Your School Age Child

As a kindergartener, your child:

  • Understands that print is read from left to right, and that it has meaning.
  • Knows all the consonant sounds and is beginning to learn the vowel sounds.
  • Can say and recognize the letters of the alphabet.
  • Recognizes simple words including "the," "and," "is," and "it."
  • Can write and recognize his or her own name.

As a first grader, your child:

  • Reads aloud slowly (about 30 words per minute).
  • Begins to use strategies for reading new words.
  • Can sound words out.
  • Can recognize between 300-500 words while reading.

As a second grader, your child:

  • Reads about 60 words per minute.
  • Reads a variety of books on his or her reading level.
  • Can sound out unknown words.
  • Has improved his or her reading comprehension.
  • Recalls information from what he or she has read.
  • Re-reads sentences to correct errors while reading aloud.

As a third grader, your child:

  • Reads about 90 words per minutes, and reads aloud with fluency.
  • Has the ability to read new words and to determine their meaning.
  • Reads a variety of books on different topics.
  • Uses knowledge from other stories and his or her own life to understand new stories.
  • Understands the themes and main ideas of what he or she reads.

Tips for reading with your school age child:

  • As your child is learning to read, practice activities that help to develop sound recognition, letter recognition, simple blending, and simple rhyming.
    • Say silly tongue twisters, sing songs, and read rhyming books.
    • Play with puppets. For example, have the puppet ask your child to practice with rhyming words.
    • Play sound games. For example, give your child practice with blending sounds into
    • words. Ask them "Can you guess what this word is? D-O-G." Say the sound that each letter makes.
    • Use the letters in your child's name to help make the connection between sounds and
    • letters.
    • Trace and say letters. This works well when you involve touch, sight, and speech.
    • Have your child write letters in a sandbox, in shaving cream, or on a plate filled with sugar.
  • Bring books with you any time you'll have to spend time waiting. Fit in reading any chance you get!
  • Encourage your child to re-read favorite books.
  • Help your child choose books that are at the right level for them.
  • Ask your child open ended questions about the books you read together. Help them to retell stories and to draw conclusions about the books you read.
  • Encourage reading as a free-time activity, and set limits on the amount of time your child spends watching television or playing video games.
  • Take turns reading with your child, and make reading part of your child's daily routine.
  • Read aloud to your child with expression. Discuss how the punctuation changes the way you read a story.
  • Tell family stories.
  • Make books a special part of your child's life.
  • Be your child's number one fan. Encourage your child's progress, and gently correct the mistakes they make.