When I get a little money, I buy books;
and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
~ Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536 ~
So in the midst of all of the hullabaloo... the new job, the crazy month of October where we lived part time in Jefferson City while we looked for a place to settle into, the acquisition of our stuff from storage that we hadn't seen in almost a year, the ceaseless unpacking and repositioning of said stuff... in the midst of all of this, the boys and I have managed to ease into a pattern of learning that does have it's more formal moments. I hesitate, because our idea of "formal" probably still looks very much unformal to those whose school experience wasn't at home or, if it was at home, had an experience that more closely resembled a traditional school setting. For us, our more formal moments are simply the times when we are focusing on acquiring the skills in which Aidan simply needs my help. The current focus right now is Reading. We are using a book titled Phonics Pathways and it is perfect for us. It is simple, straightforward and proceeds at a pace that has Aidan reading sentences early on. My reading background was heavy on phonics and I must say, it has served me well. I don't remember being taught phonics in terms of drills or flash cards or anything of the sort. I just know that I know the concept. Dictionary phonetic spellings make perfect sense to me and I wanted Aidan to have that skill. The interesting twist in all of this is that Aidan is naturally a whole language kind of guy. When left to his own devices, he does not naturally lean towards trying to sound out words. Instead, he is scanning the page for clues and such, hoping to figure out the words by way of context. I'm hoping that between his natural tendencies and the phonics training he will come out of this learning phase with a good base on which to build his reading life. I've always believed that once Aidan could read for himself, we would never see him again. I hope that belief holds true.