Third grade builds on knowledge and skills gained in third grade while exposing children to increasingly more complex topics. Here’s a simple guide for what to cover and develop in third grade:
Third graders work on building their knowledge of grammar and usage concepts, including prefixes and suffixes, plurals, similes, and homophones. Children at this age typically benefit from gaining practice with using dictionaries and other reference books, working with abbreviations, and learning how to use punctuation for dialogue. Third grade also focuses on spelling and reading fluently at grade level and identifying important parts of stories, such as settings and main characters.
Third grade writing typically focuses on the improvement of writing skills, including stories that place events in a logical order and informative written passages that demonstrate the ability to reason and use grammar rules in writing. Children at this age can also benefit from using feedback on their writing to revise and improve written pieces.
In third grade, understanding of math concepts should continue to grow. Your child should gain practice solving word problems, including those involving time, work with simple perimeter and area problems, tell time to the nearest minute, and measure volume and length. At this age and stage, your child should be able to understand that fractions are parts of a whole and compare them based on size, identify two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes, and compare shapes based on their characteristics. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division continue to be a focus, with numbers growing larger as the year progresses. Your child should also understand place value up to 1,000.
Third graders often focus on learning about cultures and traditions around the world and comparing them with cultures and traditions of the United States. Your third grader should also learn about the history and branches of the United States government, and key people and events from around the world. Your child may also benefit from studying and exploring the geography of the earth, including forests, deserts, mountains, and oceans.
Third grade science builds on life science, physical science, and earth science topics covered in second grade. Third graders often study the eras of the earth and basic astronomy topics, plant and animal life cycles, sources of heat, states of matter, and ecosystems. Your child should also learn about some scientists who have made important contributions to scientific knowledge.
Third grade health often covers topics related to healthy growth and development, personal hygiene, medicine, and safe use of household chemicals. Your third grader should also learn about common injuries and how to prevent them, the dangers of smoking cigarettes, and peer pressure.
Third graders continue creating and exploring art using different mediums and tools. They may also view art, learn about famous artists, and observe art in its various forms.
For more details on what to teach when you homeschool third grade and the other 13 grades, check out our Year-by-Year Teaching Guide for Homeschoolers:
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Also published on Medium.