Why has DD (reception) been given 'car' and 'park' as key/sight words?

(131 Posts)
Readytomakechanges Wed 02-Nov-16 11:58:39

I'm new to the whole school thing so have been trying to read up on the early years and key stage one curriculum in order to best support my nearly-5yo.
DD is loving school so far.
Yesterday the teacher gave me a list of 15 sight words for DD to practice at home. The teacher stated that they don't usually give homework this early in the school, but DD had asked for it. I believe this and am happy to make games etc. out of learning these words at home.
Most of the words are what I thought of as sight words; the, I, she etc.
However, I thought car and park were phonetic, using the digraph 'car'. So 'c' 'ar' and 'p' 'ar' 'k'. Just wondering why the teacher would want DD to know these works by sight instead of decoding them?
Thanks.

Readytomakechanges Wed 02-Nov-16 12:00:01

Sorry about the autocorrect. *Using the digraph 'ar'.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 02-Nov-16 12:08:26

Why do you think they're "sight words" - maybe the teacher thinks they are words she can read?

Anyway, those words are very simply phonetic, just teach the sounds.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:09:48

because ar isn't a and r. My son has been using 'fred speak' outside school.... sigh... and cars on the side of a taxi was a PITA.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:11:31

You can get a pack of words from amazon btw. I used mine last night to have a half spoken, half word card conversation with my son last night.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 02-Nov-16 12:12:50

because ar isn't a and r. No, but it is ar and a very common sound!

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:16:11

Lol had to explain that to bean as they've only just started phonics (3 weeks before half term) in reception and 'ar' is in phase 2. Same with 'ay' and 'oy'. 'I' has been a PITA too and 'me', 'she' etc

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:16:44

English is no fun and never thought about that until now.

HRarehoundingme Wed 02-Nov-16 12:16:52

It's teaching phonemes and graphemes - she's learning the phonic of "ar" instead of "ah re"

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:18:02

Is your DD doing RWI?

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 02-Nov-16 12:19:56

Yes, I know there's an order to the sounds, and can understand why there's an order. But that doesn't mean you say "there is a one to one mapping of the letter a to a sound", as that would have to be immediately unlearnt as soon as you found another.

The homework is utterly pointless, better to make up something a lot more useful - either figuring out how to read those words, or something completely unrelated to such make-work!

Readytomakechanges Wed 02-Nov-16 12:23:11

I'm not sure what RWI is?

The sheet of words that was given to me says 'key words', but the teacher referred to them as 'sight words' and explained that DD must learn them by sight and not sound them out.
I understand why this is useful for some of the words that can be sounded out, but are so common that it makes reading more fluid if you know them by sight like 'and'. I'm not sure why 'car' and 'park' have to be learned like this. DD can read them by sounding them out.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:23:34

Sorry, read write inc

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:24:46

'the' is lots of fun too.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 02-Nov-16 12:27:56

Readytomakechanges Presumably the teacher has not taught the ar digraph yet, teach it yourself, or ignore the silly homework.

Readytomakechanges Wed 02-Nov-16 12:35:13

DD's quite good with the ar phoneme and grapheme as they are in her sister's name. So she knows the letter 'a' makes the sound 'ah', the letter 'r' makes the sound 're' and when you put the letters together they make the sound '^ar^'. Hence, she can already sound out car and park, maybe she just needs to be quicker with it.
At least I'm not being daft thinking they're not sight words.
I suppose it won't do any harm if she learns them by sight, as long as she's happy doing it.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 12:39:43

oh ok. Very odd sight words then but useful for any child unaware of 'ar' especially if they aren't that far into phonics yet.

Mamushka Wed 02-Nov-16 12:51:56

Threads like this baffle me... My son is only 2.5 so I have a little while to go. Is it normal to be this invested in the small details of your child's school-based phonics learning? Im not even being facetious, I'm genuinely interested - will I be know all about this stuff and be talking about sight words, phonemes and graphemes in a couple of years time? I'm 26 and when I was at school I think it was early days for the phonics approach.

Reading these threads is like seeing an alien language to me, and I'm normally pretty good with linguistics.

MrsKCastle Wed 02-Nov-16 13:07:59

Is it normal to be this invested in the small details of your child's school-based phonics learning?

Yes, absolutely. Because you can read with your DC around 300 times a year if you make it a priority, but even the most dedicated teacher will struggle to read with them more than 120 times. (3x week).

It is really helpful if parents have at least a basic understanding of phonics.

OP, I would not teach those words by sight, I would get her to sound them out frequently until she knows them. Not just on their own, but in sentences as well. I would include she, we, me etc in that as well- the letter e often represents the ee sound.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 13:19:17

My child is easily bored and curious about words so I'm invested to try to give him a chance to read the books he wants to. He also wants to write as he told me he wants to write books called the fisherman tales.
Personally I also want to him to be able to know his words and be able to try to google details about the sun, stars and dwarf planets as he is interested in everything and anything about these.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 13:21:33

I never did phonics in the 80s though so this is all new to me and to be honest DS was a non reader when he started phonics a month or so ago.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 02-Nov-16 13:35:57

Mamushka In my experience not all parents are so invested in these kind of things. I certainly wasn't and my DC can now read perfectly well. Other mothers at school were (and are!) and my reaction was always confused.

I generally leave the teachers to get on with their jobs!

idontlikealdi Wed 02-Nov-16 13:37:59

DTs are in year 1 and learnt phonics and now read well. I have no idea what most of this thread is about but we have read with them pretty much every day since reception.

Readytomakechanges Wed 02-Nov-16 14:46:53

Is it normal to be this invested in the small details of your child's school-based phonics learning?

Ha. I have no idea. All I know is that I am.

DD does love it though, and loves any games that I put together. If she loved dancing or something, I'd probably be overly invested in that instead.

I probably have a chip on my shoulder too. I have memories of never having anything fun or challenging to do in primary school so am keen for DD to enjoy learning.

I also try not to bother DD's teachers with these questions, which is why I asked on here.

Coconut0il Wed 02-Nov-16 15:26:50

Not sure why the teacher has told you not to sound them out, I would be teaching it as c ar and p ar k. The only thing I can think is that they haven't got to the ar sound yet and the teacher thinks they would be useful words to know. Definitely introduce it as the ar sound though then instead of just being able to read car and park she will be able to read farm, card, hard, smart....

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