Year 1 child refuses to try and blend words

(13 Posts)
Movedtothedge Sun 10-Jan-21 09:40:12

DS turns 6 next month but is still on Pink books at school. His teacher said he is advanced in some areas but behind in others with reading so she cannot move him up to the next level.

At home he simply won’t try blending words. He can easily sound out each letter but just won’t try and blend to read the word. He won’t even read Pink books at home. He likes to sound the letters when out and about on road signs, street names, shop names etc so there is some level of interest in reading there I think.

He absolutely loves being read to and we have read at least 4 books to him at bedtime since he was a toddler. We cannot even get him to pick out and read one word off a page. He just says I don’t know how to, even when we demonstrate how to do so.

School use Bug Club (he refuses to use) and Teach Your Monster to Read (does it easily but gets bored with it after 10-15 mins. I know it goes against popular opinion but I don’t think much of it).

Does anyone have any tips please? Maybe some other online reading programmes? I know from other threads I’ve seen a while ago that people say it will usually suddenly click later on and by Y2 they’ll be reading fine. But, we’re looking at least at another 3 months off school and I’m so worried - I’m not a teacher !

OP’s posts: |
KihoBebiluPute Sun 10-Jan-21 09:50:30

I know it is worrying but honestly it really will just click at some point. Keep reading to him. Let him see you choosing to be engrossed in a chapter book that is "too grownup for him" regularly (while he us playing) so that he understands that reading is an integral part of life. Get him to do the sounding out without the blending as much as he is happy to but don't push him beyond where he is willing. It will come. Some countries don't even start formal education at all until the age of 7.

Gunpowder Sun 10-Jan-21 09:55:03

I’m not a teacher, but if he is able to sound out shop names and road signs (even just one or two sounds) it doesn’t sound like there is a learning issue, maybe the book band books are just a bit boring? Especially pink level which is dire! Or maybe there’s too much pressure?

I would keep on going with reading things that aren’t books as you have been doing. Or is there a picture book you read to him lots that he could read to you? My DD2 doesn’t like the book band books much but she will read ‘Goodnight Moon’ or ‘My Cat likes to hide in boxes’ to her siblings. We also subscribed to Reading Chest for a while as you can search by topic and she could choose books about animals to read, this was much less of a battle than getting her to read Biff and Chip.

Polly99 Sun 10-Jan-21 10:01:24

Can you just teach him to recognise simple words by sight? Phonics are useful in that they get the majority of children reading quite quickly, but some simply do not get it (and our non-phonetic language does not help!).

He may do better by a different method and trying something else may stop him becoming bored or disheartened.

ladyapinks Sun 10-Jan-21 10:04:04

My son is exactly like this and what makes his worse is that his twin sister is able to read very well.

I am so worried about him too.Will be following for tips .

Norestformrz Sun 10-Jan-21 10:19:56

I'd recommend a free online course for parents who want to help https://www.udemy.com/course/help-your-child-to-read-and-write/ it explains clearly how to teach blending and segmenting.

mummax3 Sun 10-Jan-21 10:22:59

Morning, I went through this with my DD, how is he with flashcards etc? Like you we tried a few programmes, the one that I found worked for us was Reading unlocked it's quite nice to do together. Good luck smile xx

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cariadlet Sun 10-Jan-21 10:47:15

@Polly99 English certainly is a phonetic language. Chinese would be an example of a non - phonetic written language because it it character based. Each character represents a word.

English is a phonetic language because each letter or group of layers represents a sound. These sounds can then be combined to make words.

The problem with the English written language for beginner readers is that it is a complex phonetic system rather than a simple system (which many other European languages have) ie a letter shape or group of letters can represent more than one phoneme (sound) and some phonemes are represented by more than one letter or group of letters.


It's an unfortunate byproduct of our history. Waves of invaders and immigrants (Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Flemish printers and many more) have brought both their spoken and written languages with them and written English is a mongrel mixture of these different systems.


The ultimate aim of reading is for children to be fluent and to recognise many words on sight but phonics is the foundation on which this needs to be built. It is impossible for even the most voracious reader to learn by heart every word that they will encounter over a life time. At some point, they will come across an unfamiliar word and phonics is the only successful strategy to decode that word (with context clues as an added sense check).

anna114young Mon 11-Jan-21 15:59:28

This sounds just like my son! He hated reading so much and school weren't that helpful! He started to not want to go to school which was really worrying. I started an online program called Easyread who identified that he has an eye tracking weakness and sent exercises. They also spotted a blending difficulty and we're working on that.

I've seen a big improvement so give it a go if you can. They had a 10 lesson free trial when I signed up. If they still have that, definitely try it!

GetTheGoodLookingGuy Mon 11-Jan-21 16:57:12

I would remove the pressure to read school books for a while. Keep reading for pleasure, maybe try saying things like "can you go and get your c-oa-t?", so he's still using the decoding skills without feeling like it's "learning".

randomsabreuse Mon 11-Jan-21 17:04:07

Reading Eggs worked quite well for my then reception DD last lockdown. It was good as a sideways diversion from teaching monster. Bit more reinforcement was helpful but probably slightly more sight words than the pure phonics system my DD was using in England (now Scotland and they were surprised how few sight words she knew for her level of decoding and blending. Reading Eggs definitely has segmenting elements as well blending and phonics work. They were advertising a free trial.

Is it worth looking on Oxford Owl for more books as this was free last lockdown as well.

kingat Mon 11-Jan-21 17:16:21

Two things that I am doing and helps is:
Board Games - "silly sentences" is brilliant, I made my own suitable for my son (in reception) and I add words as we learn new phonics.he loves it.
Orchard Toys have some spelling games that may be good, maybe someone here can recommend more,something like shopping list but without pictures.

I write a daily menu, so he reads to find out whats for lunch. Letters from Santa , family. Shopping lists, treasure hunt list where he needs to take pictures of some things inside or outside the house.

kingat Mon 11-Jan-21 17:17:15

These look good too
https://www.readingrockets.org/article/six-games-reading

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