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Rod & Staff Math


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The good? The bad? The ugly? Any thoughts? I was intially thinking Singapore, then I was contemplating Right Start, now I'm looking at Rod & Staff. I'm leaning towards Memroia Press, and that is what they use. I do not have to use what they use, but don't want to say no out of hand. I also want to ensure that math is strong, so that it does not hinder any future career aspirations.

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Personally, I've liked Rod & Staff math. I started my youngest with Singapore, but it just wasn't clicking for him. Bought Right Start and couldn't make that work either. R&S was a better fit. Drill, but not so much that it killed him! I let him write in the book after the workbooks, through 4th grade. In 5th, we started copying problems, but we also started doing only about half of the review problems. If he has too many missed ones, we go back and pick up the rest. I'm doing book 7 with him now and will move to TT Pre-Algebra next year. I think R&S has given him a great foundation. (Sometimes tried-n-true works as well or better than "new fangled!")

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Good

Traditional, thorough, clear, explains well, holds the teacher's hand, has awesome teacher editions, open and go, gets the job done well, builds a rock solid foundation for upper math, keeps old concepts in regular review so they're not forgotten

 

I've found it very easy to customize for children who struggle with math, and those who are very math inclined. I'm on my fifth student to use R&S math now, and I nearly own the entire 1-8 set. Two of those students have moved onto other math curriculum, but not because we were unhappy with R&S. (One got so advanced his young hand couldn't keep up with the writing maturity required, and the other went to the book line she'd use for algebra and upward.)

 

A child who's finished the 8 book is ready to head off to algebra 1.

 

Bad

I wish the workbooks went higher, but my dd has had no problems writing in the earlier textbooks as if it were a workbook. In all fairness, she is younger than the maturity level they were aiming at. The only other complaint I can think of is the 2 book. The rest of the series has just the right amount of review and new concepts, but the 2 was just too much for both my DC who went through it. I solved that problem by marking out redundant review and/or skipping lessons for kids who were chomping at the bit for more. My DD currently using the first grade book will most certainly use that second grade book when she gets there, but I'll be on the watch for the above problem.

 

Ugly

Can't think of anything I'd label as ugly. Any problems commonly complained about are easily fixed. If it's moving too slowly for your DC, speed it up. If the review is overwhelming them, spread a lesson out. Definitely don't skip the oral presentation from the teacher's manual for the younger grades. That's where the math is actually taught and explained.

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Paradox5 "I have used R&S 1 and 2 (and MP K-1st). R&S is great for the child that needs LOTS of review and does not grasp math easily. It moves verryy slloowwllyy. Too slowly for us"

 

*sorry couldn't do a quote for some reason*

 

 

Interesting. I've found the opposite to be true with our family. My oldest daughter is very mathy and did very well with R&S. She was able to transition into prealgebra last year (6th grade) with no problems after doing R&S levels 1-7. I think it really lends itself to move quickly, if that's what your child needs.

 

My middle daughter struggles with math, and R&S is not working for her. We're switching to Teaching Textbooks.

 

I think it depends on the child. I'm using R&S math with my 1st grader, and she's doing very well so far.

 

I really like R&S and think it's a solid traditional, no nonsense math program.

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WE love it here too and I use it with my advanced child and my child that is right on track. I wouldn't say my younger is struggling though, so I don't know how it works for a kid that is barely hanging on. She does just right with its slow pace in the early books.

 

R&S picks up in the 4th grade book after the drilling of books 1-3, and then they are ready for it. It introduces each concept so wonderfully that they really get it. I am in the 6th grade book now, and I don't plan to switch to anything else w/my older student. I think we will continue it through 8th grade (her 7th grade year) using the 8th grade for preAlg, then move into something else for Alg. I her 8 th grade year. Since my younger is doing it grade level I have a couple of years to decide what will be her best path.

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A few of the people whom I know use(d) it have already posted (Nakia, SilverMoon, Ellie, and 2 girls mommy); I also know that Colleen in NS is using it with her children and is pleased. Beth in Central TX has a high opinion of R&S math, and felt it was a good, solid preparation for higher level math.

 

Here's a thread about R&S math, and another..

 

Hope something helps.

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