It's sight reading day here at Bailey's Leaf. I'm here to pick a few brains.
I was at K-'s school Thursday doing the once-a-month bulletin board in the hallway and was listening in on her class as I went. She's been coming home spelling and telling me of her "at" words. They've been working on them in class, as well as reading/spelling some colors.
Wow. All this in preschool. I know there are some more intensive programs than what K- is in out there, but I didn't even go to preschool. In Kindergarten, the big thing was not to pee-pee in your pants, to play nicely and learn your ABC's & numbers. I was Goldie Locks in the Kindergarten production of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. (No, my hair isn't blonde.)
So, I decided to go to my normal education supply place-- The Dollar Tree. (Though when I need hardcore help, we have a Holcomb's Knowplace near the mall.) I decided to see if they had some sight word cards. They had sight word selections from K - 3rd grade. I did a bit of cross referencing (and learning for that matter) about sight words and learned that the sight words involve 220 words that are what they consider most common. The Kindergarten packet that I bought was the exact listing on the Dolch list. They have them online, which everyone probably knew except for me.
I made the preschool cards for K-. I'll start doing those with her. It's important to note that she does know her sounds, so it would just seem like the next logical step would be to encourage reading, right?
She has her "My Little [letter of the week] Book" that she learns each week. They did say that it would be more memorization at the beginning and more sight word reading at the end of the year. By golly! They are right.
I just learned that the local public school that K- will be attending does NOT learn phonics. I find that unsettling. If they don't do phonics, what method are they using to teach children how to read? If it is sight only, how can we expect children to progress when it comes to harder, more compound words? No, I don't have an education degree. (Just look at the way I tend to commacize and abuse punctuation.) It seems to me that a combination of the two would be the answer.
My friend said that she is going to begin working with her son with a phonics workbook that she used with her older son. I don't know what curriculum it is from, but she was quite impressed. She did homeschool her older son for a couple of years, but I do think that she wasn't brand specific. She told me that she'd call me and let me know.
So for you teachers, homeschool parents and parents in general who have been there, what are your suggestions for my diving into sight reading/reading with K-? Am I expecting too much? K- just turned 5 this past December. She's in 4 day a week preschool and seems to be really blossoming as of late. I don't want to miss the window, but I don't want to overwhelm. (She is sight reading some already, and was reading some of the cards to me that I was writing for her.) Help!
Edited to add: Okay, first I changed the name of the sight word listing to the actual name. (Dolch not Dolce.) Um, helps to be a little more precise, eh? At any rate, my mommy friends have been so kind! Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I did go back to The Dollar Tree and purchased the rest of the sight words. (No, we don't need them now, but will need them eventually so why not buy them and put them up?) We've been playing the game that Rach suggested and K- loves it. I also purchased a few more workbooks to have on hand once we get to that point. We always work on some summer homework to keep her mind fresh, so we may get to those then. (Pre-K Math, Counting to 100 and Sight Reading Workbook.) Thank you again! Keep those ideas coming!