Every once in awhile, one of my children sets us off on a rabbit trail that becomes part of the family culture. About eighteen months ago, Nicholas (then four), was fascinated with a wooden sign language puzzle I had on the alphabet shelf. When he lifted the knobbed pieces he could see which sign stood for which letter. He was completely focused on learning those signs. And then, he began his campaign for more. "Teach me how to talk with my hands!"
I found some beautiful and very effective books, The Handmade Alphabet and The Handmade Counting Book. Quickly, he mastered those alphabet signs and the number signs and still, he was unrelenting in his begging for more. Lissa wholeheartedly suggested the Signing Time DVDs. I ordered the six that were available at the time. A family addiction was born. We all learned the songs; we all learned the signs. I got to know Rachel Coleman, the woman behind the amazing videos, and was so inspired by her story. We've been singing and signing ever since. There are more volumes in our collection now and we've moved on to other resources like American Sign Language the Easy Way and The American Sign Language Phrase Book. Talking with our hands is something we just do.
We had always dabbled a little with signing simple things for our babies. Now, we're all looking forward to Signing Time board books and Baby Signing Time videos and a brand new baby to learn all those signs!
Yesterday, all alone in the kitchen, I started singing one of my favorite Signing Time songs, Shine.I went to the website to find the lyrics and learned I must not be the only mom who loves the songs for herself. Now there is a CD of all the songs that resonate with parents. I thought about how much Signing Time and sign language have become a part of who we are as a family. And I was so glad my four-year-old took me by the hand and led me down this lovely trail.