I have used everything from a structured phonics program to more relaxed to a phonics game! Truly the timing is a lot of it, reading to and with them is as well.
It is hard to let go of doing it by a book or guide. I still struggle. I seem to have a lot of upheaval in my life, which is settling down now (praise the Lord for THAT!), but I find my 9 and 7 yodds are basically teaching themselves to read quite well with the hodge-podge of what I've been able to give them in the past year!
I finally pared it down to doing Happy Phonics, the game developed by Diane Hopkins of Love To Learn. It really is quite thorough, and I spend about 15-20 minutes per day per girl (I'm working with three of them). I probably only hit 2-3 days a week for most of this last semester. And to be honest, they are not writing out a lot of stuff. We just play the games!
The other resource I love is Mark Thogmartin's "Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books". Somewhere I have it bookmarked where it is available online for free. I purchased an ex-library copy so as to have it for reference away from the computer. It is not a "pull out of the box and use" type of book, but once you read where it's coming from and he does have some steps laid out, you can jump in and do it. He addresses "chunks" or rimes, and in the appendix is a very thorough list of children's books categorized into levels from Pre-Primer to 2nd grade, 2nd semester.
If anybody can prove that as long as you are reading to them and around them, they'll learn, I have! Not by my choice, either! :) But God truly does bless our efforts, especially when "life" gets in the way of our best laid plans!