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FUN-nics Phonics with Explode the Code!

schooly 005One of the features Naomi and I have both come to enjoy about Explode the Code are the silly yes/no sentences included in each unit.  They are good, solid reading practice – but they also indulge her sense of the ridiculous. 

Today, in addition to answering yes/no to each one, she made me promise she’d have time at the end to do a tiny doodle for each of the silly sentences.  At first, she was only going to illustrate the “NO” sentences, which are fairly surreal, but in the end, she did all of them.  Here’s what she came up with!


The plum is thinking, “I skip!”


The skunk is thinking, “Yes, gas” as he sips from a pump nozzle.

school3 I like that she clearly put some thought into this one…school4 Fly swatter.school5There’s a bicycle on the other side of the hill.  Why?school6 I love this!  The guy is thinking “help!”school7

Caption reads, “bump; clunk.”  Exactly the sound of slipping in the tub!


  1. Those were funny! Do you like the Explode the Code Phonics?

  2. Heck, yeah! Well, I don't, but Naomi does... so they stay! If you click the Explode the Code label, you can see other worksheets she's made herself to emulate these.

    I wrote a short review at Rainbow Resource here.
    (writing reviews there sometimes wins me a credit on my next order!)

    Here's what I wrote:
    There used to be a cold medicine that advertised itself by saying, "tastes awful - but it works!" These books LOOK awful... but they WORK. I was very hesitant about Explode the Code. The artwork is terrible (strange!) and the pages seem extremely repetitious. But I wanted a phonics-based writing / decoding method that would complement our phonic reading with Bob Books, and this came highly recommended. Now I know why! We have only used Book 1 so far, but I'm planning to use Book 2 next year. I haven't bought the teacher's guide, and think we're fine without it, and I don't think we will need the 1.5 book either, because Book 1 provides so much reinforcement. As adults, we dislike this kind of repetition, but for my daughter (she's almost 6), this book has been SO empowering. Having seen, copied, written out a word so many times, she is 100% sure she's writing it correctly and this has given her the boldness to embark on her own creative writing - without asking me how to spell every single word! Explode the Code reinforces decoding, spelling and reading skills she will have for life.

  3. That does sound like it will be good for my 6 yr old. She doesn't feel confident about spelling words on her own and asks me to spell everything. She has a phonics workbook but this sounds like it might work better for her. Thanks for the review!

  4. It's funny... this is the first phonics book I tried, and it worked right away.
    Since then, I have looked at others and they are VERY dry and plodding and I'm so grateful we lucked into this.
    Others may be more colourful or artistic, but ETC manages to avoid what Charlotte Mason calls twaddle - the busywork and overwork that some people consider the hallmark of a rigourous education.
    Not everybody loves it, but if other things have failed, this is worth a try.


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