Rod & Staff Science

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Chemist Mom

  • Reviewed on Tuesday, November 12, 2013
  • Grades Used: 2-3
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
This review is for "Patterns of Nature", and for "God's Protected World".

In General: I love this science program. I was a research chemist for 15 years before becoming a homeschooling mom. My husband has a degree in Physics.

Patterns of Nature: It covers a lot of topics, and is in story form, which was a plus. The information is thorough, and accurate, which is not always the case in elementary science books. The cost is low, and the only issue we had with it, was that the lessons were too long for my children's attention span to do in one sitting. It may be just from their ages (5 and 6), though. It lacks a bit on illustrations, and lab activities to do at the end of the lessons.

I mainly want to review the "God Protected World", the third grade Science book.

This is a fantastic book, set up into seven units covering topics from physics, chemistry, biology, health, and ecology. Each unit has 4-8 lessons, with one chapter of review before going on to the next, totaling 46 lessons. I am extremely impressed at the list of activities included to do at the end of each lesson.

The lesson format is set up as having a section for the teacher to read aloud, and then a section for the student to read for himself. They have added many more pictures and illustrations than "Patterns of Nature", and the lesson length is better for my kids this year than last year. My kids are now ages 6 and 7.

First on the lesson content:

They explain in very easy terms some scientific principles I did not learn until I was a junior in college in a chemistry program, such as that rainbows will be round in certain situations; a feel for the buoyant force of water; that liquids can be separated by distillation; and some useful properties of common solids, liquids and gasses, for starters.

Now for the labs:

The activities at the end of the chapter are stellar. They are easy to do, with minimal preparation and materials to have on hand, and they actually show in a real way the principles learned in the lesson, and are not just "cute busywork" pretending to be science. The kids and I love doing the labs, and some examples include seeing the water cycle in action, by heating a pan of water to boiling on the stove, and putting another pan of ice above the steam, and watching it condense and drip back into the boiling water. I think every primary science textbook talks about the water cycle, but to see it in action was a really nice feature of this book's approach.

There are actual experiments to do, and then interpreting the data, such as measuring the temperature of two objects of differing colors before and after being exposed to sunlight, and then applying that knowledge to decide what color shirt to wear on a day in summer or winter.

I anticipate sticking with this curriculum for many more years, if the next books in this series are as wonderful as this starting book.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, February 16, 2011
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2010 -2011
This is great overview of most science topics and the vocab is wonderful. The lessons are short but very informative and fun. We usually do the questions at the end of each lesson orally and then move on without tests. My high-schoolers have used Apologia science and this Rod and Staff is a great way to have the base knowledge ready for such upper level science curriculums.


  • Reviewed on Friday, April 9, 2010
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: 2009
I really liked Patterns of Nature for all of the reasons that have already been mentioned by previous reviewers. However, my 7yo son who loves science did not think it was enough for him. He told me that he "knew all of that already". He needed more of a challenge so we moved on to something else. But I am hanging onto my copy of Patterns of Nature because it really is a very sweet, simple R&S book, very Biblical and has cute activities. I may use it in the future for some of my younger guys. For a very science-y child, it just might not be enough.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
  • Grades Used: 4
  • Dates used: 2007-08
This was a very thorough science curriculum, easy to teach, keeps student attention, little prep. Just as good as, actually maybe better than, ABeka with a much lower price! Can't wait to return from ABeka science to this one. Love R&S. Totally Christ centered.