Completely Hooked on Signing Time

Ronai B. from Maple Grove, MN
May 2008

My name is Ronai B. and I live in Maple Grove, MN. I have four fabulous children (ages 12, 10, 8 and 6) and we all love Signing Time. I’ve been using basic American Sign Language (ASL) for about 17 years. When my children were babies I found that teaching them a few basic signs made communication with them so much easier and also alleviated a lot of the “terrible two’s”. Sharing a form of communication that we both could understand was such a beautiful experience.

I tried many different sign language videos. Every time we were at the library I would look for something new. About three and a half years ago, a new DVD caught my eye – Signing Time. I brought it home and was very impressed with the music, letter recognition, children signing, cute animations and the woman that was teaching the signs. I knew there was something different about this DVD. What really impressed me was about 10 minutes after we were done watching the DVD my three year old, who had stopped signing as soon as he could talk, came up and said, “Hey mom, this is the sign for doll,” and then signed it. I was shocked! But when he continued to sign 10 more things, I knew that Signing Time was special. I ordered a Signing Time vols. 1-3 gift set and was sad that I had to wait a month for the release of vols. 4-6.

My ten-year-old daughter and I were lucky enough to attend the Signing Time family camp that happened three years ago. It was an amazing experience that we will never forget.

After the Signing Time family camp I was completely hooked and started thinking of ways that I could share Signing Time with everyone I knew… and a lot of people I didn’t know. Several parents at the school my kids attend asked me if I had ever thought about teaching sign language. I wondered how I would do it until I thought about Signing Time. I contacted Two Little Hands Productions and asked permission to use Signing Time as the basis of my teaching. They were more than happy to grant permission. I had the DVDs and CDs and used them to work out my lessons. Then I found extra tools on the Signing Time website: ideas for games, coloring pages and lyrics.

My all-time favorite tool is Rachel Coleman’s blog. It is inspiring! I’ve been able to use several things from there to teach my ASL club kids about deafness. She posts amazing stories that encourage and make me cry (read “The Spelling Bee” ) and stories that truly inspire and make me both laugh and cry (read the entire “Ghana” blog).

I have just completed the second year of teaching my after-school ASL club and the kids can’t wait for next school year to start. We do three parent performances throughout the year and perform at the school talent show. This program would not be possible without Signing Time. It’s so easy to do – Rachel has laid down such a solid foundation and all I really have to do is follow her example. I know that my success teaching is 95% due to Signing Time.

I recently had an exhibitor’s table at a Down Syndrome conference. It was an incredible day. I had people who had never heard of Signing Time ask me how it would benefit their child. It was easy for me to list off the many benefits of Signing Time. Here is what I always share with other parents:

1. Sign language is an excellent tool for helping a child with communication delays.
2. Signing Time has a multi-sensory approach to teaching children ASL.
3. Signing Time reaches children with diverse learning styles.
4. Signing Time encourages interaction through signing, singing, speaking and moving.
5. Signing Time is the best DVD series for teaching ASL that I have personally ever found.

Many people would come up to me and thank me for providing Signing Time and tell me that it has been a huge blessing for them and their children. This happened several times and each time the person who loved Signing Time would talk to other people and they would end up buying a gift set. All I really had to do was write out a receipt. It was an incredibly successful day. The biggest reward is knowing that Signing Time is going to make a difference in the lives of those families. It has made a huge difference in my life!

I’ve always been passionate about ASL. The opportunities I have had to share Signing Time with others has been so fulfilling. I have taken several ASL classes over the last 17 years and I am now going one step further and following my dream of becoming an interpreter. I am so grateful to Signing Time for helping me be able to do that.