TOO2 asks:

My child is having trouble sounding out words.

Instead of blending the sounds, she sounds out each letter which makes it harder to figure out the word.

Question asked after reading:
In Topics: Helping my child with reading, Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



Jul 21, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Sounding out words is a strategy that good readers use.  However, if your daughter is struggling with most of the words on the page, then the book is probably too difficult for her.  It is also very frustrating for her and probably you.  Chances are she is struggling with words she should already know - these are called sight words.

Sight words are common every day words found the most frequently in text.  These words should be memorized.  For a complete list of Dolch high-frequency words by grade level, go to
The Fry list of high-frequency sight words are list in groups of 100 by how often they appear in text.  

Whatever list is you decide to use is fine.  Take the first group of words and write each on index cards.  Then have some fun.  Mix them up and have your daughter practice reading them to you.  See how many she can pick out of the pile and read.  If she is able to recognize the word time after time, you can retire that word and add a new one.  Take 5 to 10 minutes each day to practice.  Take the cards with you, so when you have an extra few minutes you can practice.

Also continue to read books.  Look for books that are easier for her - at least for now.  She can practice what she has learned from working with you and the flash cards.  When selecting a book, look at the beginning reader books.  On the back cover you will see a number like 2.4.  That means second grade, fourth month.  The books in this section have controlled vocabulary, which is very different than picture book (they often have more advance vocabulary and are best read to younger readers).

If you work with your daughter so she knows those sight words automatically, then when she comes to an unknown word, she will be more successful at sounding it out and won't get so frustrated.

Happy reading!

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Additional Answers (1)

interested writes:
Please take a look at  It tells exactly how to sound out words for the greatest success.
> 60 days ago

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