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Explode The Code

Explode The Code Workbooks
When I was teaching my children to read I did find a little gem to help reinforce their phonics skills.  It was Explode The Code!
These books were a surprise to me! Mostly because my children hate workbook type of learning. Whenever I have tried workbooks with my children it had been a disaster but Explode The Code was different. My children would actually ask if they could do their Explode The Code books!
So let me tell how Explode The Code is set up. It is for grades kindergarten through fourth grade. There are 2 workbooks for each grade level. For example first grade has books 1 and 1 1/2 and second grade has books 2 and 2 1/2.  The ” half” books are for children who need extra reinforcement in that grade level. Each day your child does one or two pages. Once the children have done the workbooks for awhile they are able to do them on their own with little instruction. The lessons are set up in a consistent manner that helps the child to easily learn the phonic patterns. The lessons consist of matching, reading, copying, spelling, writing sounds and words.  The lessons take very little time. My children easily had the lessons done in 10 minutes. There isn’t any teacher preparation!
Explode the Code can be a complete phonics program or a supplement to your program.  I saw wonderful progress with my children. It really cemented those phonic skills!
Explode is also available on-line now! I have not used their on-line product.
Explode is very affordable, less than $10.00 a workbook. Here is a link for more info:
I highly recommend these workbooks! These were a gem in our homeschooling!
Written by Korey
Brenda (132 Posts)

Brenda is a homeschooling mother of 5, who has a wonderful husband encouraging her to be the best woman that God has created her to be. Together they are very intentional about spending time together as a family. She considers her daily life with her children as her ministry and has found many avenues to encourage others to live a lifestyle of learning. She is the founder of an online homeschool community, Our Lifestyle of Learning and a curriculum review site authored by a group of well-known homeschool bloggers, Curriculum Choice. She blogs about their homeschool journey and family traditions at Tie That Binds Us.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • April Kelley September 10, 2009, 7:15 am

    I agree about Explode the Code. I had heard about it and seen but was not sure about it until we tried it. My son does not like any language arts (and we’ve tried many) expect for this. Both of my children LOVE ETC and beg to do it!! I am so thankful to the manufacturer for these workbooks.
    .-= April Kelley´s last blog ..Megan’s first Lost tooth =-.

  • Shannon C September 10, 2009, 3:48 pm

    I never realized that they were by grade level. My newly 7 year old is on book 5 and doing awesome so is that 5th grade level?!

  • Brenda September 10, 2009, 8:57 pm

    Shannon, I haven’t used them by grade level, personally. How ever many pages can be done in 15 minutes is what we do generally. Then we spend the rest of the time reading or playing phonics games.

    Debbie, I’m sorry I have not heard of the book you mentioned.
    .-= Brenda´s last blog ..Sunday pancake breakfasts =-.

  • Heather September 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

    Has any one used the preschool Explode the Code workbooks (I think there are 2?)? I’m wondering if they are worthwhile.


  • Laurie Jackson September 21, 2009, 3:33 pm

    I use the code books as well for my children. I wanted to leave a comment because it seems that there may be some confusion with the grade levels. These books only go up to grade 4. First grade books 1-2, second grade books 3-4, third grade 5-6 and fourth 7-8. I am writing this in response to the post from Shannon C. The 1/2 books are in case a student needs more help.

  • Juanita October 7, 2009, 12:36 am

    The preschool books are Get Set For the Code A, B and C.

  • Stephanie March 23, 2011, 5:15 am

    I am looking for a spelling program… and my children are significantly older than the basics (daughter age 12 and son age 9). I have never “seen” explode the code, but have heard good things about it. Can I jump in at the ‘end’ and get an explode the code lesson #6 or 7? Or is this something they need to have started in book 1. What do you think? Thanks!

  • Caryn April 4, 2011, 5:23 pm

    I was happy to hear of your recent interest in Explode the Code. Your blog is the one of the more recent in this conversation. I hope you are still checking for responses. I am an RTI specialist for Reading at my school and I have researched many programs. I love Explode the Code! The best part about it is that, yes, you can jump to whatever book is designed for the specific problem your kids are having. I helped some older students and only used the books that were appropriate for them. The series is very affordable, easy to use, and appropriate for any age. Older kids don’t feel like they are using little kid books. There is a book of placement assessments that use can use to tell you exactly which book they need. The assessments are fast and easy. Hope this helps!

  • KC Mom May 10, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I love these books and, what’s a more telling feature, so does my daughter.
    She knew her letter sounds and how to blend them to make simple words like “cat” before she was 4. I borrowed several “teach your kid to read” books from the library and she hated them all. Of them, she hated “Phonics Pathways” the least so I bought that one. I only tried to do about 5 minutes a few times a week but she quickly began resisting, telling me it was boring and that she hated the book. I gave it a rest for a few months and tried again with the same result.
    So, I decided to try “Explode the Code”. She loved it. The simple pictures, short exercises, and predictable format really worked for her.
    I still only do about 5 minutes 4 to 5 days a week. Some days we do 2 pages, some only 1. We also supplement with books from the Bob series and from the Now I’m Reading series – those help with variety and with reading longer things instead of mostly individual words. We finished book 1 of the Code today and she was so proud of herself for reading such a long “book”!
    We’ll be off to book 2 tomorrow!

  • Edie December 2, 2011, 11:54 am

    I’ve used Explode the Code with my son and now my daughter. My son worked his way through book 7 by the end of 3rd grade by doing a couple of pages a day on average. I supplemented with an additional handwriting workbook and phonics readers. Then for 4th grade we started him on Switched on Schoolhouse 4th grade language arts and he is doing well! He’s very well prepared.

    My daughter is in 1st grade and just about to finish book three right before Christmas break. I plan to keep working with her on Explode the Code, handwriting, and readers through 2nd grade and go as far as we go, then transition her to Switched on Schoolhouse in 3rd grade. She’s learning to read so we are doing something right!!

  • Nicki August 19, 2012, 12:40 pm

    This series is absolutely wonderful. When My son was 4 we god through all of the “Primer Books” A, B & C. He’s 5 now and is halfway through Book 1. He is really enjoying the books and understanding the material. I use this curriculum to help him practice reading and writing, we also use hooked on phonics for reading and combining them both has been very useful.

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