I want to start signing with my kids; now what?

Congratulations–signing with your children is a GREAT decision! (See a great list of benefits here and here!) However, unless you grew up signing or you took American Sign Language classes in high school or college, it can be a tricky language to start learning.

Please note that Lone Star Signers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend items that we have personally used and loved.

Resources to help you get started learning American Sign Language (ASL) with your children from Lone Star Signers!

My favorite resource to start is the Baby Signing Time and Signing Time DVDs. I am a visual learner, so seeing the sign (versus reading a written description) is the best way for me to learn! You can check out these DVDs for free from your library or stream them digitally on your TV/tablet/phone with a monthly subscription to SigningTime.TV. (Tip: use the code sign99 at checkout to get your first month for just 99¢!)

Signing Time also sells books, flashcards, and posters on their website!

Another great resource for learning new signs is the Internet! We love to use lifeprint.com and signingsavvy.com to look up new signs. Signing Time has a great dictionary available on their website AND on their free app.

Melissa Droegemueller of Lone Star Signers, San Antonio, TX

We would also love to have your family join us for weekly signing classes and extra events! Our focus at Lone Star Signers is on families with young children, birth-5 years old.

If you are looking for more advanced ASL resources for children older than age 5, stay tuned for the release of the NEW Signing Time Sentences coming later this fall! Several San Antonio area high schools and colleges also offer American Sign Language courses–I recommend you contact the department head for information about private lessons/tutoring.

Related: Signing Resources from the San Antonio Public Library and Signing Resources, Part 2

Please let me know how I can assist your family get started signing today!

Signing Success Story #11

Signing Success StoryToday’s signing story is about a pair of brothers who have been part of our Lone Star Signers community for about a year. I LOVE having sibling sets attend class together because each child learns differently. I think sometimes it’s easier for parents to be consistent in signing with their younger children when there’s an older child (or two) to help. Watching these two boys grow, learn, and giggle together has been a real treat!

* Child’s name and age:

Baker (4 years old) and Brady (22 months)

When and why did you start signing with your child?

We started signing with Baker so we could communicate with him before he started talking.  Brady ended up learning so much in the class!!  He has been one of the biggest influences on Baker’s learning since he loves to watch Big Brother.

Signing Success Story #11 | Lone Star Signers

Baker signs BLUE!

* How has signing made a difference in your family?

Baker can easily communicate his needs without knowing how to say the actual words yet.  Attending classes also created a special time of fun for my boys and I to laugh and play completely uninterrupted.  I also made some new friends along the way!!

* What would you tell a friend interested in signing with their child?

It might seem like signing isn’t working with them, but give each child time and you will be surprised by the results.  If nothing else, everyone has fun, which is really what childhood is all about.

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Thank you, Katie, for sharing a bit of your family’s story with us. We love having you and the boys in our community!

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We are always happy to have NEW families join us, too! Join us for our next Sign & Stroll event on September 24th.

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Previous Signing Success Stories:

Signing Success Story #9 | San Antonio Baby Sign Language Classes

Signing Success Story #9 | San Antonio * Baby Signing

We recently finished up our winter session of signing classes. Can you believe we’re now up to 47 graduates from our Baby Bounce & Sign, Toddler Time, and Play & Sign classes?! I love seeing young children and their families develop their early communication skills–sign language is wonderful for bonding, reducing tantrums, and developing emergent literacy skills.

I’m fortunate to spend 45 minutes a week with terrific families, but the REAL progress happens at home. Annie and JJ are amazing hands-on parents; they have been bringing their daughter Lux to signing class since September 2014, and I’m glad they are part of our community.We hope their story encourages you today!

Child’s name and age:

Lux (17 months)

When and why did you start signing with your child?

We started signing with Lux when she was about 11 months old.  We began trying to use sign language with her because we heard that it could potentially help her communicate with us much sooner than if we had waited for her to verbalize her wants and needs.  We wanted to use sign language as a way to communicate with one another before she began speaking regularly.

* How has signing made a difference in your family?

Signing Success Story #9 | San Antonio * Baby Signing

Lux graduated from our Toddler Time classes!

Our sign language classes with Lone Star Signers have changed our lives tremendously! Our child is only 17 months old, and thanks to her signs, she can communicate over a dozen words with us despite the fact that she only speaks a handful of words so far.  For example, if she is done eating, she will make the sign for “all finished,” and we know that she is full and wants down from her highchair.  Also, if we are getting ready to leave the house, we can sign “socks and shoes” and she knows to go and grab her socks and shoes.

Her favorite signs to use are “dog” and “food” as these are her two favorite things in our home! We have two large dogs that she is fascinated with, and she is constantly signing “dog.” Also, as she is a very big eater, we love that she can ask us for a snack by signing “food.”

I would say that we use signs every day for almost every major task in our routine.  When it’s time for bed, we even use signs to end our day;  my husband signs “bath” and “brush teeth” to her in the form of a question, and she gets really excited and signs both words back to us…I think this makes her feel more like it’s a question more than an order, which is always nice with a toddler 😉 I imagine we would have so many more tantrums in our home without our signs to help us tell one another what we want, so we are so appreciative to Melissa and what she has taught us.

* What would you tell a friend interested in signing with their child?

I would say that it is such an amazing way to communicate with a tiny human that may not know how to effectively ask for what they want yet.  As a new parent, I’d say it’s a must have tool in any parent survival toolkit.

* Do you have a favorite Signing Time product?

We don’t drive anywhere in our van without Baby Signing Time playing on her DVD player! Sometimes we just put on the music CD and we sing together to the diaper dance.  Our kiddo loves this DVD/CD combo, and whenever she wants to watch or listen to it, she signs “baby” and we know what she’s asking for!

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Special thanks to Annie and JJ for taking the time to share your family’s story. We are so proud of Lux’s growth!

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