The US public school system is perhaps the most precious institution we have, but it is presently being buffeted by a variety of threats. In a time of educational uncertainty, parental involvement is more important than ever.

The good news is that children who become capable readers will be able to continue learning on their own, as long as they have access to books. 

And parents can provide the help they need to become capable readers. This site will show them how. 

The American English Doctor

Dr. Margaret J. Maddox has taught at every level from pre-school to university. Her views on teaching English are a bit old-fashioned, but she knows how to keep it simple.


The best method of reading instruction is one that empowers the learner from the beginning, not one that encourages guessing. The method taught on this site begins with speech and the sounds of English.


Keyboards and computer screens are poor substitutes for chalk and chalkboard or paper and pencil for the beginning reader. Saying the letter sounds while forming the letters with the hand leads to deeper learning.


Children who can spell the words they use will be more competent readers and writers. Teaching regular spellings before the exceptions is key.