Early Literacy

Book Behaviors

I am a firm believer in nurturing early literacy behaviors, or book behaviors. Penelope is almost 2 1/2 and spends a significant amount of time each day “reading” books. She cannot yet decode text, but if you were to interrupt and ask what she is doing she would say, “I reading.”  People tend to confuse the concepts…

Learning Letter Sounds

Knowledge of letter names and shapes is a strong predictor of children’s success in learning to read. Penelope knows all her letters except V and W. I give her a hall pass on those because they are kinda confusing. (Don’t even get me started on K and X!) Why am I so obsessed with making sure she…

Five Fun Alphabet Books

Though we have several alphabet books in our home library, with Penelope’s voracious appetite for learning letters, I needed a break from the books we already read at least 100 times. Here are five fun alphabet books we found at our local library. Happy ABC’ing! (Remember: If you purchase on Amazon, use the smile.amazon.com link…

Alphabet At Bats

Penelope will turn two in about a week and I am very proud to report that she knows all of the letters of the alphabet except F, U, V, W, Y and Z. My almost-two-year-old knows 20 out of 26 letters in the alphabet. She can’t speak in sentences. She can’t really jump. And 95%…

Foolproof Tactics for Teaching Your Toddler the Alphabet

About two months ago something really exciting happened. Well, really exciting for an educator-turned-new-parent-who-is-obsessed-with-literacy. Penelope started saying the alphabet. Penelope and I were sitting on the sofa reading ABC’s of Hawaii, an alphabet book Kyle and I bought her as a souvenir from Kauai. (Yes, we are the kind of parents who buy books as souvenirs.)…

Six Spooktacular Stories for Halloween

Happy almost-Halloween! You don’t have your kid’s costume picked out/made/bought yet? No worries! You can feel like the best parent EVER by being on top of your Halloween read aloud game. As you pull out your favorite scarf and sip your pumpkin spice latte (or, PSL, as the cool kids say), try reading one of these Halloween-themed picture books with…

How to Foster Early Literacy

Penelope is 22 months old and she loves reading — a fundamental aspect of early literacy. “All kids that age love reading,” a crotchety old librarian said when my nanny shared Poppy’s love of reading. I disagree. Not all kids love reading the way Penelope loves reading. All kids should love reading the way Poppy loves to read,…

If You’re Not Sleeping, You Best Be Reading

Penelope sucks at sleeping. Maybe this is because Kyle and I have chosen to live our lives rather than be militant about a nap schedule. Maybe this is because I’ve lugged her along on too many business trips, across too many timezones, forcing her to sleep in too many weird places. Maybe it’s because she…

Building Print Awareness: Turn the Page

When Penelope was an infant, it was easy enough to read to her. I’d place her on her back in her baby gym and sit beside her. She would stare at the pictures, going cross eyed as she tried to focus on the colorful images. As she got older, I’d read to her while she…