Explode the Code

February 3, 2011
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Explode the Code

Content: Phonics
Grade(s): PreK – 5th
Perspective: Secular
Prep Time: Moderate
Teacher Manual: Available
Teacher Involvement: Essential
Cost: $ || ?
Pages: 92
Publication Date: 2015
Publisher: http://eps.schoolspecialty.com
Review Last Updated: May 27, 2017

Common Core Aligned: Yes

** From the Publisher’s Website: **

Explode The Code® is a research-based, multisensory program geared to improving literacy with direct, systematic, phonics instruction. Explode The Code’s classic print program includes a sequence of skills-based student books with coordinating placement tests and instructional support. Build the essential literacy skills needed for reading success: phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling with the Explode The Code series.

This proven Orton-Gillingham based program has helped millions of students gain early literacy skills.

Explode The Code Pre-Literacy Primers, Books A – C. Grades PreK-1
Teaches the 21 consonants and their sounds and formation through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities

Explode The Code, Books 1 – 8. Grades 1-4
Appropriate for comprehensive phonics skills instruction providing the basis for strong reading development.

Beyond The Code, Books 1 – 4. Grades 2-4
Ideal for developing critical comprehensions skills, these books feature charmingly illustrated stories. Writing and spelling exercises introduce new sight words and reinforce phonetic patterns.

Explode the Code is also available in digital format. Visit the publisher’s website to download free sample lessons.

About the Author:
or over 60 years EPS Literacy and Intervention has been the leader in developing and publishing programs to help struggling students, including those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties, as well as providing materials that support on-level students so they can continue to meet their goals.

Because one opinion is never enough! Have you ever used Explode the Code? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.



  • Kathy February 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I am teaching my 6 year old to read using this program along with the I see Sam books and it is working like a charm. He has become a great little reader. We complete 2 pages every day and he loves it. The sentences are silly and make him laugh and he often can’t wait to read the next one. I have discovered that although it would be easy to just let him do some of these pages on his own, it is VERY important that you don’t. I make him read each and every word on every page. The pictures can sometimes become an easy crutch to him, so I often cover them after he has done the work and have him read the words again, just to make sure he is focusing on the letters, not the pictures. Over all, I think this is a great program. I also like that there are 1/2 books for extra practice if needed. And the fact that the books are affordable is an extra bonus.

  • Debi Robertson February 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    My son was a late reader. He encountered difficulties distinguishing short e and short a. These books were wonderful to address that area and then we continues onward. Self paced and can work alone! Funny, too. Humor always helps.
    Only suggestion: Try to incorporate spelling using those same words.
    Very economical.

  • Sarah MacLeod February 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve used Explode the Code with one child, my younger son (then 6), who had some visual tracking issues and needed explicit phonics instruction. We used most of books 1 through 8, skipping a bit that he seemed to pick up on his own over the summer between his 1st and 2nd grade years.

    These books are easy to use for the child and the parent, with black-and-white line drawings throughout all levels of the workbook, the simplicity of which reduces distraction from the subject matter. Each book focuses on a specific set of sounds, so if one has a child who has already mastered, say, short vowel words, one can skip ahead to a higher level. I used Explode the Code workbooks along with Phonics Pathways( http://www.dorbooks.com/phonics.html), skipping around in Phonics Pathways to better match the subject at hand in Explode the Code.

    We did start to abandon books 7 and 8, since by that point I had a fluent reader who balked at studying what he felt he already knew, but the books were still useful for promoting spelling skills and patterns, so I pushed a bit to keep those books in our line-up.

    Explode the Code workbooks were an economical, simple, and successful way to teach phonics to my son. They’re worth a look.

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