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How do you use Rod and Staff Grammar?


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How do you use Rod & Staff Grammar?


Option 1: Every year, completing one level and going on to the next until you finish 8th grade?


Option 2: Taking two years to do one program? If you do this, do you skip levels, or just go to the next one and not use every year (do you stop at level 6)?


Option 3: Do a whole level one year, do something else the next year (maybe concentrate on writing), then the 3rd year do another R&S level? Like 3rd grade R&S Grammar 3, then 4th writing, then 5th R&S Grammar 5, then 6th WWS? Or something like that?


Option 4: Other...


Please share how you use R&S Grammar and why?


I like the program, but I don't know if I can handle teaching the whole program every year, and do my kids need intense grammar every year?

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We did all of level 2 in 1st grade. It was easy, we did it all orally and it took 15 minutes a day.


We will finish all of level 3 this year, for 2nd grade. We do most of it orally. He writes the diagrams and we use the worksheets for more practice.


We will do all of level 4 next year, with the workbook. Again, we will do most of it orally but add more writing than we do this year.


I am prepared to take 2 years for level 5. We will use it for 4th and 5th grade. I have read that this year is hard and we will be transitioning into more writing and less oral work that year. We have time to take two years.


I am not using a separate writing program for DS. R&S has a full writing program in it. I will supplement with assignments (essays and papers) from history and science.


I will use all levels (I believe they now have 9th and 10th grade).


I like the repetition. We do two lessons at once some daus or skip a lesson of I feel it is too repetitive for him. I gauge what we do by how my son is doing. If he is recalling the daily review lessons, we move faster; if he is forgetting major concepts we slow down.


If you are starting in 2nd or 3rd grade, you can skip book 2. Book 3 covers everything with a little less repetition. It was great for a gentle start with a young 1st grader.

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We do option 1, but we won't be stopping with the 8 book. We do this because it's effective and R&S makes it easy. Grammar lessons take 15-20 minutes, yet concepts are learned well. The writing lessons are foundational and take a little longer, but they're still very age/skill appropriate.


Honestly, once you've been in the books awhile they don't seem intense. Because of how well the foundation was laid in the earlier books, my kids have blazed right through those higher books that have such a daunting reputation. I expect the previous poster will find the act of doing the work in the 5 book will feel like the same difficulty as the 3 and 4 books.

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Sort of option 1, though we skipped most of levels 2 and 3 and part of the beginning of 4. Now we're going lesson by lesson in 4, then we'll plan to do all of 5 next year (in 4th grade). I can't imagine spending 2 years on a book with my son, but he gets grammar easily. I've looked at the samples for level 5, and they don't look that much harder than level 4. I think we'll be fine spending just a year on it. If the upper books get to be too much, we can slow them down as needed. I don't know how far we'll go with it. That will partly depend on how much grammar review he needs later on, and whether we're using something else for writing at that time (if we're using Writing With Style for high school, I strongly doubt we'd need R&S for writing, for example).


I do assign the exercises as written (about half of them, not all of them). It is really helping my son increase his writing stamina. I've kind of been slow boiling him with the writing thing. He doesn't realize how much writing he's doing, when his "writing assignment" is only one paragraph per week. It's all those R&S exercises and other things in other subjects that have him writing more, without him realizing it. ;)

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It will take us about 1 1/2 school years to finish each book, since we have taken longer to go through our R&S workbooks this year (older two boys are doing 4th and 5th grade books). We don't do grammar daily, it happens two or three times a week at our house. I do skip most of the writing assignments, since we do lots of other writing across the curriculum. I don't like R&S 2--too preachy. I vastly prefer FLL 1-2 for that age range.


LIke other posters, I use the oral drill in the TM, teach the lesson, do the oral work, and then assign (most of) the written work as independent work. All this take about 15/20 min. of MY time--about 30 min. for the student.


Why do I use it? I like the built in review, the scripted and easy to follow lessons, and the fact that it is non-consumable. I also like the fact that it is easy to skip some lessons (like the review lessons, or the writing lessons), and still have a great foundation in grammar. Come to think of it, those are the exact same reasons I like FLL 1-2. I'm on the fence about FLL3 vs. R&S 3; I have both, and think it would depend on the child for which one I would chose.


I do think most kids do need consistent grammar/mechanics practice every year in elementary. It takes time for those skills sink in and become automatic; many kids can ease up with the grammar in high school.


If you need a year off, we have used the Abeka grammar workbooks for a "lighter" grammar year; we did this last school year, because I needed to spend more teacher time with my younger boy. The older two plugged away *on their own* with the grammar workbooks daily ( I did skip Abeka's writing assignments, too); all I did was check it over and give quick corrections as needed. It took just a few minutes of my time, and the boys continued to keep their grammar/mechanics fresh.

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We do option number 1. We do as much of a volume each year as we can. I do not like that the writing exercises are at the back of grades 2 and 3, because I never quite make it to them or if we do, just barely get started. But by vol. 4 the writing instruction is interspersed, so it works better for us.


For one of my children, to whom L.A. is simple, we only take a few min. on it a day (and not every day.) She reads the lesson, and if it is something new we discuss it. Mostly, that is it for her. I ask her to orally do the oral part, occasionally do some diagramming, and do all composition lessons. She gets grammar from her latin as well, and she gets it. Often we skip it for a couple of days, busy with other work, and then I have her read through a couple lessons in one day.


For the other child, the one to whom L.A. of all sorts does not come as easily, we spend much more time on it daily. We do all of the oral review in the T.M. (and I spend that time reteaching yesterday's lesson, because she doesn't remember until I do :) then we work through almost all of the work together on the whiteboard and then I assign a bit to notebook paper to put in her binder and to give her additional writing practice.


So the same program works for the purposes I need it for, for my gifted L.A. child and for the one that struggles with it., We will keep it up, at least reading through the lessons through the end of the program.

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