- Reviewed on Tuesday, September 24, 2013
- Grades Used: Autistic - Non-Graded
- Dates used: 2011-2013
These books are perfect. Sweet, gentle and engaging without being distracting.
My son is autistic and when I pulled him from traditional school, I didn't have a clear picture of where he belonged curriculum-wise. I thought he was more advanced than the reports we received stating he did not know shapes or letters. This series was a perfect fit. The illustrations and instructions were clear. In fact, at times, we found the pace too slow as the lessons are very repetitive. But that is exactly what we needed to really hammer home the rules and facts. It showed me his strengths and weaknesses.
The images are of actual objects and animals from the world not pretend characters from popular culture. Key in keeping my son's attention on the subject at hand. It also helped him to apply what he learned to everyday life. I found the Christian lessons to be basic and universal and not specific to one faith.
The workbooks are sold as a set or individually so it is easy to try. I wound up buying the entire A-I books anyway!
- Reviewed on Thursday, August 15, 2013
- Grades Used: PreK-K
- Dates used: 2013
I desperately wanted to love this curriculum, I have heard so many, many good things about it. I based our preK and K years around it. But unfortunately, I couldn't love it.
This curriculum is perfectly written for it's intended audience, Mennonite (presumably large) families who are looking for something to get their kids ready into the routine of school and develop some of the basic skills for beginning to learn to read and do math. For many families, this curriculum is perfect! The books are simple, bold and interesting.
Unfortunately the result is a lot of busywork. The topics are covered too quickly to be 'learned', they are obviously intended to be refreshers, and cementing the knowledge instead of it simply being an awareness. (numbers 1-10 are covered across only 25 pages, with a recommended rate somewhere around 4 pages a day with the new books coming in). The same applies to everything else, there is a LOT touched on in these books, they even talk about the concept of halves, but only for one or two pages. There is lots of logic, but nothing builds on anything else, it is basically an overview of what children should know by this stage, without much teaching.
It is also VERY colour and trace intensive. This is great for handwriting, but, again, this becomes busywork. By the end, basically every page should be coloured. That's a LOT of pages! It will teach kids to sit still and do schoolwork properly, neatly, and attentively, which is great, but it won't actually teach too much in the way of academics.
I began looking at supplementing with a logic program because, for my family, this is a core subject. Then I thought about adding a basic math curriculum. We intended to teach her to read during K year. When I sat down to look at it, I realized, aside from handwriting readiness skills, we were covering everything else in the curriculum with our 'supplements'.
So, consider what you want from your children's pre-school and K years. If you are after preparing them to begin school and giving them work to do just like their big sisters/brothers, this would be perfect, there is plenty of good work in here, and it's much better academically than a coloring book. But if you have academic goals for the year (basic addiction, phonics, deeper logic skills) or would like to avoid busywork, this just doesn't make the cut for me.
- Reviewed on Monday, April 15, 2013
- Grades Used: PreK (age 4)
- Dates used: 2011
We used the Rod & Staff ABC series for preschool and absolutely loved it. I can't say enough good things about it. I found it perfect for a K4 level, and my son didn't mind the black and white illustrations at all. When used as suggested the course will take you roughly an (academic) year to complete. However, my son loved the books so much, that we ended up finishing in only a few months.
I loved the Bible Stories book with the corresponding coloring book. My son learned so many valuable scriptures from that set. In fact, I'm going to order another set to have just for fun.
And you just can not beat the price! This is cheaper even than any "free" curriculum you find online and have to print off, because you will spend more than the cost of this set, on ink and paper.
I'm hoping that they finish their GHI series soon, as I feel that that is the K5 course that Rod & Staff is currently missing. The jump from the ABC series to their grade 1 seems a bit steep.
- Reviewed on Friday, March 22, 2013
- Grades Used: Preschool-K - 2nd
- Dates used: 2010-present
I have preschoolers and we love rod and staff preschool books - all of them! We love the activities and cut and paste work. There are some very neat little projects with these books. Keepsakes! My children love to color with detail and make something beautiful out of black and white pictures. They say it makes the pictures come alive! I have saved all that my kids have done as they enjoy looking back at their work and I cherish the memories of them doing it. They truly enjoy their rod and staff books. They like the simplicity and sweetness of the pictures and stories - a sharp contrast from the silly, meaningless and flashy stuff most kids go for these days. If your kids are stuck on cartoons and video games then this may not interest them as their attention spans and appetites are for things that move fast and can hold their attention better. However, if you have kept all that down to a minimum, then they will likely enjoy the learning activities in rod and staff preschool books and beyond. Rod and staff preschool material is very helpful in the character training of children. To raise godly, helpful, respectful, caring and responsible children is the goal along with learning the basic skills to prepare them for the first grade. I have one that just finished the preschool program and is in the first grade of rod and staff curriculum and I find it prepared her very well.
Great buy for the money! Very, very affordable. We use rod and staff curriculum beyond preschool with our other children and will continue on through to the end. I have tried other things because I wonder if we are missing something but I quickly realize that we are not and always come back to rod and staff. I am with it to stay! If you want quality education that is Christ centered, helpful in the training of your children's character and is academically sound, this is the curriculum for you. You have one shot at raising your children. Our goal is to do so in the fear and admonition of The Lord. If this is yours too, then you will not regret using rod and staff. It has been such a blessing to our family. We hope it might be for yours as well.