I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
I worked with all my kids on phonics. My wife had no idea there were easy rules you could follow to decode English - she got whole language.
Then there are others who need some additional explanation ~ which is where the syllables come into the picture.
Apparently there are people who imagine you can learn to read by just flashing on a whole word ~ and, as recently discovered, most people can learn to read almost all words by actually looking at only the first and last letters! That means they are examining context first before evaluating what the words mean ~ which is an awful lot of processing taking place before the words are really read.
BTW, that's the trick in reading Chinese ideographs. You get the gist of the context, and then your mind throws the correct meanings into your consciousness. The characters, per se, mean just all sorts of things absent context. Sumerian, the very first writing system we know about consisted of stylized ideographs. Obviously there was something going on before that final system got devised because they had to know about the power of context to address meanings of written words FIRST.
I can remember being extremely eager to start school so that I could learn to read, and being disappointed that we did not start on the first day! From the time I actually started to read I loved it and have been a reader. Phonics may be a better way to teach reading, but lack of phonics did not stop me, nor many of my classmates. Most of us learned to read quite well.
IMHO, brains are different, and different things may work for different people.
Maybe I'm just in denial, though, and I've been functionally illiterate all these years!