SignWriting In USA Directory

McReynolds HomeSchool
22324 Spitzley Drive
Clinton Township,
Michigin, 48035

Dawn McReynolds


Photo Left:
Deaf Student
Nicole McReynolds

  Confirmation Letter

Materials Received

Web Report #1:
Why Do You Want To Use SignWriting?

Web Report #2:
SignWriting Publications

McReynolds HomeSchool <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

April 15, 1999


Valerie Sutton
SignWriting Literacy Project
Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
P.O. Box 517
La Jolla, California, 92038-0517

Dear Valerie Sutton,
I am a homeschooling parent. I live in Clinton Township, Michigan. My child is profoundly Deaf and currently at a lower elementary level. I began homeschooling in November of 1998. I would love to participate in your SignWriting Literacy Project.

I would like to have the opportunity to introduce SignWriting to my child/student. I am interested in learning and using SignWriting because I anticipate that making SignWriting a part of our curriculum will improve my child's language skills and comprehension level. I have one child that will be participating in the SignWriting Literacy Project.

I agree to complete three Web Reports in return for the SignWriting materials and technical support that you donate to us. I understand that this letter and all three reports will become public information and will be posted to the SignWriting List and posted on the SignWriting Web Site. You have my full permission to use this information as needed. Please send SignWriting materials for 1 student and 1 teacher.

Thank you for considering us for your project.

Best regards,
Mrs. Dawn McReynolds

Homeschooling Parent
22324 Spitzley Drive
Clinton Township, MI. 48035

Web Report #1

Sun, 18 Apr 1999

Dawn McReynolds
Homeschool Teacher

1. Why do you want to learn SignWriting?
I am a homeschooling parent and I believe this will help in my teaching my child.

 2. What have been some of your past frustrations when teaching?
My main frustration has been when I introduce new vocabulary, because my child is Deaf, I try to change the basic curriculum into visually stimulation curriculum.

3. Are you hoping that SignWriting might help? If so, in what way?
I hope SignWriting will improve my child's ability to understand new vocabulary.  With SignWriting the child can read and be visually stimulated at the same time, that's so exciting! I believe this can only improve the way a child comprehends what they are reading.

4. How would you like to use your web page?
I would like to use the web page as a way of communicating my opinions about my child's progress and as a way of sharing some of her assignments.  I would also like to share how SignWriting has helped us in and out of the classroom.

5. Please write any additional information you would like to share.
I am sooo excited about using SignWriting. I watched SignWriting on television and could not believe my eyes. It was just what I needed to help my child to read and most importantly, comprehend what is being read.  I look forward to using the SignWriting Project with my child and I am very happy to share any information I can to help others use it also.
Valerie, I thank you once again. I believe this is an awesome opportunity for parents and educators alike.

Submitted by:

Dawn McReynolds
Homeschool Teacher

Web Report #2

SignWriting List
March 15, 2000

McReynolds Homeschool
Dawn McReynolds, Mother & Teacher
Nicole McReynolds, Deaf student


1. Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Reading Level 1, Workbook & Coloring Book

Did your student like this book? Did she write rows of symbols and signs?

"Nicole wrote the symbols with ease. The only thing that was a hard concept was the floor plane; opposed to the wall plane."

Was the information clear? Were there specific questions that were hard for you to answer?

"I have a hard time with ASL."

What improvements would you suggest? Would you add or subtract anything?

"I really think it is wonderfully put together."

2. Goldilocks & The Three Bears
Reading Level 2, Basic ASL Reader

Was your student ready for this book, when she finished Reading Level 1? If not, what was lacking in her knowledge, that made Reading Level 2 too advanced for her?

"She was ready for this book, but I noticed that some signs gave her a hard time. Ex: HOME, she kept trying to sign EAT for that. NEAR she signed NEIGHBOR for that. COME she would sign DECIDE for that and ENTER she signed LATER for that."

How did your student react to reading complete sentences in ASL? Was it hard for her, or was it an easy experience for her?

She loved it; she never once looked at the English words.

Did your student use the dictionary in the back? Did she have problems finding a sign in the dictionary?

Once I showed her the dictionary, she spent some time looking at it. I think it was very helpful.

Would you like a workbook to accompany the reading book in Reading Level 2? If so, how would you like it designed? Would a workbook teaching the writing of sentences in ASL be useful?

Yes. That would help with sentence structure. I think writing the symbols gave her the ability to better understand the placement of the symbols.

What improvements would you suggest? Would you add or subtract anything?

Some signs she had a hard time with because she didn't understand the movement direction. Is there a way to make the arrows clearer? Because children read so fast and if there's nothing to catch their attention, they may sign the symbols wrong.

3. Sutton's American Sign
Language Picture Dictionary
Basic ASL signs written in SignWriting,
listed by Sign-Symbol-Sequence.

Did your student like this dictionary? Was she eager to open it and use it? What did she think of the pictures? Did the pictures help?

Of course the pictures helped because the deaf are so visual. I think this is a wonderful reference tool.

Was the Sign-Symbol-Sequence clear? Did you have problems finding a sign in the dictionary?

Never had a problem finding any symbol.

Would you want us to expand this dictionary to include more signs? If so, what are some of the signs you would like us to add?

I would love to see more common household signs and living skill signs.

4. Lessons In SignWriting Video Series & Booklets
Two videos & two booklets.

As a parent, were the videos helpful?

I found it very helpful in the beginning, to help me understand the concept.

As a teacher, were the videos helpful?

I also found the video's helpful for looking back in times of confusion.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements of this video series?

I think the videos were well done. I have no suggestions.

5. Lessons In SignWriting Textbook
Reference book for the school, to assist teachers and parents.

Have you referred to this textbook to answer specific technical questions?

It's wonderfully helpful for placement of signs.

If so, what were some of the questions you needed to answer? What part of the textbook have you referred to most?

Mostly arrow placement and spatial planes.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements of this textbook?


Do you want to receive new, different materials?

Absolutely I can't wait to receive my next set. I'll be on pins and needles waiting to introduce them.

If your answer is yes, what would you like to receive first, second, third, fourth?

___4___Cinderella, Reading Level 1 (Beginners)

___2___Cinderella, Reading Level 2 (Beginners)

___1___Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Reading Level 3 (Intermediate)

___3___Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Reading Level 4 (Advanced)

How many copies of the above publications do you need, and when will you be ready for them?

I only have one student, and we are ready for the next set now.

SignWriting is a new idea and sometimes new ideas can be complicated. Did our publications give a positive and optomistic impression about writing ASL? What issues, if any, came up? Any suggestions for making the road smoother in the future?

I think your publications gave a very good impression. Anything new is looked at with suspicion. I think in time SignWriting will be used as an equal to English in schools, As soon as the education system sees that the children use SignWriting as a tool to help them read and grasp Language.


McReynolds Homeschool, Michigan

Dawn McReynolds, Mother & Teacher
Nicole McReynolds, Deaf student


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 12:41:02 EDT
Subject: Re: SignWriting Received

Dear Valerie:
How exciting! I just got the materials YEAH! I wasn't sure how to post this on my web site or didn't even know if you want it posted so I emailed you directly. Feel free to post it if you wish.

We watched the videotapes together today. I have never had so much interaction between my child and a video before. She was correcting my handshapes as we watched and tried to sign some of the words. She signed to me that this was cool. She laughed as we browsed the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story book. Then she spotted the flash cards. WOW, she signed almost every one without even knowing what the words were. She was reading the pictures. I haven't even started the lessons with her and she loves it and is reading it. She said she understands the pictures. I'm so excited....

Dawn McReynolds
Homeschool Teacher

Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999
Subject: Re: worksheet ideas for homeschoolers
To: SignWriting List


Here is an example of one of the ways I use SignWriting. I have been working on an interesting program. My sister in law has a son with CP& they have a program that will print out pictures with the corresponding words. I am trying to print out all the pictures I can, and add SignWriting below. This will help improve Language skills.




Dawn McReynolds
Homeschool Teacher

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000
Posted to the SignWriting List


Hello all,

My name is Dawn McReynolds, I have a beautiful 13 year old daughter named Nicole. Nicole is Deaf and was attending public school here in Michigan. I felt that Nicole was slipping through the cracks of the public school system. I quit my full time job as a CMT (Consumer Medicaid Trainer) and homeschooled her myself. As a CMT (training disabled adults in community living skills) I didn't not have formal educational training to teach her at home. I researched and went to support group meetings to see how others did it, although there were no parents of Deaf children in my area at these homeschooling meetings. I thought it would be nearly the same as the other parents.

When I started to try to teach her. I was stuck, there were parts of the English Language she just couldn't understand. She was in sixth grade and really didn't know what those words she was reading meant. I didn't know what to do. Should I keep trying to teach them to her over and over again until she finally gets it? I tried many different ways, to teach her. I was getting frustrated and so was Nicole. I had to go into prayer about it once I did that my frustration was gone but I still had the problem. Then it came to me, no doubt because of my prayers, I started holding up pictures (cue cards) with words on them. I was trying to teach her anyway I could think of. Suddenly there was a connection.

I was stunned to realize after eight years in school; she had no working knowledge of what words really meant. I introduced to her several pictures of things with out the words present. She would know what it was.

Then I would introduce the written word for it without a picture, she did not know what it meant. I was astounded.

How did she go through school knowing how to spell words therefore reading words. BUT not truly know what they meant.

I was also devastated, HOW COULD I HAVE NOT KNOWN THIS. As I went on with discovering where Nicole really was in school and how much help she really needed I felt overwhelmed and began to question my ability to teach her.  There were days when we were running through the house and I would grab the lunch meat and show her this, this is lunch meat. For a long time we had index cards with drawn pictures (the best I could do; lol) with matching words on our lamps and T.V. on our desks and tables and chairs and walls and oven and sink and bath tub. people would walk in our house and just and look around with confusion on their face. I would just laugh and say were learning what words really mean.

One day we sat down and watched television, here in Michigan we have a station that focuses on the Deaf. At a certain time during the day you can see the news told by Deaf and so on. While we were watching this station, on came Sign Writing. I couldn't believe my eyes. That was the answer. Symbols to make words come alive for the Deaf, they can read their own Sign Language on paper. That's it.

It was the answer indeed. When I pulled Nicole from the 6th grade.She was functioning well below 3rd grade level. I was told by several educators that was expected and not to worry. Over a year later she has moved up Two grade levels. I attribute that growth of learning mostly from SignWriting!!

I am so proud of Nicole and the work she has done in the last year. I wouldn't change a thing about the struggles we encountered along the way to get here.

Sign Writing for Nicole and I became; sort of a lifeline, it gave me a opportunity to bridge a gap that was causing knowledge to be lost. Sign Writing became the missing link between my Written Language and Nicole's Signed Language. We are currently trying to get through the first set of materials so we can move on. For us this is somewhat a slow process; because I must know Nicole is retaining the information she is learning; before I move on. She is... Nicole is almost ready for the next packet. Hope you all check out some of our recorded experiences on our site. They will be sent to Val sometime in late March. This is my personal story; Nicole's experience is not typical of public schools;

Dawn McReynolds

McReynolds HomeSchool
22324 Spitzley Drive, Clinton Township, Michigin, 48035

SignWriting In USA Directory