I taught my daughter the first 60 lessons of "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" the Summer she turned 5, but she didn't quite grasp it and we re did the whole book the following Summer before she started 1st grade, now in 2nd grade she is a competent reader, pretty good considering English is her 2nd language.
I started my son on the same book when he was 3yrs and 8mths because he memorised the Phonics flashcards so easily. He can read simple books like Dr Seuss now at age 4 and 2mths with ease!
Flashcards are avaliable everywhere, they just have a letter with a picture next to it, for example A with a picture of an apple. Use this to build recognition of the letters and sounds they represent. I prefer to teach the phonetics rather than the name of the letter as in aahh, bbbb, kkk vs abc. From aahh for apple to what other words they can think of that start with ahhh. I bring in the abc once they have the phonetic down. I refer to it as the name of the letter is A, the sound of the letter is ahhh.
I bought a set at Costco. If you have time and inclination you could even make some with your child. This is fuin and can take a couple of months.
The book "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" is $15.00 new and under $10 2nd hand and avaliable here: <AMAZON id="0671631985" url="http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671631985">http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Your-Child-Read-Lessons/dp/0671631985</AMAZON>
Once they get about half way I start to add in simple Dr Seuss kind of books with rhyming and pictures that make it easy for them to memorise the passage and we go from there.
Most important is to keep at it, don't go more than a couple of days without a lesson, keep it fun, stray from the instructions if it keeps their interest eg. take turns making a simple sentence for each word they learn. Give points and a target for a total for each word they read correctly etc. Slow them down and get them in the space to learn before you start. Sometimes that might mean sitting quietly to read another book first. Maybe just do half a lesson some days etc.
As they say "different strokes for different folks" my daughter started a year later than my son and took doing the book twice to get it so she was 6 when she got it and we had a few tense moments due to both of our frustrations. My son is breezing through it 3-4yrs of age. SJust keep it fun, light and enjoyable. Follow the child!
Personally I take a great deal of satisfaction in having taught my kids to read AND having had such a special expereince with them.
I did not spend a hard time teaching my son to read. This is because I allow him to scatter the child encyclopedia on the floor for him to view the pictures when he was a toddler. We got surprise when he started copying some of the writings on his Mega Sketcher until his mother slowly taught him how to read.
He just received an award from his school - Best in Reading at his first taste of school. For me, the best way to make your child good in reading is to make them interested in it.
I even made a post about it and hope you do not mind if I share it here.
Thanks for your reply I actually had done a search on the net and already found a 2nd hand bookstore and went out and bought it Though your advice on the abc is fantastic because my lil girl is having problems lerning to talk and I really do not know what she knows. I like some of the things in the book because it also gave me ideas on things to do with her speach therapy. who knows maybe we can get two birds with one stone