Phoebe is in the pre-reading stage of learning to read right now. (Simply Charlotte Mason has excellent articles on the different stages of reading that you can find here.) I've been using some ideas from Ruth Beechick's "A Home Start in Reading" along with CM suggestions from Delightful Reading to add activities as we learn sounds and word build. She just turned 6 and we consider this school year to be preschool. She's not overly interested in a lot of seat work (read "She will hardly sit still!"), so we keep lessons short.
We've spent this school year learning letter sounds with books and songs and wooden alphabet letters, puzzles, large wall cards...... anything I could find in our home that has the alphabet. She was very interested in her name and learned those 5 letters easily. We also drew the letters in the air and in a pan of sand (grits for us, actually) ala CM.
We then moved on to concentrating on a few consonants and vowels. Our list is a little longer than it should have been: M, P, Z, A, B, S, K, D L, I, J, N, T. ~Phoebe named things that began with the letter. ~I would point to 3 or 4 sounds and have her repeat them after me. ~Sometimes I would make a mistake on purpose to see she'd catch me. ~We used a children's dictionary for some sounds. She would look all through the pictures and say the words out loud. ~There are a few more ideas also in "Home Start in Reading". We didn't do more than one sound at a time.
It makes sense that you don't need to learn all the sounds or letter names at the beginning of this reading journey. You can teach a few and let your child begin to blend words, so she can feel the excitement of reading words on her own effort. Next time I'll share what we're working on for word-building during our last 12 weeks of school.