Children's Reading Resource | Pre-K - 3rd Grade | Home Reading Helper | Read Charlotte
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Reading with My Third Grader at Home

Read, Read, and Read Everyday!

Read, Read, and Read Everyday!

3rd graders are establishing their “reading lives,” meaning, they have preferences for what they like to read and are experiencing the joy and independence of reading on their own.
Continue to read aloud to your children in your most dramatic voice. This will expose them to words and books above their reading level. Let your child be captivated by a great story. They will relax, feel connected to you and cherish this time together.

Get them Hooked on a Series

Get them Hooked on a Series

3rd grade is the time children find book series that hook them and keep them wanting to read. They’ll experience the magic of being fully immersed in a captivating storyline. The Magic Tree House, The Dragon Slayers Academy, The Zack Files, The Horse Diaries, The Big Nate series, Captain Underpants, Ivy Bean books, Judy Moody, The Secrets of Droon, The Wayside School Series, and the Babymouse comics are a great place to start! Many children’s book series have been made into movies, an exciting incentive for them to watch and critique after they have finished the book.

Show Them That YOU Are a Reader

Show Them That YOU Are a Reader

3rd graders are excellent observer’s and they are watching how you read. Share your reading habits; do you enjoy reading magazines when you only have a few minutes? When do you escape into a good book? Do you collect cookbooks? Do you like browsing in the new books sections at the library? Do religious books help calm your mind when you’re worried? Tell them what gets YOU enthusiastic to read.

Look It Up!

Look It Up!

3rd Graders are learning to be independent readers. This means they must learn to speak up when they read a word they don’t understand. Have them look up the meaning of a word using a dictionary or at Dictionary.com. This will instantly improve their comprehension and add a word to their vocabulary.

Diffuse Frustration At All Costs

Diffuse Frustration At All Costs

3rd grade reading and homework becomes demanding. They are expected to be fluent readers, so your child may experience frustration and anxiety about the level of work they must complete. These emotions can lead children to shut down or avoid work that challenges them.
If memorizing vocabulary words has been frustrating, scale back and just focus on two to three words and let them create a picture for the word to help them remember it. It’s important to help them handle these big emotions and encourage them every step of the way. Teach your child to treat making an error like a puzzle to be solved, rather than feeling like they are a failure. Remind your child that you are on their side.

Get Free Homework Help

Get Free Homework Help

Tutor.com Live Homework Help from the CMLibrary
Get free homework help from a live, online, qualified tutor—up to 10 free tutoring sessions each week! All you need is a library card and an Internet connection. You can use Tutor.com from home, school and even the Library. Tutor.com is available for K-12 students to get help from English-speaking or Spanish-speaking tutors in a wide range of subjects including math, science, English, social studies and essay review. NOTE: One Access students should enter their Student ID number as their username and their 4-digit birth year as the password.
  • English-speaking tutoring: Daily from 4 p.m. to midnight.
  • Spanish-speaking tutoring: Sunday to Thursday, 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

Let THEM Choose, You Make the Time!

Let THEM Choose, You Make the Time!

As 3rd graders mature, they begin to define what subjects they enjoy. This includes the types of books they like to read. Getting your child motivated to read means they have to make the selection of what to read. Your role is to give them time to practice. Set aside time at home as “Reading Time,” such as the 20 minutes before dinner time. Turn off TVs and tablets and take away distractions so they can get lost in a book of their choice. Reading ability for older students is closely tied to the amount of time children read on their own.

Take Turns!

Take Turns!

Children need lots of practice with reading and they need someone to hear them read. Simply telling a child “go read” before they have the ability to read well by themselves does not help build their skills. Your guidance and corrective feedback is the exact help they need to improve. “Oops, I think you skipped a line....Could you read that one word back to me?....How do you read a sentence with an exclamation point?” You listening and taking turns reading with them makes the activity fun and gives them the chance to hear how YOU read as well.

Make Homework Time Happy

Make Homework Time Happy

If your child dreads homework and is struggling to complete it, rethink your approach to completing homework.
  • Show your child ways to get comfortable, like standing at a counter to write, laying down on the floor or sitting on a large yoga ball.
  • Let them eat their favorite snack or chew gum as a reward for getting started.
  • Model how using a timer and setting it for 5 minutes at a time gives them a goal for staying focused. When the timer beeps, get up, run a lap around the house and start again.
  • All TVs, tablets and distractions should be off and away so your child’s space is clear and quiet.
  • If they have a friend or neighbor, invite them over so they can have a “study group” and complete their work together.
  • Kids work at different paces, one child may take a half hour to complete what takes another child 10 minutes.
If you feel like your child is overwhelmed and frustrated, it's time to notify the teacher.

Give Access to the Best Books: Go to the Library!

Give Access to the Best Books: Go to the Library!

The library will have everything you need to get your child practicing their new reading skills with the best books. If your child is a CMS student, they automatically have a Charlotte Mecklenburg Library card and can check out as many as 99 books at a time! If they do not already have a library card, they can tell the librarian their student ID number to check books out. You can find out your child’s school ID number by looking on their report card or calling the school.

Find a library location close to you

Use the “Goldilocks Strategy” for picking out books. Most children should spend time with “just-right” books.
Have your child ask themselves:
  • Is this book too hard?
  • Is this book too easy?
  • Is this book just-right?
To check the difficulty, have your child show you this:
The Five Finger Rule
  • Hold up your fist
  • As you read the book, put up a finger each time you find a word you don’t know
  • If you get to five fingers before you are with done with the book, it’s too hard.
If you’re not checking out books, know that simply visiting the library is an excellent practice. Spending a few minutes letting your child find books that interest them and allowing them to read greatly enhances their reading achievement compared to other activities, like video game playing or watching TV.

Can’t make it to the library? Read a book on ANY computer.

Can’t make it to the library? Read a book on ANY computer.

NC Kids Digital Library (Free, requires library card number) The NC Kids Digital Library, a free resource for library card holders, offers e-books, audiobooks, streaming videos and Read-Alongs. This collection is designed for kids Pre-K through 4th grade.

Libby, by Overdrive (Free app for iPhones and iPads, Google Play, or Windows Mobile) This app can be used on your phone or tablet to access the NC Kids Digital Library for Read Along books for free.

Boys Rule, Boys Read Iron Guy Carl provides boys between the ages of 9 - 14 with great book recommendations with the hopes of inspiring them to love reading.

Build Up Their Reading Sessions

Build Up Their Reading Sessions

Once children master “decoding” (sounding out) words and get into the habit of reading, it should become effortless. 3rd graders often make the mistake of choosing books too far above their reading level which causes frustration and ends in them quitting. Make sure they have picked a book that (1) they like, (2) they can comfortably read, and (3) they can understand on their own. Help them set a timer to sustain longer reading times on their own. Start with a 10-minute reading goal and build up to 20 minutes.
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