Reading should be done naturally and I completely agree with that. The problem is that my children don’t like reading and we have a few collections of English books for the natural resources. At the same time, English is not our first language. Both the children and myself need reading lessons, I think. With the limit of resources, knowledge and skill of reading are the problem, we found that the Rod and Staff reading series is very helpful. We have been using the English grammar series from Rod and Staff for three years, but I haven’t looked up the reading series before last year.
Rod and Staff Reading Series
Rod and Staff curriculum is uniquely Christian content in all of the subjects and grades. The reading series also has Christian content. There are two groups of Rod and Staff reading series:
- Grade 1-4
These levels work more with the chronological bible stories with bigger printed letters for the earlier levels.
- Grade 5-9
These levels work with some stories with Christian and missionary messages. The readers still involve biblical content with more focus on deeper message rather than chronological stories like the previous levels.
The Components of A Time To Plant
A Time to Plant consists of four books in a series:
A Time To Plant: Road and Staff’s Fifth Reader
There are 60 passages with the combination of poem, short story, composition theme, and bible. The composition theme is a short reading to lead student (children) into writing topics which are led by teachers (parents).
A Time To Plant Workbook
Workbook is used to help children with the vocabulary, reading comprehension, short writing, and review the previous lessons. Each of the lesson has those sections.
A Time To Plant Teacher’s Manual
The teacher’s manual has the key answer and teaching suggestion to each workbook and reader.
How We Use A Time to Plant
- We do skimming first before reading the whole text.
- Children read the whole text and skipping the difficult words
- Children do the vocabulary section of the reading in the workbook. First of all, the scan each word asked in the section. They underline each of the difficult words listed in the vocabulary sections.
- They interpret the meaning and do the exercise of vocabulary section.
- Children reread the text with more detail vocabulary the have done in the workbook.
- Children do the Reading for comprehension section in the workbook.
- We do brainstorm for the short writing section in the workbook.
- Children do the review with some work
- At the end of each lesson, children can do test
There are 60 reading passages in A Time to Plant. With that pattern, it takes us three lessons in a week to finish one reading passage on average.
What We Love about A Time to Plant
- Children learn how to get the meaning of difficult or new words without having to memorize. Well, we are not native English speakers so the vocabulary learning is very important for us. There are always several new words we find in any English text. It will be hard for us when we have to look up the dictionary any time we find difficult words. A Time to Plant trains children and me to interpret the meaning of difficult words using the context of the reading.
- A Time to Plant has religious messages that give character education to children at the same time. The religious and moral messages are packed in the reading passages in various ways. It will not make the readers bored. Even they are quite touching.
- It has teacher’s manual. Well, honestly, I cannot move on without it as I am not an English native speaker. I learn with my children at the same time.
- A Time to Plant has integrated writing lessons and reading theories, like recognizing characters, setting, plot, etc.
If you are looking for reading curriculum that “teaches” children the reading skills with Christian based content in the Grade 5 level, then you need to try A Time To Plant. For those who have limited resources of reading variation like us, you also can try using A Time to Plant.