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Second grade: Helping your child with reading

One simple secret for helping your second grader with reading.

By GreatSchools Staff

At this age, children may get frustrated with reading because they don’t have the technical skills they need to read fast enough to enjoy the story — or even understand it.

To help your child jump to the next level in reading, you can work with her on what’s called “automaticity.” Automaticity means being able to read words by sight. (Some of the first automaticity words are common words like the, and, to.) You can help your child with her automaticity so she’s not slowly sounding out words as much as she did as an early reader. Once she learns to read more words by sight, reading will become easier and more fun.

Do this: Tell your child she’s going on a word hunt. Explain that the hunt will begin by her looking for (and catching) some of the tougher words that give her trouble. Have your child read a few paragraphs from a story she likes, but that's just beyond her reading ability. Write down between 10 and 20 high-frequency words she either has trouble with or has to slow down to read. High-frequency words might be strangely spelled words, like again, which, or knees. They can also be longer but everyday words like because, necessary, and sometimes.

To really help her learn to read these words by sight, write them on index cards (or just cut out small pieces of paper). Have your child spend a little time every day studying these words until she gets to know them and they no longer give her trouble.

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