In the first few years of school, children learn the sounds that letters and letter combinations can make. Mastering this makes it easier to work out how to pronounce (and spell) new words that they see and hear.
Also, there is a group of words that children simply need to learn. These words are pronounced in a way that doesn’t follow the normal rules, or they are used so often that it is essential to know them. We call these words ‘sight words’.
If children can recognise these words instantly, it allows them to concentrate on deciphering the new words they are discovering in the text.
Children will come home from school with lists of site words. Here are some tips to help make them stick.
Repetition helps. Invent ways to increase exposure to sight words. Post them on the wall, review them at bedtime, involve other members of the family.
Practice in a variety of ways. Invent games
Do it in short bursts. Little and often will work better than one long session.
Use lower case letters. These are easier to read and what your child will practice writing at school
Match words with objects
Point out sight words where ever you are. You’ll see them everywhere
Copy and write them down
Most of all, be positive and have fun.This is a summary of a blog from King’s Christian College called “Sight Words – Strategies to Make Them Stick.” To see the full article and more detailed strategies, go online to: www.kingscollege.qld.edu.au/sightwords