Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Communicating with Signs

 At the beginning of the school year Aliza was really interested in learning Spanish. She has done well in Spanish this year and we will continue learning Spanish next year. Recently her interest has turned towards learning Sign Language. I think my daughter just likes to communicate. I KNOW she likes to communicate...with anyone and everyone who will look at her and listen!

I'm not sure how sign language was brought to her attention recently. I know she has heard of it, but last week she started asking me to look up specific signs...on my phone. It wasn't working well. I tried to find some youtube tutorials, but most were advertisements to buy teaching DVDs. Anyway, I told Aliza that we would look for a book and DVD next time we went to the library. (I had a moment when I thought that a "good" home school Mom would drop everything and run to the library to capitalize on an interest, but I nixed that thinking! I figured if the interest and anticipation lasted a few days it would be a good for her.) As it turned out the children were sick the day we planned to go to the library. I planned an escape and went to the library on Saturday, by myself, and I got to pick out the DVD and book.

I did a good job too! Aliza finally felt good enough yesterday to pick up the book and watch the DVD--twice in a row. The DVD has catchy songs and teaches very useful signs. It really built her confidence.

The book--Aliza carries it around--as one might carry around a Spanish-English dictionary in a Spanish speaking country. Aliza signs to me her requests and feelings. This is has added an interesting twist to my day. For one, I must stop and look at her. She may or may not let me know that she is "speaking" to me. Secondly, she improvises her signs. This is good because it's like playing charades. It helps me fill in the blanks.  Third, once she has learned a sign, she expects me to remember it! I must learn as fast and thoroughly as she does!
 I'm not complaining. It's awesome that she wants to learn and can read and study the signs to figure them out.
 The most satisfying part to me is that when she thinks of a word that she needs a sign for she turns to glossary to look it up. This means that she is applying all of the dictionary, reading, spelling and alphabetical order skills that have been drilled all year. Now she plans to check out another sign language DVD next time we visit the library.

We are loving the few days of hot (spring? summer?) weather we are having this week. Josiah wanted to get Daddy soda at the grocery store this week and he convinced me to buy him some small bottles (must stop taking him to the store with me!!) for himself. He carried that bottle around outside and drank it like he was one cool dude.

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