Most second and third graders are able to read independently. The more they practice, the more fluent they become. At this stage, your child begins to focus in depth on the meaning of what she reads, and she uses reading as a way to help her learn many new vocabulary words and concepts. Second and third graders use writing and talking to help them further develop their understanding of the books and the concepts they are exploring at school and in the world. Although second and third graders can do much on their own, parents can still help them to develop as readers and writers simply by reading aloud, talking with them about the books they read, helping to set up a homework routine, and communicating with teachers.
Your second or third grader is becoming a more fluent, efficient, and skilled reader. With lots of practice reading, he recognizes more and more words instantly, and he begins to read with expression that approaches normal speech. As they become more proficient readers, second and third graders are able to think about the deeper meanings in stories, learn new vocabulary words through reading, and gather new information from books. As writing becomes easier for them, they begin to use it as a way to clarify and extend their understanding of what they read. Likewise, they use discussion to make meaning out of what they read.
Even though second and third graders read and write independently, parents can still help them develop their abilities through regular, daily activities. You can extend the "school" experience at home by establishing good homework habits, helping with homework only when needed, and reading what your child has written. In addition, you can read and talk about books that are not part of homework assignments together and take trips to the library to find books your child likes to read. Learn more ways to help your child become a more fluent and independent reader and use writing as a way to understand what he reads and observes in the world around him.
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