Third Grade Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
While your child is in third grade, he’ll reach many new developmental milestones. Besides making academic progress, he’ll continue to grow socially, emotionally, and physically. While much of that maturity will be noticeable at school, you’ll also observe and nurture his 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 8- and 9-year old children. Refer to this information to keep track of your child’s progress, making notes of both his strengths and struggles.
In third grade, your child starts to master basic academic skills and feels more confident in his cognitive abilities. For example, as the school year progresses, he learns to mentally juggle and make sense of multiple variables in learning. Your child may also:
- Want to know the “why” and “how” behind facts.
- Be full of ideas.
- Overestimate his ability and expect too much of himself.
- Work quickly and with a short attention span. He’s industrious but impatient.
- Become a much more fluent reader.
- Learn different strategies for reading works of fiction and nonfiction.
- Be at a much higher or lower reading level than his classmates; this range is normal for third graders. Learn how to support your child’s reading skills.
- Know the correct spelling of many words.
- Understand (and use) the stages of the writing process. He’ll get better at editing and revising his writing. Try these tips to encourage your child’s writing.
As your third grader grows, he may:
- Continue to be busy and active.
- Suffer frequent bumps, bruises, trips, and falls. (He’ll become more coordinated as the school year progresses.)
- Have a hearty appetite and “eat like there’s no tomorrow.”
- Be open to trying new and different foods.
- Urinate often when anxious.
- Clown around (makes faces, etc.).
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