Rod and staff questions

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  • AFthfulJrney

    I’ve decided on using R&S for English for my 3rd grader after seeing it at a homeschool used book sale and hearing some great reviews on it. However, after perusing the milestone books site, I’m now curious as to how well their spelling and math is for 3rd grade? Or simply in general? I was going to use A Reason for Spelling and Singapore, but now I’m curious about R&S. Anyone have any input?

    Also, how is their reading program for a 1st grader? Am considering this as well.

    Thank you!


    We use both the spelling and the English.  Others may not agree with me, but I feel we have been able to use both in a CM way.  I like the spelling because it is more than just a list of rules and words.  The exercises are thoughtful and help them really think about the sound and structure of the words. (hence the name 🙂 )  We use it very simply, doing just a portion of a lesson each day. (there are 3 parts to each lesson)  It only takes my girls about 5-10 minutes.  We don’t do tests or quizzes or even review the words.  They do it completely independently, and one of the reasons I don’t mind using a workbook in a CM education is that I like that it teaches them to follow directions carefully.

    For the English, we sit on the couch and read through the lesson together.  Then we do a few of the exercises orally so that I can see they understand the concept.  After that, I send them off to do just a few of the written exercises.  I generally skip the exercises that just call for short answers.  Instead, we focus on the ones that have them demonstrate their understanding of a new concept with a writing exercise.  I would say that we do about 2/3 of it orally with a short amount of written work. It only takes them about 10-15 minutes. I remember reading examples once of Charlotte’s grammar lessons and noticing that they looked very much like the lessons in our R&S books.

    We use the spelling books from 2nd grade through about 5th grade.  English we start in 3rd and will continue through at least 8th.


    R &S math is traditional, and a solid program. We used it for a short time,  but switched to Right Start because my dd needed more manipulatives and games for her to understand math.

    The readers are nice.  I don’t have the reading program. My youngest daughter struggles with reading and uses many materials.  Her current favorite is Christian Light Learn to Read- just the workbooks and readers.


    Missy OH

    I use RS English and Spelling much like Kerij described.  My family has a lot of language delays and we just do not pick up correct speech naturally.  RS gives us lots of practice and review.  We skip a lot of the composition lessons.  We start around 4th grade with either book 3 or 4 and finish book 8 by 12th grade.

    RS Spelling is done by just doing the workbook pages.  I do not give them spelling tests on the lists.  The workbooks are wonderful for giving them some spelling rules without over doing it, and the upper level spelling books give them more vocabulary building skills (word roots).  We have not tried latin in our home so I find this beneficial for my kids.

    We still do dictation consistently.







    I decided to go ahead and get their spelling. It looks like the gentle approach I want!

    Thanks again for all the input! 🙂



    Thanks for the input, I’ve been hearing good things about R&S for years but only just now have a kid who appreciates textbooks. My others really prefer the casual, literature based approach to everything.



    We were using Phonics and my DD hated it. She is an avid reader and was bogged down and frustrated by the “phonetic rules” that did not always work. After listening to the training videos, I decided to skip it.

    I am going to try the Spelling here and we are dropping phonics for now.
    R&S is good, but it is very much a classroom curriculum.

    We do have the Builder for her sentence structuring though and we will continue to use that, but not until she is 9/10. I got it when she was in 2nd grade because that is how it is listed and it was too much too soon.


    We use Rod and Staff spelling and English similar to the ladies above.  The spelling can be done almost independently and I have noticed a great improvement in my oldest son’s spelling.  He really needed a more phonics based spelling program to be successful, which Rod and Staff provides.

    The English is quick and easy to do orally together (maybe 10 minutes a day).  We start level 2 in the 3rd grade and work at a pace of about 2-3 lessons a week.  My plan is to complete level 8 by 12th grade.  I love that these books are made so well and can easily be used by all my children throughout their schooling without having to buy expensive consumables each year!

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