Reading - Blending help

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Reading - Blending help

Unread post by Poohbee »

My ds is doing well, but blends in unusual ways...
southernshae wrote:(I didn't quite know how to title this LOL!)

he always sounds out words by emphasizing the first consonant and then blending together the last two sounds. 'I'll try to explain .

He'll go "C-aaaat" or "D-oooog". In other words, he can't seem to be able to blend the first consonant with the vowel and then add on the last consonant to that. He does the reverse. My gut tells me it's okay, but it does make the Day 3 blend ladder quite interesting :). He cannot seem to just say the two letters together, but instead invents a word so that it's not just "ga, ge, gi, go , gu". He make it a word by adding a consonant to the end.

Not sure I'm making any sense here .....just need someone to say it's okay. I don't recall my older 3 doing this.
Just a couple of opinions.

I wouldn't worry too much about the way your child is blending at this point. At least he is sounding out the words, which is good. When you work more on beginning blends in MFW 1st grade, perhaps it will click a bit more with him then.

I wouldn't worry, either, about when he adds a letter or consonant to make a word with the 1st blend ladder activity. My daughter did that, too. The single syllables didn't really make sense to her, so she would often add a consonant to finish it and make a word.

I'm no expert, but I'm sure your son is doing fine. It just clicks with different kids at different times. Perhaps the blending will click more with him as time goes on.

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Unread post by shera »

I know with Abeka phonics they encourage the child to put an end consonant on the blends. Or at least they tell the parents not to worry about that. It is completely normal and it doesn't really matter if they are making a real word or not.

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Unread post by Lucy »

Hi Southershae,

Remember it is always a good idea to model this for him and have him repeat after your model. This is a way that children also will learn how to correctly blend the letters -- by seeing and hearing it done correctly. I think sometimes we are afraid to give them too much because we do not want to do it for them. At this stage it is just fine to do that since this may be the primary way he learns. Using the blend laddder, you do it as if you were learning to blend the word. Then have him do it. Over time as the last posters have said he will begin to blend them all together.

Hope that helps you.

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Unread post by southernshae »

Thanks ladies. I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. Just seems he doesn't want to read "ca" without putting a letter on the end to make sense (ca-t, co-t). Of course, he's my child that does everything differently <grin>.

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Unread post by RachelT »

Hello southernshae! I've read your post a couple of times and thought about it before responding, but I just think that he needs practice. I hope this message is not too basic. Maybe you have already done some of what I am suggesting below, but I don’t know, so I'm just thinking of things I did with my own ds in K last year.

First, some methods teach phonics the way your son is sounding out the words with different beginning consonants, but the same vowel-consonant combination at the end of the word. MFW and other methods use the Consonant-vowel combination, then add another consonant to the end to make a word. I am thinking that children probably learn to read from both types of methods, but I read somewhere that some people think it’s better to learn the combinations from the beginning of the word (c-v) because that is the direction we read the word, left to right.

If I was working with your son, I would take this opportunity to use some movable letters to show him what sounds he is saying. So, if he is working on the blend ladder for "ma, me, mi, mo, mu" and adding "t" to the end of each word, I would pull out the "t" and show him "mat", say the word and slide my finger under the letters while saying it slowly. Then I would do the same thing, moving the m and t to make "met, mit, mot, mut" and do the same for each word. Then, I would probably go back and say, "Now we are taking away "t", so let's see how this would sound?" and have him help or model for him "ma" without the "t". I might even place the “t” back and practice doing it both ways “mat” and “ma”. After a few times, he would hopefully see and hear the difference.

Another suggestion was using magnetic letters and markers on our white board for the blend ladder exercises. We were more successful with that than having to write them on the paper. I'm not quite sure why, but it worked for us. The letters from the lauri alphabet puzzle would work, too.

Happy reading!
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

momto2bears wrote:My son can memorize words and recognizes them easily but when it comes to blending...forget it.

He can not put sounds together like SA. He automatcally adds a M or T to the end to make it a word.
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:51 pm
I told dd that we were building syllables, not words. But since every word has to have at least one syllable, it is important to learn how to say them correctly. She would have to say all the "school syllables" for me first, then I would let her play with the lauri letters and make words like cat, hat, pig, etc. That's how I got it to work for us. Teaching phonics to a child that already sight reads is an adventure, but a valuable one.
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Unread post by southernshae »

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:16 am

I took the advice offered in that thread and modeled it for him and now he is doing it sooo much better!

For example, on day 3 I would take my finger and go down the blend ladder to the vowels o,nly at first and say "a, e, i, o, u" (several times) and then I'd take the foam letter and place it in front and say "ca, ce, ci, co , cu" and then have him do it with me......then have him do it with me again, and again. Now, on day three he can do it much better......I bet it now takes us a fourth of the time it did at be encouraged!

He still, though, sounds out words with saying "buh-at.....bat!" I can't seem to get him to get past that, but I am assuming it's developmental and will just click eventually. He kind of memorizes the little readers we make on day 5 and will even tell me that's what he's doing.

I'd stick with it......I personally think doing it this way will help with spelling later.

Word list woes - K

Unread post by cbollin »

salmy wrote:We are on week 12, G, g Goat. DD is awesome on day 3 of the phonics lesson with the 2 letter combination. She can sounds them out herself. She is endlessly frustrated with hearing, adding the 3rd sound. The word list page is especially difficult. This week there are 15 words and she is just not reading them well enough for this exercise to outlast her attention span. Have other families run into this issue as well? She is working hard, but I can see her brain just struggling to add the 2nd part of the word on this list. She gets the individual letter sounds, she can read the two letter syllables, and can make the sound of the last letter, but putting them all together is really frustrating her (ok, and me :-( ) and it takes a very very long time to get them to come together.

How can I aid her in this process? We have tried using the textured letters, pushing the letters forward as we say them, covering them up... I just can't figure out what her brain needs to put the letter sounds together. Thanks in advance for all of your help!
just a few ideas, I'm sure others will have more to add.

You can spread out word list and not do it all at once. You might consider doing one line at a time over 4 or 5 very small sessions. You can cover up the lines that you are not working on by using a piece of white paper.

I think some children do better if they hear the correct model before trying on their own. So if you read line 1 out loud (by modeling correct technique), have her repeat it after you are done. Then let her try line 2 by herself. She may need that extra step for a little while. It's worked for my kids that way. They tend to let me know when they don't need that extra help.

Another idea would be to play around on the Zac the Rat story on On those stories, it shows how it builds on

Maybe seeing something on the computer screen like that might help? I think this link works?
yeah... just click around on that starfall site and when it gets to the story, click on the individual words to show the blending in action.

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Re: Word list woes - K

Unread post by baileymom »

The LeapFrog Talking Words Factory I and II DVDs have helped us with blending.

Connor would sound out the letters correctly, but the actual blending to say/read the word was difficult for him.I would say things like "say them together, blend them, squish them together, now all together, now real fast..." and he would just look at me like I was silly.The DVDs seemed to help.

Either that, or more time/more practice/moving on, we're on Week 17 "Kk", and he's zipping through his worksheets now.He's writing cards and letters to people (and you can actually make out what he's trying to say most times), and reading Bob books with almost no help.

I would say to just hang in there (I know it's sooo frustrating sometimes when they just don't get it, and it seems so simple) but with my experience they eventually "just get it".Reading your post made me realize that.
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Re: Word list woes - K

Unread post by Mommyto2 »


I went to a homeschool lecture one day that opened my eyes to helping and not just drilling or quizzing my child. The end point was that if your child isn't getting something give it to them. It is ok. For me it was very eye opening because for my older ds I had been quizzing everything and when he couldn't get it I would make him find the answer because after all, "If you have to figure it out, then you will remember it."

Who told me that stupid advice? I think it was from when I went to public school.

Anyway, I started inputting a lot of information for him when he didn't understand something. Guess what it took only half as long for him to get it and there were no tears and no tantrums.

So my thought is, have your dd try to say the word on her own. If she gets stuck, you say it and have her repeat it. An amazing thing will happen. She will struggle along like this for a little while and then all of a sudden she will be reading and you will wonder, "how did this happen and when did she learn to read all by herself?"

Good luck,

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Re: Word list woes - K

Unread post by FreshKid »

There is alot of good advice already posted, but I thought I would add in too.

DS was the same way. We were both getting frustrated. (I think some frustration was his lack of focus.) Anyway, whether this is the phonics way or not, it works for us. Some of the words can be broken down into other words he already knows. example: show her that "if" is in "gift" Now put /g/ before it. /gif/ and /t/ on the end /gift/ It is kind of like building with the ladder. It is hard to describe here, so I hope it makes just a little bit of sense. If I could get DS to focus long enough to see /if/, he would get it and feel some sense of accomplishment (or relief or whatever). :-)

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Re: Word list woes - K

Unread post by salmy »

thanks for the suggestions.

I don't know why it didn't occur to break the worksheet up in to several days. I guess since this is just our first year, I feel like I need "permission" to change the structure to suit my childs needs, you know? Silly though, since I'm doing this in order to meet her needs. ;)

A friend is bringing the leapfrog videos to church tomorrow so I can check them out. It is so true about instructing her to say the letter fast, squish it together... I have said the exact same things and have gotten to exact same response from DD!

We have started doing word families as opposed to the formula set forth in the TM. So for sun we are saying /u/ /n/ /un/ and then reading it with the /s/ in front. This technique is working so much better for her and you can see sense of accomplishment as she reads through the word list and the other reading exercises! phew!
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pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by mamatormsl »

holynickel wrote:I am using MFW Kindergarten for my daughter. She knows her letter sounds. She recognizes which letters say which sound. Does well playing the games and all. But when it comes to blending the sounds together. She is all over the map. She will say the right sounds individually, but when you ask her to blend them, Well you never know what you might hear. For example: the word not. She will say the N, O and T sound. The she might say TOT, or DOT as the word. or even NOM or something else totally unrelated.

Any ideas on how to help her to "get" this?
Learned this from 100 Easy Lessons. Have her hold each of her sounds for as long as you hold your finger under them. For example: NNNNNNNOOOOOOT. It is very hard to "hear" a word if you make each of the individual sounds short and clipped. If you hold the sound for a while and move immediately into the next sound and hold it for awhile it is so much easier to "hear" the word. Model it for her until she gets it. You may have to remind her to hold the sound over and over, but it should eventually sink in. Hope it helps.
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by mamatormsl »

holynickel wrote:yah....tried that...she can't seem to do that either....she has to break in between...and we practice practice practice together...but when it comes to doing it herself...she has to break....

She does recognize the word if I say it slowly...

I am just afraid she is going to HATE learning to read...but i guess we will just soldier on...
Sorry:( Maybe she's just not ready. I started with my K grade daughter last year and she didn't seem to be getting it, couldn't hear the word well, couldn't quite understand rhyming, etc.

I slowed down to 2 gentle lessons a week and tried again this year. She's flying along now, making up for lost time, just wasn't ready last year. I know it can be hard to do that, but I think it is important to not make them hate learning. Maybe someone else will have some better suggestions.
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by Julie in MN »

How old is the little gal, Hollie? Sometimes it's just an age thing, and each child is going to be different.

Learning these skills seem so small and simple to us, but really they involve some complex transitions from verbal to pictoral, from sounds to symbols.

I found when my ds got "stuck" on something in the early years, we just sat there a while and eventually, very suddenly, it clicked. It seems like there was a single moment when ds would go from "this is too hard" to "this is simple." While we were sitting in one place (typically in math), we might move forward in other areas, or we might just wait and play more games and such. I love the Ruth Beechick quote about which reading program works best. She said "the third" program -- when mom is going at it for the third time, the child has reached the age when he is ready to learn it :)

Personally, I find it lovely to be able to hover in one place in homeschool (and sometimes to race ahead, too!).
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by gratitude »

How old is she? It is my opinion that every child is ready to read at a different time.

I guess I compare it to my days of teaching the reading of music to K, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd graders. I could teach a 3rd grader to read music in about 6 weeks. After a year the K, even a very high IQ K, would still be struggling to read the music. Does this make sense? For 1st and 2nd it really depended on the child how long it took. Some it came more easily than others at the ages of 6, 7, & 8. By 9 I never met a child that couldn't learn it quickly.

So when I think of teaching reading to my children the same principles have seemed to apply.

My oldest ds was very young when he learned letter recognition and the sounds of each letter on his own. I had this bright idea, which failed ;), of trying to teach him to sound out 3 letter words. He did so very similarly to your dd. So I waited... and waited.. and waited. When we finally moved forward with reading it took about 3 weeks (from a K - 2nd or 3rd grade level). I wish I had worked on it sooner though, so in my opinion we waited too long. We now need a serious phonics review for spelling reasons, which we will be doing.

So my answer would be wait, but not too long.

My best answer though would be to take it to God in prayer. He is never wrong in the guidance he can give us in home schooling or what is best for our children.

Blessings! :-)
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by Wendy B. »

holynickel wrote:Any ideas on how to help her to "get" this?
Time and patience!

Each child moves at a different pace through this learning to read process. The child who understands blending quickly is not going to be a better reader than a child who needs more time to work on this concept!

FWIW. My oldest son(now age 20) learned to read at age 5. My oldest daughter(now age 19) learned to read at 8. My son had 4 years of reading experience before my daughter read her first book by herself. This "advantage" did not have a lasting effect! By age 11 and 10, they were reading the exact same books.

My current K'er is in the exact same place as your child. I stopped moving forward with phonics and plan on spending as much time as she needs working on blending. Learning to blend just cannot be rushed. Time and patience.... but when they "get" it , it is always seems sudden! One day they don't understand blending ( or whatever concept they are hung up on) and the next day they do.

Hang in there, mama!
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by MuzzaBunny »

It'll get there. Today my dd (in MFW K but only on lesson 4) was sounding out END on a road sign with me. She says, "Eh - nnn - d". I say, "So what's that say?" DD triumphantly declares, "TURTLE!!" Lol!! She figured it out immediately after, but it sure was cute!
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by CyndyC »

My dd was doing the same thing a few months back. It was making me crazy. She's my first to teach to read. My ds taught himself at 4-1/2. Kids all learn at different ages and stages.

Sometimes she'd see the word on the page, get the first sound and blurt out something that started with that sound. I stepped back from it, went back to the beginning and began taking baby steps. This is what works for her. Little tiny bites and slowly but steadily we're making progress. ;)
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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by holynickel »

for those of you that asked for her age. She is 5 and turns six March 30. So she is not a young kindergartener.

She is my third child and the baby, and my second to use the kindergarten program with. My first child went to K, at a private school, and even though he really struggle with reading. I did not have to teach him how to blend. My second, I have homeschooled from the start, but he was sooo ready to read. I just had to show him one time and he took off. Honestly, he teaches himself most things. So my poor daughter, is just really testing me. I think some of it is she is soo used to her brothers "helping" her do things (read that doing things for her) and then sometimes she just thinks she knows it all.

I guess we just need to sit for a while on blending...and keep at it.

Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by cbollin »

So she's currently 5. needs help blending. ok....

Maybe she needs to see it and have lots of models
what about playing on (with her?)
what about tv show such as Between the Lions?

that way you do the lessons, but then instead of having to repeat it over and over, she can watch and get an audio visual approach that doesn't wear you out?

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Re: pulling my hair out!!!

Unread post by holynickel »

i have the letter factory making words video on request from the library...hehehehe...

and we do play least once a week.

I need to see if netflix had the between the lions on streaming...

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Letter Blending

Unread post by jasntas »

1mom42 wrote:My daughter said to day she hates letter blending! We attempted to do MFWK last year at 5 and did not have much progress, finished through lesson 15. She in now 6 and having real resistance to learning! Why? What to do?
Is there a possibility that she may be dyslexic? Both mine are and blending was a nightmare for them. You might check out the Warning Signs of Dyslexia page on the bartonreading dot com website. (When you get to the site click on Dyslexia in the list on the left. Then click on Warning Signs. Then click on Click Here for a Complete List of Warning Signs or watch the Webcast.) Just a thought since you didn't mention much else other than the fact that she struggles with blending sounds. HTH
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Re: Letter Blending

Unread post by gratitude »

My kids usually say they dislike things when it is hard for them to do. They rather have the easy road. ;)

The knack of letter blending can take time. It took my dd6 awhile last year doing MFWK. My boys had an easy time with it, so I had to change how I taught it with her. The three letter words came more easily than the blending for her! :) So what I did was have her say both letter sounds. For example, if it was 'pa' she would say 'p' than 'a' than I would put them together as 'pa' and then she would repeat 'pa' after me.

I would just keep working with it and let it take the time it needs. She really did get better at blends. Her strength though is still reading and spelling 3 letter words; she is starting MFW1 in September. I think she struggled more to connect to blending sounds that weren't actual words.

I hope this helps some. If she is struggling to put two sounds together, but knows her letter sounds well, have her do them separately and then give the example of putting them together while drawing out the sounds and then have her repeat you. I think my dd really came to get the hang of blending towards the end of MFWK, but read 3 letter words easily long before.

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Re: Letter Blending

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I would say model it, model it, model it... Like Carin said - say the sounds separately, and then together. You might have to do it a lot. But, also agreeing with Tammi - I have 2 dyslexic kids too, and blending the sounds was very hard for them. We really had to work at it. It can be a challenge discerning a learning issue vs. a character issue. The other thing, try to make it more fun. Draw letters on the sidewalk and jump from one to another saying the sounds, then jump faster and faster until they blend together.

But, it may be she's not ready to sit and learn. (In some countries they don't start formal schooling until (gasp!) 7 years old!)
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