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Rev up reading for second graders

Easy activities to help your second grader master essential reading skills.

By Catherine Ann Velasco

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Write on!

Skill: Decoding

Practicing writing is a good way for kids to build reading skills, as it helps them sound out words and shows them how letters form words. In fact, new brain research has shown that writing may be a more natural first learning step than reading. Ask your child to write a grocery list as you both figure out what you need at the store. (Add a couple of challenge words like "yogurt", "spinach," or "peppermint tea" to see if she can sound them out.) At the store, have your child read out loud and check off your purchases as you toss items into your shopping cart.

Catherine Ann Velasco has covered education and children and family issues for more than 22 years. She's won numerous awards, and served as a fellow of the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families and the Education Writers Association’s Statistics Boot Camp. Velasco lives near Chicago and can be reached at