Baby can’t read and monkeys can’t read either! Phonics is the only way for your rational intelligent child to learn how to read. The “Whole Word Method” used by many public and private schools throughout the country is a way to quickly make children memorize words. In the short term this method is highly affective, but in the long run children do not understand the principles of phonics so reading a wider range of words is impossible.
I attended public school for grades kindergarten through fourth grade, and I learned the “Whole Word Method” of reading. My mother was always impressed by how quickly I learned to read, but she was upset when she learned that her eight-year-old did not know all the sounds for the alphabet. My mother started from scratch to re-teach me how to read, but the damage from the “Whole Word Method” was difficult to erase. I was challenged in spelling and in english for many years from this program. So I highly recommend teaching reading the correct way the first time.
Take phonics one day at a time, put alphabet cards up on the wall with pictures to help children learn and remember the letters’ sounds. Repetition is the best way to teach children the alphabet. Make it fun; use your own Alphabet cards with pictures that are relevant to your child. Generic cards work, but your child will learn more when the work interests them.
There are many good resources for teaching Phonics, find the reading program that best fits your child’s personality and learning style.