When we started homeschooling our oldest was already reading. We felt like some reinforcement would be good, but we did not need an involved phonics program. Out of total ignorance I picked Saxon Phonics. Oops. Saxon is extremely involved. If I had followed the program as outlined we would have spent 45 minutes on phonics every day. I significantly altered the program and we spent an average of 15 minutes a day on phonics.
Saxon has two levels of phonics. We used level 1 during first grade, and level 2 during second grade. I didn't love it, and neither did M, but for 15 minutes a day we could both tolerate it. I will say that Saxon Phonics balances learning to read with learning to spell. I might review some of the flash cards next year if M has trouble with specific spelling concepts.
Our second daughter started kindergarten last school year. I could not imagine teaching a child to read using Saxon. We chose the Veritas Press Phonics program and were pleased with it. Again, I did not follow the program exactly, but we did actually use the worksheets. I also enjoyed the primers that came with the program. Next year we will use the Veritas Press 1st grade student workbook.
I had always bought into the idea that years of training were necessary to be able to teach a child to read. I was so glad to discover my error. Time is the main ingredient. I love having two new readers in the house and I am looking forward to adding two more.