Well, as we speak this wonderful language called English, it means that there are lots of common words that are not phonetically plausible. There is not really any way of teaching them except boring lists but you can turn the lists into something a little more exciting.
Jude has been learning to read his first 45 high frequency words, so to make it fun for him I put them in sets of 12 on to a racetrack with a car-character from one of his favourite TV shows. As he learnt to read each word he coloured in that section of track and when he got to the top I bought him that car as a prize. Here are his completed Racetracks:
When Jude had learnt to read all 45, we went back to the beginning and he has been learning to spell the words – hence the ticks and smiley faces. As he has nearly finished this he is ready to move on the next boring list which is the first 100 high frequency words. He has moved on from Roary the Racing car and is now into Super-heroes so he has asked me to make him a Spider man and a Power Ranger word list. So here they are:
You would not believe how much Jude loves this Spider man word list. He actually begs to be able to do his words and sometimes cries when I tell him to put it away. Sometimes having an obsessive child is quite handy!