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January 2008
   
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 Welcome

Hello and welcome to the new KinderSigns Newsletter. I'd like to welcome all of the new subscribers, returning subscribers and Instructors that have joined us. I wish you all a happy and successful 2008!

In the Newsletter this month:
Article
Featured Instructor
Instructors Corner
KinderSigns around the World
Baby and Child Signs
Success Story
Become a Kindersigns Instructor
   
 Article

Baby Sign Language- The Latest Craze

The amazing world of baby signing grows more and more popular every day. Parents all over the world are catching on and are looking to teach their hearing babies sign language in order to bridge the gap in which the baby cannot yet speak. But in time the baby will be able to use the signs to communicate whether they are hungry, cold, wet and more.

Although a baby does not have the motor skills to speak they do have the eye-hand coordination to learn and adapt the signs taught to them to communicate their wants and needs to their parents.

Teaching and using baby sign language consistently with your hearing baby can reap many beneficial rewards.

  • Reduces frustration of parent's when trying to understand their baby's needs.
  • Babies are able to communicate their wants and needs.
  • Babies verbal language may be accelerated earlier than normal.
  • Helps to enhance receptive and expressive vocabulary.
  • Helps them learn to read more easily as a child.
  • Enhances creative ability.
  • Promotes a better child/parent bond.
  • Results in a higher IQ by 10-12 points.

These are only the general benefits for babies 6-18 months consistently using baby sign language. The benefits do increase from the ages 12- 18 months as well as 18 months to 5 years. As the child gets older they are able to adapt easier, have higher self esteem, better confidence and more!

©Jamie Edson Opielski, Director of Operations

If you would like to submit an article that pertains to Baby Sign Language, please send them to me at Jamie@kindersigns.com with 'Kindersigns Article Submission' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, email, web site URL if you have one. All article submitted must be YOUR original work.

 
 Featured Instructor

This month's Featured Instructor is Joann Woolley!

When did you decide you wanted to teach baby sign language?
I decided in July 2007 that I needed a change of work environment.

When and how did you get started teaching baby sign language?
Having an infant and a toddler at home I knew I only could be drawn away from them by work that was fulfilling to me. My husband always said I should do something with my skill in ASL, my mother is deaf and I'm fluent in sign. After teaching my children to sign I realized the joy it brings to a family and having always wanted to be a teacher of sorts this would combine both my talent and childhood aspiration along with my adult desire to be in business for myself.


What is the most important thing/lesson you have learned working with children?
They are so much smarter than I'd ever imagined, and signing shows us what they are capable of at such an early age. I now believe that with the lack of ability to communicate that children lose some of their intuitive desire for learning probably because they give up, thinking that people don't understand them.

What are your inspirations?
My mother inspires me. She always had to work hard for what we had growing up and never allowed pride to impede her. This has helped me get over the initial fear of approaching people with my business card, asking if I can hold workshops in their place of business, and network with well established children's business owners. I am the one held accountable for growing my business. My mother has said to me plenty growing up how proud she is for what I've accomplished, I believe creating a business with a skill she has taught me will epitomize that feeling.

Seeing my children being understood by their father when using a sign also inspires me. We started signing from day one, literally. That was the natural practice for us in our circumstance because grandma is deaf and that's what my mother did with me. Because of it being such a built in practice my husband is even better at integrating signs into his activities with the kids than I am! Starting early helped with daddy to be embedded in the belief of the importance of signing. Dads in general often have a more difficult time with understanding their newly verbal children practicing talking and I love when he is able to ask "Do you have a sign for that?" and then our kids and daddy are successfully communicating!

Any news to share with us?
I'm holding a workshop at Java Mama on January 14th. This is a coffee house café unique for moms to enjoy a cup of java or have lunch and get some work done while child plays in the supervised play area that you can easily overlook. Her business opened just two years ago and I though the concept was fabulous, in addition the location has a classroom for all sorts of featured activities, mommy and me yoga, toddler dance party, crafts etc....When I first started my business I knew I wanted to approach the owner about having my workshops there Through personal introduction and sending e-mails I had yet to secure her interest to invite me to use her classroom. It was in not giving up and networking with another mom who had products in her café that captured her interest finally and bringing me into her classroom. She even has a 13 month old son and she wants to attend my workshop!

A bit about Joann
Sign4Baby instructor Joann Woolley has signed since infancy and recalls the countless times telling the story of being able to communicate through sign language before walking or talking. Growing up with a mother who is deaf enabled Joann to become fluent in American Sign Language and experience firsthand the dramatic impact signing has in cognitive development. Now having her own children, Amberly age 2 and Kyle 9 months, she found that teaching them to sign created a bonding experience unparalleled by other parenting practices. This is what sparked the desire for Joann to help other parents discover what their baby is thinking.

You can visit Joann's web site at:
http://www.kinderworkshops.com/sign4baby.html

www.sign4baby.com Coming soon!

Joann is also listed as the Featured Instructor on www.Kinderworkshops.com, check it out!

If you would like to be our next Featured Instructor send me an email to jamie@kindersigns.com with Featured Instructor in the subject line. Our Featured Instructors will be presented in the monthly Kindersigns newsletter and on www.kinderworkshops.com for one month!

 
 Instructors Corner

The new Kindersigns Forum is now live; you will need to register first. You will find the link in your KinderSigns Instructors kit page. If you are interested in being a moderator, please let me know at jamie@kindersigns.com. Please put 'Kindersigns Forum Moderator' in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name, email, web site URL if you have one and why you would make a good moderator.

The forum will be a great place to get advice, share ideas and network with other instructors! Please join in, introduce yourselves, and create some topics and post!

The 'News' section of the Support center (Help Desk) will soon have information added to the section. This will include articles, press release, Any Kindersigns Instructors that happen to be in the news, etc. If your business has been in the news, please let me know, send me an attachment of your newspaper article, etc.

 
 Kindersigns around the World

We want to hear from you! We want to know what part of the world you are from and how Kindersigns has helped you, your baby or students. Send me an email at jamie@kindersigns.com with 'Kindersigns World' in the subject line. Please include your name, email, web site URL if you have one, what Country you are from and how you have adapted Kindersigns as a parent or Instructor.

Please visit our Kindersigns Instructor map and place a pin on your location!

Free Guestmap from Bravenet

 
 Baby and Child Signs

Learn a word or two in Baby Sign Language! This month's words are taken from the animal and noun categories. The words are Bird and Bed.

The thumb and forefinger mimic the action of a
bird's beak.
The hand represents a pillow against the head
which is resting. 
   
   

Be sure to check out next month's issue for the new signs!

 
 Success Stories

This month's success story is from- Joann Woolley!

Hi Joann, Please share with us some of your successes and goals you have accomplished and plan to obtain with your new baby sign language business:

It took 5 months of being in business to reach my goal of making my first $500. Calculating that over time is $100 a month and now my goal is to make at least $300 a month over the next 2 months and re-assess my goal once I've accomplished that. I have learned that it takes time for people to become familiar with a new business before clients begin calling regularly. It also took a few months for me to get comfortable telling strangers what I did in a concise manner that grasped their attention. Some of the ways I've generated interest in my workshops is flier distribution where moms frequent. There is a local movie theatre that does parent movie morning once a week and I diligently go there to hand out my fliers while they're waiting to buy tickets. Because I have an ad in a local family magazine I decided to bring those to our library Story Time with my business flier inserted on the page of my ad and would make an announcement as story time concluded so moms would pick one up on their way out. I've also attended a breastfeeding group since my daughter, now 2, was born and give a brief 5-10 minute overview of baby sign language each time I attend. Having a logo designed has also been beneficial because of the other marketing I can do with that, t-shirts, car magnet, pens, and business cards. People remember you more with a "face" and that's what a logo does for your business. I had one mom attend a workshop after seeing me in 3 different venues, so cross marketing has been very important for me. I have tried to steer away from giving too much of a discount to draw business, I've priced the other local workshops and I'm offering a comparative price. In each workshop I handle housekeeping in the beginning, payment and show them the business cards in the folders to refer friends. Practicing all of these things is hard to remember and a lot of work, however I've started to see my business gain credibility through continuing these efforts.  I regularly jot down ideas for new ways to try and explain a concept or to promote my workshops, so far I've only scratched the surface on the list of ideas I will implement to add value to my business. From doing some market research I've gathered that it takes approximately a year to begin to feel established in a new business, and I equate that to being successful. Once you're established more referrals are made and there's less legwork in generating interest.

A bit about Joann Woolley

Sign4Baby instructor Joann Woolley has signed since infancy and recalls the countless times telling the story of being able to communicate through sign language before walking or talking. Growing up with a mother who is deaf enabled Joann to become fluent in American Sign Language and experience firsthand the dramatic impact signing has in cognitive development. Now having her own children, Amberly age 2 and Kyle 9 months, she found that teaching them to sign created a bonding experience unparalleled by other parenting practices. This is what sparked the desire for Joann to help other parents discover what their baby is thinking.

For more information about Joann please visit:

Sign4Baby
http://www.kinderworkshops.com/sign4baby.html
www.Sign4Baby.com

Are you a Kindersigns Instructor and want to share with us your success story? Please send your
submissions to www.kindersigns.com with 'Kindersigns Success Story' in the subject line.

 
Become a Kindersigns Instructor

Want to join the largest Baby Sign Language Instructors Network in the world? We would love to have you join! Visit www.kindersigns.com for more information!

I hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Kindersigns News!

Keep signing and making a difference in people's lives.

Jamie Edson Opielski
Director of Operations
Kindersigns.com

 
 
   
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