Sight words are some of the first words that your child will learn. They are also some of the most important words they’ll learn. All of us have to learn these type of words to be able to read books and other types of materials.
What are They?
Sight words are words that can be identified pretty much immediately. They don’t need to be explained to a toddler or young child. They are also called high frequency words, because they make up a large percentage of the words that are written in books, especially books designed for young kids. In general terms, this means these are the most widely spoken words in the language, so they are the most likely to show up in written media. These reasons are why it is so important to learn them, since they will be reading these words for a long time to come.
How to Teach Them
Since everyone has to learn these special words, there are easy ways to teach your baby. Teaching them sight words will help them have a strong foundation for reading, so when the time comes for them to read books or stories by themselves, they’ll have an easier time doing so. Here are some teaching tips.
- Start at the correct time. If you are unsure if your child is ready to learn sight words, the best way to know is to pay attention to how they are behaving. If they are acting like they are ready to learn and are interesting in reading, it may be the right time. One prerequisite is that they must know the letters in the alphabet already. This helps them be able to follow what is going on when they’re learning and can also help with the pronunciation.
- Use flashcards. To start teaching, one method is to use flashcards to introduce the words to your little learner. Start with around 20 words and keep reviewing them until your kiddo gets them. The first set of words may take a long time because a young child’s brain has to get used to interpreting words and what they mean. For example, think of how you feel when you see writing that is written in a foreign language; you can’t read or understand it. This is what your child is seeing, but you are starting to teach them something different.
- Have fun with it. When your tyke is doing well and is learning words that will help them throughout their life, start having fun with it. Make games out of learning the words or make up silly songs, so they have an easier time remembering. This can also help them enjoy themselves.
- Try online or video lessons. Whether your teaching methods are working well or not, you can also opt for lessons that you can play on the television or online. Many of these lessons are developed by teachers or people that have taught their kids these words successfully. They often involve interesting lessons and interactive activities to keep everyone engaged in the process.
- Be patient. If your guy or gal isn’t getting it right away, that is totally normal. Keep trying and eventually they’ll start to learn. If they do not or are not progressing at the pace you want, you may have started to teach them too early. On the flip side, they may just need a little extra help. Try other methods or perhaps send them to a tutor or special class that is designed to help with sight words.
- Try it out. Once your toddler has learned many or all of the sight words you have showed them, it’s time to start reading. You can write up some stories that use the words or buy them books for their age group. Another fun thing to do is to take them to the bookstore and let them pick out a few age appropriate books. These books may end up being some of their favorites because they hand picked them and they did the hard work to be able to read them.
- Keep going. Besides just being able to read to themselves, the main point of teaching sight words is so a child can learn how to pronounce these words. This means they should be reading the books to you out loud, making it beneficial because you can work on their pronunciation skills, and you can help them whenever they need a little support. Once they can read out loud and are enjoying their new books, they should also be able to formulate better sentences. You’ll be able to tell what they’ve learned because they may start to talk differently or use complete sentences. This is a sign that they have started to master their sight words. Then, it is time to start learning something new.
Learning sight words is a thing that everyone must go through if they want to be able to talk and read with fluency. However, the process doesn’t have to be boring. When you start using flashcards and work your way up to games, music, and other entertaining activities, it creates an atmosphere that any child will want to learn in.
Take your time and use flashcards to help your baby learn how to recognize sight words. This will help them learn how to read, how to formulate complete sentences, and also help them be able to pronounce words correctly. When you have done all you can or hit a brick wall, you can also purchase videos, look at websites, download apps, or even find a class to assist in your child’s education.
Keep an eye out, so you know when your toddler is ready to learn. Once they know their alphabet and become interested in talking and reading, you can begin the process. As they start to learn, the process will get easier, and they will be making progress and having fun while doing it. Make sure you keep books and games around that will help them keep up the good work.