I think every parent has seen and trudged through the dreaded sight words. I don't know about you, but I remember vocabulary words when I was older and it was such a chore to have to memorize words. Not that it's super difficult, it's just boring. Whether your kids are in institutional schools or home schooled, it's just one of those things that while boring, really helps them along with their reading.
Why do sight words help? Because the English language is weird. Not all words are easily sounded out. My 5 year old can read words in which all the letters make their proper sounds, but start throwing in silent Es and vowel combinations and that just becomes difficult for her and she gets frustrated.
Secondly it just helps if you don't have to sound out EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. Words like in, it, is, on, etc all make their proper sound, but instant recognition and not having to sound them out makes reading smoother and simpler. And all that makes reading more fun and less of a chore.
Up until now, I haven't really pushed it much. I was going with the "if she sees it in stories enough, she'll eventually recognize it on her own" train of thought. And yeah, that could work. The problem, for us, is that reading became frustrating because it took so long to sound out every word. Caitlin just wanted to get the story and not focus on sounding everything out.
After visiting a friend and seeing sight words hanging up at her house I thought I would try it. What my friend did that was so awesome was to simply write all the sight words in glitter glue. Her daughter didn't want to memorize sight words either. It was intimidating. But the glitter drew in her daughter and made something scary a lot of fun.
So I took her idea of making it colorful and fun. I know, total idea thief here. I glued sight words onto some pretty scrapbooking paper and taped them on a large picture that hangs in our kitchen. We were looking at the words and she told me that she thought the paper was pretty. She really likes the ones with owls on them.
Caitlin sees the words every day, multiple times a day. And because it's something we look at throughout the day, I don't forget to go over them with her. 'Cuz you know, totally together mommas like me would never forget to go over sight words.
I made up a list of 32 words, but only put up 16 of them. Once she knows all of those, I'll switch it up.
I let Caitlin pick which words to go up first. Oddly enough, she picked what I think are the more difficult words in the list; like, look, and play. But, she's already picked up several of them.
How do you making learning boring or difficult topics fun?
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