Phonics is the best method to learn the alphabetic principal but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to learn. I think this is an important concept parents need to remember especially in the 21st century where there are all sorts of alternatives for students to consume content besides reading, podcasting and video on the internet are just two examples.
Audio books, if you haven’t already I highly encourage you to download the Overdrive app immediately, where you can download audio books from your library for free! Almost all the classics are there plus 1000s of other great books. Your child can just listen or even read along with a story, change the speed settings and just learn by listening.
What’s our end goal? Fluent Reading and Writing. I think it’s so important to remember that students are going to have more access to video and audio and what’s most important is they understand and express themselves. And there is a systematic way to teach students to read at a basic level that students can learn.
What’s most important is that your child have a strong vocabulary which will build in 2 ways, by following their interests and by reading together aloud! And that they have the critical thinking skills necessary to understand what is read to them and be able to apply it to their lives.