Topic | Is Explode The Code a good reading program?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Kalle 7 years, 5 months ago.

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  • Maryann

    I have been using the Explode the Code reading program with my first grader and while it does give them good practice at sounding words out it sure is full of a lot of nonsense.  Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good reading program that doesn’t use such nonsensical phrases and pictures.


    I am interested to see what people say on this one.  My son loved the Get Ready, Get Set and Go For The Code books.  I was planning on starting the Explode the Code this year.  He is highly distracted by colors on pages, so he loved these books.  Since he has no interest in learning to read, at all, and highly resists it, I was planning on continuing this series since it works for him.  So, when he is ready to start reading, he will be able to easily.

    I was unaware that Book 1 and others have nonsensical phrases.  Maybe I need to take a better look.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


    Jodie Apple

    We used AlphaPhonics and Ruth Beechick’s A Homestart in Reading.  Once they learned how to read, we moved into the Pathway Readers. This is what worked for us.  (We tried Explode the Code but it was a drudgery for the children and I too felt like it was nonsensical.)

    My son, and my daughter have both gone through ETC. My son is in the last ETC book 8, having gone through all the ETC books, including the Pre-ETC, Get Set, Get Ready, and Go for the Code. My daughter is 2 years younger and she is in ETC book 3. We have liked them. My children get very distracted with all the color and images in some workbooks, so the ETC books have been great for us. In my opinion, they are solidly phonics based and they are fun. There are sections of funny/silly sentences and stories they have to read, and this has caused us to laugh out loud.

    I don’t think the ETC books would be a good phonics program on their own, but a good supplement for a phonics reading program. For my son, we used AlphaPhonics along with their readers and the BOB books for early readers. The ETC books went well with Alphaphonics.

    For my daughter (dyslexic) we tried AlphaPhonics, but it DID NOT work for her, we had tears and frustration. so we are now using Reading Made Easy along with ETC and it is working great for her.


    We’re using Alpha-Phonics with All-About-Spelling and couldn’t be more pleased.



    We tried ETC with both our children and ended up going back to using the Phonics Museum by Veritas Press. I recommend this progam. It has a great bone structure in phonics with a rich side helping of fine art works, no fluff. I do have an online account for ETC for my children to play on so they can do something helpful on the computer. But the book series did not hold up for us, was not the right fit. hope you can find what works for you!



    Has anyone tried the Charlotte Mason method for reading?  We are using it with our second son and it is going very well, though we did divide each lesson into about three.  CM’s methods on reading are found in her book Home Education, Part V Sections IV, IV, VI pp. 199-221.  They are also in SCM’s The Early Years.




    We didn’t exactly do the CM reading method, as we had already done some phonics…. but we sortof did.

    Actually, what I’ve found working the best for us (after some basic phonics) is the old Dick and Jane primers and readers.


    I tied it some what the cm way after trying some other ways. Alphaphonics, bob books… my oldest son hated these. Then I started the Harriete Treadwell readers with her guide. It is very similar to Charlotte Mason’s way. The kids loved it and they really took off.

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