Monday, February 08, 2010


It's that time of week again - the weekend is over and work is restarted and we are all too tired to think about early literacy. Right? WRONG! Librarian Pirate is here to help! This week's skill is ...


Narrative skills are just what they sound like. Learning how a story is put together with a beginning, a middle, and an end. This doesn't mean teaching your child how to tell what the rising action, climax, and falling action of a story are - it's just telling stories so she (or he) can get the basics. When I come home I tend to ask my husband what he did today. Then I ask Kaylee what she did today. I do it in this order so I can sneakily help Kaylee to craft her narrative. eg:
LP: What did you do today, Kaylee?
K: Uhhh ...
LP: What did you have for breakfast!
LP: And then what did you do?
K: I played blocks! I played with PIPPA!
LP: That sounds like so much fun! What did you do next?
K: uh ...
LP: Did you go anywhere?
K: YES! Pippa and Daddy go on SCURSION* and I went TOO!
LP: Awesome! Where did you go?
K: We went to the NORTH POLE!**
LP: WOW! What did you do there?
K: We bought toilet paper and HOT DOGS! And I had hot dog, catsup, mac and cheese for lunch. PARTY IN MY TUMMY!

*Excursion. Calling it that instead of errands makes life seem so much more fun
**Not sure why she's been so obsessed with the North Pole lately. It started quite awhile after Christmas, but it makes her happy.

You get the picture! (Or do you want a LONGER account of Kaylee's fascinating day? I'm usually quite enthralled, but I am a bit biased. Now go forth and NARRATE!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Early Literacy Mondays

At my library (and at most libraries) we are big fans of early literacy and we try to promote it as much as possible to the parents that come to our storytimes. Often I have parents say to me that they don't know where to begin or what to do to encourage early literacy in their kids, but I'm finding that incorporating early literacy not only helps my child in later life, but it makes my life easier! So Mondays are the days that everyone is most exhausted, so I'm going to start posting my Early Literacy tips for Lazy Parents today - picking one of the 6 Early Literacy Skills and highlighting one way to incorporate that into your life easily.


This is the easiest of all the Early Literacy skills to incorporate and (in my opinion) the most important. Print Motivation means loving books and if your child doesn't think that books are fun and exciting, then she (or he) won't want to learn how to read them herself (or himself). To encourage print motivation, pick out books that you think would make your child happy. Bright colors, rhymes, things your child loves. I know Kaylee loves ladybugs so every time I see a new book about ladybugs I bring it home. Pippa and Kaylee both love books with pictures of babies so I pick those out all the time. But Librarian Pirate, you say, Didn't you say that these were tips for LAZY parents? Picking out books takes TIME! True, but you can always call ahead to your local library, ask your librarian for advice on great books for a 3 year old about trucks, and then your library visit is quick and painless! Depending on what services your library offers, you could even put books on hold online or on the phone and just stop by the hold shelf - no need to search anything out. BUT! The real laziness comes in after you've got some great books all picked out.

So it's Monday. I've had a LONG day and I'm tired. I get home from work and my 2 year old is trying to climb up my leg, she's so happy to see my. "PIGGY BACK RIDE, MOMMY! PIGGY BACK RIDE!" So I swing her up onto my back, give her a piggy back ride to the couch (with my last ounce of strength), then we snuggle on the couch and I read her some books picked out specifically to make her happy. I get to rest, we both get to snuggle, and Kaylee's love of books grows. The more I read to the girls, the more they love it and the more they crave that cuddle time. When Kaylee is getting too rambunctious I can sit her down and give her some books to read and I know she'll sit happily for 10/15 minutes enthralled by the pictures and the turning of pages. We even had the following conversation a few months back:

Kaylee: I love my family.
LP: We love you too. Who is in your family, do you know?
K: Yes.
LP: Mommy, Daddy, Pippa - who else?
K: No! Mommy, Daddy, Pippa are not my family!
LP: What?
K (clutching a book to her chest): Books. Books are my family.

Part of me wanted to laugh and be proud and part of me wanted to cry and convince her that I was her family. I settled for being proud and grabbing a family album to "read" to her.