The Meaning of Literacy

I stand before a shelving system that I built years ago just for paperbacks. Over a thousand titles dance before my eyes: fiction and non-fiction, the past, the present and the future, authors old and new, all of which I have read or studied. Shakespeare, Twain and Homer nestle with King, Crichton and Tyler. Books on social studies, history, health, science fiction, pop-psychobabble and more than a sprinkling of literature from other cultures march in neat rows, gathering cobwebs and dust.

As an avid reader and an English major in college, I have collected many books. I was thankful to have a ready-made library when I started home educating my ten-year-old son, Alex, four years ago. However, I realize the course of studies and reading I took in my life are not going to be the same ones he will choose. I have no plans to restudy many of these paperback books, and he’s probably never going to be interested in them. I question whether my books will ever be of value to him.

Continue reading One Mother’s Search for the Meaning of Literacy by Sherry Kinser, from the November-December 2006 issue of Home Education Magazine. Subscribe today at our special rates!

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