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Everyday & Thinking Outside the Box Challenge

American Sign Language has always had a special place in my heart. My mother took sign language courses when we were young and my sister, Deb, is fluent in ASL. Although I don’t have hearing impaired family or friends, I always loved the language and wanted to learn. A parent introduced me to Signing Time when they first began the series. I was able to learn 20-25 signs in half an hour, while watching the videos. When I taught preschool, I used ASL with everything! It was a hands-on way to teach children music, early reading, the Bible, and more! It was amazing how fast I caught on and so did the children.

So, when my son Ethan was born it was natural for me to begin signing to him. When he was a baby I would talk to him while also signing. I would watch the new Baby Signing Time surprised because I would see babies at six months old communicating to their parents and I wanted that. I am not sure if other mothers want their child to communicate to them at such an early age but I did! I wanted to hear his wants, needs, and know how to help him in every way I could. It did not take long. At four months, Ethan began to sign and by six months he could speak to me completely in ASL. We could seriously have full conversations! By eleven months old, he knew his entire alphabet. When he was twelve months old, he was speaking on his own and knew the phonic sounds of his letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. He is not yet two and a half and is reading at a kindergarten level! I truly believe ASL had a major part in his development.

Ethan was active from the moment he left the hospital. He never let me rock him to sleep, hold him tight, or cuddle him. He is awake the moment it is 7am and doesn’t stop moving for the rest of the day. At one time, in desperation to get him to sleep, I rocked him to “Show Me a Sign” by Rachel Coleman. He fell asleep and ever since the song has had a special place in my heart. It is the only song he will let me sing and rock him to.

For this week’s Thinking Outside the Box Weekly Challenge, Rebecca has us look to music for inspiration. I was inspired by the lyrics to “Show Me a Sign” and created this layout of my little man.



I took muslin and tore strips. I then used a dropper and added liquid watercolor to the muslin.

I added the lyrics as my journaling.

I cut my clouds out by hand and added flocker.

Paper: Fancy Pants Designs; Cardstock: Bazzill Basics; Alphas: American Crafts; Rhinestones: Kaisercrafts; Flocker: Stampendous; Font: Times New Roman; Other: muslin, thread, liquid watercolor



Make sure you go by Thinking Outside the Box today and check out the challenge and guest musician, our beautiful and talented friend Jae Richter.

Create Well: Use music to inspire you to create this week!

Photo of Jae Richter by Daveen Photography and used by permission.

To see other ways I use ASL in the home (or in the classroom) check out my other blog, Teach Well, Teach Often.

3 comments

  1. What a beautiful story and what great inspiration....Thank you for passing this on!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!! :)

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  2. I also signed with two of my children. It has been proven that early sign increases language understanding as well as vocabulary. Nice LO!

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