Do you feel frustrated and overwhelmed because, despite your best efforts, your child can't learn all of their sight words?
Want to know a secret?
Memorizing sight words does not equal reading, and if your school is asking you to help your child memorize sight words, 1) They're using balanced literacy, and therefore 2) they're not teaching your child HOW TO read.
Yes, it looks easier to do. It looks good. It makes it look like kids are reading. But here's the thing. It just LOOKS like they're reading when they've just memorized a list of words.
It's one of the trademarks of balanced literacy, and honestly, far to common. Too often on Facebook, I see well meaning moms asking how they can help their kids read and getting answers that are just fun ways to memorize words.
I'll say it again. Memorizing words is NOT reading! And it's a hard habit to break. But you're here; you want learn how to REALLY help your kids read, and I applaud you for that.
In teacher speak, whole word reading is a myth. What that means is that our brain does NOT store whole words as pictures, that is to say when we memorize a word, it is not forever stored in our brain. Our brain DOES store sounds (phonemes) as symbols (phonograms). Note: I don't say letters because 1, 2, 3, or even 4 letters together can spell a single sound. (For example in night, /igh/ spells long /i/.)
If, on the other hand, we teach our kids the basic sound spellings and build from there (a spells /a/), sorting high frequency words by spelling patterns as they learn them, our kids will be much better off.
Want to test your child to see if they can really read or if they've just been memorizing words all along? Watch The Purple Challenge here.
The good news is that even if the school isn't your child how to read, you can! I'm here to provide you the skills and tools so that you feel confident and know that you can teach your child to read no matter what.