Child Development Benchmarks for 2nd-3rd Grade

Remember those sneakers with the pump on the tongue? The more you squeezed it, the larger it became. That’s exactly what your second and third graders’ brain is like. Every day more information is getting squeezed in there and their ability to retain those new and exciting facts is remarkable. Their minds truly are like a sponge and you’re about to be wowed by what they can comprehend.

Kids in the middle elementary grades should have a pretty expansive vocabulary. Books are a key component of their education and reading should be a regular activity you promote at home. They will likely learn as many as 3,000 new words per year and can grasp the difference between literal and figurative language. They can write full stories and do proficient book reports.

They also are realizing they can’t do everything flawlessly. Math may come easily. Spelling may not. There is no shame in needing to work harder in one subject over another. If they can repeat numbers, count backward, and attempt complicated math problems, this is a sign of advanced critical thinking. Encourage them to use descriptive words when writing and speaking. It will expand their developing vocabulary.

Kids can only focus for so long at this age. It’s recommended to keep their attention on one activity at a time for 30-minute increments. Focus will slip after that.

Kids this age usually want to do the right thing but also learn that the occasional fib can get them out of trouble. This path of least resistance is tempting. Focus on skill building rather than consequences. Teach your son or daughter about the importance of being honest.

Enjoy this stage. That same curiosity and eagerness to master schoolwork is the same attitude you’ll see directed toward your child’s passions. Kids just want to have fun! But you need to stay on top of their mental development. Check out this video from our Child Development Series and get involved today. Learn about what kids this age should know and then go inspire discovery and experimentation. Participate in what they love. Be their friend, teacher, and coach, and most importantly, their lighthouse in the storm.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Which subject in school is the most challenging for you?”