Archive for October 2010

The Sociable Homeschooler: Host-Vivienne McNeny, Guests-Dawn Prochovnic and Christie Jenkins, Topic-Sign Language

vivienne This is an episode of “The Sociable Homeschooler”, hosted by experienced homeschooler, Vivienne McNeny, from Toginet Radio.

On this episode, Vivienne interviews 2 sign language experts and they talk about how useful sign language can be for hearing people, and especially for children.

RELIGIOUS CONTENT NOTE: Vivienne’s show does contain some religious content, as she is a devout Catholic and always begins and ends her show with religious quotes and thoughts. But it is such that I, as a non-Christian, consider very minor, as the main content of this episode (and nearly all her shows) is usually not strongly religious in focus. The exception only being when she has very religious guests…this sign language episode is not one of them.

Next she talks about her recent trip to Costa Rica, and then reads an excerpt from her book, (VERY good book, I must say! Since I’ve heard all the excerpts so far!) which talks about her many years of experience homeschooling her 4 (now grown) children, and does also contain religious content.

If you’d like to skip to the sign language content, fast forward to 17:38.

LAST NOTE: There are also commercials within Vivienne’s show, as that is the format of Toginet Radio.



Dawn Prochovnic, founder of SmallTalk Learning, a training and consulting company specializing  in teaching sign language workshops to children and their grownups. She is the author of “The Big Blue Bowl” (shown below) and 7 other children’s books in the “Story Time with Signs and Rhymes” picture book series.



Christie Jenkins, “Idea Entrepreneur“, created the first video for teaching sign language to the general public called “How to Talk to a Person who Can’t Hear“. Today it’s sold as a dvd under the new title “Sign Language for Everyone

From this episode:

A deaf person will never construct a sentence the way you and I do, because they don’t hear. They don’t need all the extra words. They don’t need “the” “and” and “buts.”…Learning sign language is actually easy. It’s very fun. Kids pick it up instantly, MUCH faster than their parents, although the parents do come along….It’s such a wonderful, fun language.

An analogy I use with many of my students, both youth students and adult students, is that we are borrowing some tools, if you will, from the ASL American Sign Language toolbox. And as a result, we’re going to be very skilled in “building a bird house.” We’re going to learn how to use a hammer and nails and some scraps of wood. And we’re going to put those together and we’re going to build a house that a bird will be quite happy and safe to live in. Now by being exposed to that, we might also develop an interest in “building a bigger structure”, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be able to “build a condominium complex,” learn the entire American Sign Language vernacular, syntax, sentence structure…to be able to borrow from this very beautiful language that the deaf community created and used. We can borrow those tools and use them to enrich the learning experiences for children and adults.

Stay tuned for a bunch more podcasts!

I just received permission yesterday from another podcaster to upload her homeschool podcasts here…and of course I already have Rebecca Kochenderfer’s permission to upload hers from (Still working on that…got off-track recently, woops!)

My goal for this site is to make it easy to find high quality secular homeschool related podcasts all in one place. Without having to dig through all the content on iTunes. I LOVE iTunes but it can, at times, be very overwhelming! And a search for the term “homeschool” sometimes turns up dead accounts and podcasts that never posted anything and even nonrelated podcasts, not to mention the podcasts that are just garbage. This wastes time, and I like things to be clear and concise and convenient, so that is why I am making this website.

In order to do this, I’m having to do a lot of digging and research to find all that is out there, weeding out the lower quality, and then getting permission to post the good quality here. There isn’t a ton of homeschool related podcasts out there, in the scheme of things. Particularly not ones that aren’t highly religious. So this is very doable.

This is a quest of mine: To find secular (or tolerably religious) GOOD QUALITY homeschool podcasts.

And, I might add, I am simultaneously also working on my other new site:

So bear with me on this journey. I plan to also create Facebook and Twitter pages for this site, as I have with my others, to help keep people informed on things here.

If you have any suggestions on homeschool related podcasts, please let me know by emailing me at sunflowermom38(at)gmail(dot)com or posting a comment here!