There’s a lot of talk about Dwyer in the Montessori circles. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about her until after Bear had already learned to read. Many people have been emailing me recently, asking me how I taught Bear to read and what advice can I give for problem x or y. After learning all her letter sounds (see this post as I am doing exactly the same thing with J-jo as I did with Bear) she began recognizing words she saw frequently like cat and dog and many others. But we did hit a snag when she started to need to blend words she hadn’t seen frequently (ie those she hadn’t memorized). She could tell me instantly what a word was when I segmented it, but could not hear the word when she segmented a word herself. I continued to model segmenting and then going faster and faster until I could hear the word. It also helped to use words with letter sounds that were more continuous – like m, and n, and l (as opposed to d and t which are clipped) to practice blending. Eventually, she got it. It didn’t take long. We all just had to be patient.
Do you have any additional tips for helping a child blend?