Why Third Grade Is Crucial in Enhancing Reading Skills

Why Third Grade Is Crucial in Enhancing Reading Skills




Reading affects nearly everything your child will do in life. For this reason, schools now place a strong emphasis on literacy in the early years of their education. At most institutions, third grade is the last year students will spend time learning how to read in their reading classes. This guide will explore why this is the case and what happens if children aren't proficient readers beyond this point.

Why Are Students Expected to Be Proficient Readers in Third Grade?

The transition from third to fourth grade marks a change in future instruction. It is well known that up until 3rd grade, a student’s job is to learn to read – and that starting in 4th grade and beyond, their job is to read to learn.  This distinction is important, as there is less focus on instruction on reading and students shift towards needing to independently read denser, lengthier text and will be evaluated on their comprehension of that material. In order to successfully be able to “read to learn”, a student must be above grade level in 4th grade.

By fourth grade, school assignments will require that they already know how to decipher and have an understanding of domain-specific words. Therefore, third-grade reading classes are crucial in helping children understand what they're reading and how to proceed with assignments. By the end of third grade, students should be one-two years ahead of grade level for reading in order to handle the higher level content in fourth grade and beyond.

What Can Happen If Students Can’t Sufficiently Read by Third Grade?

Many times, when children don’t have a firm grasp on reading, they tend to fall behind. This gap often continues to grow as they progress to each new grade.  Kids that struggle with reading often go on to struggle in their math, social studies, science, and other classes. The frustration and difficulty many of these students experience causes many other issues through the years, including depression.  

How Can You Help Young Students Learn to Read?

In the last decade, schools across the country have begun focusing on three components when it comes to early literacy. Children with reading difficulties must be identified early. Intervention must be offered for those not reading at their expected level. Any students who do not have sufficient reading skills by the end of third grade must be retained.

As a parent, it’s important to take early measures when it’s clear your child is struggling to read. Talk to their teacher about how you can help them at home and about any after-school reading classes they can join. Sometimes having extra one-on-one time will help struggling readers put together the pieces they didn’t understand. Also, talk to school administrators about having your child evaluated to determine if they may have a learning disability, such as dyslexia.

Every child learns differently. At Stretch & Catch® Reading Center their instructors understand this and offer private online reading and writing classes customized to their specific needs. On average, their students graduate to a new reading level after five sessions. For a free consultation, call (844) 732-3777. Visit their website to learn more about their services.

Blog Post written by:
Amanda Lowe
M.ED, Founder of Stretch and Catch