Thursday, October 31, 2013

What I Love About Communication Junction

For the past two months, baby C.J. and I attended the first Sign and Play class through Communication Junction. Official graduates (I have the certificate in the baby book!), we developed together the best parts of the class in a handy top-five list.

A bit of background: my baby is now one. The class had younger kids, and older ones. The class worked well for all the ages. Actually, my four year old has complained multiple times that her sister knows something she does not, and I've thought about taking her, and I don't think she would be out of place.

That's Abbey, with baby C.J. sucking her thumb in the back. 
Abbey teaches the class, and she is a licensed speech language pathologist. She does not always wear that striped hat, and she is very helpful and knowledgeable.

Onto the benefits...

1. An educational setting. I've written before about finding the balance between allowing children to explore, to have downtime, and to learn concepts. The class was 45 minutes long, and it had this balance. C.J. loves stories, toys, and songs. It was educational, and I never planned on introducing a new language to baby, but I am glad I did - she remembers these concepts.

2. One-on-one time. C.J. and I don't get tons of one-on-one time, poor third child. She gets lots of mom time with the other kids, but it isn't the same as what Ty (first baby) and even Za got. This was 45 minutes of snuggle time, our fun activity together, our happy memories. (I'm smiling at her as I type this, just saying).

3. Age-appropriate. I mentioned that C.J. is one year old. The kids pictured above are older and enjoyed playing dress up the day we learned signs for clothes. C.J. did too, from her mom's lap - and all of the activities worked on different levels. For instance, during the final class, we learned the sign for brushing teeth, and all the kids had a blast with new toothbrushes.

More bubbles! Every child knows the signs for this command. 
4. Support and encouragement. My entire blog is devoted to encouraging parents to teach their children at home (and everywhere) and empower them to become teachers. Learning sign language gave me another tool in my mom-toolkit, another activity to complete with my kids. Because parents attend the signing classes with their children, they are helping teach!

5. Multiple lessons. Children rarely learn one concept at a time. Part of brain-based learning tells parents that the brain is a parallel processor. C.J. remembers signs, but she was also paying attention to my face as I pronounced words, dancing and balancing as we sang, and socializing with other kids.

The kicker? C.J. already has a skill that she will use for life, a skill that is in high demand and expected to grow even more.

It was a wonderful opportunity, and C.J. and I had fun. We bonded together, and I never knew that this program was in Peoria. Please check out Communication Junction's webpage for more information, or contact me with any questions about my experience.

Special thanks to Blissful Images for the fabulous pictures!

I received compensation in the form of a class fee waiver. All opinions posted in my blog, in person, on social media and any other form of communication are my honest and personal ones.