As baby signing starts to increase in popularity there are more and more options available for signing classes. What is a parent to do? How do you decide which class is the right fit for you? Here are just a few things to consider before you register for a signing class (or any class).
Before you spend any money on a class, ask if the instructor or company offers demo classes. This is a great way to check things out before you make any sort of commitment. Ask questions! How long is the class? What materials are included? Are there any “extra” costs? What happens if you need to miss a class? Is there an opportunity to review the material missed? What if you need to withdraw from the class? These are all very important questions when you are committing to a class or classes – babies keep us on our toes, our schedules can change at any moment so it is important to ask about the “what ifs”.
Attending a demo class also gives you the opportunity to get to know the instructor. You want to be sure that you are comfortable with the person who is teaching the class. In some cases you may be spending 6 or 8 weeks with this person. Be sure that you feel like it is a positive environment where you and your little one will learn and flourish. Also consider the experience of the instructor. Just like any other class you would register for, look for someone who is qualified to be teaching baby signing. Unfortunately there are many businesses out there who will hire anyone who pays the instructor fees. When I was looking into becoming an instructor I was really disappointed to find that more often than not, this was the case. Look for someone who has a background in ASL and teaching. This way you are sure to get your money’s worth!
Ask yourself a few addition questions to determine what’s important to you. Do you want a class that will teach real ASL signs? Do you want to support a local business? Is it important that the business has awards or has been recognized for their curriculum? Are they teaching something that is relevant for you? Are there additional classes available if you want to continue classes? Figure out what is important to you and your family and then decide which class is the best fit and have fun!