Thanks for the thoughtful response. I’m a bit different in my learning I guess- I’m happy to take the long road here, to me it’s a more satisfying road.
Your reference to songs is a good one. I’ve downloaded a heap and play them in my car and also watch a heap on youtube. At first they were mostly gibberish but the words are far more clear after a few weeks only- even if I don’t know the meanings yet I can hear the different words more clearly. Also some have really stuck in my mind, as songs can do, and this is helping me learn and remember a whole song adding a bunch of words to my vocabulary in natural and fun way.
With the whole kanji explanation you have here comes another issue I have with radicals. Yes some make perfect sense- onna the woman kanji is in sister kanji for example- what more natural connection than that? However it is also in other kanji that have no connection to women so just having some connect and others not makes it incredibly frustrating. An example of how another site connects suki 好き with women is to say they ‘like’ having babies! How random is that? It just doesn’t work for me- learning random associations is just to me using up precious memory space that could be used to learn a few more words instead.