Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hooked on Phonics vs Explode the Code

I thought it was interesting when Angelicum specified both Hooked on Phonics and Explode the Code at the preschool level.  We're on our second week of language arts now, and I'm starting to see the pros and cons of each one.

Tracing letters in sugar, from Explode the Code.
I really like the progression of Explode the Code.  The lessons began with f and spent a lot of time reviewing the f sound and words that begin with f.  There is no doubt in my mind that Henry fully understands f at this point.  Hooked on Phonics, on the other hand, seems to move through the letters pretty quickly.  It also follows an alphabetical progression to introduce letters instead of the easy-to-hard strategy of Explode the Code.

The con of Explode the Code, I think, is the strong emphasis on writing.  Henry has pretty good hand control for a kid his age, but I could see where this could be frustrating and discouraging for other children.  This is where Hooked on Phonics shines.  There is a lot of finger-tracing, coloring letters, and creating projects in the shape of letters.

Letter B craft, from Hooked on Phonics.
I'm beginning to understand why Angelicum wants both programs going at once.  The differences will allow Henry (and Oliver and Jane, down the road) to gain confidence from the parts he easily masters while still challenging him with more difficult tasks.

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