How Is My Third Grader Doing In School?

Excerpted from "How Is My Third Grader Doing in School?" by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

From: Reading Excercises

  • Collect interesting articles, poems, or quotes to read aloud at dinner. One night you might share an article about a current movie. Another night you might read a poem about the value of making mistakes. Encourage everyone in the family to be on the lookout for bits to read. And enjoy the lively discussions that are bound to follow!
  • If you've brought books home from the library, but your child still isn't reading them, read the information on the front flap of the jacket cover, or on the back of a paperback, aloud. Often this will launch her into the book. Or read the first few chapters and let your third grader take over from there. Check back with her every now and then to see how she's coming along.
  • Scatter a variety of reading material around your house. Let your child read books, magazines, comics, travel brochures, poetry -- whatever catches her fancy. Don't hide books on the top shelves or newspapers in baskets. Leave them around and open where they can catch an unsuspecting eye. You may want to give your child a subscription to a magazine. If you're not sure which one to subscribe to, check them out at a newsstand or your library. Here is a list of some exceptional children's magazines for the third grader.
    • American Girl 800-234-1278
    • Boy's Life 972-580-2352
    • Cricket 800-827-0227
    • Highlights 888-876-3809
    • National Geographic World 800-437-5521
    • Sports Illustrated for Kids 800-992-0196
  • Talk about stories or facts learned in nonfiction books. Mother/daughter book clubs are cropping up all across the country, and they provide wonderful opportunities for girls to read books that involve strong female protagonists. Experts suggest that one reason why boys stop reading at a young age is that they don't talk about books among themselves the way girls do. So perhaps it's time to focus on our sons and their need to talk about good books, too.
  • Help your child to identify different literary genres. Your third grader should become familiar with the terms "fiction," "nonfiction," "reference," and "folktales." Show your child how libraries are arranged according to these labels. You might even suggest that your child arrange his own books using these categories.
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