Q:

I am not too pleased with the number of sight words that my son has learned so far this year in first grade. He has definitely learned how to sound out words, but he can't seem to handle basic words like "was," "have" and "said." Am I worrying unnecessarily or not? What sight words should he now know? - Uncertain

A:

Children need to instantly recognize a basic-sight vocabulary of common words, as they are the words that appear most frequently in their reading. Fortunately, there are several well-researched lists of these words. Here is the list of 100 words that children should know by the end of first grade. It was developed by Dr. Edward Fry, professor emeritus of Rutgers University.

the, of, an, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, words, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, and, each, which, she, do, how, their, if will, up, other, about, out, many, then, them, these, so, some, her, would, make, like, him, into, time, has, look, too, more, write, go, see, number, no, way, could, people, my, than, first, water, been, called, who, oil, sit, now, find, long, down, day, did, get, come, made, may, part

Don't expect your son to know all of these words now. Do help him learn them, however, before second grade by having him read easy material, use flash cards and play games with the words.