Having a background of 1st grade teacher, I was amazed when an online friend of mine, Lissy, blogged that her 2 year old son was starting to read. Her son is about 7 weeks older than Brendan. I have always looked forward to teaching Brendan to read. Reading is a passion of mine and I want him to be passionate about it as well. He is well on his way learning to recognize a few letters and their sounds by playing Starfall along with his frideg magnets, bathtub foam letters, etc. Soon enough, I’ll be showing him how these letter sounds go together to make words. So in preparation of that moment, and to possibly help my friend now, I have compiled a list of the easiest to spell 3 letter words. There are 197 total. I hand-chose each word from a gigantic list of official scrabble words, lol. Each word is made up of only the most common sound of each letter of the alphabet and all vowels use their “short” sounds. Once a child knows a few letter sounds, you can choose words made up of those sounds to have them spell out for you.
Also of use to a parent are the 1000 most common words in the English written language. The 1st list comprises 33% of the words used in common writing. Together the first 2 lists comprise about 50% and the first 3 lists about 65%. These are commonly referred to as “Sight Words” as children are taught to identify them by sight rather than phonetic decoding. First graders are usually expected to know the first list by the end of the year.