I'm far from being an expert on teaching kids to read, but having taught my older one Georgia, who is now 6, to read, and now starting with Jay who is 4, I noticed this article in The Guardian today, Union reading guidance to move away from phonics
Citing mounting evidence of a crisis in children's happiness and mental health, the National Union of Teachers will today debate calls to scrap the most restrictive elements of the national curriculum and reverse a government order that literacy be taught through phonics.
The book I used to teach Georgia is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Englemann Haddox and Bruner. This is definitely a phonics book, which breaks words into their constituent sounds. It worked at first, and we got to page 300, and then Georgia gave up when the orthography was removed. Orthography is additional signing and closing of letters together to give kids an idea of how words like "sh" sound or variation in short and long sounding vowels.
It was also very clear to me that whilst phonics is a good way for anyone to teach someone to read at the beginning, in reality we as humans use pick up "whole" words. I can see it with Georgia, who recognised the whole word, not the breakdown of it, just like us, as adult readers. If she or we come to a word we don't recognise, we use a number of different strategies, of which I reckon phonics is a small proportion of the tools.
So now with Jay, I've started him on the phonics book, but I'm recognising, that just like Georgia, he wants to move around the book, he has limited attention, he likes to "cheat" by memorising or guessing the whole word, which suggests that phonics isn't natural.
So my advice. Start with phonics, and move very quickly away from it, especially if your child isn't taking to it.