Even if your child is doing well learning phonics, some words just don’t follow the rules. These are sight words, and children learn to recognize them just by looking at them, without sounding them out. You can find sight word lists online divided into grade levels. The Dolch list can be found here.
A common way to learn the sight words is to use flashcards. They’re simple, straight-forward, and…not fun. We’ve used flashcards to learn everything from multiplication facts to music notes, and while they get the job done, I have to work hard to keep the kids on task. So if your child is working on learning sight words, here are a couple of other methods you can try:
- Use a Pointer – Write each sight word on a notecard or piece of paper. Stick the words to a wall or door in your house using sticky tack or double-sided tape. You could make it even more fun by cutting the paper into shapes, such as popcorn or raindrops. Find something to use as a pointer – a dowel, a ruler, or even the broom handle – and point at a word on the wall. When the child says the word correctly, point to another. You can go as slowly as you need to, or you can point to them quickly to make it more challenging. To make it even more fun, give your child the pointer.
- Jump to It – Write each sight word on a piece of paper. Spread the papers out on the floor so they aren’t touching each other. Read one of the words to your child. Your child must then jump to the paper that says the word. Continue until all the words have been read (and jumped on).
You can use your imagination to come up with more ways to learn sight words. Sometimes, learning to read can feel like a struggle. It’s at those times we need to remember that it can also be a lot of fun.
Homeschool Activities by SmartTutor.com
Article by Samantha Bell
Photo By Kathy Cassidy