Can i use tabs without loadChildren... in routing

I’m trying to remove NgModules from my app. As much as I’ve tried to adhere to the documentation, I keep getting import and element not known issues that have sent me rabbit-hole for hours. So I’m trying to “flatten” the app. I changed app-routing.module.ts to this:

  {
    path: '',
    component: TabsPage,
    children: [
      { path: 'componentA', component: FakeComponentA },
      {
        path: 'componentB',
        component: FakeComponentB,
      },
      {
        path: 'componentC',
        component: FakeComponentC,
      },
    ],
  },

and my components and tab-routerlink connection is not being recognized. Basically the app loads a tab layout, but the tabs are unclickable (no routerlink path) and FakeComponentA is not loaded into the DOM. The Ionic example is here using loadChildren which references nested modules…im trying to avoid. Is the way I’m trying to use Tabs compatibile?