BLENDING contains web-based drills for teaching and practicing blending and segmenting skills. The purpose of these drills is to help a student transition from using memorized words and guessing to sounding out. These drills are designed for older students with severe reading disability, but may be helpful for younger students and emerging readers too.
Blending and segmenting skills are the basis of ‘phonological processing’, and the lack of these skills is the basic characteristic of Dyslexia. But these are just skills, and skills can be taught and learned. Click here for a detailed review of the BLENDING program – what it teaches, how it works, what it looks like, and where it came from.
BLENDING starts by teaching three-letter words like ‘cat’ and ‘dog’ using the five short vowels, then introduces consonant clusters and consonant digraphs using the same five short vowels, for example ‘chat’ and ‘blink’. These drills are not intended to teach your child to read ‘cat’ and ‘dog’ – chances are that he (or she) can already do that. But DO NOT SKIP THESE DRILLS if your child struggles with reading. If he cannot segment or blend with confidence and automaticity, then he will tend to rely on memorized words instead. That isn’t real reading, and must be corrected. These drills will help change that behavior.
If you are not sure whether this is right for your child, then try it for 2-3 days, 20 minutes per day. If your child is able to blend fluently, then he will rip through these lessons easily. If he struggles, then you should persevere. By the time you finish the second group (consonant clusters and digraphs for the five short vowels), typically 2-3 weeks, your child’s reading skills will be visibly improved.
Check out our Quickstart Video for Blending. It’s about 9 minutes long, and tells you everything you need to know.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY
The key to success with Blending is INTENSITY. That’s true for all drills on this site, but PARTICULARLY this one. You should only use these drills for 15-20 minutes per day but you need to do it EVERY DAY or your child will not master these skills.
If your child has no difficulty with blending or segmenting, then you should be able to complete the entire set of drills in two or three 20-minute sessions. It is worth your time to do that.