Sign Language Unit Study
This week we did a short sign language unit study (ASL in America). First, it was to allow the kids to have signs to use with the baby. Second of all, to broaden their empathy skills and to solidify the idea that not everyone communicates the same. Diversity IS their future. They need to understand most of all that the world is diverse and beautiful and ‘okay’. They won’t be questioning if they see a deaf person sign, they might go up and say ‘hello.’ Finally it helps to create new neural pathways and hand eye coordination that will help with learning other languages/movements in the future.
Their world will be diverse
To me this is the ultimate outside-the-box thinking. You can preach and model empathy as much as you want, but placing kids in the role to where they experience learning a new language and practice it makes a real difference in their lives. The best thing was a video that we got in a kit, it showed English, Spanish, the person signing, and the order of the sign, which is not the same as English speaking patterns. This explains why one of my favorite shows (Switched at Birth) where they sign, always took me a while to translate, my brain was building all the sentences backwards.
I’m no expert, I took a few week class with my dad (for his work) when I was 10. I retained a lot, however, and it made me overall a more empathetic and understanding person. To put it mildly, I understood and cared more than my classmates, because I cared enough to know that something outside our white bread mid-west world existed. We had a school for the deaf 30 minutes away and it was in the town where we regularly shopped and had events- even played them in sports. I think back then a lot of people saw it as a mental defect-and even people today put on a ‘deaf’ voice when they make fun of the mentally disabled. That is not okay with me. It shouldn’t be okay to anyone.
Temporary single parenting
On a personal note, my husband had to travel overseas for the entire week (Sun AM to Sat LATE PM.) I have to do EVERYTHING and boy am I tired. The house is suffering a little bit and it takes me even longer to do things like fold laundry because those times I did other things shift around to compensate for dad being gone. It only took about a day to nearly lose my mind. However, I’m happy to report it came back.
Between activities, classes, and my baby having her first birthday (which the big kids felt they had to make an outside party for), I am completely exhausted. It was a hilarious day because it was SO warm on her big day. November weather of nearly 80 degrees is unheard of and there was talk that it might be a record. The kids enjoyed playing outside in their nightgowns that morning. It was hysterical, it really was. Probably their last chance to be barefoot for the year (and something they have recently learned to love.) I anticipate a lot of muddy toes come spring!
More School Stuff
The kids have been busy reading their own picks for books (or ones I supply) from the library for Book It and are about half way through. I’m so happy that they get to participate in this. They love reading anyway, but it’s still great to be rewarded! My favorite book that B read was a science book all about spiders. Seriously. This kid was devoted to the book. She got it done and I had her read some smaller books so she could get closer to her goal. I’m happy for her to read the big books, but it took days!
Books the kids are reading on their own, see their Good Reads Lists: K-1st/ 2nd-3rd
Books we used during this study- Sign Language Topical Books. The book by S. Chafin was the BEST, especially for baby sign!
A-Z Brainstorming list from the notebooking fairy
We also used a kit with a set of flashcards and a game which included a video that showed people doing the signs- very helpful!
Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Home Schoolers for their Weekly Wrap up. Click HERE for info/to join!