Rod & Staff English

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  • Reviewed on Sunday, March 22, 2015
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2013-2014
I truly enjoy this program. I was previously using a more Charlotte Mason style language arts approach and in 4th grade moved dd to a formal grammar study (I believe Charlotte Mason recommended this as well) while keeping the narration, copywork,etc. Anyway, I love how straightforward and easy to use it is. It is also very thorough.
Presenting the lesson each day was a breeze because the TM is pretty much open and go. It is scripted to a certain extent and provides the teacher with any background info need. Yet it is not overwhelming in the amount of info given, the lessons are short and to the point. I typically spent about 10-15 presenting and then assign the written work. My dd enjoyed the lessons because they were short, well explained, and focused. With previous Charlotte Mason style programs we used, the topics jumped around and encouraged the child to draw their own conclusions. That is fine to a point but my dd needed something different.
Another thing I enjoyed was that every lesson begins with a quick review of concepts from previous lessons. Great for retention. Also after each new concept presented there is an oral drill. This is great for when you want to give your child a break from the writing. I would do the oral drill in place of the written practice. You could even do some of the written practice orally if you want.
I think this program gives thorough coverage of grammar. So thorough that you might not need to use it every year. Overall I have not complaints and is my "go to" grammar program.


  • Reviewed on Friday, March 20, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2-6
  • Dates used: 2012-present
I LOVE Rod and Staff English! Many other people here have already explained why this is such a great program so I just want to add a bit of my personal experience. We have used other programs in the past, and the biggest difference comes from Rod and Staff being in textbook format. This forces the child to write things out. Some people complain about this and it stops them from using the program. But in my experience, this is the only way to make things stick. A lot of the other programs we tried, the kids were constantly circling words and underlining them. But it meant nothing to them. With Rod and Staff, it is the actual writing everything out that makes it really stick. And that is what makes this program so fantastic. I highly recommend it!

Mrs M

  • Reviewed on Sunday, February 8, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2nd, 3rd and will continue using
  • Dates used: 2014-2015
My kids love their English lessons now, even sentence diagramming. How cool is that, really! I'm a very thankful and happy mom.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, July 6, 2014
  • Grades Used: 2nd-6th
  • Dates used: 2010-2014
R&S English is economical, Biblical and very thorough. I used it with my children orally, doing the diagramming on scrap paper or the whiteboard.

I like the lower levels (although the 2nd grade book is a bit too repetitive and simple, and definitely not essential). But once we got to the 6th grade book, the grammar was getting pretty complicated. By complicated, I mean the lessons were quite long and involved and the explanations were very long-winded. That just didn't work for my son. He needs concise, to-the-point instruction. So after making it 2/3 of the way through, we switched to Climbing to Good English for the remainder of the year.

Many people use this English a grade level behind or do one book spread over two years. I think that is good advice. It is advanced, especially once you get to the 6th+ books.

As for the writing lessons, I found the lessons on paragraphs and sentence structure to be useful, but the majority of the lessons in the lower level books are creative writing; stories and letters and such. As far as I know, this changes in the 7th level. But it just wasn't our thing so I used Writing with Ease instead.