Your child has mastered the alphabet; they can name the letters, they know the order of the letters, and they know the sounds that each letter represents. So, what’s next? Are they ready to start sounding out words? The answer is: maybe! Sounding out is the process of blending sounds into words. We use this process whenever we encounter a word we aren’t familiar with. Since it is second nature for us, it seems like this process of blending sounds to make words should be simple for kids who know the alphabet. But this process actually involves specific skills that go beyond knowing the alphabet. Keep reading to see if your child is ready to start sounding out words.
What are Sight Words?
What’s the most common word in the English language? It’s the. Imagine if every time you saw this word, you had to stop and figure out what it was. It would make reading even the simplest text very slow and painful. Being able to read the at first sight makes things a lot easier: no sounding out, no trying to remember. You recognize it just like your own name. Sight words are words like the. These words occur so frequently that readers, including very young readers, need to know them instantly.
Exploring an area of interest helps children grow their vocabulary and background knowledge, gives them an outlet for creative self-expression, and helps them make sense of how the world works can even help them discover new interests. Importantly, it also creates a positive attitude towards learning that can have a lasting impact.
It’s back to school season and many young learners are embarking on an entirely new adventure – kindergarten! According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students enter kindergarten at very different skills levels, which is natural given that children may be coming from a variety of early childhood experiences, ranging from highly-skilled-focused pre-K programs, play-based preschools, Head Start, or no preschool at all. An average kindergarten class may have children with a five-year skill range in terms of reading ability, from children who don’t recognize letters or letter sounds to those who can read short books.