Eight week session of baby sign language classes. Level 1 for those just starting or who need a refresher on basics. Mom/Dad/Caretaker with baby - age 6 mos (approx - younger is fine) to 2 years. Ebooklet included for all class participants. Secret FB Page for class will post weekly words, and serve
as additional private resource for the class. 30 minute classes, once a week.
Location: Private home near Memorial/Washington/Westcott. Address will be given via PM.
Cost: $150 for the 8 week session.
Message us to secure your spot in the class. https://www.facebook.com/WordsbytheHandful/
Wednesdays at 1:00pm. April 4 - May 23, 2018.
Classes are a combination of teaching and practice. You will learn the how and why of signing, as well as which signs to use. Signs are explained and demonstrated, and practical tips on introducing and using are discussed. Five signs - a handful - (as in Words by the Handful) - are the focus of each week's class. Each week builds on the previous week. The classes build on songs which use and reinforce the instruction. These are songs that are familiar children's songs, with signs used for key words to provide practice and memory hooks for parent and child. Throughout the session, we add new songs, and add additional signs to songs introduced earlier. Participants receive a class ebooklet.
A general rule of thumb is the 6 month to 2 year age range. Baby's memory stores at 6 months have developed to make it easier for them to begin assimilating signs. That said, earlier is not disadvantageous to the baby, and it gives parents more time to get the hang of using the signs regularly. The earlier you begin signing, the longer it takes before the baby begins signing back - mainly because they've got to develop memory and motor skills to make the signs. They can learn to recognize the signs earlier, just as babies understand spoken words quite early on. When learning a language, we acquire receptive language first; expressive language follows.
On the upper end of the age range, children will likely be beginning to speak. When children who sign begin to speak, they usually begin to de-emphasize their use of signs in favor of speaking, and naturally drop the signs when they don't need them anymore. If the parent wants the child to continue signing, the parent will need to retain signing as a part of the natural use of language in the home. What is too old? If your child is fully speaking, and you don't have a desire to have ASL as an additional language in your child's repertoire, then baby signing doesn't make much sense. If your child is beginning to speak, but still babbling, signs can be a big help in smoothing over the frustrating times. At that age, (usually above 18 months, but varies greatly) childrens' ability to pick up signs is quite good, given their memory and motor facilities, and they can gain a good range of signs rather quickly.
I have had students as young as 5 weeks in classes, and children as old as 2 1/2, but both of those ages are outliers. If your child is not speaking and in the 2+ year old range, signs are especially helpful. This can be very difficult time for children who are late talkers, and signs help smooth the frustration of communication.
If you have specific questions, message Words by the Handful or PM Mimi Brian Vance. Happy to help you find the class that will fit you!