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She can spell the word but not read it

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I started teaching DD(7 y/o) her CVC words last week by using Explode the Code. She enjoys doing it and tries really hard. We are working on the short "a" right now. She can say the word, spell the word and write it on paper with no problem. When I show her the "Bob Books" and the "I See Sam" books she has a hard time reading the words. She also has a hard time sounding out the words. I'm at a loss and just don't know what to do to help her.



Mom to Dallas(7)

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If she just started last week -- she could just be having a hard time learning to blend. This is very hard for some kids!!!


I would definitely use the notched card (recommended for I See Sam on the site I purchased from -- reveal one sound at a time and model how you blend with progressive blending (blending from left to right, adding sounds on).


I would not push her to the point she is frustrated, go slow (at least for another amount of time) and model a lot of blending.


There are also games for blending... you can start with c at cat, and work up to c a t cat.... there are lists for sounds usually the easiest to start with (the consonants that can be held -- I See Sam is organized this way at least for set 1).


It is great that she can segment (sound out words for spelling)! Really! That can be an earlier skill than blending and that is okay.


If she is getting very frustrated and it is a negative experience, or this lasts for a couple of months with little practices every day, with no or very little progress, I think it would be time to look further.


Also there is a free supplement on abcdrp.com (Abecedarian) for blending and segmenting.... I think if you used it with letter tiles it is fine, and it is free. There are other things as good and better -- but this is one I know of that is free. http://www.abcdrp.com/docs/ABCD_WABS_02.pdf It recommends the teacher tapping on the words -- but I have a strong preference for dragging letter tiles instead of tapping on a letter.... when the child answers a question they can drag down a letter tile while saying the letter -- it can be really helpful.


You can also keep working on her blending words in her ETC and readers. I think a lot of modelling helps... just in talking, or using a notched card, or with letter tiles.


If some time passes and it does not get easier, I think it is good to look further, but not after one week, imo.


If it seems like it is just not clicking at all, to the point it is a waste of time or way too frustrating, I think an Orton-Gillingham approach is worth looking into, also. You might have luck with some kind of phonemic awareness activities, they would include blending. My son did not have any luck with anything like that (straight over his head) but they are good for a lot of kids. I know ETC would have been too hard for him (it was used in his school and he did not get a lot of it) and then it is time to look further. But my son could not segment or blend. I do think it is worth giving it some more time if it is not too frustrating or negative (erring on the side of not being frustrating for the child).

Edited by Lecka
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My dd was just like this. She could spell every phonetically correct word without any issues at all, but she struggled to read those same words that she spelled so easily.


If I gave her sounds, she could blend them into words without any effort at all. If I gave her a word, she could break it down into sounds with no effort. If it was phonetically correct, she could also write it or spell it with letter tiles. If I showed her a word, even a simple word like "cat", she would struggle with sounding it out. She'd get all the sounds correct, but it would take her a long time. And sometimes it took her so long that by the time she finished sounding it out, she couldn't remember what the sounds were. If I asked her to spell the word "cat", she could do it instantly. It's like her brain was filed by sound rather than sight. When she saw a letter, she had to go through all the possible letter sounds in her head until she happened to come across the one that popped up an image of the letter. Then she had to start all over for the next letter. She couldn't even recognize her own name on sight. And if you printed the same word on a sheet of paper several times in a row, she couldn't recognize that they were all the same by looking. She had to painstakingly sound it out each time. Even the 3rd time in a row, she couldn't recognize that it was the same until she heard herself say it.


She had visual efficiency issues, visual processing issues, and also had dyseidetic dyslexia.


Here's a link to dyseidetic dyslexia, since it isn't like what you normally hear about dyslexia:



My dd was able to read at grade level by the end of 4th grade.


What I used was:

vision therapy and then

Headsprout parts 1 and 2 with I See Sam sets 1-4

followed by

Funnix level 2 with Phonics for Reading 2

and then

Phonics for Reading 3

and finally

lots of timed repeated readings and work with nonsense words


I would have loved to keep going with the I See Sam readers, but my dd didn't like that they switched from animal stories to people stories in set 4 and refused to keep going with that series after set 4.

Edited by AngieW in Texas
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Another thing to look at is, can she do oral-only blending? If you ask her to blend sounds to make a word, just out loud, can she do it? That is what my son could not do.


It can be different if she can do it orally, but then has trouble doing it on paper. People also have mentioned using a very large font on their computer, and their kids being able to do it, but not able when the font is smaller.

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