Sheena P. has been a part of our Homer Ambassador group for a few months now, and has recently celebrated success with her son being crowned the ‘Sight Word King’ this summer. It’s not easy to get a budding reader excited about sight words, and she’s willingly shared some of her personal tricks that led to her child’s recent success. We’re excited to share her tips and also laud her son’s great achievement!
This past week, my oldest son, Westin (6), did something that made me so proud! He was crowned ‘Sight Word King’ of his 1st grade summer enrichment program. Westin has always shown an interest in phonics and learning in general, but just like any kid, he loves to play. Honestly, he loves to play, because his dad and I are huge kids at heart. We play A LOT in our home, but we always make sure to use our fun times as valuable learning experiences for our children as well.
Like most moms, I’m very busy. My husband and I have three boys, ages 6, 3 and 1. I’m a full time Realtor, but I also stay at home with our youngest. So when it comes to activities that will strengthen our kids’ literacy skills, my goals are to make it simple, inexpensive, and most importantly, effective.
Here are some “learning through play” activities I did to get Westin on the road to becoming the ‘Sight Word King.’
- Sight Word Jenga: I like this activity because it can be played with children who are at different levels of learning. I took an old Jenga set and wrote sight words on one side for Westin (6) and letters on the other side for his brother Hunter (3). The game is played exactly the same a regular game of Jenga, but before you can place your Jenga piece on top, you have to say the sight word or letter that’s written on the piece.
- Read it, Find it, Write it: The name pretty much explains this activity. In my quest to have Westin “unplugged,” I use this activity to not only pull him away from his iPad, but to also familiarize himself with sight words and work on his penmanship. With just a sheet of paper and crayons, I encourage Westin to read the sight words, find them amongst the previous week’s words, and then write them.
- PowerPoints: In my mind, I’m a PowerPoint guru, and any chance I get to use PowerPoint and play around with the animations, I do it! In reality, my skills are quite novice, but I enjoy it and Westin enjoys being able to use the laptop to study sight words. In the picture below, Westin is practicing sight words.They start off slow, and gradually speed up. He loves the challenge!
The key is to make learning fun. Although he’s caught on to the fact that he’s learning, he really does enjoy these activities. More importantly, they’ve aided him in becoming ‘Sight Word King!’