Sight words?

Sight words. Sigh. If you’re a parent with a 4-7 (8, 9, 10?) year old, you might be pulling your hair out about this. You’ve just learned all the sounds the letters make, but, why or WHY do most of the words your little ones are trying to read NOT sound like their sound?? Don’t worry, you’re doing the right thing with the sounds and here’s why. Sight words, fry words, Dolch words and high frequency words all basically mean the same (ish) thing. High frequency words are words that likely DO follow the phonetic patterns, but occur frequently in the English language. They just follow patterns that kids don’t usually learn until later- like that /ow/ sound in down.
Fry words are the most common words in English separated in groups by how frequently they occur. The first 100 make up about half of all printed material! So, you’d think it’s best to skip the sounding out step for now and focus on these words, right? Yes, memorizing them can be very helpful to early readers, but there can be some problems when students rely on sight words to read. They are likely memorizing word shapes and will not notice the difference between barn and born in a book, when /ar/ and /or/ make very different sounds. So, take some time to practice both! And try to remember, the best thing you can do is enjoy reading with your little one. They’ll follow your lead on if something is frustrating or if it is fun! Let it be fun. ❤️