Laughs. I was in fourth grade in 1950. That would have been St. Nick's. Or maybe I learned that stuff in fifth.
I think what I got of phonics helped me, but it was no concerted program, just some classes off and on. I would say minimal, just explanations. I later studied latin to a paralyzing degree, italian as a kind of early ap thing, german in early university, spanish from pals, and italian on purpose as an old person.
In my memory, phonics was interwoven.
Remember, I'm slightly older than boomers here.