Rod & Staff Penmanship

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  • Reviewed on Saturday, August 30, 2014
  • Grades Used: 3rd
  • Dates used: 2011-2012
Really great at making learning how to write in cursive simple. Very affordable!


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, October 19, 2010
  • Grades Used: 2 and 4
  • Dates used: fall of 2010
I know others have stated how they like this curriculum, but I must say I am a bit disappointed by it.

my daughter really wants to skip all the slant print and go right to cursive. she is writing much better now.

My son refuses to even write in the book.

I just have to find something else.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, January 16, 2008
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2007-2008


  • Reviewed on Thursday, July 19, 2007
  • Grades Used: 2nd
  • Dates used: Summer of 2007
We are currently using the 2nd grade Penmanship curriculum from Rod & Staff. I use it with all of my daughters (ages 9,11,13,15,19). We had previously used the Bob Jones style of handwriting and my daughters' handwriting wasn't very neat. We also decided that we wanted to switch to a more traditional form of handwriting with "m's" with three humps and cursive "G's" that looked like what we grew up learning ourselves.
We switched to Rod & Staff and have found it to be a very thorough text. You definitely need the teacher's edition. Much of the work is done on the board. I have a white board that I use. First the teacher shows the students the work on the board. Then the students are told to come to the board and work on their letter forms there. We have improvised and had them work on paper at their desks. Following the board work there is a workbook that the students use to practice their penmanship. Rhythm and form are stressed.
There are 60 lessons in this book. We skipped the first 30 lessons in the second grade book. Those lessons covered manuscript and slant print. We were only interested in the cursive as this was remedial for us. Lesson 31 starts teaching cursive. R & S begins by teaching the specific strokes of the letters ie: the undercurve, overcurve, oval, slant, retrace etc. before they ever get to the letters themselves. You will practice multiple ovals and "ups and downs". Then you will learn the strokes that are in the letters. After learning all the strokes in the letters you start putting them together to form the letters themselves. So when making an "n" for instance you would form "overercurve, slant, overcurve, slant, undercurve". By the time you are done with all those strokes you have a beautiful "n" sitting in front of you!
My daughters' penmanship has improved immensely using this program. I'm looking forward to going on to the 3rd grade book this fall.