Flashlight Time

Josie Leavitt - October 31, 2014

On Halloween, it only seems fitting to talk about reading with flashlights. No, this is not a scary post, but rather one about a mom and her reading twins. My friend, Deb, has twin eight-year-olds: a boy, Henry and a girl, Lisa. They are readers, and Deb is a single mom with a full-time job. Hers is a busy house and the kids are rambunctious, but really good.
They shop at the store and came in a few weeks ago. Harry was disappointed I was out of Star Wars books (how that happened, I’m still not sure). Liza had camped out in the middle grade section and was going through exclaiming,”Read it, read it, loved it” at all books. This girl had read everything, so it was fun to challenge to introduce her to books she hadn’t read. Eight seems like the perfect age for longer books that are part of a series, so she left with Fablehaven and The Book of Elsewhere.
As I was ringing them up Liza was talking about what book to start at flashlight reading that night. I asked, “What is flashlight time?” Both kids started smiling. Deb explained that after bedtime, once they’d been all tucked in and the light turned off, each child was allowed to read with a flashlight until he or she fell asleep, or Deb noticed the light was still on. They don’t have headlamps, or flashlights with an on off button, but rather the kind of light that if your hand presses the bar, the light stays on. The beauty of this is when the child’s hand drops off in slumber, the light no longer stays on. This is genius and seems smarter and safer than a light that’s always on.
I love this idea. The mom knows her little readers are going to stay up reading (and read all over the house, at all times), so she’s made it part of their routine, rather than getting mad at them. They stay up a tiny bit later and get to have some stolen reading time that is part of bedtime. Reading has been made important, and fun, at their house ;I can’t think of a better way to support young readers.

2 thoughts on “Flashlight Time

  1. Ellie Miller

    Assuming that that special kind of flashlight’s available, I agree since the premise that reading kids(!) WILL always find ways to circumvent bedtime in order to ‘finish-the-chapter’ and/or ‘read-just-one-more’ is so true. Unfortunately, the down side of the picture is indeed a health-safety issue. I had to get my first pair of glasses at age ten because I was ‘sneak’ reading either under the covers with a regular flashlight or out in the hallway by the very dim night light for roughly two-three years previously.

  2. Tracy

    I disagree that reading in dim light causes eyesight problems. I was always being told as a child “turn on a light!” or I’d ruin my eyes and yet at 42 my eyesight is still just fine. Enjoy the Flashlight Time!


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