Sign Language and Prayer

April 10, 2009

We’re heavy into American sign language here.

Heavy, I tell ya.

Every day we learn a myriad of new signs and even our smallest children join in, giddy with knowledge.

I love that.

Plus, the cuteness factor of my 2-year-old signing “fish” and “dog” and “CHANGE MY STINKY DIAPER, MOMMY!  THAT’S WHY YOU’RE HERE, RIGHT?”  is wwaaaaayyyy off the charts!

So now that they are to the stage where many words that they SAY, they also know in SIGN, at any given moment in the day, they will suddenly stop talking, midsentence, and sign a word that they know.

And let me just say that when you have nine children in a 1200-square-foot house, ANY time they stop talking with their voices and use their hands instead?

Very.

Good.

Day.

A few nights ago, 3-Year-Old was praying after supper.  Usually her prayers are always the same.  She thanks God for each member of the family, saying them by name, with a little twirly lilt at the end of each name, with verbal flower petals and coordinating ribbons attached.  (And if you knew this child, you would SO get that last sentence.)

Well, the other night, she began her prayer, going through each of the names, BUT THEN, when she got to the end, she stopped using her voice and kept going with her hands, thanking the Lord (in sign) for things that she knew the signs for, which made for an interesting list.

Houses.

Flowers.

Restaurants.

NOODLES.  (Which is a pretty neat sign and, if I had known some sign language when I was 3, I would’ve used it as often as possible myself.)

So the prayer kinda kept getting longer and longer and more and more involved to where I wondered if The Gettysburg Address would soon spring forth from those fat little girly hands with the indented knuckles and the half-eaten fingernails.

Finally, however, she got to “Amen”, but she didn’t know the sign for that so her prayer kinda ended with a sad little fizz.

Note to self:  Teach 3-Year-Old the sign for “Amen”.

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3 Responses to “Sign Language and Prayer”

  1. roundbelly said

    sweet! I love sign language and I have been teaching the church children’s choirs their songs in sign- it helps to have physical movement to remember words with. They learn about 10 songs every year!

    So, If you are interested I hope to soon (sometime next week) have the teaching videos of “Beautiful Savior” and”The Family is of God.” on U tube.

  2. Tina said

    I LOVE doing sign with my kids, but have gotten away from it lately. My youngest (nearly 2) knows only 3-4 signs. What sort of materials do you use?

  3. oliveplants said

    Tina,
    We use the “Signing Times” DVDs and are SO impressed with them! I have been interpreting in churches since I was 13 so I am fluent but just couldn’t stand the teaching part. I learned by being given a sheet of paper with 200 signs on it and being told that there would be a test on them next week. I KNEW there was a better way and “Signing Times” is it! All my kids love it! I love it! I can handle teaching sentence structure and will guide them with interpreting when they know more vocabulary. Anyway, if you haven’t ever seen these, try to find them at your library. They are fantastic!!!

    Allison

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