Second Grade Intellectual Development

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As second graders show a sharp growth of body, they are also experiencing an amazing growth of mind. They're getting smarter, which changes their lives at school and at home. For parents, this can be an exciting change, but it also brings new challenges. Read this slideshow to learn what's going on in your child's head and what you should do as a parent.

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They have improved logic and complex thinking patterns.

Second graders are simply smarter than first graders. Most can solve more complex problems, both academically and in their everyday life, and make logical decisions more easily.

What you should do: Give your child opportunities to make decisions. Ask her to solve riddles and play problem solving games. Have her explain her thought process. Kids this age enjoy a good challenge.

They have a growing attention span.

Children at all ages welcome new knowledge, but second graders are better at absorbing it than they were in first grade. As they listen to others talk, they learn new words. They understand jokes, puns and sarcasm.

What you should do: Ask open-ended, thought-provoking questions. Tell stories about what’s happening in your family. Try a subtle joke from time to time.

They start understanding other people’s point of view.

Second grade marks a rise in logical reasoning abilities, which helps children listen with a more open ear. They still may be egocentric and selfish, but they now understand the existence of other people’s opinions.

What you should do: Use this time in your child’s life to start having in-depth conversations, which will improve her speaking and listening skills.

They are learning the concept of spending and saving money.

As kids learn to use complex thinking patterns, their understanding of money becomes more well-rounded. They begin to understand that money shouldn’t be spent immediately and that saving money is part of taking care of themselves.

What you should do: Encourage your child’s new sense of responsibility. Explain how you handle money. Use everyday moments such as shopping for groceries to teach lessons about money.

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They develop new hobbies and skills.

By second grade, children have been exposed to enough activities to choose something they like and do it by themselves. They can take the initiative and see a task through. Unlike the typical first grader, a second grader may care deeply about the final product of her efforts.

What you should do: Take an interest in your child’s new hobbies. If your child writes a story, read it to a family member. If she draws a picture, display it in your home.

They have a sense of justice.

Although it’s common for kids to complain that something’s unfair or someone’s cheating, kids this age are developing a legitimate understanding of fair and unfair. This is an important distinction, but it doesn’t put a stop to the complaining.

What you should do: When your kid complains, ask questions. Give her a chance to articulate her opinion. Who knows? She might actually be right!

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