Rod & Staff Math

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  • Reviewed on Monday, March 6, 2017
  • Grades Used: 1-8
  • Dates used: 2000-present
I am not sure when I last reviewed this, but I thought I would go ahead and do it again now.

This is a good, solid math series. If we get stuck on something I will look up a tutorial on YouTube or bring out the Unifix cubes we have. Really, though, the explanations are right in the books and are pretty easy to understand.

I often skip the 1st grade books with my DC if they seem able to do that. We jump in at 2nd and they are fine.

I let them write in the books through 3rd.

I have been using these since my 27 year old was in 4th grade and have never looked back. The books are pretty durable and have passed through quite a few children (including mine, friends, and nephews!).

Affordable, too.

What's not to like here?


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2015-2016
Rod and Staff is a sound program. No bells and whistles, but solid, traditional math. A couple of things this math includes that "newer" math tends to leave out are Roman numerals and lots of work with standard measurement (converting inches to yards, quarts to gallons, etc. and measuring down to the 1/16th of an inch). Having taught in the fifth grade classroom, I noticed a couple of things that R&S does not emphasize as much as newer math. One is algebraic expressions using letters (Y-10=15 What is Y?) and another is the metric system (although once that is learned, it is quite easy to convert so maybe it is taught in a later year.) IMHO at fourth grade it is more important to have the solid math under one's belt so that once in middle school, algebraic problems won't pose such a problem because basic math has been taught so well.
I am ordering R&S math for fifth grade for next year, and it looks like it will follow the same pattern as fourth grade. Same topics I covered in fifth grade in the classroom, minus algebraic emphasis, but Roman numerals are reviewed along with plenty of work with standard measurement.
If you would like your child to have a strong foundation in math before moving on to algebra, I highly recommend Rod and Staff.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
  • Grades Used: 1st-8th
  • Dates used: 2007-2015
We have used Rod and Staff math since 1st grade! Our oldest began Algebra 1 by Saxon this year, and was more than well prepared for it! Rod and Staff is mastery based, clear, easy to teach. I wish they offered Algebra 1. The ninth grade is business math only (which I am sure is awesome and the skills learned would be wonderful...maybe I will add it into our high school lessons as well :) ) I love the price! You get solid skills for a very reasonable price. I also love the confidence and ease it lends to our homeschooling! I am so thankful for Rod and Staff texts.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Grades Used: 1st - 8th
  • Dates used: 2001 - currently
We have been very pleased with the Rod & Staff math curriculum which we have been using for the past 14 years. We started out by using the textbooks, worksheets, and quiz booklets but now only use the textbooks as well as any k-3 teaching aids (flash cards, math fact family charts, etc.). All 5 of my sons have done well in math, and I think it is very much due to Rod & Staff's no-nonsense, methodical style. We tried Saxon with my oldest when he was in 4th grade and he did HORRIBLY using that program. I think the main problem was that Saxon moved on too quickly to the next concept before my son had time to really absorb/grasp the current concept. And my son was not a special-needs math student. By the end of 8th grade, he tested "PHS" on his standardized test for math and several other subjects - "PHS" means "post-high-school".

I encourage all homeschool families to use Rod & Staff math program for their families. I believe it builds great foundation in mathematics.