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)