Learning to Read: Phonics vs. Sight Words

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It’s every parent’s goal to give their kids the best start in life and learning to read is an important part of that. But have you ever wondered which method is best for teaching your children to read? Should you focus on phonics or sight words? Let’s explore the pros and cons of each approach so that you can make an informed decision on what works best for your family.


The phonics approach teaches children to sound out words by breaking them down into individual letter sounds. This method relies heavily on memorization and repetition. It focuses on teaching children the relationship between letters and their corresponding sounds. 

Phonics is great for building a strong foundation in reading skills, but it does take time and patience. On the plus side, once children have mastered phonics, they will be able to figure out most new words with ease.

Sight Words

The sight words approach focuses on teaching children to recognize common words without having to sound them out each time they see them. This method is also known as “whole-word recognition” because it emphasizes recognizing whole words rather than breaking them down into smaller parts. 

Sight word learning involves memorizing commonly used words in order to quickly recognize them when encountered in text or speech. Some parents find this approach easier since it doesn’t require as much repetition or practice as phonics does — but not all children learn this way, so be sure to consider your child’s unique learning style before deciding which route is best for them.


When it comes down to it, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to teaching kids how to read; however, a combination of both approaches can yield excellent results! 

Consider your child’s unique needs and learning style when deciding which path works best for him or her. With a little trial and error — plus lots of patience — you’ll soon find that reading together can be an enjoyable experience for both of you! Good luck!

If you’re still unsure where to start, you can subscribe to our SHICHIDA at Home program for a tried and tested enrichment program for your young learners. We cover both phonics and sight words in our fun and song-filled episodes, while our workbooks even come with letter writing practice!

Download some free sample content below or subscribe to our monthly plan for just $0!

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