If you’re looking for proven strategies to teach your child sight words at home, this article is for you! Find out the most effective ways to help your little one start reading faster and better.
Learning sight words is an essential skill for young readers, and teaching them to your child at home can set them up for success in school. With the right strategies in place, your child can become familiar with these important words quickly and start reading more confidently.
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Read aloud frequently.
Reading aloud to your child is one of the best ways to teach sight words at home – and your child loves it too!
While reading stories
- emphasize important sight words
- pause and encourage your child to verbally practice the sight words
- repeating this process will help them learn new words quickly
You can also build on this practice by starting to spark conversations that expand on the story you are reading. Ask your child questions about the book and encourage them to practice their sight words as part of their answer. Triggering an interactive dialogue like this helps to reinforce your child’s knowledge and gives them the opportunity to use their newly-acquired sight words in a meaningful way. Eventually, hearing and using words will become second nature for them, so make sure you read – and talk – lots!
Make stories with sight words.
To help your child connect sight words to the stories in their lives, write stories using those words. For example, if you’re practicing the word “like,” make up a story about a character who likes something or someone. Ask your child lots of questions that require them to use the word “like” in response.
Encourage your child to engage with the story you’ve created. Let them add details, provide toys as stand-ins for the characters, and bring props into the action. This will not only give your child an opportunity to use that sight word in spoken language, but it will also help them learn more about story elements like setting and character development. Furthermore, this game can be adapted for multiple sight words. Simply use new words each time and reference back to a previous story with these words if need be.
Play word games.
Turn practice time into something fun by playing games based on the sight words your child is currently practicing. Try making flashcards of the sight words you’re working on, and then use them to play simple memory or matching games. You can also check out some digital flashcards. Digital flashcards are best when you are on the go. Waiting for an appointment? Let them practice their sight words, and make sure to praise their correct answers!
Sight Word Search and Find
Learning to read and identify sight words is key to becoming a successful reader. Consider playing games at home. Not only are games fun, but playing educational games helps your child become interested in learning new things. Every kid loves the game of Hide and Seek, and it can be played with sight words. Here’s how to play: Take some 3×5 cards, or any paper will do. Write or have your child write 5-10 new sight words on the cards. I recommend having 3 cards for each sight word. Hide the words around the house. In order for the child to collect the card, they must first say the word. Once they collect all cards and have said the words correctly, either take turns and let them hide the words and/or start with a new set of words.
Write the words
According to Psychology Today, it is proven that writing things down helps you remember them. Not all kids learning sight words will be ready to pick up a pencil, plus that can get boring. Get creative and have your child write using texture. For example, put some sugar on a rimmed plate, buy Play-doh, or make it homemade with this recipe. Have your child use their finger to run through the sugar writing the words. You can also use a toothpick with the play dough. Write the words in the air or on your arm with your fingers. These are other great ways to remember the new sight words.
Have your child write the words in various colors and fonts.
Making writing practice fun is a great way to encourage motivation. Provide your child with different kinds of paper, colorful markers, or wax crayons, and have them write their sight words in various colors and fonts. You can even let them decorate the words with drawings or pictures for an additional challenge! Make sure to praise their efforts and offer positive encouragement throughout the activity to keep them engaged and motivated.
Break down sight words into syllables to make them easier to remember.
Breaking down sight words into smaller chunks can make them much easier to learn and remember. Ask your child to identify the number of syllables in a word, then have them tap out each syllable on their hand or arm as they say it. This helps them to gain an understanding of how the word is constructed and makes it easier for them to recall it later on.
When teaching young kids how to read, it’s important that they master the sight words. These are words that don’t follow traditional spelling patterns and can be very difficult for kids to remember if you just try to teach them by rote memorization. However, with a little bit of guidance, you can make learning easier and more fun. Breaking them down into syllables helps children to focus on specific parts of the word rather than trying to learn it all at once. This technique encourages their brains to process the parts of the word instead of memorizing them in one go. It also builds phonemic awareness, which is an important foundation for reading.