Rod & Staff Preschool / K workbooks

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Hottea

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3yr olds-4yr olds
  • Dates used: 2014
I am a former classroom teacher who now homeschools my own children. Other preschool curriculum we have tried assumed too much too soon, resulting in much frustration for the student and the teacher. Rod and Staff was the perfect solution to help build the confidence and basic skills necessary to move forward. My daughter begs to do school now! We love it! We started with the age 3-4 level and are now moving on to the ABC series. Wonderful early learner curriculum.

ErinD

  • Reviewed on Saturday, January 25, 2014
  • Grades Used: Pre-K
  • Dates used: 2009-2013
These books are great for the preschool student who wants to "do school, too!" I never used them as an actual curriculum but they were perfect to hand my 4yo when he wanted to do school like his older brothers. We didn't do all of them either, but after completing Counting with Numbers, he could make really nice numbers!

Also, the Bible story book is wonderful. I have never found a Bible curriculum I like more: short stories, comprehension questions, a Bible verse with each one and the corresponding colouring book.

Ena Wojciechowski

  • 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!

abba12

  • 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.
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