Monday, February 07, 2011


Library Lovers
Among other things, February is Library Lovers Month. Surely all readers love libraries, but I hear a lot of people complain that their children won't read. That's sad, because reading and literacy is the key to success in any field. I asked Kelli from 3 Boys and a Dog to let us know how she taught her boys to love reading. Not only is Kelli an impressive blogger, you learn from her blog that she is a devoted mom, wife, and pet owner. She does all the things I wish I'd known to do when our daughters were growing up. (Needless to say, I have 20/20 hindsight. LOL) But I'll let Kelli speak for herself:

Kelli, Mom to 3 boys
and rescued dog
I am an avid reader and enjoy all things crafty like: scrapbooking, jewelry making, knitting, cross-stitching, baking, cooking, and dollhouse miniatures. I have always been a writer, so blogging just comes naturally to me. I post an average of 2 posts a day and typically have several giveaways running. Ok, I admit it… I am addicted to the internet. I have a list of over 100 sites (blogs, forums, & groups) that I visit randomly. I also frequent Stumble, Technorati, Twitter, and FaceBook.

My family has many varied interests that keep us busy at all times. We spend tons of time in the outdoors, but have to come in when it rains. In the summer, you can find us in our pool during the hottest times of the day. We also visit parks, beaches, and family regularly.

I love doing reviews and my family really likes trying new things. So far, I don’t really have a “favorite thing to review.” I have a varied audience of moms, homeschoolers, single women, and organizers and I try to review items that work for all of those groups.

And now to let Kelli tell us . . .

How to Turn Your Kids into Readers

When I was approached about writing this guest post, I was ecstatic! Well, for a total of about one day. Then, as I sat down in front of my computer, I realized that I honestly have no clue why my kids read. I can’t write a post about all the things you should or should not be doing to turn your kids into readers because my kids are already readers! All three always have been and I didn’t force it on them.

Then, I took a step back and really analyzed what I know about getting kids to read and decided that the best way to help YOU is to simply tell you how things work in my world.

1. I am a Reader!

I love to read and always have at least one book open - of course now that I have my fabulous Kindle, I can just use it. I read in the car while waiting in line somewhere, I read at the doctor’s office, I read when other people watch TV, and I even read in the bathtub.  If you want your kids to be readers, then you have to set that example.

2. I Don’t Care What They Read!

Boy reading
This is probably the biggest mistake people make when trying to get kids to read. Who cares if it is a magazine or a 5,000 word Classic book? Who cares if it is about saving the world or Betty and Veronica? I certainly don’t. Even comics and magazines are words on paper forming educational enlightenment. Find out what they like and provide it to them. Don’t force the kids to read something boring or reading will always be boring to them, which leads me to the next point.

3. I Have Never Forced It!

I have never, ever forced my kids to read. Until just recently, they didn’t have televisions or toys in their rooms. My oldest boy now does, but he still continues to read each evening.  Anyway, back on track here – since they didn’t have toys or TVs in their rooms, they didn’t have anything to do at quiet time and each of the three picked up books and read them… or looked at pictures before they were able to read.

4. I Treat it as a Privilege, Not a Punishment!

Seriously! My kids are still fairly young, but I want them to be readers for the rest of their lives. So, I have never used a book as punishment. So many parents do this. Why would someone love to read if they have only had to do it when they get in trouble? I go a step beyond and when my boys get in trouble, they lose their books!

Don’t stress and make it enjoyable. Also remember, they aren’t going to change over-night.
Kelli @ 3 Boys and a Dog is a top blogger in the mom blogging industry. She has worked with hundreds of brands and most recently has been voted number 8 at Picket Fence Lifestyle blogs. With her blog at a page rank of 4, over 5,000 Twitter followers, and many other social media achievements, Kelli is a top voice among product review bloggers. Find her at


Reading at bedtime,
even Christmas Eve

Kelli, thanks so much for your post. You must have 48-hour days at your house to get so much done! So glad you value reading even though I don't know how you fit it into your hectic and productive life. Like you, my husband and I are avid readers and read to our children long after they were able to read their own books.

When they were young and we were tired, we'd try to skip a few paragraphs in a favorite book, they'd stop whichever of us was reader with, "Oh, no. Go back. You forgot the part about..." They are both still avid readers. Since I have my remarkable Kindle, reading is even easier. How did I survive without it? Oh, yeah, with print books. LOL

I'll leave you with a quote from Horace Mann (1796-1859)
"A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up children without surrounding them with books...Children learn to read being in the presence of books."


Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

I do not remember not reading. You always read, so I read. My only trouble was that my vocabulary was bigger than many of my teachers and they thought I was smarting off. I wasn't, that is just how we talked in our family. You must have done something right because I am a writer and Darling 2 is an elementary school librarian.

Bobbye Terry said...

I grew up reading, Kelli. My parents both read all the time. I remember my sister(who was much younger than I) had an entire bookcase of little Golden books and knew how to read, as I did, before she went to school. It's a great gift you give your children. Sounds like you're doing it the right way. ;)
Great post,

Jennifer August said...

Great post, Kelli! My son is also an avid reader. He's 17 but started reading (off a computer game) when he was 18 months old. By the time he was 5, he was reading David Eddings tomic fantasy. He reads regularly and is all honors programs at school, something I attribute to his reading and love of learning. I tried to teach him early on that what if or why were great ways to figure stuff out.
The only other thing I would say is read to your kids from the crib til they just get sick of you. To this day, we'll still read aloud together, but I'm something of a ham and I think he likes that part.

Denise Eagan said...

I think it's more difficult to get boys to be readers. We always had a tough time finding books that would interest our sons. In the end, it was Calvin and Hobbes that did it. My two sons went through those books until they fell apart. They sure weren't "literature" but the vocabulary is pretty difficult. I credit that for the extensive vocabulary both of them have now.

We just replaced one of the books for my younger son--who is now 19. I expect he'll read it in his dorm room and laugh as much now as he did as a little guy.

Bailey Stewart said...

Great post! My mother read to us as children. While the two boys didn't grow up to be readers, her two daughters became avid readers. When I "graduated" from Nancy Drew, mom handed me Betty Neels and I was off on my life-time love of romance. I work in a bookstore, and I can't count the times when I hear a customer say "no, you can't have a comic, you need to read a real book". Reading a comic IS reading, and that can lead to reading the books based on comic heroes and then to a life-time love of fantasy/Sci-fi novels.

Diana Cosby said...

I enjoyed your post. Reading is so essential to achieving your dreams. I love your breakdown and so true, to align reading with any type of punishment is to attach a negative connotation. I'm glad you've taught your kids joy within the written word. Thank you so much for sharing your passion, and I wish you continued success!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Kelli, thanks for sharing with us!