Third Grade Reading Help: How to Help Your Child Read Better

Do you have a child in the third grade? Would you like to be able to help your child with his or her reading skills at home? If so, read on for tips and information on how you can.

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Helping Your Third Grader Become a Better Reader

What's Expected in the Third Grade

Reading is a crucial skill that impacts student achievement in all subject areas. In many cases, third grade is a time when your child's working on basic fluency and comprehension skills.

If your child's struggling with third grade reading, it's important to give him or her immediate attention. Ask your child's teacher about the challenges your child might be facing. He or she probably has detailed records on your child's performance and can suggest at-home activities that will help with reading.

What You Can Do

While worksheets and quizzes can be effective, reading for pleasure can often give your child more in the way of reading practice. Don't overwhelm your child with too much academic practice at home; a half hour a night should be sufficient because it's often best to create an atmosphere of fun. Remember, don't use reading as a punishment.

Reading Comprehension

Reading together can be one of the most effective activities for improving reading comprehension. Choose a book or have your child choose a book that she or he can read, but is still challenging. Discuss the book to increase comprehension skills. Ask your child his or her opinions about events in the text. Have your third grader predict what might happen next in the narrative.

Start a dictionary of difficult vocabulary words. When you come across an unknown word in any text, show your child how to use context clues to define it. Context clues are the words that surround a new vocabulary word that explain what the new word means.


Reading fluency is how well your child's able to read through a text without pausing or making errors. One of the ways to improve your third grader's fluency skills is by teaching him or her sight words, like 'am,' 'are' and 'the.' Sight words make reading much easier and faster because the reader knows them without thinking. Create weekly sight word flash cards for your child for home practice.

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