@Shreik: The way I played... I "learned" the alphabet, code, and number system. I went alone from there. You still have to figure out how to read and apply what you're given. Still satisfying that way.
I beat her after 18 deaths. I didn't do it with Issac either. I got Maggie with the homing tears and my tears per second (shots fired or whatever. I like saying TPS) was upgraded 4x. And damage 2x. It was my first time reaching Mom so I'm really glad I beat her.