Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chips in Her Bib

I was having a conversation with another adult while driving in the car recently.  In the back seat were my boys, ages 3.5 and 1.5. 

We were discussing a race a family member had recently run.  At one point in the conversation, we were commenting on how improvements in technology had allowed us to see the family member running and crossing the finish line even though we were unable to attend the race to cheer her on in person.  I mentioned that it all had to do with "the chips in the bib."

It was at this moment that I realized there had been a little giggle in the back seat.  At hearing this statement, my older boy just couldn't hold it in any longer.  "Chips in her bib?! That's silly!" The image that immediately came to my mind when I heard his comment? An almost 30 year old lady running on a bridge trying not to get squashed by trucks (a misconception about the race we'd cleared up earlier in the day) wearing a baby bib covered in chips.  No wonder the poor kid was trying to stifle his giggles in the back seat.  He probably thought mom had finally gone over the edge!

This experience reminded me how our little guys and gals see the world.  Their experience with different concepts and the language we use talk about them is not the same as ours. It also affirmed for me the importance of continuing to sign with our kiddos long after they start relying on their spoken language for communication.  Having the ability and the know-how to stop and think about what their understanding is and how to relate that knowledge to something new is a priceless tool.  Using the skills from the Signing Smart Workshop for Long-Term Learning don't infiltrate my daily life as much as the tools for early communication do with my younger son.  However, I am so thankful to have what it takes to make the world a much less scary, crazy, unknown place when I need to!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Detective Eyes #7a

Did you try your hand at figuring out the signs in the most recent segment of "Detective Eyes"?

If not, I encourage you to take a peek at that post first, and see how you do.  When you're done, come on back to this post to see if you were right!

Now without further ado.....

Mr. I. is signing FROG at 18 months old.

Mr. I. is signing LION at 16.5 months old.

Mr. I. is signing WHAT at 16 months old.

Miss M. is signing MORE on her 2nd birthday.

How did you do?  Do you feel like you could use some more practice? Here are links to the prior practice posts:

Detective Eyes #4 (find the answer in the comments)

Do you have pictures of your little one signing that you'd like to see in a future posting about Detective Eyes?  Please e-mail me at StephanieBowlin@SigningSmart.com

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Detective Eyes #7

It's been a while since I've had some practice for your detective eyes.  As my boys get older, it's getting harder and harder to catch them signing on camera.  (Do you have pics of your little one signing you'd like to share, please e-mail me at StephanieBowlin@SigningSmart.com)

When I was digging through some photos for a family project, I found a few that had gotten buried.  Can you recognize these signs?  Check back soon to see if you were right!

Mr. I . - 18 months

Mr. I. - 16.5 months

Mr. I. - 16 months

Miss M. - 24 months

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kids Country - Childcare With One More Reason to be Called Fabulous!

  • you are a member of a family who has chosen to take advantage of all the wonderful benefits Signing Smart can afford your whole family
  • you are a member of a family who also needs to make use of daycare providers, babysitters, or other caregivers
  • you know that having your child in the care of non-signing caregivers won't harm your little one, and it won't affect the success you experience using Signing Smart strategies at home
  • you are a bit concerned about working with well-meaning caregivers who aren't using 100% American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary

There are a lot of stresses we take on as we search for the perfect care settings for our sons and daughters.  There are the things that almost go without saying: safety and security, cleanliness, caring and patient staff, healthy and nutritious meals and snacks. Other aspects of the care environment are more subjective - class size, age ranges, academics, activities, indoor and outdoor play spaces, extracurricular activities available, etc.  When it comes down to it, nothing will be the same as being home with mom and/or dad.  When that just can't be, though, we look to find the next best thing while getting the best value for our tuition money.

Now imagine the simple, successful Signing Smart strategies you use at home to empower your little one with early communication are extended to their classroom.  There's one less thing for you to stress about!  I got to help create this exact scenario recently.

By teaching 22 Kids Country staff members the research-proven tools and strategies offered by Signing Smart, I helped them create classrooms in each of their centers where children be more empowered than ever to communicate with those around them.  Kids Country's goal is to inspire the hearts, minds, and imaginations of their students.  Now, even the youngest children that come through the doors of these 5 daycare centers will have every chance to participate in that vision.  As these passionate, excited, and knowledgeable teachers become more and more comfortable using American Sign Language as part of their interactions, recognizing the earliest attempts at expressive signs they see, practice capitalizing on all kinds of Signing Smart Opportunities, they are going to soar!

I can't wait to check back in with in a month as well as a year from now and hear all about the success they are experiencing personally using ASL with their young charges, but also abut the success stories of those charges and their families as well!

Do you have your child in a childcare setting and would like to see them incorporate Signing Smart into what they offer?  I would love the chance to work with more child care providers!