Explode the Code 1 Review

Today I’ll be sharing about the phonics curriculum my daughter has just finished working through, called Explode The Code 1.

Explode the Code 1 is a great introduction to phonics. It is a systematic approach to phonics, focusing on reading, spelling, and handwriting. It includes a variety of different reading and writing exercises, frequent review of lessons, and copy work.

The Explode The Code Workbooks

explode the code review

There are 8 books in the main Explode the Code set. Each book focuses on a different topic, with book 1 focusing on short vowel sounds.

There are teacher’s guides for books 1&2 combined, books 3&4 combined, books 5&6 combined, and books 7&8 combined.

Do you need the Explode the Code Teacher Guide?

I didn’t, I found that I didn’t miss having one either. We got on fine without it!

Explode the Code 1/2 books

Along with the main 8 book set, there are also 1/2 books – Explode the Code 1 & 1/2, Explode the Code 2 & 1/2, etc. These 1/2 books provide extra revision and reinforcement of the main book at that level.

Get Ready for the Code

explode the code book 1

These books are primers for the Explode the Code series. They can be used for preschool before your child is ready to start book 1.

  • Get ready for the code A
  • Get set for the code B
  • Go for the code C

There is also a combined teacher’s guide for all three of these books, and you can also get these books as a set.

Placement Tests

There are placement tests available for books A-C and 1-8. This will help you place your child with the level of Explode the Code that is appropriate for them.

Explode The Code Book 1

explode the code teacher guide

My daughter could already read before starting Explode the Code 1, thanks to ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons‘ and Bob books. We found it to be a perfect transition to move on to Explode The Code 1.

My daughter started Explode the Code 1 at about 4 and a half, which was perfect for her. It has taken us a few months to work through it, completing 2 pages per day which takes about 5-10 minutes.

explode the code kindergarten

The book is black and white, which my daughter appreciated because she loved coloring in all the little pictures. However, her work sometimes took twice as long!

The book starts off with a Consonant Pre-test, seeing how well the child knows their consonant sounds before starting with Lesson 1.

Here’s what the lessons in the book cover:

Lesson 1 – short a with final t
Lesson 2 – short a with final n, m, d, t
Lesson 3 – short a with final consonants
Lesson 4 – short i
Lesson 5 – review lesson, short a, i
Lesson 6 – short u
Lesson 7 – review lesson, short a, i, u
Lesson 8 – short e
Lesson 9 – review lesson, short a, i, u, e
Lesson 10 – short o
Lesson 11 – review lesson, all short vowels

The book finishes off with a post-test to see how much the child has learned from the book!

Types Of Activities In Explode The Code 1

explode the code 1
  • Circling the correct picture
  • Circling the correct word
  • Writing the word for a picture
  • Tracing and writing vowels
  • Reading, copying, and selecting the correct picture for a word
  • Looking at a picture and selecting the correct sentence that applies
  • Reading questions and selecting yes or no

Vowel Sounds

explode the code PDF

The book largely focuses on the vowels.

There are exercises to trace and write the vowels, spelling words with a particular vowel, and reading sentences with that vowel.

Each page includes an example of how to complete the activity.

Frequent Review

Throughout the book, you are constantly reviewing past material.

Sometimes this was a little tedious, however, my daughter finished a lesson and could perfectly spell all the words from that lesson. I was thankful for all the reviewing!

explode the code teacher's guide

My daughter had a great time working through this curriculum and her handwriting, spelling, and reading has definitely improved a lot.

We are excited to now move on to book 2.

If you love these types of preschool learning workbooks, I recommend checking out the Jady Alvarez Preschool Learning Bundle too!

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