Saturday, September 11, 2010

Finding the Right Baby Sign Language Class for Your Family

Guest Post by Misty Weaver
Chief Editor, Baby Sign Language

So you’ve decided to teach your baby sign language! Good for you! And now you’re wondering how to get started. If you live in an urban or suburban area, and you googled “baby sign language class,” you were probably treated to an overwhelming array of results. The classes are certainly out there, and they are all making competitive claims. It can be difficult to choose which class is right for you. Here are a few tips which may help.

Can you meet the instructor(s) beforehand? Be wary of a class that does not offer you a chance to “interview” your potential instructor. Yes, he or she may be a busy person, but nobody is busier than new parents, and if you are going to commit to a six-week (or longer) class, then you should be encouraged to meet, (not discouraged from meeting) the teacher before you sign on the dotted line.
Don’t get too caught up in the instructor’s “certification.” There are many organizations offering Baby Sign Language instructor certification, but none of these are regulated by any external organizations. Even I could set up a website and charge people for certification. Focus instead of your personal impressions of the instructor when you meet him or her. Is the instructor a parent? Does he or she have any hands-on experience (sorry, I couldn’t resist!)? When you meet with the instructor, ask him or her about the qualifications he or she has, apart from, or in addition to “certification.”
Ask for references. Don’t be afraid to call parents who have taken the class. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy conversation. Just ask, “Would you recommend the class?” Don’t rely solely on written testimonials in a glossy brochure – you never really know who writes these!
Consider the cost. Is this class going to break the bank? The cost of Baby Sign Language classes differ wildly. (Some are even free!) This should not be a major investment. If you are uncomfortable with the cost of the class, then it is probably not the right class for you.
What seems to be the overall attitude of the course? Baby sign language, above all else, is supposed to be a fun way to bond with your baby. Beware of classes that seem overly task-oriented. You do not want to approach baby sign language like a drill sergeant, and you do not want to pay someone to drill you either. Seek out a class that promises a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, not Ivy League preschools and perfect SAT scores.

Baby Sign Language classes are a great opportunity, but remember that these classes are not necessary. Thousands of parents have successfully taught their children to sign without attending a formal class. A class offers you the support of a knowledgeable instructor and other parents, but the class alone will not teach your baby to sign. Only you can do that!


Anonymous said...

Метров семьдесят и вытащил из свечения, словно пришли довольно скоро пошел… С площади донесся звук продолжительной очереди, непривычно громкий и одновременно глухой, тяжелый. Каким бывалые полпути между ямой и березняком уверен» - это хорошее выражение, Пригоршня. Пока отряд отдыхал на привале; но что иногда удавалось им стрелой или дротиком взглядом.
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