Sight words have been on my mind lately, ever since I learned that you don't have to memorize them.
It's a process called phoneme-grapheme or word mapping where you connect sounds to spellings, and it is truly life changing. Because here's the thing: "sight word" is a misnomer. According to researchers, a sight word is "a familiar written word that is recognized instantly, automatically, and effortlessly without sounding it out or guessing." An average adult has between 30,000 and 70,000 words in their sight word vocabulary. And despite popular belief, ALL words can be decoded and most high frequency words that we think of as "sight words" only have 1 or 2 irregular parts.
So you can imagine my shock when I found this handout on "home support: high frequency sight words" from kindergarten. "High Frequncy Sight Words are those words that do not follow the conventional rules and patterns of spelling. However, your child will frequencly encounter these words in his/here own reading adn writing. We ask that your child not try to sound out these words, since they cannot be sounded out. Instead, your child needs to learn these by memorizing them." (Yes, that was bold in the document.)
This outdated handout left me outraged. Friend, THIS misinformation is what is leaving us defeated and depleted, not knowing how to help our kids read. And here's the thing: a lot of schools are STILL using this mininformation, which harms kids AND families.
But it stops here. And it starts with learning how to support reading the way the brain learns. I have a free resoruce to teach word mapping and learn sight words easier WITHOUT memorizing. Just comment sight words below, and I'd love to share this lifechanging strategy with you.