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Rod and Staff or CLE for grammar?


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I never thought I'd consider either of these, but here I am. What I've done in the past just hasn't worked. I'm looking for something simple to implement, effective, and won't kill us. Oh, I also want to combine my 4th and 5th graders if possible. Thanks!

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We have used RS English 2-5 and RS spelling 2. I have also taught CLE 200s LA. I personally prefer RS, particularly if you don't want or need spelling (my older son is a natural speller). We do much of it orally, and buy the test booklet. Some years I also get the worksheets. CLE is more independent. Nothing wrong with it at all, we just started with RS and saw no reason to switch. 

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CLE feels like a lot each day. And it includes everything- penmenship, spelling, English

R&S is very quick and easy to do orally or with only a little writing. This is just English. 

I have looked at CLE LA and just feel it is too jumbled as it spirals back around to topics. We like how simple R&S is. 

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Also, CLE feels very difficult to speed up, or skip unneeded things. R&S I find is very easy to skip lessons, combine or speed up through. R&S had several lessons on speaking proper English that my son didn't need because he has never struggled in that area. So we were able to just skip it. 

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I also like R&S, with the caveat that you don't need to get through all 136 lessons or whatever. And not every exercise. Even picking and choosing, it's very solid. I now use a different program, a Catholic workbook because they can just write right in the book, but I do still buy R&S to supplement. They just do such a good job.

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R&S, hands down, of the 2.

i deleted my original account back when the tech problems were going on or I'd link you to past threads when I was pulling my hair out over CLE. Unlike CLE, R&S doesn't just spoon feed things like the diagram skeleton to fill in; it teaches the student to think through which diagram to use and draw the skeleton needed, thus retention is so much better. It also really improved DS10's penmanship and stamina in written output because he was using real paper instead of workbooks. I like that we can do a fair amount together on a whiteboard and skip anything I know he has mastered or slow down and do extra work in weak areas because there are more than enough examples and even a booklet of additional worksheets to use or not at your discretion. 

 

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On 5/16/2021 at 3:14 PM, Meadowlark said:

I never thought I'd consider either of these, but here I am. What I've done in the past just hasn't worked. I'm looking for something simple to implement, effective, and won't kill us. Oh, I also want to combine my 4th and 5th graders if possible. Thanks!

If you want *only* grammar, I wouldn't recommend either one. I'd do Analytical Grammar or some other grammar-only product.

However, R&S English is *very* comprehensive, even if it isn't fun 🙂 So if your dc did the whole thing, grammar and writing, they'd get excellent instruction, and it would be easy-peasy for you. 🙂

At this age, I would not do it orally. One of R&S's strengths is the writing. There is value in having to write things on actual paper, neatly, with a pen (ok, I just put that part in about the pen, but I still think it's important, lol).

You could have your dc use the same text. Well, each should have his or her own book, but they could do the same thing. Even if you let work at different levels, it isn't going to be that much time for you, because everything the children need to know is right there in their textbooks. You just have to look over the lessons the night before, briefly go over things in the morning, give them their assignments, and Bob's your uncle. 🙂

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On 5/18/2021 at 5:37 PM, Emily ZL said:

I also like R&S, with the caveat that you don't need to get through all 136 lessons or whatever. And not every exercise. Even picking and choosing, it's very solid. I now use a different program, a Catholic workbook because they can just write right in the book, but I do still buy R&S to supplement. They just do such a good job.

Which one?  Can’t just tease us with a effective workbook!

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21 minutes ago, Lawyer&Mom said:

Which one?  Can’t just tease us with a effective workbook!

Lol, I didn't mention which because most people aren't Catholic, but we now mostly use the Language of God series from CHC. Some people think they are too easy because they almost always review absolute basics in each book like punctuating a sentence and what nouns and verbs are, but they do get harder and do include some diagramming. I tried to skip some lessons so we would have time for R&S but I couldn't skip as many as I wanted to - it was more solid than I expected. The diagramming is NOT as extensive as R&S and doesn't move as quickly. I also think R&S does an excellent job with teaching outlining. However, I was having a hard time planning out R&S lessons for all the kids (it sounds like it should be easy to just see what lesson you're at and where to go next, but times that by all subjects and kids and it adds up). So I switched to these workbooks and they just go on to the next page, with the answers in the back if you need them. When they finish a book we go on to the next one, or else fill the rest of the time with R&S or other writing. I think it's easy to flip through R&S and cherry pick the ones about diagramming gerunds or whatever you've missed.

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CLE LA is one of the only things we have stuck with for all the kids. We have found it easy to implement and efficient. I have no problem skipping unneeded sections when indicated (some kids have skipped the spelling, most have skipped the penmanship). I tried doing a year of DailyGrams instead, many years back, thinking we could take a year off, but my kids decided pretty quickly that they felt they should just keep going with CLE. I prefer the format over R&S (tried that before we started CLE). I’m also someone who prefers Math Mammoth over Singapore, due to format, so take that into consideration. If I had a 4th and 5th grader, I would start both in 400 level. It runs pretty advanced, and I only aim to get each of mine through 700 level and then we’re done (my current high schooler only went through the 600 level, and that was fine).

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13 hours ago, Ellie said:

If you want *only* grammar, I wouldn't recommend either one. I'd do Analytical Grammar or some other grammar-only product.

However, R&S English is *very* comprehensive, even if it isn't fun 🙂 So if your dc did the whole thing, grammar and writing, they'd get excellent instruction, and it would be easy-peasy for you. 🙂

At this age, I would not do it orally. One of R&S's strengths is the writing. There is value in having to write things on actual paper, neatly, with a pen (ok, I just put that part in about the pen, but I still think it's important, lol).

You could have your dc use the same text. Well, each should have his or her own book, but they could do the same thing. Even if you let work at different levels, it isn't going to be that much time for you, because everything the children need to know is right there in their textbooks. You just have to look over the lessons the night before, briefly go over things in the morning, give them their assignments, and Bob's your uncle. 🙂

I think it is important to note that it is made for classrooms, so the written work is typically a repeat of the oral work. It's made to be done orally with the class, and then extra practice can be done with the written practice, worksheets, or both. Obviously there is no work-around for diagramming or lengthy writing assignments, but the oral and written components can become quite redundant. For a child who hates the physical process of writing or has poor hand stamina, proficiency in the oral component could be adequate. 

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