Today, Matthias finished his phonics book. YAHOO! He has been reading fluently for some time now but I'm a stickler for finishing the phonics book. (It is the one and only thing I insist we do start to finish.)
Thus far, Matthias is the third child that I've taught how to read. Yeah! :) We use "Phonics Pathways" by Dolores G. Hiskes. We do not follow her suggestions about spelling- most children can read long before they can spell, so there is no need to hold them back. I like PP because it is simple- lists of words grouped together phonetically. The book does not contain any scripted lessons (there are some explanations), which is what I've come to prefer. (Though it did stress me out when I first sat down to teach Patricia. I remember thinking, "Can I do this? I never learned phonics!") Oh, and I'm not a huge fan of pics- we cover them up when reading so it doesn't distract the child.
Someone recently asked me about what phonics programs I've looked at or used. The first book I bought was "Teach Your Child How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." But I didn't like the font or scripted lessons, so we never used it. I've also looked at "The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading"- if you are wanting a scripted lesson, OPG would be my suggestion. (Dawn is currently using this.) "Alpha-Phonics" is a lot like PP- no script & lists of words. (Jeanelle used this one.)