Reading to him when he is young teaches him pacing, rhythm, pronunciation, intonation...etc. Language becomes intuitive. This is learning by "Osmosis". An intuitive grasp of the language as a conglomerate. From the beginning - cuddle up with him and show the words as you read them, with your finger, then put his finger on top of yours so he may learn to follow. He will soon be able to use his own finger to follow as you read to him. He will notice the ever repeating patterns. Phonics will make sense to him before he is officially taught them. Do it every night at the same time and you will have made bedtime a fun ritual for both, mother and child. Allow other concerns to supercede the ritual and you are, in effect, telling him that the all important ritual...the key to his life...is, well, maybe not so important. Make it a sacred time and he shall consider it a sacred time.
As with anything in life, pacing is vital.
Pacing: The sustained speed necessary to achieve the goal.
Know the minimum pace - never fall below it. The goal becomes a foregone conclusion.
Any sustained speed above the minimum will effect a more rapid change - your goal is achieved more quickly.
The goal becomes a passion, and so, pleasurable. They have control over their destiny and how quickly it comes. They then own it - it becomes a part of them. Try to force the pace and the natural tendency is to slow down. Allow them to speed up on their own and the natural tendency is to speed up. Praise them heartily when they do so. They are then setting their own goals - it becomes a matter of true pride.