We began by learning not the name, but the usual pronunciation of each letter and its shape, accompanying a picture on a huge chart ("a is for apple", etc). One day our teacher wrote "c" "a" "t" on the board and told us to say the sounds one after another, then to do so more quickly. We were saying "cat"! "Dog" and "cup" followed.
I ran home and exploded to my grandmother: "Nan, I can read."
When complications were introduced (shop, tooth), followed by worse ones (tough, scissors) we proud readers were indefatigable.