Why use sign language in homeschool?
Written by: Rose Turnbow
American Sign Language (ASL) is perfect for homeschoolers because:
- American Sign Language is a qualifying foreign language to most colleges.
- Teaching ASL helps students become more engaged through cognitive and whole-body learning.
- Signing is a powerful tool for behavior management in the classroom. It encourages students to be more alert and aware of the instructor when using silent cues (ASL).
- Reinforces other classroom curricula.
- Children have fun learning it.
When I was homeschooling my two daughters, not knowing a second language myself, the idea of a required foreign language was daunting. In my research, I found out that most colleges accepted ASL as a foreign language.
In the small town we lived in, we learned about a man who was deaf. I approached him with the idea of teaching my daughters and me ASL. He was thrilled. He read lips and spoke very well, but his first language was ASL. Twice a week, we met with him. He taught us lessons, how to sign along to songs, and communicated with us in sign language. It was an amazing experience for us and we learned so much. He took my daughters to several outings and meetings with his friends to introduce them to the Deaf community. They were able to practice what they were learning in homeschool by using their signs to communicate with others. He also taught them to sign with songs.
Learning ASL gave us some great experiences, opened our world to new friends that we may not have been able to communicate with, and we had so much fun in the process.
Both daughters use sign language now, to communicate with people they meet, sign songs in church, and one daughter was even hired by Two Little Hands because she knew ASL.
Today, both my girls homeschool their children and have taught them sign language using Signing Time. It has become a family bonding tradition. All six of my grandchildren signed before they were one year old, spoke complete sentences very early, and are all doing excellent in school. We attribute this to ASL and Signing Time.
Using the Signing Time videos are a great way to introduce and practice new signs. The classroom curriculum gives you lesson plans to make teaching easy, while saving you hours upon hours of lesson planning. There are two curricula, Baby Signing Time for preschool age kids and Signing Time for kindergarten and up.