8 Reading Milestones for 8-Year-Olds (2nd Grade)

Reading is an essential skill that every child needs to know. Children become successful later in life when these skills are practiced and mastered. It’s understandable that parents get a little worried about whether their child is at level!

Reading levels are used to determine what skill level the child is at when reading. The child’s level of reading educates the parents and teachers of the child to know what they need to do to reach the desired goal. A reading level assesses the reading comprehension, pronunciation, and decoding when a child reads a short text. This is where teachers are able to know if the child needs more practice, or if they are at the right level. Here are 8 reading milestones to watch for in your child!

1. They Can Read Books Independently

Reading independently requires a great effort from a second-grade child. Reading alone for the first time can be a little scary, but they also get to start having fun!

Children at this age should be able to find the main ideas of a story, understand the characters and their role in their story, as well as where the setting is and the events that happen in the story. They should be able to read and identify over 200 sight words in a text. Luckily, there are chapter books children in the second grade will be able to read fluently while also having fun!

Here is a list of books that would be great for any second-grader, both for reading level and having a good time learning.

Amelia Bedelia

This book is a popular read that is entertaining to the young reader. Amelia Bedelia takes people’s advice in a literal way, leading to entertaining antics told in short and sweet chapters that are easy to read and understand. Children will be able to pick out everything Amelia Bedelia does that is wrong throughout the book, or they’ll be indignant on her behalf.

The Magic Treehouse Series

The Magic Treehouse chapter books have two characters named Jack and Annie who are siblings ages 7 (Annie) and 10 (Jack). These main characters discover a tree house located in the woods and travel back in time, learning about history and make-believe at the same time.

This book helps the reader to imagine scenarios and be creative in their thoughts when reading, as well as sparking further interest in history and reading through the character’s interactions with the story.

Junie B. Jones

Junie B. Jones is a character that is guaranteed to make people laugh. This well-known chapter book that most kids read during this time is beloved by people of all ages. It is entertaining and filled with fun stories and lessons learned that will help children relate Junie B. Jones’s experiences to themselves.

2. They Can Read Aloud Effectively

Children should be able to read out loud with the right tone and expression for the story or passage. Reading out loud gives the child the ability to use their imagination when reading, as well as allowing them to pronounce words in ways that people will understand.

If a child doesn’t know how to pronounce a word correctly, reading aloud gives mentors the opportunity to help them.

3. They Can Use Context and Images to Identify Unfamiliar Words and Concepts

Children at 8 years of age aren’t expected to know everything, but they should be able to use context clues to figure out the things they can’t understand.

An eight-year-old child should be able to take images on the page, events that happened earlier, and other small context clues to put together a better understanding of the story. Adults can help check for understanding by asking the child to retell the events on the page. Asking the child about character motivations and future what-ifs is another great way to see if they’re reaching this milestone as you help them learn.

4. They Can Understand Paragraphs and Apply Them to Writing

Children at this level should be able to understand what a paragraph says and write or explain the meaning. When reading comprehension is mastered, the child will be able to identify key ideas in a story, answer questions the book asks to get the reader thinking, make inferences based on what is happening at the start of a story, and identify words they don’t know.

5. They Can Use Punctuation Effectively

An eight-year-old child should know where in the text to add periods, commas, semicolons, and other breaks in the text. To identify this, you could have conversations about how the meaning of a sentence would change if the punctuation changed.

For example, if the student read “spot is a good boy” with a period, exclamation point, or question mark, it would change what the person might be asking. Can the student explain why?

6. They Can Correctly Spell Words From Their Books

Eight-year-old children should be able to correctly spell most words in an age-appropriate book. Taking vocabulary words from their reading is a great way to practice this.

Children at this milestone should be able to find words they don’t understand in a text and then learn how to spell words the correct way as they practice.

7. They Can Understand Humor in the Text

Eight-year-old children should be able to know when something was added to the text to make them laugh. The books listed above in the 1st milestone are perfect examples of stories that have humor for children, and many books made for children are meant to get a giggle. Adults can help teach this by laughing along!

8. They Can Revise and Illustrate

Children at this milestone will be able to correct mistakes in their writing when reading it over. They should also be able to come up with various stories to write from their own ideas.

While this milestone can be rough for the parents who have to hear dozens of stories about sentient donuts, ducks, or bodily functions, it is fascinating to see how the child thinks. Encouraging creativity can help with future reading and deeper study of interests. Try finding the child books related to how they want to write, experiment with poetry, and encourage them to try more challenging words.