Rod and Staff English

I was reminded again why we’ll be heading into our sixth year enjoying Rod and Staff English. Yesterday, third grader and I read…

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

The assignment to emphasize that when we read God’s word we “should be careful to get all the good sweetness we can…

…We must not read so quickly that we miss the important truths God wants to teach us. Nor should we read so slowly that our minds wander and bits of truth slip away.”

Further on the assignment was to copy and memorize the above verse. I adore that we are using God’s word to study English.

Just the day before we read sentences, pictured above. Do you see the names of Biblical cities? Goshen. Tarshish. Some of these might be difficult for a third grader to read. But why shy away from them? Practice pronouncing them now for confidence later.

In our home, many times we do the lessons orally. The curriculum is written for a classroom, so we adapt. The children and I can read through the written exercises together. Other times I ask that they do a writing assignment. There is a nice variation of poetry, writing and good old diagramming (in older grades). We simply buy a spiral notebook to accompany the grade – so all written assignments are in one spot.

We also don’t begin grammar lessons until mid way through the second grade year. Even then we may only do a couple lessons a week. So far each of our children have enjoyed this series so much that they have each asked to do more. Now, my older three children head into their 4th, 7th and 8th grade years with Rod and Staff.

“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

The verse we found at the bottom of another lesson, illustrated with clouds, butterflies and mushrooms….

Whatsoever things are true,

Whatsoever things are honest,

Whatsoever things are just,

Whatsoever things are pure,

Whatsoever things are lovely,

Whatsoever things are of good report;

think on these things.

–Philippians 4:8–

For a detailed listing of specific levels available and ordering information, please see Annie Kate’s review: Rod and Staff Grammar or Kristen’s review: Rod and Staff English.

~Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos homeschooling five children. She contributes a blend of writing at parenting and homeschool sites as well as her own daily Hodgepodge.

Tricia (97 Posts)

Homeschooling for over a dozen years now, Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos with five children. She is author of art curriculum for all ages, a cookbook series and helpful homeschool habits at Hodgepodge. She and her husband, Steve, are owners of The Curriculum Choice.


{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Robin at Stone Soup Homeschool Network May 11, 2011, 12:37 am

    I forgot how much we liked Rod and Staff with my older kids…

    Philippians 4:8 is my absolute favorite verse!

    Great post!

    Reply
  • Rebecca May 11, 2011, 7:24 am

    Oh, we are using Rod/Staff this year! I am so excited…..going to spend time with the TOG information you had at the booth over the weekend! So excited about school next year…and so thankful I met you in person!

    Reply
  • Melanie Robbins May 11, 2011, 9:31 am

    Sounds like a wonderful series! Thank you so much for sharing. We currently use Easy Grammar, but I may need to look into this curriculum further. :)

    Reply
  • Tricia May 11, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Robin, Rebecca, Melanie – thanks for your kind comments! We also love Rod and Staff for the funny examples of poor grammar. “That there busted window needs to be fixed.” Any time you can laugh and enjoy a grammar lesson, it’s a good thing :) Also, as a bonus, the curriculum is very affordable. Since all of mine are using (then siblings using again) each text, it’s an easy investment.

    Rebecca – It was such a pleasure to meet you! Looking forward to talking to you more about Tapestry!

    Reply
  • Annie Kate May 13, 2011, 8:06 pm

    Great review of a great product! My kids are astonished that many high school graduates do not know the parts of speech. LOL

    Annie Kate

    Reply
  • Kristen May 30, 2011, 10:36 am

    I’m a big fan of R&S for English too! I’ve taken 2 kids through 3-6. I’m hope to use it with kids 3, 4, and 5 too :)

    I also reviewed in on CC.

    http://thecurriculumchoice.com/2009/07/rod-staff-english/

    Reply
    • Tricia May 30, 2011, 11:11 am

      Kristen! How did I miss your review? I’ve updated mine with a link to yours as well. Thank you :)

      Reply
  • Rebecca Foxworth July 27, 2011, 11:39 pm

    I am considering starting Rod & Staff with my 6th grader next year. I’ve read that if she starts in the middle, she should start at least one grade below. What’s your take on this? She’s a high-scoring (state standardized tests) soon-to-be 6th grader who took two years to finish Easy Grammar 4. She’s a prolific writer, but right now I’d characterize it as a bit disorganized and unpolished. Thoughts?

    Reply
  • Tricia July 29, 2011, 6:21 am

    Rebecca, Annie Kate has more detail on placement in her review here: http://thecurriculumchoice.com/2010/07/rod-and-staff-grammar/ We started about half way through the 2nd grade year with the English 2 book with all of my children and they have followed the grade levels. Yes, Rod and Staff Grammar is rigorous. My eldest is also a prolific writer and Rod & Staff helps to meet her needs in that area. My opinion, based on what you have shared and my experience, is that English 6 would be a good place for your 6th grader to start. However, if you have younger children – you could go ahead and purchase both 5 and 6 (or view them at a homeschool conference) – since this curriculum is so affordable. I have read that about starting one grade level below but that hasn’t been the case for us so far. I hope this is a help to you in some way? ~Tricia

    Reply

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