Okay – since we are on the back to school kick… have you ever thought about going back to school? Okay, let’s not get to crazy now, I know school is pricey, and there is a time issue and a billion other things right? But I am not really talking about that kind of school. I am talking about American Sign Language (ASL) classes!
Yep! Sign language!
I am not sure if Dylan will be able to communicate with us using sign, but it’s worth a shot right? They have been working with her in school to learn to sign some simple words. Ball, baby, more, done. (What’s that? Did I just link to a couple free online ASL dictionaries? Yep! I did, they are different, find a favorite!) Well, nothing’s worked out quite yet, but this got my husband and I thinking. Wouldn’t it be fun to be a bi-lingual house and teach our children to sign?
I am pretty sure hearing about baby signing isn’t something that’s new to you. I learned that babies who are signed to from birth often sign their first word much earlier than babies usually say them out loud. How cool to be able to communicate with your 3 month old?
I started looking into signing classes and found out that the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in our area offers free classes. In fact, turns out there are a LOT of free classes in our area, some are taught in random business meeting rooms. Free! After all, it’s understandable that people in the deaf community would want to welcome anyone to speak their language and also, they desire for parents of deaf children to be able to learn to speak with them.
My husband and I have taken the beginning class and into the intermediate class with only the cost of our book! I can’t even tell you how great it is to be able to ask him, from across a crowded room where the keys to the car are. Very important. Dylan’s special needs teacher in preschool is deaf and even though you can barely tell in speaking with her, it was fun to be able to sign with her what I could, though I was far from proficient!
Unfortunately much of what I learned I have forgotten (ironically, forgot is one of the few signs that I remember!) I have refresher classes on my to-do list when life slows down a little. (It will happen right?) but I wanted to post here to make sure you knew about these free classes if they interest you!
Here is a link to find ASL classes in your area. Some are free, some are not. LOTS are free.
In a time crunch and far more disciplined than I? Search free online ASL classes. (Or, you know… just click!) and you will find a lot of information on how you can learn sign language all online. Of course nothing compares to interacting with the deaf community so you can always seek out community centers for the deaf in your area and volunteer or join the fun.
Oh, and one more thing… search on YouTube for songs done in sign. They are incredible! And after only a short time you will be surprised at some of the signs you recognize and can pick up quickly when they are set to music. This is one of my favorite YouTube channels, CaptainValor, he is great and offers new popular songs somewhat frequently. Here is a video that’s been in the news, You’re The One That I Want. Also, though the quality isn’t great, here is a fun one of This is Halloween. Check it out, they are fun!
Have fun and learn at the same time!
Have you ever taken a sign language class? How have you seen it benefit you?