Tuesday, May 10, 2011
One of the most frequent questions I have been asked by parents when expressing a desire to sign with their children is, “Why should we teach my baby sign language when he or she is not deaf?” If you have not already been introduced to signing with your baby, my answer to this question may surprise you.
Experts on the subject have discovered that there are many amazing benefits associated with teaching your baby how to effectively communicate with you through sign language. First and foremost, it greatly helps to reduce the frustration babies or toddlers feel when they cannot explain how they are feeling or what it is they need, therefore almost eliminating tantrums completely! It is also proven that babies taught to sign will begin to speak earlier than nonsigners and once talking will have a more extensive vocabulary. This is due to the fact that when you are demonstrating a sign to your baby, you are also speaking the word at the same time. Even more shocking is that these babies will generally have an IQ score that is at least 10 to 12 points higher.
There are many books out there that will teach you these basic signs and how to introduce them to your child, but none of them compare to the Signing Time program I was introduced to many years ago. Created by Rachel Coleman, originally for her daughter Leah, who was, in fact, born deaf, it has now been brought into many homes of hearing children and used to help them communicate with their parents and caregivers before they can speak. I began using it with my own daughter when she was just three months old, and, at nine months, she has a signing vocabulary of 20-plus signs! What makes this program stand out among all the others is that these sets of DVDs have been created to keep your child’s attention by having actual babies and toddlers modeling the signs, as well as Mrs. Coleman signing catchy tunes that you will, for sure, be trying to get out of your head for hours after watching. You can also purchase other learning materials to go along with the DVD box sets like flashcards, hard back books, and even CDs that include all of the musical numbers that you hear on the DVDs. There are many other baby learning products out there, but this would definitely be my first choice. You can find more information about signing as well as purchase these great DVDs on the Signing Time Web site and also on Rachael Coleman’s blog. GreatAuPair customers will receive a 5% discount off any purchase over $50 by using coupon code teachmybaby at checkout. Discount may not be combined with any other offer.
I hope you have found this recommendation helpful, and I would love to hear from any of you who have tried signing with your children. Please leave a comment below about your experiences or any helpful tips you would like to share.