While your child is learning to read, you may get a note from the teacher that says “I’d really like you to work on sight words.” Sight words are words that occur many times in a lot of texts. There are actually lists you can find with the most frequent sight words. The older your child gets, the more automatic those words should be. When they encounter them in a book, they shouldn’t have to sound them out. Sight words are also typically words that are not phonetically fair. They don’t say what you would think when you read them. So, for example, the word “would.” It doesn’t look at all like how it sounds. Being able to see and recognize those words instantly without having to think about it is going to make the reading process that much easier, and more fluent, for your child.
Questions that we often hear from parents include “What words do I practice?” “How often do I practice?” “How many should I practice at one time?” The best way to practice those sight words is by taking 8-10 words of whatever sight word list you are using, writing those words on flash cards, and practicing those for a few days. Put them into two piles—those they recognize as soon as they see them, and those they still need to learn. As the pile of words they automatically recognize builds, and the pile they are working on is shrinking, go back to the original list and pull more words. You should be constantly working with 8 to 10 words at a time.
We hope this helps! Looking for more tips on helping your child become a confident reader? Keep scrolling and grab our free guide, 9 Simple Ways to Boost Your Child’s Reading Confidence.