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K-1st grade books from Walmart online-are they as good?


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I am going to start homeschooling my soon to be kindergartener this fall. I've been looking things up on the internet to find the best curriculum. Some of those online are so pricey. I wanted something that is fun and educational but cheap enough to write in. I looked at Explode the Code as well as some on Wal-Mart's website. Wal-Mart has phonics, math, and reading books that are site to store. But I didn't know if they were more of supplemental books or if they are good enough for the primary learning books. There are about 27 listings just for K. There just isn't many if any reviews on them. If anyone has used any of them can you let me know how good they are? Or what other curriculum out there is top rated and inexpensive? What is your take on the Explode the Code? Thanks!

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Walmart books are usually meant to be supplemental. There are plenty of inexpensive resources for K level though.




  • Don Potter's Blend Phonics
  • Webster's Speller
  • Progress Phonics
  • I See Sam readers

Paid, but inexpensive (all of these take you to 4th grade+ reading level)

  • Phonics Pathways (~$20)
  • Writing Road to Reading (~$20, or older editions are easily found less than $10)
  • Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading (~$20)


For math, I personally like Singapore Essential Math K (~$20 for the year) with C-rods (~$10), or you could just use Education Unboxed videos (free) with C-rods (~$10). There is also MEP (free). Or just use the K list from Math Mammoth (free).


Explode the Code is also fairly inexpensive, though many folks use it to supplement a phonics program. You *can* use it to teach reading. Some kids aren't ready to write as early as they are ready to read, so those kids need to do ETC orally. There is also some question about how thorough ETC might be, but I've seen some say they used it by itself and it was plenty.


For handwriting, you can use any handwriting book you find. I'm using Pentime with my K'er right now. it's $5.50 per workbook, and he's doing the first grade 1 book (grade 1 is split into two books, but the other grades are just one book). Local teacher supply stores sometimes have Zaner-Bloser, Handwriting Without Tears, and other such things.

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