I commend you for wanting to learn one of the top five languages used in the United States. Learning sign language will help to promote or augment language skills in your son. Also, later in life this skill could help bridge communication gaps between yourselves and any deaf individuals who use sign language.
Research overwhelmingly suggests that children can learn multiple languages- verbal and sign- without much difficulty as compared to adults! Also, we know that children learn best from language models such as the parents, siblings or daycare providers. Sign language used in conjunction with voice often helps children to recall information better, such as math facts, names of people and places and directions. Children with learning challenges, such as speech and language delays, Down Syndrome, Autism, etc. also greatly can benefit from sign language used to help assist with communication.
Have fun with learning sign language! I recommend to my students (and I have had thousands!) to start slow and easy. Language learning is a process. You want to be as accurate as you can and have fun. This is not a race. And if you make errors there is no "sign language police" that will show up at your door. Just practice along with your son and others in your home to help recall signs. Learn five to ten signs at a time. Master them yourself and show them in natural circumstances to your son. Begin with nouns and verbs. Foods, daily activities, people, colors and favorite hobbies (bike, reading, music) are all great starting points.
Be creative. Ask other parents and children to learn with you so that your child can have peers to sign with too!
We have a FAQs page, gallery of children signing and a first signs link. Also, we have an array of sign language products ( and more to be posted within the month) on the STORE button. Of course, many good sign language DVDs are available at libraries and schools, too.
I wish you the best of luck learning to use sign language with your son. Write back if you have further questions or comments.
Signing Families has DVDs you might consider for your son. Link to their site below. If you click on the "Store" link on their site, you'll see that some of the DVDs are available at a lower price with online purchase.
At your local library. I have two children that have learned sign language through DVDs called Signing Time. Its great and on an elementary levels. Lots of singing and bright pictures and two children named Alex and Leah that help show the kids how to use their hands. I have my kids teaching me!!!
Hi Bella, I just came across this question and encourage you to take a look at our terrific interactive resources - Volume 1: Interactive Activities for Learning ASL and Memory Match Games. Both CD-roms are easy to use and easy to navigate for young children as well as adults.