Now that your child is the head honcho in elementary school, he'll be acting like a school pro. But don't let that fool you, he still has a lot to learn. Fifth grade language arts is full of book reports, spelling tests, and reading lists. It's also full of fun. Knowing what your child is going to learn will make you better prepared to answer his questions and gauge his progress.

Although curriculum varies for each state, students working at the standard level should be able to:

  •  Read books in multiple genres
  •  Change interpretation based on new information or past experiences
  • Use her own strategies for understanding a difficult text, such as rereading, asking questions and adjusting rate of reading
  • Recognize differences in genres and copy the style of writing
  • Identify what an unfamiliar word means by using different strategies, such as context clues, word structure or derivations
  • Come to a conclusion by interpreting the theme or the author's point
  • Revise and edit writing by using feedback from others
  • Write with coherent form and structure
  • Organize information to show understanding, such as charting, summarizing, comparing and contrasting
  • Correctly spell words that have been previously studied or frequently used
  • Spell a large amount of words quickly and accurately when writing
  • Write legibly in print and cursive writing

The best way to prepare your child for fifth grade language arts is to encourage critical reading. Although he can't read Hemingway yet, grab a book you both like and talk about plot points and what might happen as the story progresses. Not only is it fun, but it will give you child's language arts skills a jump-start.