Phonics Learning at Its Best
- What: Explode the Code Workbooks
- When: 4 to 10 years
- Why: Simplify learning to read
- Where: Amazon or Explode the Code
If you want more spelling, writing, and reading practice in a fun format for kids, grab one of the many Explode the Code workbooks.
These workbooks come in levels suitable for a variety of ages. You can start with the letter coded versions for pre-readers to build letter recognition, practice sounds, and start letter formation for writing. Bigger kids work from the numbered books on things like spelling patterns and sounding out words. The workbooks cover material from preschool to fourth grade.
These fill in the blank type workbooks work great for a wide variety of learning styles, from supplementing normal classroom education to giving extra help for dyslexia and dysgraphia. The black and white pages with simple illustrations and easy to read instructions mean kids can work on their own. The level of difficulty goes up with each workbook. You can get pre-literacy books in level A-C and numbered grade level books one through eight, which correspond roughly with each grade number. (So book 1 works well for most first graders, book two for second graders, etc.)
You can buy these books individually to try them out. Once you know your kids love them, I recommend buying in batches, as it saves you a bit of money (and the wait ordering the next level). You can also get books between grade levels, like 3.5, which means there are 16 books in total for kids to complete. If your child finishes the entire series, you can try Beyond The Code, which offers four additional workbooks, for even more practice.
My kids have used Explode the Code workbooks for years, both in and out of school, and still love them. I use a reward system where they earn a certain amount of points or money for each completed page over the summer. They work towards a prize or goal of their choosing. One year my daughter earned preemie diapers for her dolls, while my son chose sticker packets for his sticker albums. Now they like to work towards bigger prizes, like Calico Critter sets or Lego sets. No matter what the reward, every time I whip out a new one of these books, they fight over who might get to use it.