By the time your child starts third grade, they have already encountered a lot of challenges in school. Their work is getting much more complex, and this is no different for their language arts skills. Even if your child had a good start with their reading and writing, they may start to suddenly struggle when they get to third grade.
Signs They are Struggling
Your child now has to not only read well on a mechanical level, they need to understand, synthesize, and analyze what they read. This means they need to have better decoding skills and good working vocabulary. Your child also needs to be able to stay focused on longer texts, make connections and carry over ideas while they read, and form judgments about what they read. All this can be overwhelming even for a good student, so it’s not surprising that your child might be having some trouble.
They also may not understand how to analyze texts. Even if your child knows how to pull information from their books and write a report, introducing analysis is a big step. They may need more help and instruction in this area so they can properly do their assignments and write their prompts.
How You Can Help
A good way to start helping your child is to talk to them about school and what they’re struggling with. They may tell you the source of their problems and there could be some simple adjustments you and their teacher can make to help. For example, your child may not like the books they have to read in school and would prefer to read something else. They could also be experiencing social challenges that are distracting them from learning, like bullying or being excluded from groups.
The next step is to enroll them in Reading Genie. The teachers at Reading Genie can help your child no matter what challenges they’re having. They give you and your child kind, helpful feedback to not only make them better readers and writers, but more confident ones. They also get peer feedback in classes, so they can get positive experiences with other kids in the program.
This is also a good time to catch learning differences. If you suspect your child may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD or dyslexia, you should talk to your doctor. Getting a professional assessment can steer you in the right direction.
Finally, it’s a good idea to continue (or restart) reading with your child. If you stopped reading with them because they were previously doing well, going back to reading together can be a big help. You can even read higher level texts to your child so they are exposed to more complex ideas and vocabularies. This way they get exposure to these more advanced ideas in a safe space. Having them read aloud to you is also helpful, as long as you take the time to discuss what they’re reading.
Third grade marks a big leap in your child’s academic life, but with your help, they can succeed. Whether they’re having trouble in one area or several, this is a good time to catch any problems and come up with solutions together.1