Learning to read is essential for any child and adult. And there are plenty of strategies or techniques that one can employ to do so. However, not all of them are ideal especially in this busy and fast-paced world that we live in. With sight words, though, the amount of time utilized in learning how to read is considerably shortened. And there are also other benefits of learning to read with sight words.
One undeniable benefit of learning to read with sight words is that it helps build a child’s confidence. Nothing encourages a person, adult or child, to learn more than when he or she sees visible proof of accomplishment. Now, a lot of the words used in children’s literature can be found on Dolche’s sight word lists. Thus, children who have started memorizing some of the words on these lists will be easily able to recognize the words even if it is in a book he or she has never encountered before. This automatically reinforces the child’s belief in himself and his ability to accomplish the task. And the ultimate result is that the child feels more enthusiastic and motivated to learn and read more.
Another benefit of learning to read with sight words is that it allows the child to have more focus on reading harder, more challenging words. We adults often forget how hard it is when you start learning how to read. So much energy and focus is used up just “sounding out” the unfamiliar words on a page that it can cause children to feel frustrated. Having to decode each and every word will also place more focus on “reading” rather than understanding the meaning of each word. If children already know some sight words, they no longer need to use up so much energy in reading every word on the page. Instead, they can focus more on just “sounding out” those words that they don’t know.
Learning to read with sight words also enable children to figure out the meaning of sentences. Because children are able to easily read and understand sight words, they are given clues to what the entire sentence could be saying. For example, children who know the sight words jump and play will easily be able to discern what “I will jump in the pool” means compared to the sentence “I will play in the pool.” Pronouns such as I, you, she, and he are also included in sight word lists. And the meaning of these pronouns is very essential to discerning the correct meaning of a sentence.
Sight words also help children learn to read words that do not follow basic phonetic rules. Learning to read using phonics is also essential but there are some words are hard to learn just by “sounding them out.” Words like blue, please, and said are a couple of the most frequently used words in children’s texts and these cannot be learned through simple phonics instruction.