Long version: :-)
I have an almost 6yo daughter who has been home "schooled" since...well birth? We've sort of been using a jumble of different ideas, methods, etc. But the one thing I was always sure of was reading curriculum. I was home schooled and learned to read with the writing road to reading. I have always loved reading and I don't remember ever struggling with it. My dh went to catholic schools and was taught to read mostly by memorizing sight words and despite being a very smart guy, he never really gained a love for reading (beyond as a tool to learn something he wanted to know). So to us it always seemed obvious to go with the way I learned.
Except...dd1 is not at all the same kind of child that I was...she is extroverted in the extreme, very very artistic, creative, imaginative and even at 6 has the attention span of a gnat. I adore her and her amazing, vibrant personality. But I am at a loss as to how to teach her. And when I see her with other kids her age, she is so different and would no doubt be pegged as a problem student, despite the fact that she has no diagnosable issues...she's just a very quirky kid.
So I've spent two years (on a non-diligent basis ;-)) trying to teach her according to the WRR method and despite the fact that she knows almost all 70 phonograms with reasonable proficiency, she does not seem to be having that lightbulb moment where she realizes she knows how to read. She writes well, she knows her letters but the connection between all of that and actual independent reading is just not happening.
After looking into unschooling (which in it's pure form isn't a good fit for our family - I'd say we're sort of hybrid unschoolers who sometimes use actual schoolbooks)...someone basically told me maybe she's not just learning these things in a way that makes sense to her brain. (facepalm) Duh! I feel like such a crappy mommy for not even thinking about that until now!
We read a lot together and more than anything I want her to love reading as a means of discovery and adventure and learning what she wants to learn. I do NOT want her to learn to dread school time and reading and I'm afraid if I keep pushing our current method, she will. She's easily discouraged and i am too when I see that it seems like all the stress and time we've put in so far has been sort of counterproductive. :-/ and I feel bad that she has to be the homeschool guinea pig.
So - moms of artsy, extroverted, energetic first graders (and beyond!) how did you help your child learn to read?