Article: The Benefits of Signing Time in Early Childhood Development
The Benefits of Signing Time in Early Childhood Development
by Launa C. from West Jordan, UT
I am an early childhood development and early childhood education specialist. I own and direct Little Learners Academy preschool in West Jordan, Utah, and am the mom of six beautiful children ranging in age from a baby coming in a few weeks, on up to eleven!
So it goes to say life is FULL of young children and lots of learning everyday. It is an honor to be a part of each of these children’s learning experiences from all my students to my very own children at home.
I am excited to share with you how I discovered the Signing Time DVDs, the music, and the benefits I have seen it make in so many children’s lives.
It was about eight and a half years ago when we started the preschool. I wrote a very academic and solid curriculum that was musically based. In the curriculum, I included the importance of teaching other languages. Studies have shown how important learning patterns are for children ages 0 to 6 and especially 3 to 5, the preschool age. At this time children are developing their brain patterns, cognitive skills, thinking, listening, language and processing skills. Basically, children are connecting all the wires. Statistics prove that if a child is exposed to multiple languages when they are young, they have a much easier time learning them. They also have more of an aptitude for learning languages later in life because they have “pre-wired” their brain for it! So, what children learn and how they learn at this age really effects their life long learning.
In my twenty years of teaching, I had seen how all of this is true, but I had not discovered the power of sign language until the fortunate day a good friend introduced me to this “new signing Time DVD series.”
I had a one year old, at the time, Emmalee, my middle daughter who had been born three months premature. I had done many things with her to assist her with any delays from this extreme prematurity. She was doing well but she was still lacking communication skills. I bought the Signing Time DVDs 1-3 and she began watching them. Emmalee LOVED the music and would get very excited as soon as the theme song began to play. Within weeks I saw improvement in both verbal and non-verbal communication, and she was having FUN!
Because of her incredible experience, I decided to add some of the songs to what we were learning in the preschool. I had an even bigger response from the students. They would light up when they began singing and signing the wonderful songs of Signing Time. At Little Learners, I teach the students everything through music, so this was an amazing new tool with so many fun and educational songs! We learned manners from the “Magic Words” song, we learned to be proud of who we are by the “Proud to Be Me song”, and a favorite that always made the meaning Valentine’s Day come to life is the “La la la la Love song.”
I saw how the music gave my students the ability to express themselves in a new way. Signing really enhanced the learning experience in the classroom. As an educator and a person who has a passion for instilling a love of learning, I was thrilled with this new discovery. It has been almost six years since I discovered Signing Time, and I still highly encourage using it with children of all abilities. There are benefits that I have seen in my children and in my students that are achieved through signing that cannot be achieved any other way.
At Little Learners Academy we endorse Signing Time. We have their website link right on our school home page. I feel every child deserves all the tools they can to create a bright future of learning and achieving their best. We get to teach them that they “can”! Signing Time is a wonderful program with fun music and learning concepts that bring a whole new way to communicate to your child. Like I said in the beginning, life is full of learning, and that is what it is all about whether you are big or small! Happy Signing.