Independent Learning

When I first found out I would have to be dedicating four hours a week to an independent learning project I became very nervous.

Thoughts that crossed my mind

1.  I don’t even have four hours of free time a week how could I find the time to learn something new.

2. I have no idea what topic to choose.

3. How am I supposed to learn something all by myself.

Lets just say my mind went into stress overload and that’s when I had to close the computer and take a break. After having about a week to process this information and think about the project I decided it was probably time to start thinking about topics.

Possible Topics

1. Golfing. I have clubs and would love to improve my game.

2. Cooking. I love cooking and am always trying new recipes

3. Crocheting. My grandma taught me a little and I already have the tools I need

4. Sign language. I have always been intrigued by this language

After lots of contemplating I decided my independent project would be dedicated to learning sign language, at least the basics. I have looked into taking sign language classes before, but they never worked out with my schedule. I figure with all the resources available online that I will be able to learn quite a lot about the language without having to spend extra money.

“CC by Jen Collins”


Learning sign language will also be a benefit to my future teaching. There have already been multiple times when I wasn’t able to effectively communicate with a student and wished I knew some sign language. Hopefully I will be able to take a class in the future, but this will be a great way to get started.


20 thoughts on “Independent Learning

  1. What a great project! I know there are tons of youtube videos that can help you learn too. I promise that the independent learning project is embedded in the course as part of your homework–I take away other things that we could be doing so that your required homework time for the course (time you’d have to spend anyway to earn your credits) can be devoted to this. So don’t think of it as four hours of your free time but rather as four hours of your homework time for this course!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YouTube was my first thought while deciding if I should pursue sign language or not. I am very relieved to know that this project is part of the regular homework time for this course (sigh of relief).


  2. I love your post! I probably stressed out just as badly as you did when I read that we have to dedicate 4 hours of our week learning something new. I have no idea either what I want to learn and that’s even more stressful than actually doing. I wish I could say that you give me inspiration to do some of the things that you want to do, but sadly, I already know ASL, I know how to crochet, cook, and well, golfing isn’t my thing. I’m already dark enough as it is and I don’t want to get even more burned. Sign Language would be a great thing to do. Here’s a great site that my sign language teacher gave to us if we ever needed to look things up: It’s has videos that you can play, over and over, and it’s actually pretty accurate. Have fun!

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  3. What a great idea! I too was a little skeptical of completing an extra 4 hour project but I think you may have given me another idea! Like you said, sign language will be very beneficial in your future career as a teacher. And the best part is is that you can find resources for cheap or even free. I wish you the best of luck on your learning project and hope you have fun as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post! I can’t wait to read about the learning progress that you have throughout your journey with sign language! Also, I love your honesty at the beginning, because I was feeling the same thing! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Danielle,
    Wow I almost chose sign language as my topic also! I have always been intrigued and fascinated with the idea of being able to talk with your hands! Actually for several years before I got to college that is what I wanted to do as a career was to teach kids, and people, sign language. But I was told that in order to profit from financially, (because let’s face it we need money to get by in this world) that I would have to move to a big city. Like a really big city and I wasn’t too keen on that. But I have still always kept my eye open for books that would teach me how to sign language and when I was in 8th grade I taught myself how to sign the whole alphabet. It is definitely a trait that I would still really like to learn. But I am also passionate about dance and health and physical activity which is why I chose to be a Health and PE teacher because I can incorporate all three of those passions into my classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You. I think being an interpreter would be such a rewarding job. I also believe the career path you have chosen will be just as rewarding. It’s wonderful that you were able to find something that you are passionate about.


  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one worried about the time commitment! I obsessed over that for a bit myself. That is such a cool ILP. I actually called CSC’s start office and asked if they offered a class on sign language a few semesters ago. I wish they did, but it’s awesome that you have been finding free online resources to get started!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an awesome ILP! My little brother, Kellan, has Down syndrome and really relied on sign language when he was younger to communicate with my family. So, we all got to learn a little bit right along with him! If you’re looking for resources, I would suggest the Signing Time videos. We had them on DVD, and Kellan LOVED them! They have really catchy songs to aid in learning (I still remember some of them). 🙂 I’m sure that there are some videos on YouTube so you don’t have to buy anything. I can’t wait to read about your progress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback as well as the resources. I will have to check them out. I think many times we relate sign language as a way of communication for hearing impaired and forget that many others also use it.


  8. I have read so many great blog posts about the Independent Learning and it makes me feel like my topic sucks. I have seen posts about sewing, training a dog and now sign language. I would love to learn sign language and maybe I will take time to learn this too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tate I don’t think that anything you want to learn and dedicate the time to learning it could possibly “suck”. I think that if sign language is something you would want to learn then you should go for it!


  9. Danielle, Yes! I so love that you are learning to sign. I, myself, have wanted to learn and applaud you for doing so! The benefits from learning will make it so worth the time and effort! Maybe you have inspired me to learn some too! Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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