(Arlington, Texas, USA)
Note: This review only encompasses elementary. Reviewer has not reached upper level Rod and Staff materials.
This curriculum is no sell out when it comes to education but comes with a cost. I have found this curriculum to be very educational in teaching the Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and other subjects. I find that they are good at keeping your child "ahead of the curve" in the core curriculum as well as solid Godly perspectives in the extracurricular courses. Most importantly, Rod and Staff has been very diligent in keeping the Bible and Godliness the main theme, not just "candy" or "decoration" or a side bar addition.
The cost: your time. This is not a curriculum for mothers needing "free time" or for educators whose teaching style is non-teacher directed education. Rod and Staff is mainly created for the Christian private school and thus employs such teaching methods.
If you enjoy TEACHING then you will really enjoy their teacher manual directions. I suggest to get the maximum results, do not skip on teacher suggestions in the manual. You do not need a chalk board or a teacher's desk or bell, this curriculum is easily modified to the home-school setting. The reward is that your child can master advanced core curriculum.
The Bible and morality in Rod and Staff is the main reward and the outstanding education is the cherry on top so I am willing to be more "school oriented" in exchange for the peace of mind of education it offers.
I also recommend their supplement in Knowing God's Stars- you can use in lower grades besides the recommended and combine it with unit or Charlotte Mason style science.
Rod and Staff is workbook based and modeled after a school setting. I find that parents who use Rod and Staff can use the core curriculum effectively while leaving science and other subjects unit studies or other teaching style directed with other supplements to meet their teaching style needs or student preferences. At base, stick with the core subjects with Rod and Staff, your children will, if you invest the time, excel at any diagnostic exam.
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