We finished up our “Kindergarten” homeschool year with my daughter recently, and I want to share my official Explode the Code homeschool curriculum review. Keep reading to see some pros and cons about the program! I also shared a video with my thoughts, so if you’re a visual person, check that out below.
Explode the Code Homeschool Curriculum Review
I purchased the Book 1 of Explode the Code for my daughter this year to see if she liked the program. When I started it with her, I could tell that she didn’t enjoy it, so we took a little break. We still aren’t finished with the book, but we will continue to work on it leisurely through the summer. This year, I treated our time with Explode the Code very informally and let her work on it at her own pace! Here are my main thoughts on our experience with the program.
Watch the Video:
The book costs under $8, and my review is specifically for Book 1. I believe there are eight books total.
Explode the Code Pros:
01. These are short, bite-sized lessons. The page are short and usually take less than five minutes. This is perfect for a child of 5 or 6.
02. You can work at your own pace. You can work on 2-3 pages in one day or just half of a page. It’s very easy to work at your child’s pace.
03. It’s open-and-go. No prep required for this program, which makes it very easy to implement.
04. It’s very basic and simple. This is a no-frills curriculum! I like this aspect of it.
05. It provides repetition and consistency. For phonics mastery, repetition is key and there is ample opportunity for practice with Explode the Code.
Explode the Code Cons:
01. It doesn’t follow a Charlotte Mason approach. This is probably my number one complaint and something I didn’t mention in the video, but it isn’t true to a Charlotte Mason approach because she preferred children learn to read and copy from literature, not from rote memorization.
02. It isn’t a great stand-alone phonics program. This definitely shouldn’t be the only curriculum you’re working on for phonics and reading. It’s a great supplement to a main program, however!
03. It definitely needs to be paired with formal lessons. I believe that the best way to teach reading to a child is through a Charlotte Mason approach as described on page 199 of Home Education. Therefore, this should be a secondary program to those.
Overall, I like that this program provides ample practice for a student to review word families, letter sounds, and more. However, I don’t know if I’ll continue to use it since I desire a Charlotte Mason education for my daughters. I do think it’s great for practice once the word families and word letters/sounds are mastered!