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Explode the CodeŽ Reading Workbooks Curriculum Review
Review by Harriet Yoder
When I started homeschooling, I used various complete phonics based reading programs. I had the advantage of learning to read with phonics, but I also learned a lot more about phonics through teaching reading. In the end though, with nine children in our homeschool, I needed something that wasn't as time consuming but did the job. Explode the Code reading workbooks work beautifully for me! Reluctant readers like this series!
If your younger child needs to learn the consonant sounds, then Get Ready Get Set Go for the Code is what you need. When your child knows the consonant sounds and is ready to move to the short and long vowel sounds and all the blends, you'll need Explode the Code. Our listing for Explode the Code shows the sounds that are covered in each book. For reading comprehension practice, Beyond the Code features decodable stories that follow the phonetic sequence of the series.
I like to use Color Phonics, a reading software program from Alpha Omega, in addition to Explode the Code. It provides additional instruction in a fun "child friendly" computer program.
If you need help with teaching phonics, I suggest using another phonics program such as Alpha Phonics or The Reading Lesson as your main program and using the Explode the Code books as your reading workbooks.
Another nice thing about the Explode the Code workbooks in the homeschool setting is that as you are sitting with your student you can give immediate feedback about handwriting and spelling mistakes as they are made. For example, if you notice that your student wrote a letter incorrectly, you say, "Let's make that letter this way because it looks nicer and anyone will be able to read it."
Don't be surprised if your student slows down when you get to books 5 and 6. We've used this program with six of our children and we always seem to take longer to get through those two books. Maybe it is because the blends are harder to learn, but once we passed those two books, work on books 7 and 8 went a lot faster.
Books 7 and 8 also include some reading comprehension passages. These are very good exercises for your young reader. If you see your student having difficulty, then you may want to add some reading comprehension workbooks to the schedule.
Excellent workbooks in the Explode the Code series help teach reading with a phonics approach in your homeschool.
Explode the CodeŽ is a registered trademark of EPS School Specialty.