This interesting article explains why having children (kindergartners) memorize sight words from flash cards doesn’t really work. Parents of Kindergarten students often insist that their child should be reading by the time they enter kindergarten, so they spend countless hours flashing sight word flash cards at their children in hopes that memorizing words will help their children read. This, in fact, does not work as well as reading to your child daily and reading everything from books to cereal boxes to poems to street signs. Your children need to learn words in context. “Children will start to remember words they have seen before in context,” says Marcia Invernizzi of the University of Virginia.
For more tips on practicing sight words in a more meaningful way than flash cards, see my blog.