Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Embassy

Reasons not to buy Rod and Staff English...

Recommended Posts

It's a good program, but since you want reasons not to...

 

1) If you have a kid that gets grammar easily and they're in the younger levels (grade 1, 2, 3), R&S may move too slowly. That was the case for my son, even when using it a year ahead. Still too slow and easy. We may pick it up later in the grade 5 or 6 range.

 

2) If you don't want all the example sentences to be about farm life or Bible stories. (though you *can* change up the sentences... we did some Star Wars sentences at times :lol:).

 

3) If you aren't comfortable with tweaking a curriculum designed for schools... There are a lot of exercises meant to be written out, and that's a lot of writing. Many use it orally or just assign a smaller number of exercises to be written (I tried both ways).

 

On the good side, it is inexpensive, easy to use, has a non-consumable student text, has a good TM with plenty of help in what to teach without being scripted (though if you need hand holding, there is plenty there), has spiraling oral review included in the TM, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no getting around that it is religious. It can be considered to be boring. You do have to be judicial with what things you assign your child to write or skip.

 

BUT, I like the oral review and it's not boring to me. Rebecca is learning well with it. I like it better than (shh) FLL3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh, here's one! If your child is a strong auditory learner, or is weak in reading ability, he or she may prefer First Language Lessons.

 

(Actually, I only say that because my son is not an auditory learner, so FLL would never work for him. It's not like you don't read the R&S lessons out loud, though, so...)

 

Or, if you enjoy the closeness that FLL brings, you might find R&S alienating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't want your child to be independent after a short period of training.. (my two oldest work on their own with the occasional help/checking for understanding from me)

 

If you don't want your child to regard grammar as something doable.

 

Ok, reverse psychology here. We like it. The children are not getting bored and they actually learn and retain the information.

 

My 8 yo boy is doing level 2 and 9 year old girl is almost done with level 3. The boy does most of it orally, with the occasional writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Way too much writing time if you write all the assignments out--esp. for little ones who find a lot of writing to be difficult. That is why we started using the books as consumable workbooks and I allowed them to write in the books. Very little needed to be put on paper and it took much less time. It made the the process soooooo much easier for everyone.

 

Jean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did NOT like it. It was drab, colorless, and boring. There was also a TON of work each day! It would take us 2+ hours just to finish the phonics and the reading. By the time we were done, even I was crying!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I REALLY, REALLY wanted to like it. I still have it b/c I want to like it.

 

BUT, it's boring (for us). My son would GROAN every time we got it out. It's a great program, but he didn't retain anything b/c we did it orally since he's writing phobic and it required a ton of writing. I do think it's a GREAT program, just not for us. I used it for 1/2 of 2nd and I have 3rd grade as well, but we're sticking with FLL after trying GWG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We did NOT like it. It was drab, colorless, and boring. There was also a TON of work each day! It would take us 2+ hours just to finish the phonics and the reading. By the time we were done, even I was crying!

 

The OP was asking about R&S English, not Phonics or Reading. The "English" program doesn't take that long. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm considering using Rod and Staff English. Help me make a decision.

 

:bigear:

 

I love R&S English. I've used it with most of my kids and am a huge fan. The older ones who've taken the SAT do very well on the writing portion, and they credit R&S for that.

 

However, since FLL was published I've used it with my last few dc, and for grades 1-4 I like it much better than R&S. It's more engaging, has better review, and the poems are much more interesting. My kids who have used FLL retain more and are better prepared for advanced grammar.

 

So, I vote for FLL 1-4 followed by R&S 5-10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We did NOT like it. It was drab, colorless, and boring. There was also a TON of work each day! It would take us 2+ hours just to finish the phonics and the reading. By the time we were done, even I was crying!

 

That sounds more like R&S Reading (probably the Bible Nurture and Reader series?) than R&S English, which is very grammar-focused (at least at the level we're using).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used R&S English up to 7th with DS and we loved it. With Dd it was not a good fit because she has some comprehension issues and her memory is not as good as DS. I probably could have made R&S work for her if I spent more time figuring out how to make the material click for her, but time is not something I have a lot of currently. I switched her to Shurley which is better for her. The jingles and questioning pattern make grammar much easier for her to grasp.

 

So, my short answer is that as the material gets harder in R&S kids with lds may not be able to handle it. I still think R&S is a great curriculum. We love the farm theme and both kids especially like the exercises where you read aloud sentences with poor grammar and identify the mistakes. Some of the sentences sounded soo funny!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We did NOT like it. It was drab, colorless, and boring.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

It appears a solid enough program but I'd rather watch paint dry than try to teach it. Michael Clay Thompson's LA series and Don Killgallon's applied grammar/sentence writing series show that grammar doesn't have to be stultifying for students to learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a fantastic program for the right kids. But, for what you're asking, because it would be too much written, we did it orally and dd got nothing from doing it orally.

It's mastery, so it's like kicking a dead horse. It would have been better (for us) if they divided the topics in half and did half now, gone to something else, doing half later on. It lacks context. For us, it was hard to apply it as they didn't use it in that sense.

 

With that said, we loved the phonics books (which is part of the reading program, not English). Straightforward and was a nice addition to the reading. program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this was mentioned, but if you do not have a strong (well at the least average knowledge) Biblical story or contextual background, go with Hake.

 

I noticed that this can cause problems with the sentences by not knowing the places, names, or things that are referenced. Not knowing a word causes problems with parts of speech recognition here, which effects diagramming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are trying it for the first time this year, so I don't have the perspective of a whole year yet.

 

So, mostly I think it's working well... here are my complaints....

 

1)The review seems like extra and we skip it a lot in the interest of time.... I suspect that will come back to haunt some of us. (With FLL or CLE the review is more "built-in")

 

2)We have diagrammed sentence skeletons - I do prefer diagramming the entire sentence as we did in FLL.

 

3)The first units of all the levels we used covered different types of sentences - compound, complex, etc. This was the most challenging thing to us so far - even for my older two who had experience with FLL. For my 3rd grader the same unit taught diagramming skeletons one day and diagramming compound subjects and verbs the next. I thought this was way too quick. We had to slow down and spend more time on those lessons and it was extremely frustrating to her. Now that we've moved on to the lessons covering nouns, etc. it all seems easy again. I'm still forming an opinion, but tend to think FLL3 does a better job of teaching diagramming, gently and thoroughly. But I think there might be some topics in R&S that aren't covered in FLL.

 

For a child who catches on quickly and doesn't need tons of practice, R&S can be efficient. For a child who needs more incremental, more repetition, (i.e. a more spiral approach), FLL or CLE might be better. I like FLL 3 and 4 just fine (though I personally don't think FLL4 covers much more compared to FLL3), but I can't stand the thought of having more than one child in one of those at a time because of the drain on my time. Clear as mud?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With that said, I still love R&S English! My girls have learned so much. If you ask my girls if they "like" R&S they will be the first to say no. But they also realize how much they know versus PSers.

 

The thought behind our homeschooling is to give our girls the best education we can. I, personally, feel R&S does that with their English books. Yes, it can be slow. I like slow. They have the chance to master a concept before moving on. I also like how each year the same concepts are gone over again, but a little deeper each time.

 

My opinion is go for it. Yes, it is religious and farm focused, but sometimes it leads us into conversations we would never had with another curriculum.

 

Marsha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure if this was mentioned, but if you do not have a strong (well at the least average knowledge) Biblical story or contextual background, go with Hake.

 

I noticed that this can cause problems with the sentences by not knowing the places, names, or things that are referenced. Not knowing a word causes problems with parts of speech recognition here, which effects diagramming.

 

 

I was having a hard time thinking of something new to add until ChrissySC mentioned Hake. We left Hake in favor of Rod & Staff. Hake covers the same topics but it does not cover them in nearly the same depth. So I would say if you want nitpicky grammar that really plumbs the depths of the subject Rod & Staff is the better choice. If the thought of in-depth grammar makes your skin crawl and you break out in hives do *not* choose R&S. Or you could but take it slowly and only plan to get your student through Book 6.

 

My 8th grader was flying through Hake, independently. Never got anything wrong. Simple, simple stuff. Gave him some SAT grammar exercises. Not a clue! That's when we switched everyone to R&S. I gave him book 8. He could NOT do it independently. It is nit.picky!! I love it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was having a hard time thinking of something new to add until ChrissySC mentioned Hake. We left Hake in favor of Rod & Staff. Hake covers the same topics but it does not cover them in nearly the same depth. So I would say if you want nitpicky grammar that really plumbs the depths of the subject Rod & Staff is the better choice. If the thought of in-depth grammar makes your skin crawl and you break out in hives do *not* choose R&S. Or you could but take it slowly and only plan to get your student through Book 6.

 

My 8th grader was flying through Hake, independently. Never got anything wrong. Simple, simple stuff. Gave him some SAT grammar exercises. Not a clue! That's when we switched everyone to R&S. I gave him book 8. He could NOT do it independently. It is nit.picky!! I love it. :D

 

 

Consider that while we still struggle with R&S because of the sentence subject matter, I chose to teach the Bible stories so that we can continue to use R&S.

 

I was trying really hard to find a fault for the OP.:lol:

 

Hake is still a great alternative, but even then I might choose Macmillan over Hake, or even Harcourt, because of the enrichments that can be added. Of course, not the topic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the responses. This has been helpful.

 

It looks like it might be a good fit. My son likes grammar, but hasn't retained it well. I need a slow approach that is somewhat teacher intensive because interaction with me improves his comprehension. He liked CLE. I didn't. He hated MCT LA. KISS had him jump right into the deep end which did not work well. He LOVES diagramming. I'm using the Mark Twain Media diagramming book this year. I'm also having him read the Daily Diagrams and he can read them with ease. So diagramming connects with him. Parsing has been very difficult for him.

 

I found CLE too scattered with the constant review and jumping from grammar to spelling to writing. We only needed the grammar portion. Is R&S scattered or is it easy to just do the grammar sections?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used R&S after completing all the FLL series. We started R&S 5 after completing FLL4. We are almost done with R&S6 (DS started 6th grade in August). The books have been nothing but review. My son can diagram any sentence - I attribute that to FLL. I don't believe that R&S goes into as much detail as FLL (as far as a good foundation in grammar). R&S has been fine for the last two books, and I appreciate the review of the material previously learned, but without a solid foundation in grammar, I think it's an average curriculum.

 

If you want your son to learn grammar well, I'd recommend FLL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for all the responses. This has been helpful.

 

It looks like it might be a good fit. My son likes grammar, but hasn't retained it well. I need a slow approach that is somewhat teacher intensive because interaction with me improves his comprehension. He liked CLE. I didn't. He hated MCT LA. KISS had him jump right into the deep end which did not work well. He LOVES diagramming. I'm using the Mark Twain Media diagramming book this year. I'm also having him read the Daily Diagrams and he can read them with ease. So diagramming connects with him. Parsing has been very difficult for him.

 

I found CLE too scattered with the constant review and jumping from grammar to spelling to writing. We only needed the grammar portion. Is R&S scattered or is it easy to just do the grammar sections?

 

I'm not sure what grade your son is in, but if my ds wasn't anything but an auditory learner and was in the right age range I would so do FLL. I actually own/tried 1/2 and he retained zip, but I love it. It is the sweetest thing ever and we love those cuddle up on the couch lessons. In fact, we do Apologia science all snuggled up in my bed! Not sure if you'd considered it like the pp suggested?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing, If you have a B&N close by they'll order FLL for you to look at with no purchase necessary. I have FLL 3 coming in this week to preview. ;) I'm wondering when we start R&S if it may just give him some perspective and he'll appreciate/apply himself to FLL better and am keeping it in my mind as possible backup, just in case R&S doesn't pan out here. :tongue_smilie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure what grade your son is in, but if my ds wasn't anything but an auditory learner and was in the right age range I would so do FLL. I actually own/tried 1/2 and he retained zip, but I love it. It is the sweetest thing ever and we love those cuddle up on the couch lessons. In fact, we do Apologia science all snuggled up in my bed! Not sure if you'd considered it like the pp suggested?

 

I'm considering it for my two sons. FLL looks like a great program, but a scripted program with narration, dictation, and memorization isn't for me. :leaving: My oldest learns well with auditory and visual methods in general, but grammar seems to click with him visually - hence the love of diagramming. My younger son is very visual. Both learn well when interacting in contrast to a program where they do it themselves. I like my younger son's grammar set-up this year (living books, videos, lapbook), but I need something for writing instruction. He would place in R&S 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading through the logic stage section of WTM this afternoon - again. I'm still trying to plan next year. So, Rod and Staff is highly recommended. I looked at samples *again*. :glare: My oldest daughter would be ok...but my son - no. way. It just looks very, very dry. Like desert dry. My son would cry. Any parents out there able to implement Rod and Staff in your homeschool, you have my salute! :gnorsi:

 

Things that have worked for us...(since you're looking!)...Primary Language Lessons, Intermediate Language Lessons, my son actually loves Galore Park English (I honestly think it was written for dudes) and there are a bunch of writing assignments in there, my oldest daughter loves MCT LA (but you said that didn't work out for you)... Probably none of it is "as thorough" as Rod and Staff.

 

If you haven't looked yet...SWB also recommends Voyages in English and Shurley Grammar. You have to add a writing program, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm considering using Rod and Staff English. Help me make a decision.

 

:bigear:

 

We are Christians, but we found the constant Bible stories and "instructional" stories to be overkill to the point of sacrilege (for us). The children are always so helpful, and if they aren't, they get what is coming to them.

 

That said, my oldest has used R&S since 4th grade and has exceptionally good grammar skills. He hates it, but he is good at it. He tells me that the example sentences are usually things like "everything you never wanted to know about the dangers of fruit bats"

 

My middle only used it for two years before he was crying over it. I've moved him to FLL 4 and it is going swimmingly.

 

R&S lacks:

Dictation passages

Good poetry (The poetry is truly awful.)

 

R&S abounds in:

Gender stereotypes

Stories about helpful children

Stories about Biblical characters.

Very good grammar instruction.

Painfully boring example sentences For example: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Mother said, "I have assigned the boys some chores." and "The congregation listened reverently to the message."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...