Second graders are still in an early stage of reading. While some children in second grade may read proficiently, others may still be sounding out words. Sight word lists are still common in second grade, and the new additions to the list of words that children need to identify on sight may add to the nightly homework list.
When parents help their children with memorizing sight words and nightly reading work, they may realize that their child is struggling or perhaps even avoids reading. Here’s how to find reading help for second graders who are having difficulty sounding out words, identifying sight words, or understanding story plots.
How Do I Get My Second Grader to Read?
One issue parents may face is reading avoidance. A child may simply dislike reading, but there could be other problems as well. How do you know if that avoidance is due to reading struggles? Reading Rockets reports that parents should look for tell-tale signs of problems; kids may complain of stomach aches or feeling unhappy about school…they also could really dislike reading.
These complaints also could stem from a real illness or maybe other problems at school (like bullying). Parents should talk to children to try to find out any issues…and reaching out to the child’s teacher also can help uncover any issues (including a reading struggle).
For children who read fluently but simply dislike reading, what can parents do to help encourage excitement? The more a child reads, the better they will become at reading. Unfortunately, many of us don’t read enough. According to a 2016 Pew Research report, 26 percent of adults did not read a single book during the year.
Here’s how to make reading a bit more appealing for book avoiders:
- Read a book together as a family
- Try not to make reading into homework
- Create a reading reward system
- Take reading field trips (go to a museum or park that was featured in your child’s book)
- Let your child choose the book
How Can I Help My Second-Grader with Reading Fluency?
When reading with your child, you may notice stumbling or that your child reads more slowly. Reading fluency may take time. The best way to practice fluency is by reading. Take turns reading a page aloud, and help your child if you notice that a word is a bit more difficult.
Encourage them to sound it out. Reading Partners also recommends ‘stopwatch reading’. which sets a one-minute limit for a child to read a passage (parents review errors, then the child reads again). Reading Partners offers several other suggestions to increase fluency, too!
Some words—sight words—should be instantly recognizable. Your child should work on identifying and memorizing the list of sight words for second grade. If your child hasn’t mastered earlier sight words—for first grade or kindergarten—you may need to work on the word identification at home. However, you also may wish to talk to your child’s teacher if older sight words are causing difficulty.
Sight words, like multiplication facts, are best learned by memorization. Here’s how to help your child identify these keywords on sight:
- Use sight word flashcards
- Play sight word games online
- When reading, have children point out sight words (a sight word scavenger hunt)
- Encourage children to write sight words
What Letter Should a Second Grader Be Reading At?
Many parents want to know benchmark reading levels for their children. So what is an appropriate reading level for a second-grader? Reading levels can be listed according to The Lexile® Framework for Reading (this is a number range) or a letter. The letter level, however, is commonly used; second graders are commonly at a reading level that corresponds to letters L, M, and N (based on the F&P Text Level Gradient™).
Some children may be above or below grade-level. If you notice that your child is reading below grade level according to their letter level, reach out to your child’s teacher. You may inquire about additional resources for reading help or discuss reading intervention in the school.
What Should My Child Know By the End of Second Grade?
At the end of second grade, how well should your child be able to read? Again, if you’re using the F&P letter levels for guidance, your child should be reading at a level N by the end of second grade. Or they may be at O (in preparation for third grade).
Every child is different, though. If your child is a letter behind, you can still help them get on track. Encourage nightly reading and help your child as they sound out words. Use the ‘wh’ questions to gauge comprehension of the books and stories. Ask questions related to who, what, where, when and how.
Use a Reading App to Help Struggling Readers
A reading app like Readability also can be used to help struggling readers. Readability helps children with both phonetic/phonemic understanding and reading comprehension. An integrated AI tutor recognizes your child’s voice and helps correct any mispronunciations during lessons.
The tutor also asks questions to help children to better comprehend what they’ve read. Books are leveled so that they are appropriate for each reader, but stories are always engaging to appeal to all young readers. Parents can review their child’s progress on the Parent Dashboard, which also tracks reading minutes.
To see if Readability is right for your child, try it free for seven days and explore all the capabilities that can help your early reader.