When I was a kid, I really wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL). We had a book of sign language and I would look at it often, trying to figure it out. But I struggled to learn from the flat pictures! Then, as I got older, I wanted to teach my kids ASL, but I struggled to figure out how to teach a language I didn’t know myself. I’m really excited that we are learning it now with Mr. D Math!
I received free access to the course and was compensated for my time by Mr. D Math in exchange for my review. As always, this review is my 100 percent honest opinion!
A few months ago, my oldest started taking Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School. But like, many things in our homeschool, we peek over his shoulder and so we are also learning ASL!
The Best Parts of Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School
These are the reasons we love Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School.
- It’s self-paced
- Awesome teacher
- Opportunity to submit videos for review of technique
- Comes with printable practice sheets to help remind us of vocabulary we’ve learned
- It’s fun and my kids look forward to their lessons!
Self Paced Course Makes for Flexible Learning
Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School is self-paced. This self-paced nature has been the best thing for our family. We can pick it up and learn it on our own schedule. This gives us a lot of time to practice the signs we are working on learning before moving onto the next video. Because the class is moving on our own schedule, we can review and review and review the same lesson until we are sure that we are ready to move onto the next video.
I think when learning any language, practice and review is crucial. Often, we choose bedtime to review. My kids are in separate rooms, so I have a few quiet alone minutes with them and this calmer atmosphere makes for good practice. Practicing at a reliable, predictable time of day, when it always happens, helps to make sure that you continue to practice. I know only too well how easy it is to lose progress in a language unless you are committed to practicing it regularly.
The other nice thing about it being self-paced is that if we forget a sign, or if there is disagreement among my family members about how to perform it, we can easily go back to that lesson and watch it again. We can also change the speed on the videos to adjust it – sometimes we like to show it down a little bit to make sure that we can definitely get the hand sign down. The pre-recorded videos in a self-paced format give us all the flexibility!
Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School has an Awesome Teacher!
One thing about self-paced classes is that they can be really hit or miss when it comes to teacher involvement. I am pleased to say that the teacher for Mr. D Math ASL 1 – For Elementary School is very responsive! Thia is a graduate of Gallaudet University, which is the only higher education institution specifically designed for Deaf and hard of hearing students. Thia is a great teacher and brings great energy to the class.
Not only does Thia bring great energy to the class, but she also is super encouraging and positive. As part of the class, you can optionally submit videos of yourself signing for feedback. Not only is this super helpful for learning – getting feedback on how you are moving your hands really helps – but Thia is so positive in her feedback. Even when my son was signing something a bit wrong and she offered correction, she did it with such a positive tone that my son was able to receive it and fix his mistake.
Thia also invites the kids to bring themselves to the lessons. For example, when we were learning animals, she said that of course, she couldn’t teach them all the animals in the world, that would take a long time, but she invited the kids to send her a message if there was an animal sign they wanted to know that wasn’t mentioned. My son had been so bummed that dolphin wasn’t one of the included animals, so I encouraged him to reach out and ask her for a video.
This was great for two reasons – one Thia was very responsive and sent back a video of the sign for dolphin so he could learn it. But I also viewed this as another less obvious learning opportunity. Since my son is in 5th grade, instead of writing the message for him, I encouraged him to write the message himself. We talked about tone and how you can make a request sound respectful when you’re writing to a teacher. This gives him an opportunity to practice those skills that he’ll need someday in writing requests to bosses, co-workers, and professors!
We have loved ASL 1 – For Elementary School so much and we hope to continue on with the following levels after we have finished! Mr. D Math doesn’t just offer ASL either – there are all sorts of classes! I encourage you to check out Mr. D Math today!