Saturday, April 6, 2013

Speaking in sign language

I got half the garden in so far this weekend.  I was hoping to do more tomorrow but that's not going to happen.  I think that's good anyway because my muscles are sure stiff! 

Girl has decided she wants to run hurdles at school.  Since I wasn't happy that she was trying to hurdle over the garden beds, and missing, I decided that we will make hurdles.  Although I had most of the items needed at home, I didn't want to use what I had.  Instead we headed off to Lowe's to pick up 1" PVC pipe, side-outlet elbows, regular elbows, and end-caps.  Tomorrow she is going to make her hurdles.  We figured the cost to be about $14 each.  We looked at them on line and the cheapest I could find them, made the same way was about $50 each.  Even if she doesn't go to the Olympics, which is her goal (she runs a 5:40 mile and she's in 6th grade!), keeping Boy and her in shape is really important. 

The grand kids decided they are going to learn sign language.  I've had the alphabet chart on the wall for years and they just realized that they can have lots of fun learning to speak without talking.  It brings back memories of 10th grade spelling tests where instead of learning the entire list of spelling words we all learned some.  Then during class we signed the words to each other.  The teacher never caught us cheating.  Or if she did, was so impressed that we all learned to sign that she didn't care.  Not that I would condone cheating.

I have a book at home with beginning vocabulary for American Sign Language.  Not only do you learn to spell out each letter but there are hand motions for words or phrases.  Each day the kids come up to me and have me test them.  They are much better than I am with the hand motions although I can still beat them with spelling out words. 

Babies can also learn to sign.  One of the frustrating things for infants and young children is they have little or no vocabulary, other than crying or pointing.  My sister-in-law is teaching her baby to sign.  The baby is 10 months old.  He's just starting to say a word or two...the usual...daddy, momma, dog.  But he can communicate!  He can sign milk, wet, cookie, and many other words.  He doesn't cry unless his diaper is wet and they aren't paying attention to his sign. 

I think we are going to play a game of hide the treasure.  I've done it with compass work before.  This time we will do it with sign language.  When it's with a compass I set the course up when the kids aren't around.  Then we start at point 1.  From there we will find a piece of paper that says the distance and direction to travel.  If it's done right we arrive at point 2.  Again at point 2 will be a paper with distance and direction.  After about 10 points there's a prize at the end.  Sometimes it's a fruit roll-up.  Sometimes it's a dollar.  They never know what will be the prize. 

I can set the course up with sign language.  It will be harder to draw out the pictures of distance and direction or even saying something like "go to the second fig tree".  Any skill they can learn that most others don't know will be a benefit.  Being able to communicate when in sight of another but without speaking on a radio is a huge benefit.  Get a chart and post it on the wall.  Start with your ABC's.  It will be fun. I guarantee it.


  1. All 3 of my daughters taught their babies to was so helpful!

  2. It's really fun to sing in sign language. I took a class years ago, and that was my graduation project.