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Rod & Staff English independent or teacher led


abrightmom
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I need to know what is required time wise for this program/how you are fleshing it out with your kids. . . :001_smile:

 

-- How much teacher time vs. how much work can be accomplished independently with good results (i.e. retention and application; understanding of the concepts).

--Is there a progression toward independent work here? For example, R&S English 3 is more teacher directed but by Level 4 they're independent or something like that. I'm speaking out of total ignorance here so pardon my lame example. :001_smile:

-- It would help to know if you're using this just for grammar OR if you're using it for grammar and writing. Also, if the grammar portion is independent but the writing portion isn't or vice versa (sp??) I'd like to know that as well.

 

We are using Phonics Road (which I love so far) and moving into Level Two soon which begins grammar. It is fairly teacher intensive though (for all aspects of English study) which I find desirable for these younger years. HOWEVER, as we move forward I wonder if I would be able to shift to semi-independent work if I use Rod & Staff. There are more kids moving up the ranks and soon I will be in over my head time wise!! :lol:

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I just started using R&S 2 with a first grader (yeah, a semester early) this week, so keep that in mind...

 

I think it can be as independent as your kids are ready for. In other words, my first grader who isn't ready to write that much yet (multiple sentences at a time) is doing it completely orally, though it takes *maybe* 5 minutes. Seriously. It is 2 pages in the little text book and you're done. Very quick and easy to do orally. For a child that can physically write well, the information is all there. I don't think you even really need the teacher's manual for the lessons (though I have it), at least at this level. I've looked through the whole book, and I think it'd be easy to be independent for a child that writes well.

 

There isn't really "writing instruction" at the level I'm using, so I can't comment on that. We use WWE for writing anyway, so I may or may not using writing exercises in R&S when they come up.

 

Now if you have a "reluctant writer", you might look at CLE LA. That was my alternate choice. I just saw R&S 2 in person and fell in love, so decided to go with it and just do the lessons orally. It's working out great so far (again, only 2 days into it :tongue_smilie:). CLE LA is more filling in a single word or drawing lines to match up answers or circling an answer, etc. One benefit of R&S though is that it's non-consumable. I liked both, and kept wavering between the two.

 

I can't speak to retention yet, obviously. We've done this 2 days. :D My son did remember later in the day what a sentence was (a complete thought), so it did sink in, even though we spent very little time on the subject.

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I use R&S with a 3rd and 4th grader. I can't speak a lot to retension because this is the first year we've used it, but it's a solid program that comes highly recommended so I don't doubt it will fare well in that area. There is lots of review both within the level and throughout the levels. I think in general, the older the child, the easier it will be for him/her to do it on their own and retain it (I would say this with any curriculum.)

 

My 3rd grader I sit with and go over the lesson with her first. She probably could do it independently, but doesn't want to. :001_huh: We read the text together, do some samples and once I'm clear she understands I give her the work I've assigned her to do independently. This works well for her. I would say it takes about 10 min. of my time.

 

With my 4th grader he reads his lesson and does the work I've assigned independently and it's been working well for him.

 

We do not do the writing exercises as we are doing WWE. Next year, when my oldest goes into Grade 5 R&S and once he's finished WWE4 he will do both grammar and writing for a full writing program.

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Thanks ladies. :001_smile:

 

Robyn,

 

Hearing that your 4th grader is independent is good news. This is what I'm going to need. 10 minutes in 3rd grade is also reasonable and to my liking. :D Is this 5 days a week and does this mean you finish the level in a typical school year?

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Two pieces of background info:

 

1.) I have used R&S 3-8 with first dd, 2-8 with second dd, used a bit of 9 in combination with other materials, and am just starting to use 3 with my little guy. So I've been using it for about 7 years.

 

2.) My homeschool philosophy is that my time should be spent on the core subjects when dc are younger (PreK-6 or so.) I skip big history and science programs/activities and concentrate instead on spending my valuable mom-child interaction time on reading, writing, math, and thinking/study skills.

 

So here are my thoughts about R&S:

 

I have had excellent results wtih R&S. My dc all love writing and grammar, even my dd that started out not liking to write. I do supplement the writing with IEW writing in our other subject areas. It looks a lot like SWB recommends in WTM: we use the R&S and then we write across the curriculum. R&S really does teach all of the basic forms of writing, though. You could use it up into junior high and then just teach research essays from there and be all set for high school. The emphasis in R&S is often on paragraph formation, which I personally feel many homeschoolers overlook (I have taugth writing classes for years in co-ops and tutorial programs.) A student who can't write a well-formed sentence and paragraph can't write an effective report or essay.

 

I use the TM to teach the lesson, usually having dc read the lesson out loud to me as we discuss it in 3rd-5th or so. From then on, I have them read the lesson before we meet for "class time," a format I use for many subjects. I then do review and practice items with them at my big whiteboard. Finally, I assign all of the written work. I check those later, and the next day we discuss any problems. They rarely miss problems, because I know they know the material before they even start. I don't want them practicing and cementing incorrect information. I do use the tests, but I don't use the extra practice worksheets.

 

As dc get older (6th grade on or so,) the lessons take less of my time, because I have that foundation there. I find that most things in homeschooling are about working hard in the early years and then reaping the rewards later. From 3-5, it might take me 20 minutes a day to do a R&S lesson, but from 6 on, it's down to 5-10 minutes a day. Also, because I know the material well msyelf, I can work review into daily life, so I might point out a similar concept in a book we're reading or we might get into a discussion about grammar in the car. That helps retention greatly.

 

I've recommended R&S to many other homeschoolers that I help locally. I have seen the ins and outs of many different homeschoolers using it over the years. From that, I have come to the conclusion that parent involvement is key to retention, interest, and carring the concepts over into other work.

Edited by angela in ohio
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We have always used Rod and Staff English independently. It takes 15-20 minutes a day. I assign the lesson, they read it, and do one or two of the written exercises. That's it! it is very simple. I even have the older children (usually 4th grade and up) check their own work with the teacher's manual.

 

There is a lot of review built in to Rod and Staff so, depending on the child, I find that we can skip over a lot and can easily get through a grade in a year.

 

I have not had any problems with retention. And, as I said, there is a lot of review that can be used if needed.

 

Susan in TX

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Two pieces of background info:

 

1.) I have used R&S 3-8 with first dd, 2-8 with second dd, used a bit of 9 in combination with other materials, and am just starting to use 3 with my little guy. So I've been using it for about 7 years.

 

2.) My homeschool philosophy is that my time should be spent on the core subjects when dc are younger (PreK-6 or so.) I skip big history and science programs/activities and concentrate instead on spending my valuable mom-child interaction time on reading, writing, math, and thinking/study skills.

 

So here are my thoughts about R&S:

 

I have had excellent results wtih R&S. My dc all love writing and grammar, even my dd that started out not liking to write. I do supplement the writing with IEW writing in our other subject areas. It looks a lot like SWB recommends in WTM: we use the R&S and then we write across the curriculum. R&S really does teach all of the basic forms of writing, though. You could use it up into junior high and then just teach research essays from there and be all set for high school. The emphasis in R&S is often on paragraph formation, which I personally feel many homeschoolers overlook (I have taugth writing classes for years in co-ops and tutorial programs.) A student who can't write a well-formed sentence and paragraph can't write an effective report or essay.

 

I use the TM to teach the lesson, usually having dc read the lesson out loud to me as we discuss it in 3rd-5th or so. From then on, I have them read the lesson before we meet for "class time," a format I use for many subjects. I then do review and practice items with them at my big whiteboard. Finally, I assign all of the written work. I check those later, and the next day we discuss any problems. They rarely miss problems, because I know they know the material before they even start. I don't want them practicing and cementing incorrect information. I do use the tests, but I don't use the extra practice worksheets.

 

As dc get older (6th grade on or so,) the lessons take less of my time, because I have that foundation there. I find that most things in homeschooling are about working hard in the early years and then reaping the rewards later. From 3-5, it might take me 20 minutes a day to do a R&S lesson, but from 6 on, it's down to 5-10 minutes a day. Also, because I know the material well msyelf, I can work review into daily life, so I might point out a similar concept in a book we're reading or we might get into a discussion about grammar in the car. That helps retention greatly.

 

I've recommended R&S to many other homeschoolers that I help locally. I have seen the ins and outs of many different homeschoolers using it over the years. From that, I have come to the conclusion that parent involvement is key to retention, interest, and carring the concepts over into other work.

Thank-you for this. Really. Thank-you.

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