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How to teach a child to blend?

(13 Posts)
OneTwoOrThree Mon 26-Nov-12 22:25:28

DD is 4 and will start school next September. She is desperate to learn to read and I'm keen to support / encourage her.

She knows all her letters, and with a little help can write them all. She wants to read, but despite knowing her letters she can't seem to blend them in to words.

If i spell out 'h-e-n' using the correct pronunciation of letters, she can't hear the word. Conversely, if I ask her to spell something out loud - eg bus, asda, cat, dog etc, she is able to, although i suspect this is learnt by rote rather than any decoding going on.

So, how do we move forward from here? Is it just a matter if time until the penny drops, or can i do something to help? I know she's still very young, but she's keen so in want to
Encourage / indulge.

Thanks in advance

simpson Mon 26-Nov-12 23:14:07

I would invest in the songbirds pack of books from the book people,it's fab.

I would also make a game and say things like "do you want the j a m??"

You can also look at the oxford owl website for some basic books for her to look at/ read.

But most importantly keep reading to her and talking about the stories etc...

Also check out your local library,my DD started on a book called "Run Rat Run" which can be sounded out and is very easy to start with....

learnandsay Mon 26-Nov-12 23:25:15

The way I did it was to write pseudo words on paper and spread them on the livingroom floor.

First it was poo, moo, foo, boo, coo
then wee, mee, dee, pee

She already knew her letter sounds from nursery. She "got" the word game instantly.

mrz Tue 27-Nov-12 06:47:06

I would keep blending aurally until she can hear the word. It's easier if you use words where you can hold onto the initial sound ....sssssssssssss-i-t is easier to hear that p-a-t if you see what I mean.
It really is just time and practise and once she can hear the word then move to printed words.

BetsyBoop Tue 27-Nov-12 06:47:45

For both of mine it just suddenly clicked , so just keep practising it will come .smile

CokeFan Tue 27-Nov-12 07:30:49

We're at about that stage but I think we've cracked the beginning sounds of words (after a few very random and confused games of I spy). Just through practice, I find that DD can now reliably tell me what letter/sound a word starts with, is about 80% there on what a CVC word ends with and maybe 25% chance of getting the middle sound.

She's still a bit hit and miss over blending the letters in front of her - I'm assuming this will come in time. E.g, sometimes she'll sound out the letters n-i-p and then say pit, which could just be because she doesn't have the working memory to hold the sounds she's read in her head or perhaps because she just wants to guess the word.

We've done foam letters in the bath, I spy, (which is excellent and free) and I've just signed up to Reading Eggs (not free but she seems to be really enjoying it).

mrz Tue 27-Nov-12 07:33:10

Lots of young children "guess" a word that begins with the final sound they have heard CokeFan try holding onto the "nnnnnnnnnnnnnn-i-p"

YouCanBe Tue 27-Nov-12 08:22:52

I think they just get it one day. DD does exactly that cokefan, "M A P, pan!"
I find it adorable and fascinating!!

YouCanBe Tue 27-Nov-12 08:28:10

Yesterday we were trying to read DOG.

She guessed DIG, so we tried again, looking at the middle letter and what sound that was, but she was still a bit stuck.

I said I would give her a clue, that it was an animal. "Sheep?" she asked in complete earnest, then you could see the realisation on her face "No, dog!" and she fell about laughing at herself for trying sheep. Haha.

CokeFan Tue 27-Nov-12 08:59:37

Thanks, mrz and YouCanBe. That's reassuring.

Loving the d-o-g spelling of sheep! grin

OneTwoOrThree Tue 27-Nov-12 15:40:24

Thanks everyone for your input - much appreciated.

Having read some of your suggestions, I realise that we are already doing a lot of what you say - I spy is a favourite at the moment, and DD is sometimes able to hear the last letter/sound in a word (and almost always gets the first letter). Out of interest, what to you do when they make the correct sound for the first letter, but the word is actually spelt differently - for example when DD says J for gymnastics, X for excellent etc?

cokefan sounds like we are at the exact same stage. I just asked DD what M-A-P spelt - first guess was 'pop'. hmm. I then asked her how to spell 'sit' and she said S-A-T. Quite surprised that she got that close!

betsty I think you are right that it will just 'click' one day - a bit like the transition from reciting numbers, to being able to count.

For time time being, I think we're going to start talking about the last letter / sound in a word to help DD 'hear' that, and then move on to the middle sound(s). If she gets the hang of those, then I guess that's the beginning of being able to blend!

maizieD Tue 27-Nov-12 16:58:20

For time time being, I think we're going to start talking about the last letter / sound in a word to help DD 'hear' that, and then move on to the middle sound(s).

I suggest that you go for the first two sounds in the word, get them blended securely and then add the last sound. If you are going 'front, back, middle' then you are interfering with the development of the left to right eye tracking muscles and the essential idea that words are blended from left to right all through the word.

OneTwoOrThree Tue 27-Nov-12 18:28:09

Thanks maizieD - hadn't thought of it that way, but it makes a lot of sense!

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