Explode the Code

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, November 10, 2012
  • Grades Used: prek-k
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
I started using ETC with my four year old daughter (Book 1). We switched after using another program that just was no working for us as it was too long and had the nonsense sounds.
ETC the code was much cheaper and my daughter enjoyed it. She was reading actual words, which excited her. THe teachers manuals have a lot of activities that we did not use with the first book but we did with the second. I love the activities and find them very helpful.
We have also used the ETC online. While it is a good program, I used it because I thought it would take some of the weight off of my shoulders. However, you still need to teach the material and I find that young children make a lot of mistakes in typing, making them miss the word when they do actually know how to spell it. You must sit and help them with the typing. IF your child is older, this may not be an issue for you. However, since I've already paid for it it is helpful with review if i dont have time to teach a lesson than day. I will not be purchasing it again, though. If your interested in the online program I would perhaps buy the teachers manual with it to help with teaching the lesson and let the online portion be their review.
That being said, we love ETC. Very affordable, good quality. I plan on using ETC with all of my children.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, March 22, 2012
  • Grades Used: k, 1st, 2nd
  • Dates used: 2010*-present
Love it.

Organized so you can give pages which correlate to a particular phonetic lesson you're working.

Pages have a very logical progressive pattern which repeats each new lesson.
-I don't have it in front of me, but from memory:
look at the word and match it to the word
look and write the word
write the word next to the picture

Both of my children absolutely love these and are definitely benefitted from doing them.

One of my children is very artistic and loves to color all of the black line handdrawn illustrations when she's done.

They're very inexpensive and So very worth it.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, January 26, 2012
  • Grades Used: Pre K
  • Dates used: 2010-2011
I bought this for my 4 year old when I other LA choice was not working for us.
I have nothing but positive things to say about ETC. The illustrations were engaging, the work comprehensive, understandable, and fun for my younger one.
I particularly like the teachers manual, which is not essential, but I have found to be a great resource for reinforcement and/or review.
I did have some issues with the amount of writing involved, but I would just break the lessons up if my daughter became overly tired. As i said before, the teachers manual has some fun activities outside of writing to use to reinforce the lessons.
They have a website which I may use next year to avoid to issue of writing fatigue. To my understanding it is more customizable than the workbooks, although they do have the 1/2 books for extra review if needed.
My daughter found the content much more interesting than the "Ba Be Bi Bo Bu" approach and nonsense words of other LA books. Reading actual words excited and encouraged her.
Overall, ETC has been a blessing to out home and I plan to use it for many years to come, God willing.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 15, 2012
  • Grades Used: Pre-K (ETC 1 and 2)
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
We are using ETC as our main phonics/reading program. I am using the Teachers Manuals and Code Cards and it really is a full and complete approach to phonics. My 4 1/2 begs to do more pages every day and it has become the favorite part of our school day. And best of all, he is reading. Because he is only 4 1/2, he is not quite ready for all the writing involved, but I solved that problem by puchasing alphabet stamps and letting him stamp out the words if he is tired of writing. He still used his brain to form the words, just not his hands. It is working perfectly for us. I highly recommend ETC as a whole program and plan on continuing with it and adding in Beyond the Code next school year.