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  • Writer's pictureJanay Neufeld

Want Free Sight Word Apps and Activities That Really Work?

Blog #3 of my Sight Word Blog Series! How To Help with Sight Words at Home!

Sight words are essential for beginning readers, and I know you, as a parent, can feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or at a loss for working with your child on sight words at home. I know you are a great parent invested in their child's reading as you seek tips and tricks on how to help with sight words at home, and this blog is for you! It's full of activities to do with sight words at home, free sight word game apps, and even has access to my sight word activities for home pdf!

Who doesn't love FREE resources? Especially this time of year, as Thanksgiving approaches, Black Friday, and Christmas, we can all use some free in our lives!

Why Is It Important to Learn Sight Words?

Sight words fall into two categories. The first category is often referred to as high-frequency words because they are the most commonly used words in the English language. There are over 600,00 words in the English language, but surprisingly, only 13 words account for 25% of printed words, and 100 of those words account for about 50% of print.

That is terrific news! If kids can learn these 13 most commonly used words and eventually all 100, they will have a much easier time reading! Lack of knowledge of these frequently used words will result in fluency (reading speed, accuracy, and expression) issues, so the quicker and easier we can read these most frequently printed words, the better we can read.

The other category of sight words is non-phonetic words. These words do not follow the typical spelling or phonics pattern we teach students. Identifying the part of the word breaking the rule and talking about it is essential to learn them.

We want sight words to be words a student can look at and read automatically. Then when they go to read, they can easily read these commonly used words quickly without sounding out each word laboriously. In turn, they can comprehend what they read more efficiently and have much more success overall in their reading!

For more tips on how to work on sight words at home, visit Blog #2 of my Sight Word Blog Series!

How to Teach Sight Words Effectively

The science of reading has proved that we should Ditch the Old Way of Memorizing Sight Words with Flashcards! For years teachers have tried to have students memorize all sight words. We now know memorizing is an ineffective strategy. It's important to teach students spelling patterns (even if they are irregular, pointing them out and talking about them is best!), letter-sound correspondences (sounds of the alphabet represented by letters), and phonemic segmentation (breaking down words into individual sounds) are far more effective. Watch the video to learn the heart words technique, and it's the perfect way to work on irregular words that break all the rules!

Research tells us that readers store irregular words in their brains or memory like regular words. Meaning readers look at each letter, the pattern the letters make in the word, and associate their sounds. Therefore, according to research, these three parts of the brain must be activated for a child to learn a word: sounds, meanings, and letters.

Are You Feeling overwhelmed?

Lucky for you, I have created a FREE sight word activities for home pdf that activates the three main parts of the brain that are essential to making sight words "stick!" Click the link below to download 11-pages of activities jam-packed with science-based, hands-on, multisensory activities to make your sight word routine at home easier!

5 Free Sight Word Apps For Children at Home

1. Sight words Reading Games ABC: This app is FREE for ages 3-7. It contains 220 sight words from the Dolch list and has various games for working on sight words, like bingo, matching, memory, spelling, and flashcards.

2. SplashLearn: Kids Learning App: This app has different math and reading games for preschool through 5th grade. There are several sight word games and decodable books for mastering sight words. (There are some in-app purchases.)

3. Khan Academy Kids

I have always loved Khan Academy, and now they have a fun, easy-to-use, engaging app geared toward children ages 2-8! The app includes educational games for working through reading skills like phonics and sight words, and the app even has a library of original books. I love the readers because kids can read or listen to the books and follow along as the app reads the story aloud. The app covers various other subjects such as math, writing, social-emotional development, and more!

4. Sight Words & Phonics Reading

For ages 4+. This app has games to help children become fluent readers through logical progressions. It can help children learn their sight words, phonics, and blending, and it has word bingo games for sight word recognition, spelling practice, and more! (there are in-app purchases).

5. Sight Word Ninja: This app isn't free, but it's worth mentioning because it's still very inexpensive and well-liked by children. The Sight Word Ninja app costs $1.99. It's for ages four and up but targets sight words for ages 6-8. Parents love it because they can choose which words you want their child to work on, and kids their kids are engaged!

Are you still Feeling Overwhelmed by it All? Seek the Help of a Professional and Take Some of the Weight Off your Shoulders!

If you still feel overwhelmed or like it would give you peace of mind knowing your child is working with a professional each week to instill these reading foundations, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am always delighted to be a part of a child's reading journey, watch them excel, and gain confidence in their reading skills.

I have over eight years of experience helping children succeed in reading and beyond. Click below to register for a FREE Reading Assessment and receive weekly reading instruction catered to your child's specific needs. All sessions are done online via Zoom from the comfort of your home!

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