Phonics is the #1 advantage of ALL western languages. The idea that teachers would not leverage the #1 advantage of the entire language just shows how foolish our teacher education system can be!
Don't let teachers screw up your kids with educational FADs! We didn't! We taught our kids at 3.5 - 4.5 to read using phonics before kindergarten! We used:
Our kids loved it! The risk of these FADs damaging your child's entire education would make this program cheap even if they charged $1000 (it's $200 - a small 10% increase over the last 14 years!)
There's a fix for that... MS Word and browsers :)
Word's little red underline dramatically improved my spelling. Words that I would habitually misspell would annoy me with that little red underline. I'd concentrate on the word and the correct spelling and eventually I stopped misspelling it.
My favorite example... their... almost always I'd write "thier" (the few times I'd write "their" I'd doubt myself and switch it to "thier"). Nowadays I almost never misspell it (it also helps me sometimes to think "the IR").
Without Word's instant spell checking I'd still be a bad speller who'd spend too long running the spellchecker.