The MacKenzie family moved around a lot. They home schooled during the seven years the parents served as missionaries overseas, and they eventually moved to Oklahoma after a short stint in another state where their children attended a Christian school. Soon after entering the public middle school in their community, their son Anthony went into a downward spiral. He'd scored very low on standardized tests taken on enrollment day, and after a week or two, he was so discouraged with his low test scores and mounds of homework, he wanted to quit.
Anthony's mom, Maggie, began volunteering in his classroom one afternoon a week. There she realized more clearly the challenges and expectations for sixth graders. The teacher gave her supplemental materials for Anthony, and she began working with him after school at home — having him reading his science and history textbooks aloud; providing extra books, maps, and atlases from the library to enrich the material; and equipping him with study strategies.