Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

Frederick Douglass

(picture from wikimedia commons)

If you were to make a list of the most frequently occurring words in English text, that list would be around 300 words long!

A list known in schools, as ‘sight words’.

Here’s one that’s been prepared earlier, in 1936 by Edward William Dolch, called the Dolch word list. More than half of all the words used in print, text and fiction are claimed to belong to this list, thanks Wikipedia. Other word lists include Oxford, Fry and Magic sight words.

At our school, the Magic Words sight words are used: magic-100, magic-200 and magic-300. This is a great list and a better one, I think because the words are divided into groups of 12 to 20 words and each group is titled by a colour. It is less daunting to approach the words in little sets. Tee was excited when he learned his Golden words and he could say ‘I’m onto my Red words or Blue words’.

The more sight words you know, the easier the early reading experience.

The teachers at school do a great job playing memory cards and bingo using sight words to familiarize them with the kids. Check out Librarybagbooks on Pinterest for fun sight word games. 

If your child is not into learning sight words, that’s totally fine.

Every child will learn to read and love it, just keep on exposing them to the experience of books. It’s not just about reading, it is all about the experience. The visual wonder- be that on the page or in your imagination, the smell of a page- new or old, once you experience that, it will never leave you.

Here are the first three sets: Golden words, Blue words & Red words.