Last time I blogged about Explode the Code (ETC), it was last June and we were in ETC book 3. Four and a half books later, we are in the middle of Book 7. We have used ETC as a phonics supplement, and now that our main reading program has ended, I guess we are using this as our main phonics program. Still, Satori has learned all the rules, so this is all just a great review for us. We love the silly sentences and crazy drawings. She inserts her own examples and makes me smile.

For most books we’ve done 4 pages a day, but starting in Book 7, we’ve slowed down to just a 2-page spread per day. It just takes 5 minutes and is great review for phonics, reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and vocabulary.

Some words are getting tougher. She has her Children’s Dictionary near her desk, and she looks up new words frequently. She used to ask me what the new words are, but now I’m happy she’s starting to use a dictionary. I think some of the words they use are not in a normal 6 year old’s vocabulary. Then again, a 6 year old probably normally doesn’t work on Book 7. Here are some examples of words she’s had to look up: sledgehammer, drawbridge, gadget, pledge, beachcomber, knickers, slipknots, and glisten.

If you notice the above page (click to see bigger), she still sometimes inserts her own silly exercises for me to do when I correct the pages. (I could have sworn I blogged about that last year.) Today’s lesson was a picture of a vampire, and I had to choose from these: “Ema dresses up like a vampire.” OR “Ema is a vampire.” While I was sitting there puzzled, she came over and pointed out her clue she gave me – a sun in the sky. She said Ema isn’t a real vampire because vampires don’t go out in the sun. 🙂

Satori doesn’t talk about vampires much, but I though the problem was pretty cute.

ETC Book 7 introduces a paragraph story with comprehension questions to answer. Each 9 page lesson includes a story like this.

There are also a couple crossword puzzles, although I think there’s just two in all of Book 7.

Since it looked like I didn’t blog about books 4-6, I will say that out of all the books Satori’s done, the only book she needed extra practice with was Book 4. It covers words with 3 syllables, and had Satori dividing them into syllables. She wasn’t getting them all correct, so I broke down and purchased 4 1/2. The 1/2 books are extra practice books.

We finished Book 4, and went on to Book 5 and 6, but then we went back to complete Book 4 1/2. By this time, she was much more comfortable working with multi-syllable words. All her syllable work in All-About-Spelling has paid off, and she polished off Book 4 1/2 much more easily than her first time around.

Here’s another sample page from book 4, where she includes her extra exercises for her mother. 🙂