Teaching children to read can be fun and hard at the same time. Children with ADHD sometimes have a hard time focusing. Sometimes they wiggle, squirm, and might need to be redirected several times. Does this sound like your child with ADHD? Fortunately, there are ways to make it more exciting for children to learn to read.
I know it is important for parents to limit how much screen time young children have on the computer. One the best uses of screen time is to play learning games. Did you know there are tons of free apps and games to play that teaches sight words? My son used the following websites at school and at home for free: Starfall, ABCya, Fun4theBrain. On your cell phone or iPad/Kindle/etc go to your app store and search for reading or sight word games.
Roll a Sight Word
Learning sight words can appear boring to some kids. The key is to make it fun and exciting, which is why it can be fun for kids to use mommy’s iPad sometimes. Another way to make reading more exciting is by using rewards. Many kids with ADHD need an external motivator, like earning a reward. I recently came across a sight word game called Roll a Sight Word from I Can Teach My Child. On her website, you can find the top 100 sight words and the printable worksheets you will need for the Roll a Sight Word Game. You will also need dice.
To customize this game better for kids with ADHD (although the game is pretty good on its own), giving a reward each time a child knows a sight word will help tremendously. The object of this particular sight word game is to memorize and to practice writing sight words needed for reading. When a dice is rolled, a child must find a sight word that is made up of how many numbers the dice rolled.
If the number 5 is rolled, the child must find a sight word with 5 letters. If the child can correctly say the sight word, this is when you should offer a reward. Each time my son was able to find and say a sight word out loud, I gave him a treat. Some people might give stickers, candy, etc. My mother gave me M&Ms that day, so I did give him one M&M for each word (and no, we didn’t go over ALL the words). I limited the amount of words so he wouldn’t eat too much sugar, especially food dyes.
My son also didn’t fight writing down the sight words because he was able to suck on an M&M while writing. The key factor is to reward a child with ADHD as he answers correctly or in increments. What are some rewards you can think of to use for this sight word reading strategy?
Incase you missed this post before (originally posted March 2013), click here to read how to teach kids to read part 2.
If you are interested in paid for materials, here are some ideas:
Sight Words Level A Pocket Flash Cards: Includes 56 2-sided cards.