Reading at Age 8: What Your 8-Year-Old Should Know

Are you trying to help your 8-year-old reach his or her reading potential? Do you feel unsure of where to focus your attention in order to provide the best help for your child? Continue reading below to gain a full understanding of what reading skills your third grader should have.

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An Overview of Third Grade Reading

At the third grade level, your child will be further developing his or her reading abilities by focusing on skills in several key areas. Based on the Common Core State Standards, your 8-year-old will be learning skills related to writing, reading fluency, speaking, listening, phonics and literature. Keep in mind that the standards may vary depending on your state of residence.


While in third grade, your child will begin developing his or her writing skills. Your 8-year-old child will likely be creating opinionated pieces of writing. It will be important that your child is able to support his or her opinion by including reasonable explanations.

Your child will also be learning how to develop narrative and informative writing pieces. Throughout the writing curriculum, your third grader should use transitional words and phrases, such as 'for example', 'because' and 'then'. The writing should have a developed topic and include effective opening and closing paragraphs.

Reading Fluency

Reading fluency is the ability to read quickly and accurately. It is important that your 8-year-old develops this skill because it will greatly influence your child's comprehension. To further ensure your child's success, help him or her read aloud at an appropriate reading pace and with expression.

Speaking and Listening

At first glance, speaking and listening may not seem very important to your child's reading success. However, this focus area teaches your child how to accurately respond to questions using complete sentences. Your 8-year-old will also be learning how to retell a story or report on an experience or topic.


The phonics focus area will help your child learn word analysis skills that make decoding words easier. It will be important for your child to learn the meanings of commonly used prefixes and suffixes. Your child should also know how to break a multi-syllable word into manageable chunks in order to determine the meaning.


In class, your 8-year-old will be using literature to learn about story elements, such as point of view, theme, setting and plot. Your third grader should also be capable of identifying and describing a reading selection's main characters. You will also want to ensure that your child understands the significance of illustrations and how they contribute to the selection.

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