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At Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk, the most cherished principle is “Hug First, Then Teach.” This principle defines every aspect of the administration, staff, and teachers.
The whole child approach to learning is unlike many daycare centers or preschools. Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk works to strengthen and encourage every child’s emotional, intellectual, social, and physical well-being through the expertise of the childcare providers and a unique partnership with parents. The key to success at the educational preschool is a family-oriented staff dedicated to providing a secure, nurturing environment.
Sign Language: A Powerful Tool in the Whole Child Approach
One of the most powerful tools at the disposal of the Kids ‘R’ Kids teachers is sign language. According to education specialist Dr. Claire Vallotton in Signing with Babies and Children, “There are many benefits of using signs with students – from as young as preverbal infants, to those in early elementary, all the way to adult students who struggle with reading or those who are learning a new language. Research has also shown benefits for children with special needs including dyslexia, language impairments, Down syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as for both hearing and deaf children in an inclusive education environment. Thus signs can be used to enhance education for learners of a wide range of ages and abilities. The benefits of signing are not just for the students, but for teachers, too. When children can communicate more clearly, teachers can respond to them more easily, and teachers feel more competent in their own work. In the last three decades, we’ve witnessed an amazing partnership between families, teachers, and researchers. This partnership created the impetus for the early research and the momentum for studies that followed. As we move into the future, our work will continue, fed by breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology which will lead to even more exciting discoveries about how signing influences human interactions and learning.”
Sign Language Facts
- According to the University of Vermont, “American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body.”
- American Sign Language (ASL) is classified as a world language like French or Spanish. Therefore, children who know American Sign Language are considered bilingual.
- 250,000 to 500,000 people, including the children of deaf parents, use sign language.
- Sign language and finger spelling accommodate several learning styles, including kinesthetic, interpersonal, and verbal-linguistic.
- The formal and informal use of sign language strengthens the memory by communicating information through multiple pathways, including seeing, hearing, and movement.
- Learning ASL, in conjunction with a spoken language, utilizes both sides of the brain, which increases brain stimulation while enhancing memory and strengthening recall.
- Recognizing that American Sign Language and deaf culture are legitimate fields of study, colleges and universities are beginning to accept ASL for foreign language entrance and exit requirements.
- “Home sign” is a highly individualized and very complex form of sign language used by hearing families with deaf children.
- The Gallaudet Dictionary of the American Sign Language has over 3,000 illustrated entries.
Infant and Toddler Developmental Facts
- Months six through seven: Infants can recognize and remember a sign
- Month eight: Babies start signing single words and imitating gestures
- Two years old: Children can sign compound words and full sentences
Early exposure to signing aids infants in the development of language and reasoning skills. Infants without sign language skills are limited to crying as the only means to communicate their needs. Babies who sign are learning how to communicate with words and simple phrases.
Benefits of Learning and Using Sign Language
- Accelerates speech development in infants
- Decreases frustration in young children by giving them a way to express themselves before they know how to talk
- Strengthens parent-child bonding
- Empowers babies to communicate vital information such as pain and hunger
- Improves self-confidence and self-esteem
- Lowers the frequency of anger due to an inability to communicate
Cognitive Benefits of Sign Language
- Elevates IQ by twelve points
- Reinforces the mastery of educational concepts such as ABC’s, animals, and other specific themes
- Helps children remember words through muscle memory involvement
- Sharpens attentiveness to social gestures of others as well as of themselves
- Enlarges the verbal vocabulary
- Enables the formation of longer, more complex sentences
- Encourages reading and creates a larger reading vocabulary
- Raises grades in school
- Improves scores on standardized testing in younger children by 17% over children who do not know ASL
Parents and caregivers of hearing children are becoming more aware of the wide-ranging benefits of teaching their children sign language. Parents can reinforce the signing their children learn at the Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk by using sign language in the home and in life. The practice of teaching sign language to children who can hear will continue to expand because of the many benefits everyone enjoys when they use it, especially when communicating with someone who is deaf.
Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk strives to create an environment in which every child feels safe, loved, and inspired. The preschool learning center is committed to providing a solid educational foundation, well-trained teachers, and a secure environment where children can flourish intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically.
To learn more about the Circa FishHawk, FL, preschool, contact Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Circa FishHawk by phone at (813) 654-7000.