Guess who is super proud of herself? Last Friday Zoey and I completed her very first workbook, Get Ready for the Code Book A! I say “we” because I took a very intentional approach to getting the most we could out of these lessons. I know some have used these more as a distraction tool when there are older children to teach, but I found a great foundation here to build a competent and confident reader.
This is the first of three in a series (Books A, B, and C) designed at the PreK level, which serves as the launching pad for the larger Explode the Code series. The series focuses on phonics and reading, with a lighter emphasis on handwriting as well. There is also a complementary Beyond the Code series of 3 books, designed to help with reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.
This book begins with teaching a single consonant sound through pictures, matching, and a bit of handwriting. It then progresses through a handful of additional consonant sounds, using a few different exercises that are repeated. The entire alphabet is covered by Book C. I had read many positive reviews about this series, and thought it would be a great way to combine learning different letter sounds with speech exercises to reproduce those sounds. As with most things, Zoey is comprehending the idea of phonics much quicker than she is able to speak them, but she is slowly and noticeably progressing. This workbook has helped me to see how often she will mark a correct answer, even if her verbal response sounds very little like the actual sound that is normally associated with a given letter. It has also helped me to discern which letters give her the most trouble, which understandably seem to be those which she also has the hardest time saying. As much as I know that Zoey is too active to appreciate learning every subject through a workbook, I see a lot of value in spending 15-20 minutes a day on this series. It has been a great start into our homeschooling adventure, both for her as an avid learner, and for me as I struggle to find better ways to teach and assess her.
I didn’t want to treat this one as a “playing school” resource, and as a result, Zoey took it more seriously as well. David may not need as much focus to complete this when it comes time for him to join the ranks, but I would still value this series for him as a way to consistently cover every letter over the course of a year or so. I highly recommend the series for anyone wanting step by step directions for teaching phonics in a simple and direct manner, or as an inexpensive resource for developing reading skills.