and you are very tired. The guessing game begins - wet diaper? Hungry? Fever? You try everything, but your baby continues to cry. “I wish he could tell me what the problem is,” you think to yourself, “I feel helpless!”
Now imagine this: It is 4 am and you wake up to your child’s cry. You go to their bed and s/he signs “scared” and then “elephants.” You are puzzled for a second, but quickly realize that there is a loud noise coming from a car on the street. “Oh sweetie, it is just a car outside!” You close the living room window, the noise is reduced, your child stops crying, and everyone goes back to sleep. You may think this sounds far-fetched, but it is based on a true story.
Read Monta Briant’s testimonial:
“I have been signing with my daughter from about 6 ½ months old. She is now 13 months, and she does about 40 signs. She will learn a sign after being shown only once, now, and I am in a race to try to come up with more signs. She wants to know the sign for everything! She can tell me just about anything. The other night, as I was putting her to bed, she asked me to close her windows, because there are elephants outside (she thinks) and they might get in (For some reason, she thinks car alarms are elephants, so she hears them out there!). In the past I could only imagine her fears, and we just dismissed her cries of terror as a protest about going to bed?! Thank you so much for this. I try to convince any mother who will listen, to please do it with their baby.” – Monta Briant, CA
Let the Sign Shine!