We have spent the past month learning American Sign Language! I have always loved sign language and have participated in a few “sign language choirs,” where we would sing and sign at the same time. And I, as a choir teacher, have taught songs in ASL to several groups. I’m thrilled to have found the easiest way to learn ASL online with my own kids.
This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary access to the Mr. D Math ASL 1 online course. I was also compensated for my time in reviewing and sharing. This post also contains affiliate links. All opinions shared are honest.
Who is learning ASL?
Four of my kids (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th grades) and I have been working through a brand new course from Mr. D Math. No, it’s not math; it’s an ASL 1 course. That’s right, Mr. D doesn’t just have math courses anymore!
They actually have the five courses available for American Sign Language:
- ASL 1
- ASL 2
- ASL 3
- ASL 1 Full Immersion
- ASL 1 for elementary
What is ASL 1?
Mr. D Math ASL 1 is a Beginner American Sign Language course.
Here is the description from the website:
Students will learn signs that will allow them to participate in basic signing conversations. In addition to learning signs, students will learn the history of Deaf culture and etiquette when conversing with a Deaf person. There will be a Deaf guest who will share his/her experience and sign with the students. This class gives you 1 of 2 of the second language credits needed to graduate high school. The second language you take must be the same for both credits. Eighth graders are allowed to count this course for their high school requirements as well. ASL is the 3rd most used language in the US other than English, and its popularity at colleges continues to rise. Most students find ASL easier to learn because they do not struggle with the accent/auditory.
Why Learn ASL?
One great reason to learn ASL is that we can use this class as an option for foreign language on the high school transcript. I have a student with dyslexia, and her tutor recommended ASL instead of a written language such as Spanish or French for her. I also didn’t realize that it’s the 3rd most used language in America! What a great language for my kids to learn!
Another reason to learn ASL is so that we can have another opportunity to share Christ with others. I know the deaf community can often feel isolated. We want to know their language to be able to reach them.
Third, being a sign language interpreter is a valid full-time vocation or even an opportunity for a part-time or occasional job. Perhaps this will be the spark to guide one of my kids toward it.
What Did We Learn in ASL 1?
Here are the 32 Lessons included in ASL online with Mr. D Math:
- Birthday (and numbers)
- Which? (opposite words)
- How’re you?
- Miscellaneous vocab
- ASL in Theatre
- Police interaction
- Have Want Need
- The End
- Valentine’s Day
- Deaf President Now
- DPN Presentation
- Deaf Gain (not hearing loss)
- Deaf Interview
- Story Project
- Final Exam
Since we’ve only been using the course for a month, and my kids are younger than high school, we’ve only done the first five lessons. And, then we skipped ahead to the Valentine’s Day lesson since Valentine’s Day is this week!
How We Used the Beginning Sign Language course:
Every morning during our group Morning Time in our family room, we spent about 15 minutes on sign language. I opened up the Mr. D Math online course site and mirrored the screen on our TV for all the kids to see. We’d either watch a new lesson video, rewatch a lesson video, take a quiz (also by video), or simply practice by signing for each other what we had learned. Ultimately, I think it’s best to spend an entire week on each lesson to really have time to practice and internalize all the signs.
A Video of What I Learned in Mr. D Math ASL 1:
Here is some of what I learned in this American Sign Language class during the past month.
Some ASL Words my kids Learned:
“Name” or “Called”
What We Thought of the Mr. D Math ASL 1 Online Course:
The online course site is very well organized, easy to use, and video lessons are high quality with good sound, clarity, and lighting. I like how each lesson didn’t just include a video lesson but had some other parts to it such as:
- Occasional printables (such as the alphabet in ASL/fingerspelling).
- Review ideas (such as specific words to practice fingerspelling every day).
- Video quizzes (such as this one below where the teacher fingerspells a name, and we have to choose the right name).
- Individual vocabulary videos (the regular video lessons can be somewhat lengthy, so it’s nice to have individual videos to go back and review certain words or phrases).
- Scored quizzes (and you as the teacher can check the student’s grades).
- Homework to submit (the ASL instructor encourages you to upload a number of videos doing the sign language you have learned).
The only negative I have for this course is that one of my older kids didn’t relate well to the teacher, who is fairly young. I’m sure that won’t be a problem for many (if not most) high school students, but for this one high schooler of mine, it was an issue. Personally, I really liked the instructor Thia, and I know my elementary kids did, too!
My final thoughts:
I’m thrilled to now own the ASL 1 course. We will continue through it slowly to really learn and memorize every word and phrase and to get better at fingerspelling and “reading” the sign language we see the instructor do on the screen. American Sign Language is a beneficial language for all to learn, and it is now a priority in our homeschool. Thank you, Mr. D Math, for adding ASL to your course offerings. Click here to see Mr. D ASL 1 yourself.