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The trauma of trying to 'blend' words with my 5yo d/s

(62 Posts)
laudymissclaudy Tue 13-Nov-12 22:14:18

My son started school in September (also turned 5!) and he is beginning to learn to read. He can recognise letters and knows the sounds however when I comes to blending 'd-o-g' 'dog' the nightmare begins. He really struggles and starts to get upset and throws tantrums as soon as I mention practicing some of the words the school sent home! I spoke to his teach who agreed he would not blend (rather than can't?) and said the teaching assistant will be doing some extra work with the children who are struggling! Has anyone else had an issue with this part of reading? His school uses the read write inc programme. It's getting to a point I dread getting it out as the huff that follows doesn't seem worth it!

beezmum Wed 14-Nov-12 20:26:04

It might sound obvious but children apparently don't 'get' blending until they realise the sounds they have learnt represent the sounds in words. All the tips mentioned here help achieve that - I'd go with the sliding tip as it comes from experts that have taught more struggling blenders than I've written mumsnet posts! My ds also liked Alphablocks though.
The point I am making is just to clarify what it is you are trying to achieve when you demonstrate blending- it can seem odd that they cant hear what seems obvious to us as skilled readers - that the sounds they have learnt represent the sounds in words - that is what needs to 'click'.

SilveryMoon Wed 14-Nov-12 21:04:11

Learnandsay I don't think it's confidence at all. I kind of thought I'd highlighted in my post that it's confusion and the fact he gets lost in phonics.
I have a plan in mind to support him and am quite happy with what I will do.

mrz Wed 14-Nov-12 21:11:35

SilveryMoon can he hear the word when you say the sounds (blend aurally) rather than looking at the letters or would he still struggle with blending?

SilveryMoon Wed 14-Nov-12 21:18:13

He can hear the word when it is blended out loud. We play games where I say 'c-a-t' and he says 'cat'
he gets all of that right, if we look at flash cards and matching stuff he can tell me straight out what it says but in a book, bloody phonics sounding out, even though I think he knows the word

mrz Wed 14-Nov-12 21:22:51

Has anyone ever told him he doesn't need to sound out the words if he can read them in his head? Silly as it sounds to adults some children wait for permission.

SilveryMoon Wed 14-Nov-12 21:54:35

I have told him a number of times that if he knows what the word says he can just say it. Her does it for small words like is, in, on etc. he says those words straight out. But not wordsthat are any longer.
He also gets on and no confused, says d's as b's and b's and d's when reading, on instead of no and today I watched him looking at the word 'tap' and saying 'p-a-t. No, t or p or is it t' etc. I have raised it with his teacher but she says it's nothing to be concerned about.............................

simpson Wed 14-Nov-12 22:24:53

I think it is just practice as DD ( also reception) used to read "was" as "saw" for ages.....

It took her a while for b and d to click, she always got them the wrong way round but we are through that now grin

I also agree with mrz in telling your DC that he does not have to sound out the words if he knows it. I can always tell when DD has done guided reading at school as she comes home sounding out the word c a t despite being on this stage over a year ago because the other kids do it...

maizieD Wed 14-Nov-12 22:30:52

He also gets on and no confused, says d's as b's and b's and d's when reading, on instead of no and today I watched him looking at the word 'tap' and saying 'p-a-t. No, t or p or is it t' etc. I have raised it with his teacher but she says it's nothing to be concerned about................

Where do some teachers get their ideas fromshock

Of course it is something to be concerned about. Everytime he gets something wrong like that he is reinforcing the wrong learning and making it more and more difficult to correct it.

Reading words from right to left is easy to deal with. Just get a piece of card and cover the word, reveal it grapheme by grapheme, thus making sure that he decodes it from L to R every time. Don't stress about him sounding out every word, let him do it for a while as that will reinforce the development of automatic L to R eye tracking. I'm sorry but I suspect that word 'reversals' like the ones you describe are often a product of insistence on reading words 'on sight' too early and not allowing for enough sounding out and blending to develop automaticity and correct tracking.

Letter reversals need lots of practice of writing the letter correctly while saying its 'sound'. Don't let him start to write both his b's & d's from the top of the ascender. He'll get to the bottom and not remember which way to go next! 'd' starts with the 'round', 'b' starts with the ascender. Letters are always written in a L to R direction (when correctly formed)

When reading 'd' and 'b': 'd' starts with mouth open (the 'round' bit) so when he sees 'round' first he opens his mouth to say the sound. 'b' starts with a straight line, like a closed mouth (I know, sideways on..). When he sees a straight line first he closes his mouth to say the sound. This works with 'p' and 'q' too.

SilveryMoon Wed 14-Nov-12 22:46:25

I've been doing some cued articulation with both my ds's. You basically use your hand by your face to mimic what the mouth does and where the tounge shouldbe.
I'm sure it will all fall into place soon

volley Wed 14-Nov-12 22:56:20

We're finding this fantastic:

thingy1 Wed 14-Nov-12 23:02:44

I'm sure he will be fine, he's only 5 like someone up thread said formal education doesn't start in some countries until the age of 6/7. I had the same concerns with my 5 yr old DS, heard a lot about bear necessaries gave it a go, it really helped him and now a few months into yr 1 he is blending and is confidentially working his way through his reading books. I think it was a combination of using the bear necessaries book and it 'clicking' for him.

steppemum Wed 14-Nov-12 23:09:05

Although I agree with what a lot of people have said about being ready, I would also like to say that after school he is tired.

My dd is apparently storming ahead with reading at school. I have no idea as suggesting reading after school gets such a negative response. She has had enough. We are doing very little at home at the moment. I try and do it a couple of times over the weekend and sneak it in when I can, but if I try and sit down with her to do her sounds she just says no!

I know teaching reading relies on parents reading with their kids, but at this level they realy are so tired after a day at school, that it is unrealistic to expect much from them in terms of blending, phonics and focussing.

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