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Rod & Staff 1st grade level for K

Guest jtomaw

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Hi there! I am currently using 100 Easy Lessons and games to teach my 4.75 year-old son to read and (although it is completely unnecessary) my brain is stuck on researching LA options for K next year. I am drawn to R&S because my son adores their preschool workbooks and it is affordable, but there is no K program for R&S. Do any of you have enough experience with the first grade level to know if the printing, phonics and reading portions could be used at least in parts for K without overwhelming a young student?

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If your son is ready to begin handwriting instruction (if he has good fine motor skills already), then the 1st grade level of Rod & Staff handwriting will be fine to use in K. If he does not have good fine motor skills and cannot trace a straight line without veering off and getting very frustrated, then I would hold off on formal handwriting instruction for a bit longer.


The first unit of Rod & Staff phonics would be perfect for the K age; there is very little writing. The second unit has quite a bit of writing and would be difficult to do with a child that was not yet writing well (unless the lessons were done orally). The first unit of the grade 1 worksheets (not the reading workbook) would definitely be perfect for a K student as well. Beyond that, though, I would not use the reading program or the rest of the units of the phonics program with a K student, they are just too writing-intensive and require the student to sit still for too long. They are more appropriate for what they are designed for - using with the average 6 or 7 year old. There are many other options that are appropriate for Kindergarten if you desire to do reading and phonics during K.


I used 100 EZ lessons with both of my older children during their K year and then started them with Rod & Staff reading, phonics, and handwriting in 1st grade, and I was very happy with the results - they both have good handwriting and get compliments on how well they read aloud. I have no regrets about not doing more phonics and handwriting instruction in K. My youngest is currently in K and I am using 100 EZ Lessons with him. I will probably use the first unit of phonics and worksheets with him this spring, just for something to do...we are working on his fine motor skills right now, and he has a ways to go before he can do anything writing-intensive.

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R&S K is a dilemma :)


One of mine that was already reading and doing math before K did:


R&S 1st grade math for K.

R&S 1st reading and phonics unit 2 over the last 2 months of K only.


For most of K, we just kept learning. We read books, practiced writing and growing her fine motor skills, and did little unit studies over typical K topics. She skipped unit 1 of R&S because she was knew her letters and sounds inside and out. For 1st grade she then picked up with R&S math 2 and did the last 3 units of 1st grade reading/phonics doing a few a week which left us time for lots of WTM style L.A. the other days.


My 2nd dd did for K:


About half of R&S math 1, then we switched to some K workbooks and math through literature units from Core Knowledge for the rest of the year when it started producing tears.


She was starting Bob books at the beginning of K, so we kept those up and she finished up the last of the ABC workbooks over the 1st semester.


2nd semester of K, she began unit 1 of R&S1 reading/phonics and we did it slowly over the rest of the year.


Then in 1st she continued the math 1 and reading/phonics 1 over the year, which gave us time to not have to do 1 of each a day, and we could do other things.


**** In general R&S 1 is a lot of writing even for a 1st grader. My odd that could read and write would have burned out trying to do all of it in K or even every day in 1st. The same for my younger. It worked for me to spread all of the work out as each child needed it. Both jumped into 2nd grade R&S english, spelling, phonics, and handwriting for 2nd and were able to do it daily, but we dropped the reading for WTM reading after 1st for both.

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I am using R&S 1st for my K'er. My plan is to slowly work through the units at his pace and then finish it up in 1st grade. So, I am thinking that we will get through at least Units 1 & 2 for K, and the finish the rest in 1st grade. My son really loves R&S and so do I!!! Hope this helps. Oh... I also let him color the pictures in the reader after he reads them to me a few times, and he loves that as well!

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R&S Math 1 is great for K. In fact, my advanced 4yo is already working on it. The Phonics and Reading are another story, however. You could probably do the first unit or so in K, but I think it might be too much after that for the average K'er.


I personally like to use the ETC Primers when they are ready for them, then ETC 1 for K. They also use the R&S ABC workbooks for PreK and K as desired. I keep K very laid-back. Once they hit 1st grade (or 6 years old, if they are on the old side for their grade) they start R&S 1st grade phonics/reading. The first unit is a review, but that's good since it gets them used to the new format.


Like someone else suggested, CLE Kindergarten II might be a good option, but be aware it might not take a full year. My sister is using it with her 4yo and it looks like it's only going to take her about 4 or 5 months to complete at the most. At that point she's going to start CLE Learning to Read with her (she'll be almost 5 at that point).

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