There are a few curriculum choices that have and will remain consistent through all three of my children. One of those is the Get Ready for the Code pre-literacy primers series of workbooks from Explode the Code.
Get Ready for the Code: Pre-Literacy Primers
As I’m planning ahead for my little guy who will probably jump into simple workbooks within the next year, Get Ready for the Code, Get Set for the Code and Go for the Code from Explode the Code are on my list of phonics to-do’s.
Why do I like this early learning curriculum so much?
- They’re simple for me to use.
- They’re short and sweet for my preschooler. There’s only one type of activity per page, which keeps a preschooler’s attention much better than a busy page.
- Each book focuses in-depth on only 6-8 lower-case consonants, giving my child lots of practice with each letter.
- They cover letter recognition, letter formation, letter sounds, relating beginning sounds to pictures, left-right orientation, and using small motor skills.
- They’re black and white. Yep, you heard right, I LIKE that they text and pictures are in black and white. With preschoolers, I feel like too much color can actually distract them from the task at hand.
- Within each book, letter comparisons are made. In other words, after learning three letters, there will be a worksheet that asks the child to distinguish in some way between those letters.
- And, maybe most importantly, my first two children found the workbooks to be fun. They never complained and actually liked having their own “school work” to do.
Once finished with all three books, a preschooler should be ready to dive into more formal phonics lessons such as those covered in the Explode the Code series which begins in Kindergarten.
There is one teacher’s guide available to cover all three of the Get Set for the Code books, but I’ve never seen it so I won’t give my opinion one way or another. I will tell you that I’ve never found a teacher’s guide necessary. Although, the description on their website says it gives additional teaching ideas and reinforcement activities which could prove to be helpful.
Honestly, you could probably find plenty of phonics workbooks for $1.00 at the local dollar store, but I really like the planned progression of these books. And for only $6.00-$7.00 each, it doesn’t put a large dent in my pocketbook.
Purchase Explode the Code
- Explode the Code is available as an online program! That’s right, you can now access Explode the Code on your iPad or favorite tablet device!
- Explode the Code is very affordable, less than $10.00 a workbook. You can find them at Educators Publishing Service and from many online homeschool curriculum stores like ChristianBook.
- Buy in sets or in singles at Amazon.
- Rainbow Resource often has Bargain Buy versions available. “Bargain Books” are brand new items that have minor physical blemishes due to shipping or handling that do not affect the use of the item.
More Explode the Code Reviews Here at The Curriculum Choice
- Do Early Phonics with Explode the Code Primers – All of the Explode The Code primers offer easy to do and fun phonics learning. Each primer follows the same format, with illustrations drawn by children throughout the books. Each of the lessons uses a predictable sequence, and takes about a week to complete. Check out this review from Betsy
- Explode the Code – Explode the Code is a multisensory phonics program for grades pre-K -4, geared towards improving literacy with direct, systematic, phonics instruction. It can be a complete phonics program or a supplement to what you are already using. Check out this review.
- Explode the Code – Explode The Code’s classic print program includes a sequence of skills-based student books with coordinating placement tests and instructional support. Build the essential literacy skills needed for reading success: phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling with the Explode The Code series. Check out this review from Betsy
I’d love to hear your early phonics favorites!
-Originally published May 2010 and written by Cindy, an eclectically Charlotte Mason mom of three. You can find her blogging at Our Journey Westward.
I LOVE Explode the Code! I started with the first book late in the year with my 4-year-old and he loved it. I’ll buy the next two to do either over the summer or in the fall.
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I just got these for my 4 year old son. He’s been begging me to teach him to read for a year. I was going through the first book trying to get a feel for how much time we’d spend on each letter and he was over the moon about it and wanted to start right away.
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I was just looking at these today! I will go back and order, thanks!
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I got the Explode the Code book 1 for my son who is already sounding out words and it didn’t work for us because it starts out requiring him to write out the words. He can read but had not mastered writing yet. This workbook is not created for children who are capable of one but not the other.
We are now trying Phonics Museum from Veritas Press. So far we have only done two lessons and I think we will have to skip ahead because it literally starts with the assumption that he knows nothing.
Ironically I really recommend the DVD titled Letter Factory by Leap Frog. My four year old and two year old watched this only a few times before they both knew all the letters and their sounds by name and sight. It’s only about $10 at Target or Amazon.
Kathy, thanks for adding your viewpoints and suggestions. I think it’s so important that people tell the positive and negative experiences they have had to help us see curriculum from every angle. I wish others would add comments such as yours more often!
I’ll be looking into the Letter Factory DVD!
Cindy, thank you so much for this nice blog. I’m following you and choose the workbook “get set for the code” to teach my 4.5-year daughter now. And on that book I found that on page 44, there’s a picture of a monkey bar with a pair of rings on it, the name of the picture start with J. Do you know what is it? Can you help me? Thank you!