This post from 123homeschool4me.com is a great "cheat sheet" for people who are trying to get their heads around reading levels. It can be tough because there are several different systems out there to try to understand. Plus, just because a certain system says that a third grader should be reading a certain level doesn't mean it will necessarily be right for your child. Read their post here. Hope this helps!
What a thorough guide to help you understand the basic concepts of teaching a child to read! You can read the whole thing or just skip to the part of reading or pre-reading that you're most curious about right now. Love that Malia Hollowell at playdoughtoplato.com mentions starting with a child's favorite word - their name! Click to read the whole post here.
I know many of you struggle with what to say when your child gets to a word they don't know and looks up at you for the answer. One powerful thing you can do is nothing at all! I know that sounds revolutionary, but the goal is for them to be able to think of strategies on their own, so a short pause or a prompt of, "what could you do to figure out that word?" might go a long way. This Reading Mama has a fantastic post on more details about this very important topic. Find it here.