I re-found a blogger I really enjoy, Fred on Everything, when I saw the reference on Dean's World.
This is exactly how I learned to read, except my 2 years older brother taught me. Every day, he went to school. Every day, I dogged his footsteps until he showed me everything he learned that day. As a result, I looked like a baby genius when I entered 1st grade. But he can't take all the credit.
My parents always had books around. From comic books, to the Little Golden Books, to the daily paper, I was surrounded by reading material. When I tackled a printed page that contained unfamiliar words, I remember my mother encouraging me to "sound it out". I was never told, "That's too hard for you." If I wanted to read it, I was permitted.
In general, it's not that tough to teach a kid to read. Parents need to make the effort to have reading materials around, and set the example by turning off the TV and reading themself. If a parent can't read, he or she needs to get off their duff, and learn. There are adult literacy programs in most cities.