I have used this on three boys. I use it has a supplement to First Language Lessons, All About Spelling, and Christian Liberty Press Phonics A, B, & C. I think they get more out of it when I use the exercises in the Teacher's Guide, but I do not always get to them, and I do not do all of the TG exercises-- LOL ! Sometimes they finish three lessons and THEN we do a "crash course" of some the exercises from the Teacher's Guide as a sort of review, quiz, or "test". I only do this delay, because they finish faster than I have the time to do the lessons and I don't want them waiting on me. I have not used the second edition.
I homeschool our special needs son and was looking for something that would be a great fit for our homeschool. After searching for a while, I found this curriculum but was a little skeptical because of the lack of "recent" reviews. I am however extremely glad that I did not let that stop me from purchasing the curriculum. These books have been the BEST fit for our homeschool. They work well with neuro typical as well as special needs children. Each lesson is broken down into manageable pieces that are easy to understand. Our son can do the work independently and is able to retain the information. I am so glad that I found this program, it has been an invaluable addition to our school day. I would recommend purchasing the explode the code books as well as the beyond the code series, you will not be disappointed.
I find the "Explode the Code" series very helpful in teaching phonics sounds to children. I have used it in the classroom as a classroom teacher and I am now using it as a homeschool teacher. It gives lots of opportunities for practice and gives students success in mastering sounds.
Reading, handwriting practice of real words, spelling & vocab. These books cover them all. My boys & I love this series and I am sure other kids would love them too. They can even be colored in because they are black line drawing pictures.