From the archives...
The following discussion was originally posted on the (now discontinued) LOE Forum.
My just turned-five year old started Foundations A this fall. were at Lesson 13 and he has a lot of trouble segmenting words for me. And blending two sounds into one. Is this something that I should worry about or just move on? Does anyone have any ideas on different ways to teach or explain it differently? We've hit a wall.
Let me address the first part of your question. Maybe others teaching Foundations will have additional ideas, especially for the second question.
If you are at lesson 13, I would not worry that he's still having trouble segmenting - keep working on it, but keep moving forward. Perhaps add a segmenting activity if there isn't one built into a lesson, in order to provide a little extra practice. He's only just beginning this skill, and it is harder than blending. (In Assessment C and Assessment D, you'll see that the desired mastery level for segmenting CVC words is 2. See the Introduction for more info on this).
With regard to blending two sounds - do you mean any two sounds, or two consonants specifically? If he is still struggling with blending CVC words by the time you get to review C, I would spend some more time on this before going much further (you'll see the 1 in the overview chart for this skill - p. 76). If it's blending two consonants that he's struggling with, I would not worry, since this is a newer skill. Keep providing practice, adding a little extra if you think it's needed, but keep moving forward. It does not need to be mastered yet.
Another parent teaching LOE commented:
So glad to see this. I am on Lesson 15 with my 5 year old and thought today was dismal failure. He does really well putting segmented words together now, which a few months back, he looked at me like I was speaking a different language. This is exactly what I needed to see to relax and stay the course. He did do better when I laid out tiles with the letters. It was as if he realized there should be three sounds. I am encouraged that this "new" concept will be easily accomplished when his mind is ready.
I'm glad it is encouraging!
I just remembered another approach that can be fun, especially if you want to focus on sounds rather than phonograms, which is to use Legos to represent each sound in the word. Pull them apart to segment, and put them together to blend separate sounds into a word. This could help with the visual clarification you were talking about and could be a little simpler if you're segmenting words for which he has not yet learned the phonograms.
One other thought: if blending or segmenting CVC words is hard, you can always take a step or two back. Work with compound words (just putting the two words together and taking them apart). Try words with only two sounds like go, me, egg, or up.
Remember that it's always fine to schedule in an impromptu "games and review" day, with no new material, any time you think he needs one! Sometimes kids just need time for new learning to settle in. Grownups too :)