See the complete review of the print version in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
Explode the Code® is a series of 14 phonics workbooks that can either be used as your primary teaching tool or a supplement to another basic phonics program such as Alpha Phonics, Happy Phonics, or Phonics Pathways. You will not be likely to need all 14 books since they overlap in repeat content. Books 1 through 8 are the ones you are most likely to use. Books 1 1/2 through 6 1/2 should be used with children who need more practice on topics already covered in the other books. There are two teacher keys for the entire series. The first one covers up through books 5 and 5 1/2 while the second covers books 6 through 8.
Explode the Code Online
Explode The Code Online provides web-based instruction using lessons adapted from the entire series of Explode the Code books. Lessons are presented in full-color with audio instructions so that children may work independently. Student responses are recorded and their progress assessed. The program then makes adjustments for students to move ahead or review so that they are working only on skills they need to learn. The program might even skip lessons that review a concept if the student has demonstrated mastery. As a helpful extra feature, students are rewarded with various colored "buttons." The parent/teacher can quickly glance at the buttons and see how well a student is doing by the color of the buttons instead of analyzing results.
You can use the program by purchasing a one-year subscription. Explode The Code Online can be accessed from your computer or from your iPad or Android device. Students may access all levels during that subscription period. You can renew for subsequent years as needed. The program will track one student per subscription, and you can purchase additional subscriptions. This program can serve as your core program for teaching reading.
I think the online option might be even more appealing than the books since it tailors assignments for students. This keeps students from getting bored and frees the parent from having to decide which books or lessons a student needs to complete.
Note that the best price for Explode the Code Online is through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op. The only other option is purchasing directly from the publisher.