Learning to read is one of the most important things someone can can do! It opens up a whole new world. Through reading, people can travel to new places, understand new ideas, meet new characters and people, and dream about things. Of course, learning to read takes work and for some children, it is more challenging than for others. But always, the rewards are rich.
When learners begin their journey learning to read, they begin with phonics. Phonics teaches them the sounds of letters and digraphs. A digraph is a sound made by more than one letter. In addition to learning phonics, we also need to memorize sight words when learning to read.
What do we know about sight words?
Sight words are “high-frequency” words. That means people will see these words a lot when they’re reading. Depending on who you ask, there are about 100 sight words and many of them are rule breakers. That means they don’t follow the standard “rules” of phonics and kind of need to be memorized to be learnt. Some of these sight words include:
All, about, by, been, could, did, he, no, not, my, more, most, only, said, the, then, there, they, were, when, where, would
These are just a few of the sight words that children (and adults) will need to memorize when learning to read.
How can you learn sight words?
Even though some of these sassy rule-breakers don’t like to conform to normal English standards, don’t stress about it. There are ways to conquer these high-frequency sight words! Many times you will be able to make the beginning sound to get started. The rest is pure memorization from repetition. It’s not as hard as you think. Why? Because these words are found so frequently on the pages of books that as you are reading a story, the word will make sense even you can’t always sound it out. Over time, you will realize they have learned the word just by seeing it (get it… by ‘sight’!).
How can you get started with sight words?
Start by exposing learners to these words a little bit at a time so no one is too overwhelmed. Use different formats for variety. You can use flashcards. Maybe just practice a few a day. Tell your child or student what the word is, have them repeat it, and then have them say it by themselves. Also, use videos, books, and other visuals to make learning sight words more fun and exciting.
You can also show them our brand new video series on sight words. Each of the four videos will teach 25 words so by the end of the series, they will have learned all 100 words. Get ready for a wonderful (or as we say… “out of sight”) journey into the imagination with reading!