Friday, October 10, 2008

Will My Child Forget Baby Signs if I Don't Review Them

Holly Tried It reader Kristine (and hopefully now a Smart Baby Sign Language reader) asked:

Are the signs we have taught our daughter going to be something she forgets if we don't go back and keep doing the same signs over and over again?
It's easy to forget that sign language is a real language, just like English or Spanish. When talking to your baby and toddler, you don't worry about repeating all the words you've said to your child. You just talk with them, emphasize important words in conversations, and practice words you think they'll be able to pronounce soon. But yet, your child will say a word three months after you last said it.

In my experience, the same is true for American Sign Language. I taught my daughter the sign for PUZZLE, but she never used it herself...until she saw a puzzle a month or two later. My guess is that your child will retain many of the signs, even without constant review.

The bigger problem will be your own retention of the signs. I have to work hard to keep ahead of my daughter in sign language. I can learn it quickly, but I have to review it to keep it.

I would love to hear other opinions and experiences.

2 comments:

Michele October 19, 2008 at 3:59 PM  

My 3 1/2 year old still remembers most signs from her baby sign language classes we took when she was just 6 months old. Of course, we used them frequently while she was pre-verbal. Now, she is teaching her baby sister the signs. I think she'll always remember.

Holly Tried It October 27, 2008 at 9:44 PM  

Michele,

That's great. I only have one child, so I have to be content with watching Kalen teach her friends and her dolls.

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