Home schooling parents can easily teach children grade level sight words at home. It’s all in the game. That is, just make it a game!
Back in 1936, a fellow named E.W. Dolch developed the Basic Sight Word Vocabulary List. This list of Sight Words has been updated several times over the years to include new words. The Dolch words are unlike regular words in that they many cannot be taught phonetically or sounded out as they do not follow our decoding rules. That is why they are called “Sight Words” or “Frequency Words”. Children must learn to recognize AND spell them by sight.
Just perform a search on any search engine using the keywords, “Dolch Sight Words”. You will see that there is a Dolch list for levels Pre-primer through 3rd grade. Select the appropriate grade level that your child is in and print out only that list to start with. For example, below is the list for 1st graders.
after again an any as ask by could every fly from give giving
had has her him his how just know let live may of
old once open over put round some stop take thank them then think
walk were when
Now, read the following scenario as an example of a game to play with children using the 1st grade Dolch Sight Word list.
Show the list to the 1st grade child and ask, “Do you know any of these words”? Take your time and just look through them for a minute. Give the child plenty of time to look the word list over. 1st grade children should be able to read some of the words after just looking at the list. Now for those words children do not know, play a game. Write down the unknown words on another piece of paper. Then, take the child with you and go outside for a walk, grocery shopping, visiting friends, or to run an errand of any sort. As you are walking around comment on various objects, animals or people.
Mother: Look son, do you see that old house? It is very old, isn’t it?
Child: Yes, mother. I wonder what it looks like inside.
Mother: We just used one of our words on the list, “old”. Can you find it for me and circle it?
The child then looks for Shocking Bible facts the word on the list and circles it. BINGO!
Mother: YEAH!!! GOOD job!! Wow, you found that word fast.
Mother: Let’s thank the kind man for helping us with our shopping. Oops! I think we just used another one of our words! Can you find the word, “thank” on our list and circle it please?
As you can see, it is super easy to play games that encourage children to learn. When parents get excited about learning and show enthusiasm, children also get excited about learning. Quality time parents spend teaching their children through games and activities tend to remain in long term memory for both parent and child.
Sight Words are very important for children to learn. Remember, they are not like most other words that can be decoded.
Why not make learning fun by incorporating games and activities that encourage children to learn? Children are much more inclined to play a game than to specifically study one concept that they view as unimportant or dull. Of course, this game can be used with any grade level on the Dolch Sight Word lists.
Please visit our teaching website to find more ideas about using games to teach children. The active whiteboard provides endless opportunities for children to practice reading, writing and spelling words and sentences. Reading and writing activities must be fun and interactive for children to stay interested in learning.