A Handbook for Reading is A Beka's basic phonics program that starts with letters and sounds and continues through almost all of the phonograms. There are a student book and a teacher edition. Personally, I find this Handbook very easy to use, making this choice a very affordable option for reading instruction.
A Beka uses the "consonant-vowel" approach for teaching blending (ba, be, bi, bo, bu). Some reading specialists criticize this use of nonsense syllables to teach blending. Their reasoning is that since vowel sounds are determined by what follows rather than what precedes, children have to relearn to a certain extent when they actually form complete words. While reading specialists quibble about this, most children do not have trouble with this method and some actually seem to learn better using "consonant first" blending. Whatever the critics say, this method is used successfully by many major publishers.
You will probably want to get A Beka's alphabet flashcards, phonics flashcards, and phonics charts to use along with this book. The teacher edition has only slightly reduced, full-color pictures of pages from the student book, so it might be possible to work from only the teacher edition. However, most young children like to have their own book in hand as they learn to read, so I recommend getting a student book for each child.
Even though instruction in the teacher edition is geared for classrooms, it is easy to use at home. A Handbook for Reading correlates with A Beka's Letters and Sounds, Books 1 and 2 and some of their readers. Writing with Phonics, Books 1 and 2 might also be used along with it.