As I've mentioned before, Fiona is learning to read. Pretty much all I've done is answer her questions, which have become increasingly complex. We also have the first level of Bob Books lying around, which she enjoys pulling out and reading from time to time, and magnetic letters on the fridge, which have become her favourite preoccupation.
Yesterday she asked for help spelling "says", wondering if it was SES ... and I, kneading bread on the counter around the corner, dutifully spelled out the letters S-A-Y-S. Then Fiona proceeded to announce proudly that she had spelled 'taxes' -- and there it was: TACKSAYS.
The beauty of just responding to questions is that you never make the mistake of pushing, you never use the wrong approach (with the occasional exception of mis-spellings like 'tacksays', LOL!), you never overstep a child's autonomy or readiness. This is pretty much how her older siblings all learned to read too.