Reading is crucial for speech and language development. You might notice that your child “picks up” some words easily, while he struggles with others. There is a good chance that the words your child struggles with the most are sight words. Sight words are words that comprise roughly 50% to 70% of most text. Many of them cannot be “sounded out.” Your child will have to learn to recognize them on sight, hence the term “sight words.” You might sometimes hear “sight words” being referred to as “Dolch words.” They are the same thing. In 1948, Edward William Dolch, Ph.D., compiled The Dolch Word List, which lists 220 sight words.
Teachers often focus on sight words in kindergarten through third grade. Work with your child at home to develop his sight words skills to further his academic success. Collaborate with your child’s teacher and his speech-language pathologist (SLP) to determine the most effective learning methods for your child. For example, if he’s a visual learner, he might do best when presented with an image of the sight word.