Shining a light THINK ABOUT IT

June 24, 1998

If you're worried about your child's reading, don't go out and spend hundreds of dollars on "Hooked on Phonics" or the book/cassettes kits you see advertised on TV. Buy a flashlight instead.

Flashlight reading works like this: Your child has a regular bedtime, say 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., and an enforced lights-out time when he can't read in bed anymore. But somehow there's this flashlight in his room -- always with fresh batteries -- and you just never notice the pale glow visible around the edge of the door.

When I speak to parents about reading, I always ask how many of them, as children, read under the covers with a flashlight. Invariably, a quarter of the audience laughs and raises their hands. No gimmick works better to keep reading going long after you leave the bedroom.

-- From "Raising a Reader," by Paul Kropp

Pub Date: 6/24/98

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