Sienna’s family has been attending our Play & Sign classes since June 2013. Even though she graduated in October, we are thrilled to see her smiling face each week! I love when families continue to be a part of our awesome community!
Sienna’s mom is an elementary school music teacher, and it is evident that both her parents do a great job singing and signing at home with her! I love that their signing is rooted in real, meaningful play (like signing colors and water while painting). Here is their success story:
* Child’s name and age:
Sienna (23 months)
* When and why did you start signing with your child?
We knew we wanted to sign with Sienna all along and had casually introduced a few signs on our own. Her first sign around 10 months was milk, which she used daily to communicate with her Daddy while Mommy was at work.
We discovered the Baby Signing Time class when Sienna was around 13-14 months old. Sienna added several signs her first couple of months of class: cat, shoes, hat, baby, eat/food, more, bird, ball, bubbles, dog.
Even though we have now completed the curriculum cycle, we continue enrolling each session. Sienna gets more and more out of class each time, adding new signs every month. The weekly repetition of songs has led her to name and sign color words, which led her to begin identifying colors. She is still surprising us with words and signs we had no idea she knew. We are so proud of her success!
* How has signing made a difference in your family?
One word: clarity. In Sienna’s pronunciation, many things with the same initial consonant sound the same: bird, ball, book, bear. Sign language adds more context to everything she says and solves the mystery of what she meant. How many times could this potential misunderstanding have escalated into a tantrum or meltdown? Not usually a problem for us, thank goodness (her tantrums are thrown for other toddler injustices).
And, oh, the expression! We have here an extremely verbal, expressive child who uses signs to emphasize, supplement, and specify what she is saying. Sienna is a prime example of how adding sign language will only expand a child’s vocabulary. We have also seen her confidence bloom. She will now try new signs and words more readily and incorporate them on her own.
|Photos courtesy of Sienna’s mom. 🙂|
* What would you tell a friend interested in signing with their child?
We have been so impressed with Melissa’s Baby Signing Time class week after week. Melissa is a true teacher in every sense whose experience and love of the profession show in every lesson. She provides differentiated instruction for all the various ages in the class. The setting is like a playdate, but with more structure; it allows Sienna to listen and absorb at her own pace while she discovers things around her and interacts with her classmates. The material is totally approachable for parents who are new to signing. It is logical and wide-reaching, drawing together kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learning styles.
As a teacher myself, I know how well combining these approaches solidifies learning, remembering, and understanding. The concepts are really appropriate for babies and toddlers, making for tons of practice opportunities in context everyday. Melissa provides a multitude of hands-on activities each week that connect developmental skills to the concepts she has presented. I have gotten so many great ideas for activities to try later. We really enjoy watching Sienna experience everything this class has to offer and make connections at home.
We have a few DVDs and a few flashcard sets. The videos are nice for seeing multiple examples of how to do the signs as performed by adults as well as young children. Sienna really gets a kick out of seeing the kids sign. The flashcards are great for practicing learned signs in quiet settings. Sienna has picked up new signs from both products. It’s been great to have a variety of ways for her to practice and learn new signs.
I am so thankful to Shannon, who took the time to share their family’s story.
I truly believe that signing is for everyone–it can only enhance your family’s communication!
Previous Signing Success Stories: