Is Nine Always Nine?
Just knowing that 9 = nine = ********* doesn't mean 4 and 5 year old children understand the math.
A whole-brain way to learn phonics. Add sandpaper letters for the full kinesthetic experience. Magnetic alphabet letters also work.
Children practice reading in gradual stages: first ID'ing just one sound at a time, then working to blend them, then grasping the whole word. Get your zen on, and if the child is in your lap, expect wiggling, because they are working hard!