Second Grade Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
While your child is in second grade, you’ll see her achieve several new developmental milestones. Besides making academic progress, she’ll continue to grow socially, emotionally, and physically. That growth will be apparent both in the classroom and outside of school. You’ll be able to observe and nurture much of her development at home and in other settings.
But how can you know what’s normal development and what you should be concerned about? Below is a guide to typical development for 7- and 8-year old children. Refer to this information to keep track of your child’s progress, making notes of both her strengths and challenges.
In second grade, your child may be quite eager to learn. Here are some of the skills you can expect to see. Your child:
- Has a longer attention span.
- Is serious and reflective in her thinking.
- Can use logic to solve more complex problems.
- Lives more in reality and less in a fantasy world.
- Enjoys being challenged, working hard, and completing a task well.
- Listens for longer periods of time, absorbing new information.
- Expands her vocabulary by listening to others.
- Learns by listening and taking part in class discussions. Learn how to encourage her listening skill
- Still uses decoding skills to sound out new words.
- Is becoming a more fluent, efficient reader.
- Has reading skills are well above or below that of her peers. "Normal" reading ability varies widely in this group! Learn how you can support her reading.
- Still enjoys (and learns from) someone else reading aloud.
- Becomes more comfortable with writing. Try these tips to nurture her writing.
- By writing about what she reads, she connects concepts to her own experience.
- Understands that writing involves many steps.
- Can tell and understand jokes, puns, and sarcasm.
As your second grader grows, she may:
- Work and play hard, until she’s exhausted.
- Have minor accidents (bumps, bruises, and falls).
- Develop good hand-eye coordination, making her more interested in drawing and printing.
Social and Emotional Development
By ages 7 and 8, your child is ready for more responsibility and independence. You may also find that she:
- Enjoys unstructured group play.
- Is more sensitive to how kids and adults treat her.
- Is concerned with how other people react.
- May try to solve problems by being aggressive.
- Prefers to play with peers of the same sex (girls with girls, boys with boys).
Partner With the Professionals to Track Your Child’s Progress
You know your child better than anyone does, so you can offer key insights and information when meeting with her teachers, pediatrician, and any other professionals involved her education and care. Are you worried that a problem may be serious? Don’t wait until your next parent-teacher conference or routine doctor appointment to voice your concern. Try to keep the communication flowing while your child is growing!
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