Owen was just telling me yesterday how they did a "walk through" at school... he kept saying it over and over and was getting mad that I wasn't getting his pronounciation... I had him take a breath and think of other words to describe to me something else to help me understand. I didn't even mention to use a sign, and that is immediately what he used. He signed KEY to demonstrate LOCK... which he knew intuitively is the same without ever having been taught this. Then I got it. They practiced a LOCK DOWN. My heart sank and leapt at the same time. He could effectively tell me what he meant, yet the idea of a LOCK DOWN for a 4 year old with all his classmates and teacher huddled in the bathroom with the door locked pretending there was a bad guy outside and being super quiet... how scary is that?
This scenario has got me thinking about how signing may be an effective tool for teachers to have with their students in these drills though. Imagine how police and military units have hand signals to complete a mission. Kids this age have trouble staying quiet for any length of time, so this could at least give them a vehicle to communicate in a situation where they are have to be quiet and keep their mind occupied at the same time.
Our children are growing up in far different times than we did.
Joann Woolley is owner and instructor of Sign4Baby in San Diego teaching parents how to communicate with their pre-verbal baby using American Sign Language. With her in depth knowledge of ASL as her first language she takes you beyond just the basics in signing, also filling your parenting tool belt with parenting tips and tricks coupled with signing as a great boundary teaching tool for toddlers. Want to know which signs most parents start with but gets them stuck in the mud? I'll send you that hundred dollar tip for FREE.