Combining an Interest in ASL with a Love for Children to Make a Difference for Families in Texas
We are pleased to have a network of Instructors around the world offering Signing Time classes, workshops, and story times. Cheryl-Annette Parker is a mom of two wonderful children – a daughter of 4 years and a son of 19 months, and she is a Signing Time Academy Instructor in Rockwall, TX.
Cheryl-Annette and her husband are both engineers. They met at the University of North Texas while playing chess and studying technology. Her Master’s degree is in computer engineering, and his is in computer science.
Being an engineer, Cheryl-Annette has many technical hobbies. She enjoys aviation, astronomy, and sound engineering. She and her husband volunteer at their church when they can. She often runs the A/V system during Sunday services, while her husband sometimes plays keyboard or cello in the praise band. They enjoy making music, reading, and playing games.
Cheryl-Annette worked in the engineering field until about four years ago when their daughter was born. She became a stay at home mom, and really enjoys getting to be a part of her children’s daily lives. Her husband has continued his engineering profession and has also completed his PhD. Life has been busy, but they enjoy it.
Cheryl-Annette’s family found Signing Time when their daughter was about 18 months old. Their daughter was going through a phase where she really wanted to watch videos that showed other babies and young children. Her favorite video was something from the 1980s that showed babies playing in a nursery and set to music. Unfortunately, she began imitating the video and started picking up a few bad habits. Her parents decided that if she was going to copy other children, then they should find something positive for her to copy. Cheryl-Annette did a search online for videos of babies using sign language (they were already signing a little bit with her), and found YouTube clips of Signing Time and Baby Signing Time. She LOVED it and the family has been using ASL every single day since.
Cheryl-Annette was amazed how fast her daughter began picking up the signs when watching Baby Signing Time. After exhausting the YouTube clips, she started checking the videos out at a local library. It wasn’t long until their daughter was using over 400 signs. They were blown away by the communication explosion that happened in ASL, as well as spoken English.
When their son was born, the Parkers began signing with him immediately. When Cheryl-Annette would nurse him, she would sign MILK. He learned that sign pretty quickly, but it took longer than they expected for him to really take off with his signs. By about 12 months, he used around 3 signs. Then the language explosion happened. By the time he turned 18 months, he used over 100 signs. Now, at 19 months, he loves being able to communicate, and he asks for BABY TIME (his signs for Baby Signing Time) or SCHOOL (his sign for TreeSchoolers) almost every day. Meanwhile, their 4 year old goes around the house singing about the 7 continents, photosynthesis, and H2O. 🙂
Cheryl-Annette has always loved American Sign Language. When she was a child, she tried to take every class she could on it and looked at every ASL dictionary that she could find. There were not as many ASL resources available where she lived at that time, but she tried to learn what she could. In college, Cheryl-Annette took the four ASL classes that were offered, and she loved every bit of it.
Cheryl-Annette Parker decided to become a Signing Time Academy Instructor within a couple of months of discovering the Two Little Hands products in the spring of 2013. She was impressed because of the quality of the videos and their ability to reach children. Cheryl-Annette has always enjoyed working with children and teaching. Being a Signing Time Academy Instructor would allow her to do both, while still being a stay at home mom. It is a great way of combining her interest in ASL with a love for children.
Cheryl-Annette teaches classes for babies, preschoolers, and young children just to the east of Dallas/Fort Worth. You can find her at the Hobby Lobby in Rockwall, Texas on Tuesdays teaching ASL to babies and their families. She also works with a nearby homeschool co-op to teach an Intro to ASL class for 1st-4th graders, as well as an Intro to Computer Science course for 7th–8th grade. Occasionally, she offers workshops for daycare and preschool teachers on how they can use American Sign Language in their current programs.
Take a class from Cheryl-Annette Parker or find an Instructor near you.
If you can’t find an Instructor near you, some of our Instructors are doing classes and consults via Skype and Google Hangout. Visit our Academy Facebook Page if you need an online Instructor and we can get you in contact with one.