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A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

Hi,

We have been using A Beka from the beginning. I was just wondering if any of you had switched from one to the other? What did you like or dislike about either program? What are the differences? Is Rod & Staff better at creative writing?

Thanks,
Teresa

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

I prefer R&S for both spelling and English.

IMHO, Spelling by Sound and Structure is more comprehensive than ABeka's Spelling, Vocabulary, Poetry (4th grade and up; second and third SSS is very basic--age appropriate, IMHO, but basic). Possibly that's because SSS focuses on *spelling,* not also vocabulary and poetry. The spelling words themselves are not always difficult, but they are within most children's personal vocabulary, and the activities really cover more applications and usage and whatnot than ABeka's does.

The English is as strong as ABeka's without the overkill factor on the grammar. There is more writing instruction than ABeka's, and more practice (contained right in the student text; you don't get as much writing with ABeka unless you buy the teacher's curriculum or enroll in the Academy). R&S's 7th grade text *really* picks up the pace in writing.

I also like the fact that R&S's English series is textbook instead of workbook (and the spelling 6-8). I think it is important to do as much *writing*, as in pencil/pen-to-the-paper, as possible.

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

Ellie,

That was a great comparison.

You said that you think it is good for the child to do lots of writing. Do you think it is better for them to do the exercises on paper versus orally? I feel like my children can do well when we do them orally, but I STILL want them to write out most of the written exercises just to make sure they are getting it. Not to mention, I too, think it is good for them to practice "writing". So, do you think I am making do too much by doing most of the written practice on their own?

Jennifer

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

Well, I'm really sort of a delayed-academics kind :-) but if I thought my dc needed to know the grammar and whatnot at 7 or 8yo, and I decided to use R&S, then yes, they would do all of the written work. If I didn't think they were old enough to do the writing, I wouldn't use R&S. Clear as mud? :-)

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

My thoughts with the writing is that I want my children to write more in their writing assignments and less grammar sentences, so I much prefer a wb. And it if is a problem with them "wrestling the wb down" then use the perforated pages and tear them out. But if a child needs the extra reinforcement of writing out grammar then it would be good to do less oral and more written. A lot of folks do R&S orally and just add the work sheets if they feel the need. It all depends on what the child needs.

TheTM that R&S has is better than any other that I have ever seen. It is easy to use, it tells you what to do, it has shrunken student pages, and has the answers to the text, work sheets, and test all in one book! I have seen none better. With ABeka to get the same thing you would need :
curriculum guide
tm (for text answers)
test key

The one thing that bothers me most about R&S is the explanations get very long after about the 4th grade. My kids spent so much time reading the lesson that they were spent by the time they got to the assignment. ABeka's explanations are short, sweet, and to the point. I have never had even one of my 3 kiddos not understand a lesson from lack of explanation either.

The point of ABeka beating grammar to death I would really like for your to elaborate on Ellie. We have done both R&S and ABeka and I just don't see R&S being any more gentle unless it is in the lower grades? With both publishers we felt the need to skip sentences. That being said I prefer having too many sentences than not enough. Skipping does not bother us. It's there if we need it, kwim?

The writing assignments in R&S are way better than ABeka's and the Godly content is soooo much better too.

So in my opinion they both have their strong and weak points.

To me R&S would have the perfect curriculum if it were in wb form, and shorten the explanations down to 1/3 of their length in the books for 4th and up.

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

Ellie,

I am in agreement with you on delayed academics:) I was asking regaurding a 13 and 12yo... I figured it was time for them to do the written exercises. I also have a 9yo that will be starting the 4th grade Rod and Staff English text and she wants to do the writing. When she did the 3rd grade R&S English she always asked if she can please do all of the problems. This really bothered my older two. ha ha ha ha ha ha

Jennifer

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

Thanks ladies,

I guess I should have told you....my dc will be doing 6th & 7th grade work this coming school year.
We have used A Beka successfully since 2nd grade. In her 4th grade year her standardized tests showed an 11th grade language mechanics level, so all in all I think A Beka has worked well for us. I do feel it is lacking in the creative writing department.
I have struggled to find a better spelling program from the start. We have tried SWR, Spelling Power, Spelling Workout, Spectrum Spelling, Natural Speller, and the list goes on. I want to find something and stick with it so there are no gaps. My child does not struggle with spelling, but she could do better. Does R&S teach the syllables, suffixes, prefixes, root words, etc.?

Teresa

re: A Beka VS Rod & Staff Lanuage Arts and Spelling?

>>I have struggled to find a better spelling program from the start. We have tried SWR, Spelling Power, Spelling Workout, Spectrum Spelling, Natural Speller, and the list goes on. I want to find something and stick with it so there are no gaps. <<

How can there be any gaps in Spelling? That doesn't make any sense to me, LOL! I'm confused.

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