Explode the Code Book 1
Focuses on Comprehension and Reasoning Skills
" I told my husband that there must be "magic" in the pages because somehow our daughter was now reading and comprehending full sentences and I had done nothing! She is now reading at grade level and HAS HER CONFIDENCE BACK!"
Book one of Explode the code focuses on reading and comprehension. We love this book. Check out what this parent had to say about this book:
"I LOVE Explode the Code and this book is where it all started.
My daughter began sounding out cvc words when she was 3 so I thought we were going to have an easy time with formal reading/phonics. I could not have been more wrong. Whenever we tried to move beyond those simple words, or even to read them within a book, we hit a HUGE wall of frustration and she couldn't make it through even a simple BOB book at age 5. I just kept waiting and trying to begin phonics over with multiple different programs (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons - so hard to stay motivated) but we kept hitting the same wall.
We began investigating causes just before she turned six and discovered an eye issue that explained much of the difficulty, but would take at least a year of patching to resolve. What were we to do in the meantime?
After lots of research, I decided to give these books a try and see what happened, even though the eye doctor thought she might not make any progress until the patching and subsequent vision therapy were complete.
Was that a good choice? Our results speak for themselves. Instead of long, frustrating, tear-filled sessions with no progress my child began independently working her way through the book. She didn't fight, cry or even struggle. I told my husband that there must be "magic" in the pages because somehow our daughter was now reading and comprehending full sentences and I had done nothing! She is now reading at grade level and HAS HER CONFIDENCE BACK!
Here is why we like it:
1) Many people don't like the pictures, but I think they are part of what makes the books "work". My kids enjoy them. They look like what my kids might draw to illustrate the word being learned.
2) Making all the sentences questions is brilliant. They have to comprehend what they read to answer the question and they are motivated to read because they want to know what the question asks and they want to answer.
3) These are incredibly reasonably-priced books - very affordable for a home school family and inexpensive enough for any family to purchase as a supplement.
4) These can be done in just a few minutes a day - and they're still highly effective!
5) The sounds/words being studied are presented in several different ways. This variety keeps the interest going and also secures mastery by having the student read, write, match, use context, etc to grasp all aspects of the word (construction, spelling, sound, meaning, usage). It builds visual discrimination and incorporates other language arts skills right into the phonics so they don't even know they are doing it.
6) Sight Words! Oddly enough this phonics curriculum somehow really boosted my daughter's sight word vocabulary. Again with the magic stuff! Not only was she able to go to books and sound out words that had been overwhelming before, tons of question words and other common words became sight words without us even working on them intentionally.
For those of you just beginning, we now start our kids with Book 1 in Kindergarten and do 2 pages/day. I am sure every kid is different and you should pace yours accordingly but this works well for us. Also, I don't really recommend the Get Ready for the Code as I felt it wasn't necessary and I don't really use the teacher's manual for any of the books."