We are loving our reading book, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." We started seven or eight months ago- right before Mia turned three. She knew her capital letters, and some of the lowercase, but had no idea what sounds any of them made. The book uses the SRA DISTAR method (basically phonetics,) and gives you absolutely everything you need to teach your kid. There's a script for parents to read for each little step, and tips on how to encourage and correct as you go.
We've had a lot of ups and downs, as we have learned to be patient with each other. For a while, we butted heads because she didn't want to be corrected the wrong way, and I was using the word "no," which killed the buzz every time. We fought our way to lesson 78 and came to a standstill. No treat was good enough to get her excited to read. So we went back to 47 and started over. Her confidence skyrocketed, and I was free to concentrate more on my teaching than her reading. Things that we really struggled with the first time through took a fraction of the time. Finally I got into the habit of just "hmm"ing when I needed to stop her, which morphed into "try again," a phrase she responds to really well. Lesson 78 found a much happier, more willing, and more capable Mia the second time around. And a much less frustrated me. This was lesson 82.
I think accomplishing this together has really been good for us. It's definitely reinforced my desire to "home"school. We are learning so much more than how to read!
The book is out of print, but copies are everywhere online- we got ours used for seven bucks!
Did I just say "bucks"?! How unladylike. ;D