about the advanced codes

advanced codes

Homeschool/Parent Version

The Advanced Codes Curriculum is based on the Science of Reading and is aligned with Structured Literacy, just as was the Secret Codes. The Secret Codes prevents children from experiencing reading failure by teaching the students that the English Writing System is a code and how to use that code to read, write, and spell.

The Advanced Codes provides further instruction for first-grade students who have been taught with the Secret Codes as kindergarten students. Since students who have previously been taught with the Secret Codes curriculum are quite knowledgeable of phonemes, the next phase involves teaching them to analyze morphological units; units of meaning.

Students can become competent readers if the appropriate curriculum or intervention is provided. The Advanced Codes is that curriculum!

The Advanced Codes curriculum is based on the Science of Reading and is aligned with Structured Literacy. The Advanced Codes is the next step in the Secret Codes series provides more advanced training in grapheme-phoneme relationships and focuses on morphemes. Students learn more advanced aspects of literacy. All students will benefit from using the Advanced Codes. Students who are at risk for reading failure will become competent readers.

A detective ant helping young dyslexic children to read

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Your child will continue to learn and develop advanced relationships between sounds and symbols.

Your child will continue to practice decoding and synthesizing (blending) these new sound-symbol relationships.


Your child will learn about morphology, the meaning of words (prefixes, roots, and suffixes), and will use this information to read words.

Your child will learn about the meaning of vowels and consonants.


Your child will continue to develop his or her vocabulary.

Your child will learn about the dictionary and how it can be used to determine the pronunciations and meanings of words, particularly unfamiliar words.

Your child will learn about macrons and breves and how this information can help them to read more advanced material.

Your child will learn about syllables and syllable types.


Your child will learn to read words that are more difficult to decode.

Your child will learn how to gain understanding of unfamiliar words by using the dictionary and by using context.

Your child will learn about probability and hypothesis testing and how those concepts can be used to read unfamiliar words.

The English Writing System has different pronunciations and alternative spellings, using probability in combination with hypothesis testing will help them to read unfamiliar words.

Your child will learn about l-controlled vowels (he or she learned about r-controlled vowels with the Secret Codes.)

Your child will learn about open and hyphenated compound words.

Your child will learn about words that are homophones and homographs.


Your child will learn more about spelling and how to determine how to decide to use specific letter combinations and when.

Your child will be engaged in a considerable amount of writing.


Your child will add to his or her use of punctuation by learning about quotation marks and apostrophes.


The introduction provides background knowledge regarding the English Writing System and several aspects of language and literacy. The introduction presents an overview of the Secret Codes curriculum so that you have a context for what your child already knows. The introduction also provides specific information concerning how the Advanced Codes works.

Manipulative Supply List

The Secret Codes has a large number of manipulatives for children to help them acquire reading skills. First-grade children will have fewer manipulatives but will work with a dry-erase board, marker, and eraser. The curriculum is built around fewer manipulatives.

Your child will create and use a dictionary. There are instructions for when your child is required to enter a word and a definition or picture of the word.

The units provide specific instructions regarding how to proceed with each activity. This information contains the materials needed for that lesson, how the sounds are to be pronounced (if there are new sounds), and details regarding the activity. The activities are scripted, which is ideal as many parents may not be familiar with Structured Literacy techniques or with the Science of Reading in general. However, the activities are repetitive by design so parents become accustomed to the nature of the script quickly. Once the parent has mastered the gist of the curriculum and each activity within it, a strict adherence to the script, word by word, is not necessary.

Unit 1 is a review of the sounds taught in the Secret Codes curriculum.

Parent Whiteboards

Parents will use individualized whiteboards, mounted wall whiteboards, or other means to project the material for their children to see. Parents will write letters, words, and sentences on their whiteboards.

Parent Paragraph Cards

Beginning in Unit 3, Activity 42 Parent Paragraph Cards will be used. Until that activity, no paragraphs are presented in class. Parents will write letters, words, and sentences on their respective whiteboards. However, the paragraphs are long enough that they are presented on laminated cards to reduce the time needed to write the paragraphs. The Unit and Activity numbers are located on the bottom right of each Paragraph Card.

Parent Dictionary Entry Card

The concept of a dictionary is presented in Unit 2 Activity 21. A parent dictionary entry card is used for this activity and is the only Parent Dictionary Entry Card used.

Parent Vowel Matrix (Long Vowels) Card

The parent vowel matrix for long vowel sounds provides the long vowel sounds and how they are spelled for the long vowels that are presented in the Advanced Codes.

Child Whiteboards

Your child will use a whiteboard on which he or she will write letters, words, and sentences throughout the school year. He or she will also use dry-erase pens and erasers.

Child Dictionary Entries

Your child will also receive a blank dictionary. From Activity 21 onward your child will write dictionary entries each day. The words for each activity will be used as your child’s dictionary entries. The dictionary entries are used to help your child become familiar with dictionaries which helps with vocabulary development. Your child will write the two words on the front of the dictionary page with a pronunciation key and then write the definition or a picture of the word on the back of the page.

Your child will be writing words that they are learning to spell on their whiteboard several times per day. Your child will also write the definitions of the words he or she is using in his or her dictionary. Your child will write sentences on his or her whiteboard that you will dictate.

The total cost of the materials and shipping is $873.32