Chances are, your preschooler isn’t quite ready to make the jump to reading yet, but she might be giving you signs that she’s ready to move towards learning her alphabet, basic phonics and some easy sight words. If you start now, you can instill a desire for learning and reading in your child that will last a lifetime. Some parents wrestle with the decision as to when to start preschool and one way to know when your child is ready is by using sight words for PreK.
At a year old, you can help your child start to focus on letters and words by pointing out words in books, on signs and on toys. Sounding out the letters of the words will help them learn to speak as well. By two years old, your child will probably be ready to learn the alphabet song. This simple act of memorization will stimulate their brains and help them start the recognition process for letters and simple words by the time they reach four years old.
Sight words are words that appear regularly in your children’s reading text, but aren’t easy to sound out. Instead, these words must be memorized so children recognize them by “sight” rather than because they are sounding them out. Although most children don’t learn sight words until they enter kindergarten, here are some of the most common words you can start on to give your preschooler a jumpstart on their learning: “a, at, an, and, am, are, can, do, for, go, have, he, here, in, I, is, it, like, look, me, my, no, play, said, see, she, so, the, to, up, we.”
We have put together some easy, fun ways to help your child learn before he/she enters kindergarten.
1. Introduce only 5 new words per week, print each word and start a “word wall” in your child’s room or toy room.
2. Continue to review words from previous weeks as you add new words.
3. Take turns using each new and previous word in a sentence to help your children learn their meanings and uses.
4. Play word Bingo – put several sight words on a grid and call them out. The first to cover a straight line of words wins the round. This helps children start to recognize the words by look and sound.
5. Let your child spell new words in the air with a “finger pointer”. As they write in the air, you can guess what word they are writing. Take turns doing this and score points for each correct guess if you like.
6. Say or point to a word on your word wall and ask your child to find a word that rhymes with each one.
The easiest sight words for children to learn are their names. This is an easy way to gauge where your child is in his learning curve and whether he’s ready to take the next step.
Learning sight words is an act of memorization, so the key to helping your child see them correctly is to repeat them frequently and use visual stimulation to help them.
The best way to spark your child’s interest in reading is to surround them with books and reading. If they watch parents and siblings read, chances are they will want to join in the activity. It will help to have reading time each night where you can read stories or work on the new words for the week.
Even DVDs that include song lyrics are great resources for teaching your children the value and entertainment in reading. Any time your child shows an interest in s specific topic, find a book that goes along with the topic to help them understand more.