1. It is a beautiful language. There is more to American Sign Language than simply memorizing signs for words. It has it's own set of grammatical rules and structures. If you've watched an interpreter at a concert or a church, remember how you were intrigued by the hand and body movements to communicate without oral language. Beautiful.
2. Language for dyslexic students. Students with dyslexia have a very difficult time learning foreign languages. American Sign language is an exception. Because dyslexics learn best through multi-sensory methods and because ASL is a multi-sensory language, it is a perfect fit.
3. Fulfills most colleges' foreign language requirement. Over 40 states have passed laws recognizing American Sign Language as a complete and natural language. Hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the United States accept ASL in fulfillment of language entrance and exit requirements. If your child is planning on attending college, check with the perspective college to make sure ASL meets their foreign language requirement.
4. Useful resource for special needs children. Parents with autistic and Down Syndrome children (in addition to a multitude of learning disabilities) report that American Sign Language is an excellent resource in increasing communication abilities.
5. Communication with the profoundly deaf and hard of hearing. American Sign Language is the third most common foreign language in the U.S. after English. ASL gives you the ability to communicate with over 500,000 Americans. It also gives you the ability to communicate with non-English speakers.
7. It's a fun language to learn. ASL is easily one of Homeschool Connections' most popular courses. The students LOVE coming to class each week and are never late with homework. Students enjoy learning ASL that much.
8. Early communication. Little children have the ability to speak with their hands months before they are able to communicate with their voices. Think of the wonders in being able to understand your 10-month old!
9. Increased vocabulary. Students who learn to sign have been shown to have up to twice the usable vocabulary, signed and spoken, than their non-signing counterparts. Signing offers children an additional way to communicate that is stored and accessed in a different part of the brain from verbal memory.
10. Stimulates brain activity. Signing has been shown to foster brain development in children. American Sign Language encourages the brain to build synapses and dendrites. Signed words are stored in a separate part of the brain, learning ASL along with spoken words, enhances memory and recall of language.
Homeschool Connections currently offers American Sign Language as a recorded course through our Unlimited Access program. It is also being offered as a live, interactive course for the upcoming school year.