My son is 7. We follow a child-led philosophy for homeschooling. However, I have been ringing my hands about his reading. (He doesn't really do cvc.) He's the kind of kid that if you were to mildly encourage something he would stop doing it for a couple years. Still, I've been trying to find something to encourage his own discovery of reading.
Well, I found it. It's a computer game that he loves and I think is brilliant. He asks to do it several times a day. In about a week he's been on the program 12 hours and 42 minutes. (I just looked at his online record.) My four year old is also using it, though she started doing it independently later than he did (mainly she watches her brother play.) So far she has been read two of the books and to my delight had 100% in comprehension.
Essentially you are on Ooka Island and the robot takes you from game to game. You have to play the games it takes you to (though after "reading" a new book you get 8 minutes of free play. You read a book after every 20 minutes of play.) The program responds to how well your child does. So my son is going full force ahead. Our 4 year old had to repeat several parts until she mastered them, though they move from game to game so much I don't think she realized she was repeating. There's a lot of "speed" in the games--mountain climbing then skateboarding down the mountain, riding on jet skis, going down a mine shaft in a cart that jumps tracks, etc. Then there's the flying pigs that fall into the lake if you select the correct sound, and the cakes that fall in the recycling bin if you choose the wrong sound.
One of my favorite games is a load of stuff has fallen into a river. You have to hear the two sounds to figure out which item they are indicating then click on the item before it goes over the waterfall. So, you will hear, "J EEP" and have to click on the jeep. I think one of the things about phonics that can be overwhelming is to try and make sense of a string of sounds. Even my 4 year old is quickly figuring out this game. (I am in no way interested in my 4 year old learning to read. However, she likes the game so I stay out of her way with it.)
Anyway, it's on special at the homeschooler buyers co-op. If you call the ooka island company directly you can get a two week free trial. You download the program then have internet connection for maintaining the stats and such. It's a HUGE program, 2 gig, so we had to get the free disk mailed to us (we live in the mountains and have satellite internet with only 15 g per month of data.)
There is a small demo on the co-op page but there is a much better one at the company website.
Here is a link to the co-op page (with a good discount. $40 for one child $52 for up to 4 kids.) https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/ooka-island/?source=98770 Disclaimer, if you use this link I get points for the co-op though I won't know who is buying using my link.
Here is a link to the website video tour: http://ookaisland.com/video-tour/
Like I said, our son has been totally against learning to read. With this game he is mastering concepts he balked at before. At the rate he's going he is on the fast track to reading and he doesn't even know it.