By Kumon North America and Jas Dillard, Kumon of Myers Park
When it comes to reading, some words are easier than others to sound out and read aloud. However, sight words can be hard to decipher and recognize, but they are critical for children to know to improve their reading skills.
What are sight words?
Sight words are words that occur frequently in written language that your child should know automatically. Some of them don’t follow the rules of phonics, which means they aren’t spelled the way they sound. Children are encouraged to learn to recognize these words since decoding them can be challenging. That’s why helping your child build a solid foundation of sight words can help him or her become better readers over time.
To give you a better idea of what exactly a sight word is, some examples include: was, what, the, could, of, much, those, been, to. Oftentimes, these words cannot be illustrated through pictures which makes it even more difficult for children to understand what they mean. To learn more about the list of sight words, check out the Fry Word List and the Dolch Word List.
Why are sight words important?
Learning sight words is important because not only do they improve your child’s reading skills, knowing these words can improve their confidence. These words are so common that they are guaranteed to be found in other resources your child sees each day. As your child recognizes more sight words, he or she will be eager to read and understand other academic subjects and materials found in his or her day-to-day life.
If children struggle with sight words, they may become frustrated or unmotivated to continue. This can impact their learning in all subjects as they have a hard time understanding the context of different materials.
How can you help your child master these words?
If your child is struggling to learn sight words, there are a few things you can do to help support his or her reading progress.
Keep in mind that progress may be slow as your child begins to recognize these words with repetition. It helps to wait until words are mastered before introducing new words. This will prevent them from feeling overwhelmed and keep them motivated to continue learning. Here are some ways to help your child master sight words:
Learning sight words can be challenging. Create fun, interactive games to keep your kids motivated and engaged. These will also make it feel less intimidating and encourage them to stay motivated with learning. Some games include:
Bingo: You can tell a short story using the words on the board or you can simply call out the word for your child to find. Make sure he or she reads all the words in the line and then reward him or her with a prize to help with motivation! Alphabet Bingo on Amazon.
Go Fish: Create your own cards by writing two matching sets of word cards. This can help your child practice reading and speaking words by trying to get the most matches. Go Fish on Amazon
Word Find: Write the words on colorful slips of paper and post these around the house. Have your child read the words aloud when finding them. Extra bonus for having your child create sentences with the sight words collected. For example, if you use the word “the,” you can help finish the sentence with them. You can get creative with this by establishing a theme, having your child draw pictures and build a story with the sentences you write! Sight Word Flash Cards on Amazon
Create and sing songs:
Sometimes a catchy song can drastically improve the ability to remember something. To teach five letter sight words, a common song used is B-I-N-G-O. You can find some songs online, sing words to the tunes you already know (like BINGO), or even create your own songs with your child to help them remember new words.
Read books together
Reading books together is a great way to practice recognizing, reading and understanding how sight words are written. If your child is having trouble reading the words, it helps to read aloud to your child, read together, and then have him or her read it aloud. For a list of books that your child might enjoy, check out the Kumon Recommended Reading List (RRL).
Kumon Reading Program
The Kumon Reading Program is designed to help your child at his or her own pace. The child will begin at the level he or she is comfortable with and new material will be introduced each day to build his or her reading skills. The program builds off the foundation of these words into other topics necessary to truly become a great reader! Learn more about the Kumon Reading Program and how to get started.
Sight words may be a challenge, but do not feel discouraged if your child is struggling. When it comes to learning, each child progresses at his or her own pace. With extra support and motivation to learn sight words, you can help your child build a strong foundation of reading skills. Establishing a solid understanding of sight words will not only improve his or her reading capabilities but will also increase his or her confidence to continue learning both in school and throughout day-to-day activities.
In about nine months, our preschoolers are able to read with mastery in sight words, rhyming words, letter sounds, double consonant sounds and double vowel sounds. Sounds mastered at Kumon with Audio They are also able to write with confidence and ease so that their little hands can keep up with their processing speed.
Visit us to learn more! Your eager reader will develop a curiosity and a love of learning before Kindergarten!
Short Video on Kumon’s Preschool Kindergarten Readiness Program
To learn more about us visit us at
Kumon of Myers Park
1600 East Woodlawn Road, Ste 261
Charlotte, NC 28209
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