- Grade(s) used
So far I am highly impressed with Rod and Staff English. My children used A Beka when they attended private school and I used it for my daughter for 2nd-grade home school. In looking ahead, I didn't feel A Beka was going to teach my children how to write well. After all, isn't that the point of teaching our children English, so they can communicate their thoughts well orally and on paper?
I felt with A Beka we did parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech, until even I got bored. I've heard if you want your children to do well on the ACT then use A Beka English, and if you want your children to do well on the ACT and possibly major in English then use Rod and Staff. I highly agree. I feel Rod and Staff is very advanced starting in about the 4th or 5th grade. To my surprise, my children are keeping up with it just fine so far and they have both developed a love for writing. My children are in 4th and 6th grade and write as well as any high school student. At their age I hated English and did not feel I was learning all that much except the difference between a noun and a verb and what a subject and predicate were.
Well, my kids have learned that and then some. I am floored about how much they have learned and how well they can put their thoughts down on paper at their age. I do not think they would be good writers if I had kept on with A Beka English. I think Rod and Staff teaches the child how to apply what they have learned. My 6th grader is a better writer than I was in my creative writing class I took in college. Oh, and can my children diagram sentences! Wow. I'm amazed. I never learned how to diagram sentences in public school but quickly learned with my handy dandy R&S teacher's manual. I kind of thought in my head that diagramming was a waste of time. My then 3rd grader said this to me, "I know why they have me diagram sentences." I said, "Why?" She answered, "So I can learn to write good sentences." Well, I stood corrected. She was getting something out of it after all. My oldest daughter is naturally good at languages, while my youngest doesn't care much for English or any other language. But they both do equally well because Rod and Staff is so good about teaching the basics then moving on to more difficult tasks, like writing assignments. My children are not bored with English; although some days they find it challenging or long, they don't mind it or complain about it really. They know they are learning.
I read another review on another website that said the Rod and Staff 9/10 is more like college English. I looked at samples and I'll have to agree. It wouldn't surprise me if my oldest daughter decided to be an English major, so we are sticking with Rod and Staff. I think it's very advanced as you move up, but easy to teach with the wonderful teacher's manuals. Also, I feel for what you get, the prices are very affordable. I love it that I can use the same books for my next child, it saves us money. I would highly recommend Rod and Staff English to anyone.