Ode to a Maternal Teacher

Dear Mom, Do you remember this? A tiny girl sits, a little speck enveloped in the giant, red living room sofa. Tears stream down her chubby little cheeks. “I just can’t read anymore, Mom! It doesn’t make any sense,” I say, dropping the white list of phonetic words on the floor–rat, cat, bat, mat, sat–as tears overflow my blue eyes, making a bizarre wet pattern on the sofa fabric. Your worried hazel eyes, framed by prematurely graying hair, watch with helpless anxiety. Twisting your wedding ring, you told me later that you were filled with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. Was it the right choice to take Sarah and Becky out of school? Am I competent enough to instruct them? I can’t even seem to teach Sarah how to read basic word lists. Over the next few weeks you used words from the list to write little stories, adapting them to my specific learning needs, and made those stories into booklets for me to read and color. And I learned something I will never forget: to love reading.

Continue reading Sarah Fletcher’s Ode to a Maternal Teacher from the May-June 2004 issue of Home Education Magazine.

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