Awaken a Love of ASL Using Fairy Tales
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, folks. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to learn sign language. I’m dating myself here, but back in the 1980s, I loved to watch Linda the Librarian on Sesame Street. Watching Linda communicate using ASL was mesmerizing to me. I loved how she used her entire body, and emotions, to communicate without words.
Way-back-when, as I sat there watching Linda, there was no doubt in my mind that I would learn ASL one day. However, ASL was not offered by our high school language department, nor was it offered while I was enrolled in college. My graduate school program was far too expensive and demanding without an additional class tacked on. Sadly, my dreams of learning ASL got pushed to the back-burner as I embarked on building my career and family.
Over the years, my appreciation for ASL has only grown. As an educator, I’ve read the studies. Children can learn languages with an ease that makes adults envious, and learning to sign may improve reading, vocabulary, spelling, and the ability to read body language and emotions.
As a mother, I see value in teaching sign language to babies and young children. Developmentally, babies are able to sign years before they are able to speak fluently. Teaching children to sign can improve communication abilities and reduce frustration and tantrums. I witnessed this, first-hand, with my own children. Using YouTube, I was able to learn a few dozen signs and introduce them, one at a time, to my babies. Each of our children began signing between 8-12 months of age, and we continued to use signs until the kids spoke fluently. In fact, we still use I love you daily and I’ve been known to sign eat and more over a noisy room from time to time.
But, alas, life got crazy and learning to sign was left by the wayside. Again.
This year, I’ve resolved to learn ASL once and for all, and I want to learn alongside my children. I think it will be wonderful for them to learn a new language and to learn about Deaf Culture while they are young. And, I’ll be crossing off an item that has been on my bucket list forever!
Disclosure: I was given a set of two DVDs and compensated for my time in exchange for an honest review. As always, my thoughts are my own. I only agree to share products that our family enjoys and that I think you will love. My children asked to watch this set for the gazillionth time on our drive to visit Nana and Papa a couple of weeks ago, so I think it’s safe to say my little poppies give these DVDs six thumbs up!
Encourage an Interest in American Sign Language Using Classic Fairy Tales with DawnSignPress
When I first heard about Once Upon a Sign from DawnSignPress, I immediately thought of Linda the Librarian and my early love of ASL. I now have children that age, and I would love to be able to foster a love of ASL in my children. Linda the Librarian is ancient Sesame Street history, thankfully we’ve stumbled upon Once Upon a Sign.
Once Upon a Sign is a new DVD series from Dawn Sign Press featuring classic children’s stories and fairy tales with a modern twist. All stories are performed using ASL with an all-deaf cast.
When the DVDs arrived, I was over-the-moon excited to sit down and watch them with my children. Just look at their little faces below, folks. Can you see the intensity there? They were mesmerized, just as I was -years ago- watching Sesame Street.
To say that they enjoyed the DVDs would be a huge understatement. They delighted in the fairy tales and had adorable conversations about the modernized story lines.
We have had a really busy summer and my little poppies have been exhausted by day’s end. When we drag ourselves home from the pool, they request to watch Once Upon a Sign while I prepare dinner.
Clearly, the kids loved the DawnSignPress ASL DVDs, but what did Mom think?
I love watching my children when they are enjoying these DVDs. You can see the learning happening. Most of all, these DVDs have awakened a love of ASL in my children.
Here are some other things that I appreciate about these ASL DVDs:
- I love the fact that they are performed by an all-deaf cast. This has inspired wonderful discussion amongst my little poppies.
- The use of familiar fairy tales grabs children’s interest and the fact that DawnSignPress has modernized these story lines keeps children guessing and engaged.
- At the end of each story, the characters get together to go over Fun Signs. They take the time to teach children some of the common signs that were used during the show.
- I appreciate that the performances are no-frills. The shows are reminiscent of stage performances, with a lot of costumes and make-up rather than bells and whistles and special effects. The simplicity of these performances has made them more accessible to my children. They have started to put on their own performances, using our dress-up costumes, hearth, and their newly-acquired Fun Signs.
These DVDs have been a wonderful addition to our family collection, and they have certainly inspired learning and creativity in my children. I would recommend them to any parent or homeschooler looking to awaken a love of ASL in their own children.
Where to buy DawnSignPress ASL DVDs
To order, simply go to DawnSignPress and select from the following products:
- Once Upon a Sign: The Magic Mirror ($15.95)
- Once Upon a Sign: Jack and the Beanstalk ($15.95)
- Once Upon a Sign: Little Red Riding Hood ($15.95)
- Once Upon a Sign: Goldilocks and the Three Bears ($15.95)
Follow DawnSignPress to keep updated
For more information on Once Upon a Sign, be sure to check out Dawn Sign Press on social media, including Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. The kids and I have been enjoying their Facebook posts, especially the music videos!
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me… what have you always wanted to learn? Do you have any experience with ASL? Share your stories here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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