Proof that this really is a blog for my mom... Only my mom will care about this! But I know she'll be excited, so I'll post it.
John Paul was reading one of those "first reader" books (holy cow those things are boring!) and it had a little guide saying that this book was for kindergarten & first grade students. So I thought, "I wonder what his actual reading level would be if we tested it?"
A quick google search led to this site, so I used the two reading tests in boxes that they have. Copied and pasted, printed out, and asked John Paul if he wanted to take a reading test. He was SO EXCITED!!!
The first test on the page was no problem for him until the 6th box - "Quality" "Urge" and "Grieve" tripped him up (but not a single mistake until then, and now that he's read those words for the first time he knows them forever!). So according to the test that's a 4th grade reading level... For an almost-3-year-old.
The second test went about the same - not a single error or hesitation until "Realized" and "Interrupted" (although in between boxes he had to pause to listen to the Gettysburg Address and run around in circles riding on a toy...).
And he was SO. Excited. The WHOLE time.
So I think maybe we don't have to worry about improving reading level for a while, right?
*Edit: He got a sticker for every box he read correctly. So 10 minutes later he asks to do "Test number 3???" but I didn't have any more, so I gave him the 2 he had already done. He took all the stickers off and is now testing himself, reading all the words from a box and saying, "YOU GET A STICKER!!!"
Seriously, this kid never needs a teacher...