I’ve been trying to teach mu daughter sight words, but I am not a teacher, just a mom. So, for me, sometimes the easiest way to teach my daughter something is to find something she already likes to do, then add a teaching element to it. As moms, we are always finding time throughout our day to teach our little ones something new. So when I was sitting on the couch one day on my computer and my daughter asked to type too, it gave me the idea to help her learn the sight words we had been practicing all week.
Sometimes it feels like when my daughter knows we are supposed to be learning, it’s harder to get her to stay focused. At times like that, no one is benefiting from our “school” session. Once she starts getting frustrated, you can forget it if you think she is going to learn anything. But I’m determined to make sure both of my children enjoy learning, so I’m always trying to take the work part out and make learning as fun as possible.
Here’s What We Do
I will sit down and write out a list of sight words we want to work on. HERE is a (free) master list of words, and I use different words from that list each day. I usually try to add at least two new ones a day and a repeat one from the day before. Once I have my list made up (between 5-10 words a day,) I read off each one. I also spell each of the words after I say them.
Once we have gone over the list she starts with the top word and types it into the keyboard. The rule is to say the letters as we type them, and then read the word after it has been typed.
Here’s Why It Works
I think there are a few factors that play a role in why this technique works. The first being repetition. She hears me say the word, then I spell the word, then she spells the word, and then says the word again. She has to really focus on the task at hand because not only is she trying to spell the word correctly, she also spends a lot of time looking for the correct key.
Also, she has to double check the computer screen to make sure the letter she just clicked was the right one, (which means she is repeating the letters to herself again.) And lastly, and most importantly because it’s fun and it makes her proud!
Take It To The Next Level
Sight words are really just the beginning. At this time my daughter is only four and not yet in school, so I know things are going to get tougher. There will come a time when she is ready to learn bigger words or even sentences. I’m hopeful this technique will still be working then. Also, don’t be afraid to throw in a tough word here and there, it encourages growth, and your child will be even more proud when they get that one too!
Make It A Little More Fun
Once you’ve finished the master list don’t stop there! Make it a little more fun by using your child’s favorite book. Most children’s books have small enough words that you can let them choose their own words to type. My daughter absolutely loves My Little Pony and The Cat in The Hat.
We have added typing to our daily learning schedule because not only do we both have fun but she learns so much this way. And don’t worry, she is still learning to use a pencil and paper. But let’s be honest, technology is such a big part of our world and children are usually very good at it! Why not use that to our advantage?
If you give this a try let me know what you think, or if you have a trick to helping your child learn sight words please leave it in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!