My friend Lauren sent me a question about Rod and Staff English. We do dearly love Rod and Staff English and have now officially used every year available – from 2nd grade to 10th! I asked Lauren if I might share our discussion here, in case others are considering Rod and Staff for their homeschools.
My son has done Easy Grammar during this 3rd grade year. We have done no formal writing at all (eek!). I’m fairly certain I’m going to use Rod and Staff (R&S) English through the summer and into next year for 4th grade (although we don’t really do grade levels here…we just plod along).
I hear that R&S English was somewhat advanced…do you think that’s true? I’m trying to decide which level to purchase for him. I’m assuming I need to back up and purchase grade 3. What do you think? You’ve used R&S for years, right?
He’s an avid reader, has only done just a bit of formal phonics instruction (since he read so well and so early), but we’ve completed through Level 3 of AAS. Don’t know if those add any pieces to the puzzle of what to order or not.
I’d love to hear your opinion when you have a few free moments! And thank you! ~ Lauren, Mama’s Learning Corner
Inside view of Rod and Staff English 2
Yes we love R&S and have used it from the start. My children all excel in language arts and grammar – their strong point. So, though I also had heard that it was rigorous I kept them on grade level. My eldest, like yours, is also “an avid reader, has only done just a bit of formal phonics instruction (since (s)he read so well and so early).” My older ones have moved ahead some in the middle and high school grades. We do the lessons mostly orally in the youngest grades. Somewhat independently in the upper grades. And sometimes, like Saxon Math, we only do a portion of the exercises/questions at the end of each lesson. Simply because R&S English is designed for a classroom.
“I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” Psalm 77:12 – from inside cover of Preparing to Build, English 2
And I definitely wouldn’t worry about not doing any formal writing by that age – we haven’t/hadn’t either. Rod and Staff offers plenty of opportunity to do just such a thing throughout the year. Rod and Staff incorporates writing paragraphs, poetry, editing etc. I feel mechanics are so much more important – get the grammar basics and then go from there!
Plus, since you are using Tapestry of Grace, like we do, you will find that you will have weekly opportunities for writing assignments, topics and projects. We find that we we choosing week to week between Rod and Staff English and Tapestry of Grace!
(Note: this is my experience with my children who do well in language arts and reading in general. I do understand from fellow homeschoolers that if your child struggles in English/grammar, that starting a grade ‘below’ is suggested with Rod and Staff.)
So, based on what you are saying. If he is heading into 4th then I would get 4th grade. And I have never needed the teacher manual. Hope that helps some?
Using the iPad as a dictionary for a Rod and Staff 5th grade assignment last homeschool year.
Even more on Rod and Staff English:
- My review at The Curriculum Choice
- Please also see Annie Kate’s review: Rod and Staff Grammar or Kristen’s review: Rod and Staff English.
- I order directly from Rod and Staff books or from their booth at the GHEA convention.
In addition, we also love and recommend:
Earlier this week I shared our experience with Teaching Textbooks. You might like to browse our Hodgepodge Curriculum Review Index and the round up of Language Arts Resources from The Curriculum Choice authors.