- Paperback: 92 pages
- Publisher: Educators Pub Svc Inc (June 1, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0838814603
- ISBN-13: 978-0838814604
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 158 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Explode the Code 1
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Explode The Code provides a sequential, systematic approach to phonics in which students blend sounds to build vocabulary and read words, phrases, sentences, and stories. Frequent review of previously
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Once my daughter knew her letter sounds (thank you Leap Frog's Letter Factory!), I began showing her how the sounds could be "squashed" together to make words and how those sounds were inside of words. Since this concept requires a developmental leap, it can not be rushed or forced. Slowly she began to understand (she was 3.5 at the time) and one day, the light bulb clicked on. She could pick out the letters in simple words that she heard and read simple C-V-C words like 'cat'. That's when I went looking for the next step.
I checked out several books from the library, including "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", "Phonics Pathways", and "The Reading Lesson". Of those, I liked "Phonics Pathways" the best and bought a copy. I began spending 5 minutes a day, a few days a week, working with my daughter but quickly realized that she HATED the book and it's boring lessons. So, I bought "Explode the Code 1". What a difference!
While the pictures are crude, they were just enough to catch my daughter's interest. Since each lesson has the same format, the same types of activities, she quickly learned what was expected on each type of page - a great comfort to a young child learning to do something new and difficult. We spend no more than 10 minutes 5 days a week but she has made great progress in learning to read; happily trying to add things to my shopping list and trying to sound out words she sees other places.
We also use the Bob Books (Level 1) and the Now I'm Reading books (Level 1, Animal Antics) to reinforce what she is learning and to get her comfortable reading slightly longer stories on her own. Of the two, I prefer the Now I'm Reading stories. Both are very phonics based but the pictures and stories in NIR are much better than in Bob.
Should you use Explode the Code with your child? It depends...
(1) Can your child reliably say each letter? Not the letter name but the basic letter sound like "c" in "cat" and "x" in "box"? If not, start with the Before the Code books or try the Leap Frog DVD "The Letter Factory". Do your child a favor and keep it fun - skip the flashcards.
(2) Can your child blend letters together to read simple C-V-C words like "cat"? Does she understand the concept? If not, play word games to get her hearing those letter sounds, play "spot the letter ___" in stores where each of you try to find things that start with a specific letter. Remember, this stage can not be forced and pushing your child too hard, too soon, may turn her off to reading. It's better to wait several months and try again than it is to try to force your child to be the first one in preschool to learn to read. It's not a race, it's an education.
(3) Once your child knows those letter sounds and understands the concept of sounding out words, you are ready for these books.
Does your child need fine motor skills? Not really. Yes, these books teach writing and many of the pages have the child circling or crossing through choices as well as printing words - but you don't actually have to do that. My daughter's fine motor skills are only now becoming good enough to learn to print but that hasn't stopped her from learning to read. We usually snuggle up together when we use this book and she points to the correct answer instead of marking it. We simply skip the "copy these words" pages or she tells me the letters she would need to write.