Homeschooling Curriculum for Sight Words

Updated on January 29, 2018
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Angela is a home schooling mom with a Special Education background. She loves teaching, especially those who sometimes struggle.

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What is a Sight Word?

Sight words are the most common words you will find when reading. Many of these words cannot be read through the normal use of phonics, which makes them hard to learn. That is why it is helpful to have a system in place to teach these words to your children.

When teaching children to read, you will often find that children either do better with phonics reading or sight word reading, depending on how their mind works. This system helps those in both categories. Keep in mind that while some children learn to read very quickly, others are much slower at learning. That does not reflect the child's intelligence or educational aptitude.

Most children, regardless of whether they struggle to read early on, begin to excel at reading by the end of the second grade. If they are still struggling in the second grade, they may need to either see an eye doctor to make sure their eyes are tracking well or a specialist who can eliminate such disorders as dyslexia.

I can never stress this enough, but your ultimate goal in teaching a child is not for them to learn what you are teaching, but to enjoy learning on their own. A child who enjoys education will become a lifelong learner. A child who dreads school will not pick up a book after high school. At this age, learning that education can be fun is more important than hitting milestones.

Let's Learn to Read!!!

What do You Need?

  • a stack of blank note-cards - they can be plain or lined
  • a marker so the word sticks out
  • a pen to write on the back of the card
  • a box or rubber band to keep the words together

How to Set Up for A Lesson

First you want to write each sight word, one per note card. You want to make sure they are in a logical order. Below I have a suggested order of learning sight words, although you may want to choose your own order based on words used in books your child may be reading.

Do not get too rigid about grade level. The lists below are basic guidelines. Some kids learn to read very quickly and may know all of the words by the end of kindergarten. Others may need to go through the list much more slowly. Keep this in mind when choosing what words are used and when. The speed and accuracy with which a child learns to read has very little to do with intelligence. Do not push too hard; take it easy so the child enjoys learning.

Once all of the cards are made up, then you can begin teaching your child.

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Challenging Your Child

  1. Begin by introducing five words. Go through this list once where you read the words to your child. Then a second time where you read the words and they repeat. And a final time where they try them on their own and you correct where needed. If they get zero right, no big deal, they will spend all year looking at these words, they will eventually get them.
  2. Once they have been introduced, place them aside into a testing pile. Do not test the child on words that were introduced that day.
  3. This step will not begin until the day after the first set has been introduced. Once the testing pile has begun, show each word to your child and have them read the word to you. If they get it right, hand the card to them, if they get it wrong, then place it to the side. Only go through the words once! Once you have finished going through the list, give the child a pen to put a checkmark or dot on the back of the cards that they got right. So they can see how many times they got that card right!
  4. Once you go through the list and mark the back of the cards they got right, put the pen away, you will not need it. Then you can ask your child if they would like to go through the cards they missed again for fun. If they say no, no big deal, because they will go through these cards again tomorrow. If they say yes, go through the cards, and hand them the cards they get right to them (let them know they will not be marking these cards) and place the ones they get wrong to the back. Go through the deck until they have gotten all the cards! Then celebrate!
  5. The next day, go through steps three and four again! As far as introducing words, you can choose to add one word per day or five words per week. Whichever seems less overwhelming for your child. Remember not to quiz your child on a word that was introduced that day.
  6. As you continue through the deck, more and more cards will get more and more dots or check-marks on them. Once a note card has five dots or five check-marks, then the child has learned that card! They can recycle it! Give them the job of throwing it into the bin, so they can feel a victory in accomplishing that reading goal!
  7. If they struggle with a word, no big deal. If they complain their stack is getting too big, then add less words per week. If they are going through the words very quickly, double the amount of words you quiz your child. Remember, your child will eventually learn to read. The goal is not to see how quickly they can get through the stack, but to enjoy themselves and eventually they will become readers.

Don't Forget to Praise Your Child, but Be Careful How You Do

Praise your child! But be wary of how you praise them. Empty praises, such as "you are so smart," have proven to have the opposite effect of causing a child to feel smart, as Carol Dweck has noted in her book Mindset.

Use praises like, "Good job trying to sound out that word!" "I can tell you are trying really hard," or "I am proud of the effort you are putting into it." The reason for these type of praises is because a child has control whether they try hard, or whether they are sounding out a word. Praising a child over something they do not have direct control over, such as intelligence, causes a child to think they are not smart enough when they struggle. One thing a child often will think is, if they are smart when they get a word right, what are they when they don't get one right? it's important to be clear that you are proud of your child's efforts regardless of natural ability.

Praising is essential to growth of a child, but it's important to give the right kind of praise.

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120 Words to Learn in Kindergarten

a
an
all
and
I
we
are
am
as
by
she
see
be
but
came
get
he
too
go
got
has
for
goes
look
if
of
in
is
my
not
said
then
took
there
yours
or
his
her
been
at
you
that
do
far
its
saw
your
me
off
lots
no
tell
car
say
on
sat
ran
set
back
it
buy
cat
bus
cut
see
put
eat
door
did
gave
box
had
bad
dad
day
dog
fun
let
end
him
hot
fat
may
their
run
like
man
so
hi
some
us
to
yes
win
hat
own
top
way
up
was
oh
out
with
yet
Mom
Dad
old
them
went
well
the
can
fix
they
does
from
come
sit
job
our

120 Words to Learn in First Grade

about
after
across
above
yard
one
free
rock
more
don't
game
two
kids
shall
find
less
feel
three
land
mean
kind
hill
fell
four
home
hope
find
sand
make
five
house
love
blue
brown
red
six
yellow
purple
orange
green
black
seven
white
pink
gray
down
good
eight
give
just
gone
last
ever
nine
today
hear
try
I'm
since
ten
why
were
which
help
keep
going
must
many
here
few
how
leave
later
it's
new
hit
near
rock
ball
add
any
bed
boy
less
boat
still
than
seem
ride
don't
play
shot
wash
best
begin
game
ate
began
boot
being
away
yard
done
cold
call
fast
crab
more
can't
fly
draw
will
even
who
when
warm
tree
turn
this
use

125 Words to Learn in Second Grade

year
week
words
until
want
dry
time
lady
deep
grow
fish
high
fine
girl
boy
hurt
hard
though
shall
rain
wind
ship
sun
were
work
this
stop
such
very
full
care
dark
into
below
dry
though
along
another
always
again
anything
because
against
better
among
could
behind
during
either
light
eleven
twelve
thirteen
fourteen
fifteen
sixteen
seventeen
eighteen
nineteen
twenty
thirty
forty
fifty
sixty
seventy
eighty
ninety
hundred
thousand
million
billion
trillion
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Autumn
month
week
year
able
also
became
around
almost
become
ask
before
both
color
fight
didn't
each
bring
coat
between
desk
cloud
gold
fire
funny

120 words to Learn in Third Grade

(click column header to sort results)
every  
ears  
eyes  
face  
feet  
heart  
   
head
hand
hair
sure
under
first
 
second
third
once
twice
write
stood
 
these
really
start
toward
name
much
 
night
river
moon
only
large
maybe
 
never
open
grade
early
store
letter
 
found
hour
grass
else
forget
paper
 
great
longer
know
easy
left
might
 
answer
although
certainly
beautiful
dinner
different
 
brought
already
careful
country
dream
enough
 
family
caught
believe
decide
drink
wouldn't
 
worry
something
someone
sister
brother
mother
 
father
tomorrow
themselves
change
undestand
trouble
 
story
ready
storm
while
special
together
 
watch
thing
water
simple
people
world
 
yesterday
probably
possible
wonderful
scared
state
 
teacher
student
complete
certain
explain
imagine
 
nothing
thought
listen
right
thank
round
 
learn
husband
wife
follow
several
couldn't
 
finally
happy
indeed
ocean
fact
fiction
 

Keep Your Eye on the Goal

Remember to keep your eyes on the goal. Yes, you want your children to read. Yes, you want them to be reading at grade level, but that goal is not for the right now. You want your children to enjoy learning and enjoy reading. If they are able to enjoy themselves, then they will become lifelong learners and lifelong readers. They will not think of learning as a chore, but rather as an activity. Children will eventually catch up. We were not all designed exactly the same. Some of us have a quicker capacity to learn sports, while others have a quicker capacity to learn art or music, while others have a quicker capacity to learn reading. All of these are valuable, and we all have the capability of learning each. Some of us just take longer to get to the goal than others. Praise your child's efforts and celebrate their victories. Don't compare them to others, even if it seems like they are doing better than their peers.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Angela Michelle Schultz

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