As your child heads back to school this year, do your own homework to help keep him on the right track. Network with other parents and teachers at the Open House night and at parent-teacher conferences. Talk to his speech therapist about his progress and what you can do to help him at home. Beginning readers benefit from regular reading at home. As you read with your child, make a note of the words that he typically struggles with. Many of them are likely sight words, also called Dolch words. Sight words are the most frequently used words in English texts, but unfortunately, they can also be tricky for beginning readers to master. This is because many of them cannot be sounded out or visually illustrated. Your child must learn them “on sight.” Here are some apps that can help your beginning reader master sight words, accelerate his language development, and enhance his progress in school this year.
As your child learns to read, you’ll probably encourage him to cope with the tricky words by sounding them out. But some words do not have straightforward spelling and they cannot be easily sounded out. These words are called “sight words,” and for better or worse, they are used quite frequently in English. Your child will have to learn to recognize them on sight (hence the term, “sight words”). This collection of words is also referred to as the Dolch word list. Encouraging your child to memorize sight words can greatly improve his written communication skills. Your child’s speech-language pathologist (SLP) can offer advice about improving your child’s reading and writing skills. You can also check out this list of apps that are designed specifically to teach children sight words.