I thought third grade would be just like second grade, but a year later. What I've noticed is that third grade is a whole step up for the girls in terms of maturity and independence.
They need so much less help than they did in second grade. They do their homework as a team. All we do is check. They make their own lunches. All we do is check to make sure they put in all the pieces. They get themselves dressed, brush their teeth and hair, and tie their own shoes. Last year they did these things but we spent a lot of time reminding them piece by piece.
It's wonderfully liberating. They are at an age where they can do things by themselves and still like to show off their independence. It's not a battle. It's still shiny new. And, it's good for all of us.