Monday, April 28, 2014


There are 4 new Signing Smart grads to congratualte this Monday morning!

Pelase join me in praising Miss C., Miss L., Mr. H., and Mr. L. and their families!

This group started barely standing and now they're all much more mobile and much easier to communicate with! Over the past several weeks, this group has learned so much, grown and developed thier muscles, and even found a few new toys and activities to love!

Keep up the great work, gang! I hope we get the chance to play together again soon!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Class Times Announced

I am delighted to share with you the dates and times for the next round of Signing Smart classes!

Thank you to all of the families who have provided feedback over the past several weeks as to their preferred days and times to meet together.  Your input was extremely helpful in helping choose when I will offer classes over the next few months. 

If you are interested in registering for any of the below offerings, please e-mail me at for a registration form and payment information.  If you are interested in one of the offerings below, but are not available at the times listed, please let me know.  With enough registrants, I'm happy to add additional classes.

Signing Smart Beginner PlayClass

Designed for infants and toddlers 6 months - 2 years old along with a parent, guardian, or caregiver,  (older children may be a good match based on language use) the Signing Smart Beginner Play Class Series provides a playful environment where parents or caregivers and their hearing children learn ASL signs and research-proven Signing Smart Strategies while playing and interacting. Activities include gross motor play, large and small group interactions, reading, singing, and much more! These developmentally-based activities help to foster intimacy and communication between babies/toddlers and their parents by facilitating both linguistic and cognitive development, building conceptual understanding, memory, and vocabulary.

The classes are great for families new to signing with their babies as well as for those who have already started. More than simply teaching "routine" signs, the classes are full of both useful signs and ones that are most motivating to your child.

In the Signing Smart Beginner Play Class Series, you will learn the Signing Smart Start as well as how many and which signs to use throughout your signing journey. You will also learn Signing Smart Interaction Strategies, how to bring signs into your child's world, how to recognize and respond to your child's early signs, and other ways of making signing simple, fun, and successful. To top it off, you will learn relevant developmental information related to sign, word, cognitive, and emotional development-all while playing and interacting! 
Cost (including required materials): New Families : $125
                                             Returning Families $100

Location: Twinsburg Township, private home

Wednesday Mornings: May 14 - July 16 10:30 AM  - 11:15 AM

Wednesday Afternoons: May 14 - July 16 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Registration deadline: May 4

Signing Smart Beginner Workshop

Designed for adult learners only, the information taught in this workshop is for those with infants and toddlers
6 months - 2 years old. Details may be a good match for those with older children as well depending on thier language use. Expecting parents, parents, grandparents, other extended family members, and caregivers can all acquire useful information!

The Signing Smart Beginner workshop is intended for those for new to signing with their baby as well as for those who have already gotten started and are looking for support during the early phases. More than just motivating parents to sign, this workshop helps parents develop a plan for successfully signing with research-proven Signing Smart strategies and techniques. You will learn the Signing Smart Start - how many and which signs to use in the early 
stages - as well as how to build up your signs as time goes on. In addition, you will learn to create interactions in which your infant or toddler most easily learns signs, how to bring signs into your child's world, and how to recognize your child's first signs. 

Through instructor presentation, interactive activities and discussion, and video examples, you will learn
over 35 ASL signs, as well as tools, strategies, and resources that will enable you to experience the success of Signing Smart from the very first day. The workshop is perfect for expectant parents as well as those with children from birth through 2 years of age.

Cost (including required materials): $30

Location: Twinsburg Township, private home

Saturday, May 10 9AM - Noon
Registration Deadline: May 1

Signing Smart Advanced Workshop

Designed for adult learners only, the information is for those with toddlers and preschoolers who use spoken language as their primary means of communication (typically at least 18 months but not yet in Kindergarten). May be a good match for those with older children based on their language use. Parents, grandparents, other extended family members, and caregivers can all acquire useful information!

Do you have a talking toddler or preschooler?  Did you sign with your little one and wish you knew how to adapt your strategies now that you have a talker? Did you wish you signed with your toddler but never got around to it?
This workshop was created with people just like you in mind! Designed especially for children who are talking but not yet in Kindergarten, the Signing Smart Advanced Parent Workshop offers simple, sophisticated strategies and techniques you won't find anywhere else.  During this workshop, we'll use a variety of methods to learn how to use signs to not only enhance the spoken language your child already has, but to also promote his or her cognitive and emotional development, and foster long-term learning. NO experience required!

It's never to late to start (or re-start) signing with your child! Research has proven that children who sign (even if they weren't exposed to American Sign Language until preschool) show advancements in elementary school - especially in the areas of reading, spelling, and vocabulary.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to foster a deeper connection with your child while supporting their emerging literacy!

Cost (including required materials): $30

Location: Twinsburg Township, private home

Saturday, June 21 9AM - Noon
Registration Deadline: June 11

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hudson Preschool Parents Children's Fair - Workshop Winners Announced

I had the privilege of sharing Signing Smart with the families who attended the Hudson Preschool Parents Children's fair this morning.  I had a wonderful time chatting with excited parents and youngsters, who I hope we'll be saying "welcome" to very soon!

Thank you to The Hudson Preschool Parents and especially to Debbie Sichko and Abbey Fuchs and their team for a great event!  I hope to have the opportunity to work with you all again in the future.

And now the moment everyone is waiting for......announcing the winners of the free workshops!

Congratulations to the winner of the Signing Smart Beginner Workshop:
Stacey Holmes!

Congratulations to the winner of the Signing Smart Advanced Workshop: Jessica Duncan!

Each of you should have received an e-mail from me regarding your name being drawn.  If not, please contact me at to follow up.

Keep your eyes open for a blog post next week announcing dates and times for the next round of classes!  

Are you interested in more details about signing with your little one?  I have offerings for those expecting a new family member all the way through those wanting to support the literacy of a young one starting Kindergarten.  E-mail me at, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have and help you find the class that's right for you!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Week of the Young Child™!

This year, the Week of the Young Child™ is April 6-12....Happy Week of the Young Child™!

This annual celebration, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, is intended to "focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs."

During the dates set by the NAEYC, groups in communities across the country plan special events to clelbrate. In Northeast Ohio, many preschools and daycare centers are planning special activities. Hudson Preschool Parents has a week of trips and special activities planned for member families. They will wrap up the week with their annual Children's Festival on Saturday, April 12 from 10-1 at East Woods Elementary School, 120 North Hayden Parkway which is open to members and non-members alike. You can contact for more information. (If you attend, make sure to stop by and say "HI"! I'll be there, and a free Beginner and Advanced Workshop will be given away!)

The theme for this year's Week of the Young Child™ is Early Years Are Learning Years®. You might choose to explore areas in this topic such as: "Play: Where Learning Begins," "Embracing Diversity," "Teaching and Teachers Matter," "Encouraging Health and Fitness," "Investing in Young Children Benefits All," "Prevent the Achievement Gap: We Know How," "Strengthening Families™," and "Promoting Resilience in Young Children."

What better way to celebrate this theme than to incorporate early communication and long term learning into your family with Signing Smart? Classes are forming now - make your opinion about when they will be held count! Please take a few moments to complete this survey The next set of class dates/times will be announced April 15! Not in the Northeast Ohio Area? Please e-mail me,, I'd be happy to help you find a Signing Smart class in your area, or work with you to meet your needs!

How are you celebrating this year's Week of the Young Child™? Do you know of an event that's not listed here? Please share!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Detective Eyes...3a

Did you see what Mr. L. was asking for in the last video?  Try taking a look again...with sound this time.

Remember: just like early spoken words, early signs often don't look exactly like the picture in the dictionary.  You often need to use the context of the situation, and your knowledge of your child to help decipher new signs.  Keep practicing and you'll become a pro in no time!

What new signs have you introduced lately?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Recently, my family had the opportunity to visit relatives out of state.  I joined my husband, my boys and 4 in-laws in an RV and drove from Northeast Ohio to Southwest Oklahoma.  After a long 24 hours of driving, we spent a week with grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends making all kinds of memories. Look for the highlights of our trip, and our Signing Smart Opportunities, in a future post!

For today, I want to focus on something exciting that happened during our trip home.  Mr. L. has started combining signs into mini sentences!  The build-up to this achievement actually started early in the week.  We saw this sign countless times - can you recognize it?

It so happened, that there were lots of DOGGIES to see during our trip.  My in-laws brought along their wheaten terrier, the yard next door to the house where we stayed had 4 or 5 different dogs, another house we spent a few days at had a miniature schnauzer, and an aunt brought along her little dog as well.  Mr. L. was in love with them all.


After all of the practice he got signing DOG, and bonding with Mickey the wheaten terrier, Mr. L. was pretty quick to point out any dog he saw, and ask where his buddy was when he couldn't see Mickey in the RV.  At one point, well after dark, Mickey had found a spot to snooze on the couch, just out of Mr. L.'s line of sight.  So, of course the questions started - DOG, DOG, DOG, Mr. L. signed with a concerned look on his face. "Oh it's, OK, Bud," I told him.  "Mickey (DOG) is night-night (BED)."  And then it happened!  He signed DOG about half a dozen times, and then he added BED - a mini sentence!  "That's right, Mickey (DOG) is night-night (BED)," I repeated.  After that, Mr. L. seemed satisfied that his friend was safe and sound despite the fact that he couldn't see him - a relief for us both!

What is your little one's favorite thing this week?