Last year homeschool for Livvy was mostly about developing letter recognition and then learning how to write letters, as most of you are aware we made our way through the alphabet . The year we have flown into re-cap phase, just to reinforce all that we have learnt.
Now as Livvy’s teacher I am always looking at the next stage in her schooling development, that has lead me naturally onto “sight words”.
So where do we start? At the beginning I guess! What are sight words? Sight words are words that are most commonly used and repeated in books. Most notably it is the smaller words that are typically known as sight words for it is those that are most frequently used…. For example, “a”, “I”, “am”, “or” etc.
It was Edward William Dolch that back in the 1930’s put together a fairly comprehensive list of easily recognized words to help with learning to read:
“Dolch compiled the list based on children’s books of his era, which is why nouns such as “kitty” and “Santa Claus” appear on the list instead of more high-frequency words. The list contains 220 “service words” that have to be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency in the English Language The compilation excludes nouns, which comprise a separate 95-word list.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolch_word_list)
So, let me tell you all about our apple tree…. It was actually another homeschool mum that first told me that she had made an apple tree in order to help teach these sight words. It has been on my mind ever since!! Now that Livvy has her letter recognition down to a fine art and her writing is coming along nicely I thought it was about time that we got creative and made our tree together 🙂
We simply took a large sheet of white paper, I drew a tree out line on it, Livvy then painted the tree brown ( I may have tidied the edges up a little!) we then flew into the garden to grab a leaf from the ground to use as a stencil and Livvy began making leafy impressions all over the tree! 🙂
Now for Mummy’s turn….. the task of making up sight word cards! I’ll let you in on a little secret (shh!) I actually sourced the words form another website 😉 – they have most fabulously put all the words that you need into a pdf file and all I needed to do was print, laminate and go!! – Super!!!
The website is brilliant it offers the most wonderful ideas! I have linked the pdf file here so you can just go straight to it but I highly recommend you also look at the website too!
So this past week we have started using our sight word apples, just as the website suggested we have made a little game whereby Livvy chooses a word and then picks a book and we see if we can match the word on the apple to words in the book!
Livvy’s face lighting up when she matches her words is priceless – what a wonderful way to spend an afternoon 🙂
References and Further Reading: