Frank Rogers liked the way Romalda Spalding's method in The Writing Road to Reading taught all of the phonogram sounds at one time, but he thought those methods needed to be presented in an easier and more effective manner. After performing a computer analysis, he came up with a program that fit the bill, The Great Saltmine and Hifwip, also known as Vertical Phonics.
Children should learn the names of the letters before beginning this program. Students then learn the phonograms (letter/sound associations of phonics) as in Writing Road to Reading, but children start decoding words after learning just four phonograms. Children drill on the phonograms, using timed practice to improve their speed of recognition.
Rogers also felt that reading should precede writing and spelling, so he does not have children learn to write and spell until later, unlike Spalding who teaches reading, writing, and spelling simultaneously. (I understand that in her seminars Spalding says writing and spelling do not have to be taught simultaneously.) Students who use this program do learn to spell the 500 most often occurring words that make up sixty percent of common written vocabulary, so spelling is not ignored.
The basic reading package includes the manual (which is the basic book used by both teacher and student), three-ring binder, flash cards, and two dictation exercise books.
This program is very effective with remedial students. No readers come with the program, but A Beka's Reading for Fun Enrichment Library is recommended. Parents with poor reading skills will find this program easy to use as well as an aid for improving their own reading skills.
For those curious about the name: Saltmine represents the first eight letters taught in the program and Hifwip is the acronym for High Frequency Words In Print.