We used this book along side book 1, however you could use it independently if you wanted to. This could be used as extra help for a child who is attending a school and needs some extra help at home.
This book reviews the same concepts introduced in book 1. The suggested grade level is kindergarten. There are answers for the post test in the Book 1 & 2 teacher guide.
We would work on 2 pages per day so this book lasted about 45 days of work.
You could work all the way through book 1 then do book 1 1/2. We chose to do several units then go back and review those units with book 1 1/2. So we basically were working out of one book or the other everyday.
Book 1 1/2 has more reading in it as well as composing sentences. On the pages where writing a sentence, there is a picture and then words scattered in the box to connect together into a sentence. We would read through the words and I'd have my daughter play "connect the words" to get them in order before writing them out. This is a big skill to get into if not yet familiar with writing sentences. Be patient if they don't get it the first couple of times.
I feel like my daughter really benefited from the use of this book.
We just started this book a couple of weeks ago after finishing Explode the Code 1 and I am really glad that we are doing this before going to book #2. It is definitely a step up from 1 but has some overlap so that my five year old is still confident in what to do on each page. She still loves the drawings and silly sentences and is enjoying moving on the Explode the Code road.
My son has Apraxia of Speech & Dyslexia, which together makes reading and writing a BIG challenge. We started on book 1 1/2 & realized we needed to start back at book 1 for the workings of things & to build a foundation. I want to say that books 1 & 1 1/2 can be used together & I find they work better that way. At the bottom of each lesson in ETC book 1, it directs you to the pages of this book for further practice which makes them work very well together. You can also purchase the PAF series of workbooks to work with this system of learning for children with dyslexia. My only negative comment is like other reviewers, some of the graphics are hard to decipher.