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We’re on a big ETC kick! Explode the Code is an inexpensive phonics workbook series, that is great to supplement our reading program. Since we’re almost finished with our formal phonics (OPG), we’re back to these workbooks and just started ETC 3. This level will be all review in terms of phonics/reading, and we’ll be hitting ETC 4 later this summer, which will be closer to her current level.

ETC 3 introduces handy little rules which enforce what we already know. For example, “If a little word ends in y, the y says long-i.”

If Satori didn’t like these workbooks, I wouldn’t make her do them, but she totally loves them. She asks to do them everyday lately. She averages 6-8 pages a day right now, that would be 2-3 page spreads like this. Oops, I forgot to take a photo of an example of one of their sentence pages. Last spring, the sentences were just too much for a new reader, now they’re a breeze. We always laugh at the sentences/pictures. 🙂

She always makes sure to put a smile on my face or a laugh in my day when I correct the pages. She can find a way to insert a joke or something cute in almost everything she touches.

So we’re enjoying our ETC program right now and seeing I just ordered ETC 4-8, I hope we continue to do them, especially when our phonics program ends. As you can see above, they’re also great to supplement handwriting, spelling and even a bit of vocabulary.

You may have noticed that at one point I had listed Explode the Code (ETC) phonics program up on our curriculum. I had these all set to go as a supplement to our OPG reading program. However, the “Get Ready, Get Set, Go for the Code” books were just too simple for Satori at the time. She honestly learned all her letters and sounds in one night, by watching a Leapfrog video!

So over the summer we started our Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching reading program, but it can be dull. She gets each concept very fast. However, even though she masters the new sounds quickly, it is altogether a different thing to be able to read sentences fluently! She sounds them out. She can sound them out quickly, but nonetheless, sounding out words detracts from fluently reading/comprehending books.

Explode the Code workbooks

Explode the Code workbooks

So we’re taking a break from our normal reading program! Back to Explode the Code. We’re going to try these again, as she likes her HWT handwriting workbook so much, maybe this fall she’ll get into these workbooks.

Unfortunately, she has progressed to ETC  book level 3 now. The ones sitting on top of the above pile, that we already have on hand, are the A-C “Get Ready” books which covers consonants, which she knows very well already. But we’re going to try to go through them anyway superfast, like we do our HWT workbooks. In fact, she goes through her handwriting books so fast that we do need to stop and practice now. And luckily, ETC books cover lowercase letter handwriting practice! If it wasn’t for the handwriting instruction in ETC, I would probably wait until we got book 3 in.

We haven’t learned lowercase “f” yet in our HWT book, but we went over it today in her ETC workbook.  You can see she needs practice! But not too entirely bad for a 4 year old’s first time writing “f”s…

lowercase "f"

lowercase "f"

I am not sure how it will work out going through these early books (A-C), but I did order Explode the Code Books 2-5 last night, which takes us way beyond what we’ve learned so far in OPG.

Get Ready for The Code A
Consonants b, f, k, m, r, and t

Get Set for The Code B
Consonants d, h, j, n, p, and s

Go for The Code C
Consonants c, g, l, q, v, w, x, y, and z

Books 1 and 1 ½
Consonant review
Short vowel sounds

Books 2 and 2 ½
Initial and final consonant blends

Books 3 and 3 ½
Long vowels including silent –e
Digraphs (sh, th, wh, ch, ng, ck)
Trigraphs (-tch)
Vowel digraphs (ee-ea, ai-ay, oa-ow)

Books 4 and 4 ½
Compound words
Common endings (-ful, -ing, -est, -ed, -ness)
Syllable types (open, closed, ending in -y and -le, diphthong, and three-syllable words

Books 5 and 5 ½
Word families (all-alk, old-olt-oll, ild-ind, qu words)
3-letter blends (thr, shr, scr, str, spr, spi)
Diphthong -ey
Three sounds of -ed

Books 6 and 6 ½
r
-controlled vowels (ar, or, er, ir, ur)
Diphthongs (oo, oi-oy, ou-ow, au-aw, ew-ui-ue-ou)
Vowel digraphs (ea, ie, igh)

Book 7
Soft c and g
Silent consonants
Word patterns (ear, ei, eigh)
Digraph ph

Book 8
Advanced suffixes and endings