Kindergarten + Sight Words = Shock & Horror!

Kindergarten—Sight Words for the Beginning Reader
Part 2

It’s the 1st of September, and already panic is ensuing! Another child from the parents of kids I taught previously has entered kindergarten!

“My child doesn’t know sight words yet!”

Everyone whose child doesn’t yet know them is fearful that their child has only been in school two or three days and is already falling behind.

Relax! It may be teacher tutor gives advice on how to handle sight words assigned to kindergartenersthat  the teacher is trying to find out what your child knows. Or…maybe not! Perhaps she is already asking you to drill your child on the words.

Use your own judgment. Does the child want to work on them yet? If not, I propose a far more meaningful activity. Yes, you’ll be rocking the boat just a bit, but you’ll be making far less of a negative impact on your child’s views on reading. And, thankfully, you’ll still be working on sight words, as requested!

Select delightful picture books that will please your child and read them to him daily. Once or twice during the reading point out a sight word and tell him what it is.

“Hey, look! It’s one of your sight words! It’s _______!”

A page or so later, when it reappears, as sight words always do, ask if he knows what it is. Tell him it’s a sight word that you two just talked about! How fun is that?!

African American father and child read together to locate sight wordsIf he doesn’t know, let it go. He notices at school that he doesn’t yet know the sight  word, yet some kids do. He doesn’t need that feeling at home as well.

If he wants the same book night after night, fantastic! That’s great behavior for unconsciously absorbing sight words. (go to page 2, below)

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3 Responses to “Kindergarten + Sight Words = Shock & Horror!”

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  1. Phyllis says:

    I like this strategy. A very low-stress technique for learning sight words, and I like kindegarteners to lead low-stress lives!

    • Paula says:

      Phyllis, I honestly believe that one of the worst things we do to our kids is stress them out on mastering reading at too early an age.

      It’s great if kids learn to read naturally, and it comes easily to them. But it’s not the end of the world if they learn later, and less quickly!

      And it certainly does not have to affect their chances at success in life and a wonderful future. It’s our American educational requirements that demand reading now as early as kindergarten that creates the stress and failure syndrome that so very many of our kids now struggle with.

      Reading is a joy and a gift. A true blessing. The way we teach it makes it seem like a test of one’s worth. It was never meant to be that way!

      Sorry. As you can see, I feel strongly about the way we push children into skill work before they are ready. I am so quick to get on this rant, aren’t I? 😉

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