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Reading; in reception, can't blend

(66 Posts)
superzero Wed 28-Oct-15 19:04:55

DS2 started reception in September. He can correctly sound out most of the letters and enjoys writing them but when it comes to blending has no idea.Seems not to be able to work out that man ends with "N", map ends with "P" etc etc. His vocabulary is good but his speech and pronunciation is slightly babyish for a 4 year old. I have an older child who had no such problems and just "got " reading and phonics straight away so I suppose my expectations were high. Can anyone reassure me whether this is normal and whether there is anything fun that I can do to help him without making it an issue?

WildStallions Wed 28-Oct-15 19:07:22

He's been at school 8 weeks!

Sounds like he's doing very well.

drspouse Wed 28-Oct-15 19:08:47

Can he work out the first sound of words? That's easier than the final sound.

briteside Wed 28-Oct-15 19:11:52

My DS started reception in September can can recognize letters on their own but has no idea at all about blending or reading whole words. It is not an issue at all - in fact, he only started taking any notice of letters or numbers in the last 6 weeks so we are thrilled with his progress.

Our DD is now in Y2. When she started reception she could already read and write simple words. She is now about average level (bless her) in her class alongside the classmates that were at my DS's level when they started reception.

I do not think it is an issue at this stage - the focus should be on learning through play. They all get there in their own time.

superzero Wed 28-Oct-15 21:06:03

drspouse he can read the first sound of each word written down and also identify the starting sounds of spoken words but never the last sound.He can't grasp that "sit",for example,ends in the sound"t", and therefore can't pick out "sit" from " sit/sin/ sid".My eldest definitely could at this stage as I remember the homework sheets.I try not to compare them but I can't help it.I'm reassured though that he seems to be doing ok for this stage,and as someone has said,it is only 8 weeks!

CherylBerylMeryl Wed 28-Oct-15 21:14:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

catkind Wed 28-Oct-15 22:24:38

It's early days as people say.

I found it easier to do aural blending first, separate from any books. So I'd say sounds out loud to them, slowly at first, then faster, with slight emphasis on the first letter. Speed up until they can hear the word. Once they could hear it with me doing the talking it was easier to put it together with their letter recognition and fully read words for themselves.

Alphablocks from the BBC is good for blending if you fancy a bit of half term watching!

Ferguson Wed 28-Oct-15 22:38:26

Don't worry about it! I was a primary TA / helper for over twenty years, and sometimes we had Yr2 children who still couldn't get initial sounds confidently!

Final or middle sounds are much harder to 'hear' for children. Just make sure you pronounce words as clearly and slowly as you can, and try not to show frustration if he keeps getting things wrong.

There is a book you both may enjoy, and also an activity I used to do with less able Yr2 children, which I'll add below:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

With Yr2 children, who were finding learning to read particularly difficult, we often used a SoundWorks kit, a set of wooden letter blocks, which the child used to build simple words. The theory was that, for some children, it is easier to SPELL words than READ them, which is a later stage.

It started with three-letter words, with a vowel in the middle - "a" glued onto a board.

The child then looked at the individual letter blocks, and was asked to make the word "c a t". Then he was asked, how do we change "c a t" into "h a t", which letter do we need to change? Then change "hat" into "ham" (with an emphasis on the "mmmm" sound).
Work slowly, and pronounce the sounds accurately and clearly.

So, if you can find or make suitable letters, and make a card with "a" glued in the middle, your child may enjoy building the words. Use letters that are occurring in words in the books he is bringing home, and then go on to make cards for the other vowels if it seems to work with "a".

He may also enjoy this:

superzero Thu 29-Oct-15 10:36:45

Thank you ferguson catkind cheryl for your helpful suggestions.Sadly I think I have already shown my frustration blushbut he has actually asked to play with the wooden letter blocks today & will be happy to watch alphablocks

kaymondo Thu 29-Oct-15 11:02:42

I had similar with my DS who started school last year. He knew all his sounds but just couldn't get blending at all. Then, around December time, it seemed to suddenly click with them and he went from not being able to read even simple words to reading full reading books. It really was surprising how fast he improved once it clicked.

At this stage if he knows all his sounds then j really wouldn't worry too much about it. Just keep encouraging him.

mrz Thu 29-Oct-15 12:18:54

Agree with catkind if he's not hearing sounds in words lots of aural blending

Can you /s/ /i/ /t/?

Give me the /c/ /ar/

Put on your /h/ /a/ /t/

throwingpebbles Thu 29-Oct-15 12:20:09

I would ease off the pressure, it is far too young to worry.

KittyandSqueal Thu 29-Oct-15 12:22:03

This is totally normal for reception children. There are lots in my class that struggle to hear the first or last sound or softer sounds.

He will get it. If you don't mind sounding a bit odd you could sounds talk some words like pp have said. I really wouldn't worry about it though.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Thu 29-Oct-15 12:24:41

Wow. Do people worry about this? (Genuine question, not a dig!) I'm starting I worry that I'm a terrible parent. DS is in reception too. He recognises about 10 letters / sounds. He can identify words that start with m or s sounds. He can't blend, recognise the other 16 letters of the alphabet, pronounce 'l' or 'r', or identify later sounds in any words. I'm led to believe this is 'within the normal range' so I'm not pushing it. Should I be?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 29-Oct-15 12:29:32

so I'm not pushing it. Should I be?

IMO. No grin. It eventually clicks with them and then they are sailing. Far better not to alienate them from the activity of enjoying a book.

Pointless to compare siblings unless they share the same birth date ?

catkind Thu 29-Oct-15 12:54:02

Pointless to compare siblings even if they do share the same birth date.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Thu 29-Oct-15 13:19:14

Thanks TreasSoftly. He loves books so no concerns there grin

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 29-Oct-15 13:25:53

Pointless to compare siblings even if they do share the same birth date

I agree but I imagine even parents of twins will compare their children, it's human nature and doesn't have to be a bad thing if people have reasonable expectations that children develop at their own pace. For most people it's a useful guide that children are developing at a normal pace.

Siblings are often born at different times of the year so one child's progress by half term is irrelevant if they are 10 months older than a sibling when at the same point?

mrz Thu 29-Oct-15 13:45:59

The problem with that is if one child is exceptionally able (or developmentally delayed) comparing can alarm or give false sense of security

catkind Thu 29-Oct-15 16:24:34

Oh I know, I do it too TreadSoftly. Just it could equally be the case that the "just got phonics" one was the same or younger in year, and that wouldn't be something the OP should worry about either.

superzero Mon 02-Nov-15 16:57:40

Yes,the "just got phonics" DS is August born and young for the year,DS who struggles is mid-year so 6 months older starting school.Taking all the suggestions on board ,T-h-a-n-k y-o-u

PagesOfABook Mon 02-Nov-15 23:56:35

When DS was just turned 5 he was really struggling to recognise his letters -never mind blending them. I was worried there was something wrong with him- as he just did not seem to recognise the symbols and remember them. My friends 2 yr old knew all his letter and numbers - which kind of scared me!

Now one year later DS is flying though his books --and reading long words - I don't even know how he knows some of the words he's reading as they aren't phonic based and he hasn't come across them before. It's kind of amazing when it just clicks.

eleven59 Tue 03-Nov-15 00:02:16

It will click when he's ready. Lots of other countries don't start reading til 6 with no detriment to outcomes.

mrz Wed 04-Nov-15 07:59:01

An irresponsible assumption. It doesn't click for every child no matter how long you wait unfortunately and there is no way of predicting.
Other counties start later but the English speaking ones still find some children struggle even with a later start.

eleven59 Wed 04-Nov-15 22:48:48

He's just started reception. He may struggle, who knows? But I don't think there's any need to start assuming there's a problem at this stage. In all likelihood, it will click when he's ready to learn. Hardly irresponsible!

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