As many readers know I am a big advocate of teaching children sign language. We often use sign language in our homeschool to practice spelling in a hands-on way, anywhere we are, communicate in crowded areas and even to talk as we tiptoe past sleeping babies for some big kid time with mom.
There are so many great reasons to teach your child sign language
This month with Mother Goose Time we are doing a unit on Friends and Feelings. One day the topic of body language came up. As you can guess so did the topic of Sign Language. After all, what is sign language if not body language? A new Letters and Numbers sign language poster was added to our wall over by the bar top where the children are served snacks and meals throughout the day. Perfect for a little reminder to practice some more.
Sign Language is a great choice for a second language for your hearing child. Learning a second language helps your child’s brain learn to switch gears and connect seemingly different things together at once. Sign language forces both parts of the brain to come together to translate your child’s first language into ASL. The more of a work out the brain gets the stronger it becomes.
Sign language is a physical language. Unlike verbal languages people that are hands on learners are able to connect and “pick up” sign language easier than traditional languages. People that learn sign language because of better communicators with body language and gain the ability to better pick up on signals others are sending.
“Sign language can be handy”
Sign language is a great way to communicate in otherwise difficult situations helping curb tantrums. Toddlers and young children often have a difficult time communicating their needs and feelings. By starting sign language at an early age you can help your child through this difficult transition and for some you can completely skip over the “terrible twos” just by giving your child this one powerful communication tool.
Learning a new language with your child can help the two of you bond by building strong communication skills. Signing Time is a great and easy way to help your child pick up sign language and by watching together the two of you can grow as a team and learn this valuable new language.
Learning to spell with Sign Language
Kids need to move to learn. Sign Language allows for subtle movement connecting the mind and body. When I started homeschooling my ADHD child I was presented with many challenges. While searching for a second language that would hold her interest I found signing time and dove into research on the benefits of teaching children to sign language. During that research, I discovered finger spelling.
Fingerspelling allowed me to bring a physical element into spelling with the children. Just the tool needed for my ADHD child. We took the time to learn to fingerspell and can practice anywhere from the check out line to waiting for a movie to start at the theater. The light movement coupled with the focus needed calms the child.
Sign Language uses the right side of the brain while spoken language uses the Left. By combining the two you are helping your child connect with the words and even individual letters they are working on.
Get started with sign language and fingerspelling with this free printable
We have been using signing time for our sign language lessons and lots of time practicing together. The entire family gets into it
I have created a fun book that can be used digitally or even turned into a coloring book for kids to get started with sign language and fingerspelling. This book is a short 27 pages, 26 letters with a word for each letter and a letter to parents. Simple, easy, and fun. Never find yourself waiting in a long line without something to work on again.