Answering Your Questions

General

About Our Books

Curriculum

About Rod and Staff Publishers

Privacy Statement

Terms and Conditions


General Questions and Answers

What is your Return policy?

See our Return Policy.

What are your shipping rates?

See our Shipping Rates.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, checks, and money orders. For check or money order payments, we will wait until it arrives before shipping your order.

What discounts do you offer?

We offer discounts on some categories of items at various times of the year, as well as quantity discounts on certain items year-around.

Blackboard image courtesy Peirce Clipart

We are currently offering a Rod and Staff curriculum discount (this offer ends June 13):

We offer quantity discounts for the Little Jewel Books series (also in German here):

  • buy 5 or more to get a 10% discount ($2.92 each)
  • buy 10 or more to get a 15% discount ($2.76 each)

There are also some discounts when you buy certain items as a group, such as the Miller Family Series.

Discounts may be combined, and will appear at checkout, applied below your subtotal. (Please note that discounts do not apply to shipping costs.)

Do you have an affiliate program?

Sorry, the current tax laws which have been implemented in several states and are being considered in others would unfortunately require additional costs for us to administer such a program. So for the time being we are not offering affiliate incentives.

About Our Books

Do animals talk in your books?

The general answer is no, except in the case of Balaam's donkey. You may find expressions that a certain animal or bird "seems to say...."

An exception has been found in the 5th Reader. The story "Rebellion in the Hive" tells a moral tale, in which bees are portrayed with human thoughts and emotions.

If you find anything other than that, please contact us.

What version of the Bible do you use?

Rod and Staff uses the King James Version, and this is true of most books we sell from other publishers as well.

Are your books sectarian?

Most of the books we sell are from publishers with an Anabaptist background, with the majority from Mennonite publishers. I like to sell these books because there is a very serious effort to make the scriptures practical in everyday life. While you may not agree with every detail, I believe you will find these books true to the Bible and a blessing to you and your family.

Curriculum

Do you have placement tests?

For determining placement, we offer the following suggestions:

The table of contents is available online for every grade and course we offer, as well as sample pages from each book, to help guide your choice for placement. We also offer assessment tests prepared by an independent testing company. When properly applied, your child's scores in these tests will indicate the grade level at which he should be working.

As a general rule, your results from the assessment test should be adequate to place your child in the appropriate grade in Rod and Staff's curriculum. A child who is average or above should be able to work at the same level compared with most other curricula.

One exception is the English curriculum, which covers grammar and composition. If your child has basic knowledge in these areas, they will probably do fine in grades 2 through 5. From the feedback we've received, grades 6 and above don't provide as much review of the basics, and are more advanced than average. (While Rod and Staff only publishes the English series through 10th grade, it is equivalent to completing a high school grammar course.) For students switching in the upper grades, especially those weak in grammar, we usually recommend that they drop back a grade or two, sometimes back to the 5th grade text, which is a good foundation for the rest of the series. If you feel confident they are up to grade level then start there and see if they can manage it. If you find it too advanced, you can always save it for later while you drop back to an earlier grade.

Also, in the lower grades of the Math curriculum, a lot of focus is given to mastering basic arithmetic, and so may seem "behind" in areas such as geometry, compared to other curriculums, until about grade 4.

If your child has not been doing well in school, we recommend that you back off a grade or two. Don't try to push a child beyond their level of understanding. You will be far better off to work from a level where your child has a solid footing in the area he is studying. Then you can make real progress.

Finally, it should be remembered that changing from one curriculum to another will often present some challenges to begin with, considering that publishers take different approaches in the way they present their material.

A handy reference is Rod and Staff's scope and sequence charts, showing the new concepts taught in each grade.

Rod and Staff Placement/Performance Tests are available from Rod and Staff Publishers in booklet form for Grades 1 - 10 (Levels 1 - 10). These tests can help determine into which grade level a student should be placed. The tests are also useful to monitor a student's progress from year to year and to compare his performance with the average performance of other students who have used the tests in the last several years. The tests are designed to be applied in the fourth quarter of the school term.

The Level 1 and Level 2 tests are consumable workbooks. Levels 3 - 10 each have a test booklet, and students write the answers on standardized answer sheets by filling in small circles. Tests for Levels 3 - 10 may be applied simultaneously in a multiple-classroom setting. After the tests are completed, the teacher should count the correct responses for each subject and enter the raw scores on the Data Report form. This form is then to be sent to Rod and Staff, where the data is entered and graphs are produced for each student.

To preserve the integrity of the tests, they should be kept in a secure place and should be available to students only while testing. For more information, or to order these tests, please call Rod and Staff Publishers at 606-522-4348.

Should I buy the teacher's manual?

Here are some things to consider:

  1. The teacher's manual gives you the answer, which saves you the time required to work the problem yourself, and reduced errors.
  2. Most of the teacher's manuals feature copies of the student pages, which makes it easier to guide the student, as well as faster to check their answers.
  3. Designed for non-professional teachers, many of the manuals will provide an overview of the course along with any recommended teaching aids, offer general scheduling advice, provide a brief statement of the purpose of each lesson, and include other features designed to make the subject easier to teach.
  4. Some manuals offer oral exercises or questions to refresh the child's mind before he starts the lesson. For example, in math he may be asked to review some addition or subtraction facts orally. In English he may be asked something orally about a previous lesson to refresh his mind. In spelling, when you give out the words, the manual gives you a sentence with the word in it so you don't have to make it up.
  5. Since most manuals are hardcover, with some care they can outlast your teaching, to be passed on to a friend or recycled in our Buy-Back Program. (Note: if you find a used teacher's manual elsewhere, make sure it is the same edition as the student books you have, or the current edition available from us.)
How much teacher involvement is required?

Rod and Staff textbooks have been prepared for use in traditional classrooms, where teachers teach the material and monitor pupil progress.

In the lower grades, teacher involvement is more essential than in upper grades. The textbooks for fourth grade and above explain the material on the student's level.

Can Rod and Staff textbooks be used with limited teacher involvement? For fourth grade and above the answer is "Yes" if—

  • the student is a good reader, can comprehend what he reads, and can understand pictures and diagrams.
  • the parent is satisfied with less-than-the-best education for his child.

People in general (and children in particular) learn best when a teacher guides them in understanding. As an adult, picture yourself learning a foreign language or a new skill by reading a book. Consider the benefits of discussing the lesson together.

While a teacher should not spoon-feed his pupils, he should introduce the lesson and reinforce the main concepts. Then, let the students study the lesson on their own. Rod and Staff strives for a balance of teacher involvement and the student working independently.

What do I do if there is something in the curriculum I do not understand?

The teacher's manuals are designed to answer most of your questions. I strongly encourage you to read the introductory material in the various manuals to get the lay of the land before you begin using that particular course. If then you come across something that baffles you, you can contact Rod and Staff Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Eastern Time, at 606-522-4348. They will try to help you.

Are the test booklets important?

Here are some things to consider:

  1. The unit or chapter tests (offered for many courses in grades 3 and up) will help monitor your child's progress, and highlight any areas that need to be reviewed.
  2. Test booklets are inexpensive, and can provide a permanent record if you are ever called upon to defend your school.
Bible Nurture and Reader Series—Purpose and Plan

The Bible Nurture and Reader Series has been written to teach children to read. The parents of children who learn from this series are delighted to find their first graders reading quite well already after only 4 or 5 months, and sounding out new words with surprising ease.

We have found, as other researchers have also concluded, that a strictly phonetic approach to reading hinders comprehension, whereas a strictly sight-reading approach impedes both reading and comprehension. The Bible Nurture and Reader Series uses a combination of phon­ics and sight-reading: the students learn to read a few words by sight immediately, thereby getting off to a prompt start in com­prehension; phonics is taught from the very beginning, enabling the child to sound out words for himself.

This approach to teaching reading is employed in this series for the following reasons:

  1. Learning the sounds enables a child to identify most of the vocabulary words for himself. It takes no longer to learn sounds that compose words than it does to memorize whole words, and the phonetic sounds are the tools that enable the child to sound out every new word that he sees. Phonics gives the child an orderly way of learning to read. He sees that words are composed of small parts, sounded con­secutively.
  2. Since the child is able to sound words for himself and to become an independent reader early, the phonetic method gives him a mean­ingful, challenging, and satisfying approach to the learning of words.
  3. In a classroom setting, the phonetic method makes it easier for the teacher to keep the learning progress of all the pupils in a class together. In the sight-read­ing approach, the children who have difficulty recognizing and remembering sight words become confused and frustrated and drop behind others in the class and are left with no means or tools with which to recover themselves.
  4. Phonetic sounds are more easily remembered than sight words because the child continues to use them with regularity. He is far more ready to begin the second grade after the vacation months, during which time a child usually forgets many of the sight words he has memorized, because the basic phonetic sounds are retained more easily and are more readily recalled.
  5. An effective study of phonetics requires disciplines necessary for the development of good habits such as good listening, concentration, diligence, perseverance, and acceptance of personal responsibility.

Developing comprehension is another objective of the series. To comprehend, children must learn to think. Many subjective-type ques­tions have been used in the Bible Nurture and Reader Series that require the pupils to think. Few pictures are included in the readers, since comprehension is improved when pupils are allowed to form their own mental images.

Bible stories are used in these readers because they are the admonition of the Lord. Parents and teachers must share with children what God has revealed in His Word, and children must share with parents and teachers their questions and understandings. The Word is for all to know—grownups and children. As babies love milk, so children will be more apt to love the milk of the Word if they are in a healthy, spiritual home and/or school setting and are fed the pure Word of Truth.

Teacher's manuals are designed to include all the necessary help for teachers or parents who take their work seriously and who have some aptitude for teaching.

Pupil's material includes readers, reading workbooks, phonics workbooks, worksheets, printing practice, and flash cards.

Changes in Rod and Staff's revised Grade 1 math curriculum

The basic concepts of this revised curriculum (3rd edition, 2011) are much the same as in the former version (2nd edition, 1991). However, this revision provides improved Bible tone, offers more variety in artwork, and gives more drill in some weak areas. Complete practice sheet sets are available for the revised curriculum, eliminating the need for extensive copying.

The major differences are:

  • Art changed to reflect Bible stories or the warmth of Christian family life as opposed to stylized animal theme. This makes themed "carrier" concept less prominent.
  • The "zero" is taught as "nothing" and as a placeholder. A first grader is no longer taught to starting counting at zero or to number 100-block grid as 0-99. Rather, we comply with standardized math manipulatives by having a 10-by-10 grid contain 100 squares.
  • Fractions have more teaching. The denominator concept is taught first: halves, thirds, and fourths. The numerator concept is also taught in the last quarter of the year; distinguishing between or or two thirds, and between one, two, or three fourths.
  • Place value is taught with quantative association instead of a fictional carrier: one crayon, one box of ten crayons, one case of ten boxes.
  • Practice Sheets are provided as a complete set. Permission is given to copy them just like the blacklines could be. The Practice Sheets are categorized as: Strengtheners; Required; or, Challenge (fun).

Other than that, the coverage, flow, and academic content have been little altered.

Understanding Rod and Staff's science program

Rod and Staff's science program for grades 7-10 is being revised. During the revision period, here is the plan they are recommending that you should consider following.

Originally "Investigating God's Orderly World" Book One and Two was written for the seventh and eighth grade students, respectively. It is based on six-day creation and shows that true science and Biblical truth agree. Generally it was a very good course. But it was last revised in 1992, and much new scientific information has become available and corrected since that printing.

Also, one problem continued to surface. Many teachers and students found that it was too much material in each book to be covered in one year, along with all the other subjects. So then Rod and Staff suggested that "Investigating God's Orderly World" Book One be used for grades seven and eight, and Book Two be used for grades nine and ten.

More recently, Rod and Staff Publishers decided it was time for a revision. In 2008 they published a revised seventh grade science text called "God's Orderly World" Grade 7. This covers the same basic materials which are in units 1,4,7,8,9,10 and 12 in "Investigating God's Orderly World" Book One, in an improved and updated form. In 2012 they published a revised eighth grade text ("God's Orderly World" Grade 8) which covers the material from the remaining units of "Investigating God's Order World" Book One, and units 3, 4 and 12 from Book Two.

Rod and Staff is continuing to recommend that "Investigating God's Orderly World" Book Two be divided and used for ninth and tenth grade students (note that units 3, 4 and 12 were covered in grade 8). This material will be revised and updated as the revision process progresses.

Special Notice: You may have noticed that we are offering Apologia Science for high school. So which should you choose? Here is our suggestion: If you do not plan to earn high school credits, then continue with Rod and Staff. It is much less expensive and designed for those who do not plan to complete four years of high school. If you are planning to complete high school then we suggest you switch to Apologia Science starting at Grade 8. This will prepare you for the more advanced high school courses.

Does Rod and Staff have foreign language courses?

Rod and Staff does not publish foreign language courses. They do publish Spanish textbooks for Spanish schools.

What is the difference between Rod and Staff and the other curriculums you offer?

In addition to Rod and Staff curriculum, which is what we primarily sell, we also offer several other curriculum courses from publishers that seem to fit with a conservative educational approach. Of particular note, we offer Pathway Publisher's reading series, Schoolaid's English grammar, math, and health curriculums, Study Time Publisher's math series, and Apologia's science series. We are not as familiar with these courses, and unfortunately don't know how they specifically differ from the Rod and Staff curriculum, but here are some generalizations:

  • The Pathway reading series is designed in an Amish setting, and teaches reading using stories of rural home and school life. By contrast, Rod and Staff teaches reading through Bible stories.
  • The penmanship series by Pentime Publishers is more extensive than the Rod and Staff penmanship, being available through grade 8. It uses the same approach of starting with manuscript, and transitioning to cursive in grade 2, and since the letter forms are quite similar to those used by Rod and Staff, students should be able to switch between curriculums without much difficulty.
  • Practical Spelling by Miller School Books is designed to be used with minimal teacher involvement, and prices are much lower.
  • The Climbing to Good English series, by Schoolaid, is designed to complement the Pathway curriculum and fill out a language arts study by teaching grammar and composition. This series has a workbook format, rather than the reusable textbook format offered Rod and Staff's English series.
  • Schoolaid's health series is available for grades 3 - 8, which is more comprehensive than Rod and Staff's.
  • Schoolaid also publishes some beginning math books for grades 1 and 2, which will prepare a student for Study Time's math series in grades 3 - 8. These courses as well are in workbook format through grade 5, whereas the Rod and Staff math uses textbooks after grade 2.
  • The Apologia science courses offer a more comprehensive high school study than Rod and Staff. See more details above in previous question.

For further comparison, please see the sample lessons, table of contents, and scope and sequence charts available on our site.

About Rod and Staff Publishers

Does Rod and Staff Publishers have a website?

No, Rod and Staff Publishers, Inc., does not have a website or email address.

How and why did Rod and Staff begin?

In 1958 a group of brethren from various Mennonite churches gathered in Amelia, Virginia, to share their concern over the degrading effect of much of the printed matter used by the churches. After consultation and prayer, in three different meetings, there was strong agreement that another publishing work was needed. In the third meeting, a statement of bylaws was adopted, a statement of ideals governing the personnel and policy of a conservative publishing work was prepared, and seven board members were chosen.

What church affiliation does Rod and Staff have?

The Mennonite brethren gathered in Virginia in 1958 chose the first seven board members. Since the beginning the work has been directed by a self-perpetuating board. The present board members are members of various Mennonite churches in the United States and Canada.

How long has Rod and Staff been publishing textbooks?

The first grade of the Bible Nurture and Reader Series was first published for laboratory use in 1963. It was produced with the conviction that church schools with Christian teachers also needed Bible-based textbooks. Wisdom from God was sought; tried and proven methods were employed. Other subjects were added as the Lord prospered the work. Christian parents and teachers are pleased with the results. They are working now to complete their curriculum.

What services does Rod and Staff offer to home schools?

The teacher's manuals are designed with the beginning teacher (or parent) in mind. Books may be ordered individually as needed. Rod and Staff offers telephone consultation. You can call Rod and Staff for curriculum assistance on weekdays from 8am to 5pm Eastern Time at 606-522-4348. Rod and Staff is a publisher, however, not a school.

Does Rod and Staff have anything for kindergarten?

Rod and Staff's does not offer any curriculum designated as "kindergarten," but has published a series of preschool workbooks designed to prepare the child for beginning reading and math in the first grade. We also offer coloring books as well as preschool storybooks that are excellent material to be read to young children.

Does Rod and Staff give high school diplomas? Do they grade pupil's work?

Rod and Staff is in the textbook publishing work. Their books are used in private and parochial schools, as well as home school settings. Rod and Staff offers curriculum counsel relating to the use of their books and the operation of the classroom. They do not operate a school, grade the pupils' work, offer credits for courses, or give diplomas.

We at Milestone Books are offering, in conjunction with New Covenant Christian Academy, a high school diploma program.

Privacy Statement

Privacy Statement

Milestone Books collects the necessary information to conduct business with you, when you use our checkout, such as your name, address, e-mail address, phone number, and payment information. We also collect information about how you interact with our site and what pages you visit. The data we collect is used to improve our business and to better understand and support you.

We do not share your information with other companies or persons and do our best to protect your privacy internally.

Our site has security measures in place to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. We use an SSL secure server with digital certificates (https://) and all personal information is fully encrypted during all transactions, ensuring the highest level of security. Please note, however, that no data transmission over the Internet is completely secure. As a result, while we attempt to protect your personal information, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you provide to us and you transmit such information to us at your own risk. Once we receive your transmission we attempt to ensure the security of your personal information on our system.

Your privacy is important to us.

Terms and Conditions

Introduction

Welcome to the Milestone Books terms and conditions, which apply to your use of the Milestone Books Website. When you talk to us in person, we try to make ourselves easy to understand, but by accessing this Website, you agree to be bound by the following legal-speak conditions.

Definitions

"Conditions" means these terms and conditions; "Personal Information" means any personal details provided by you via the Website; "User(s)" means (a) user(s) of the Website either collectively or individually, as the context requires; "We/us/our" means Milestone Books, "Website" means the website located at www.milestonebooks.com or any subsequent URL which may replace it; and "You/your" means you as a user of the Website.

1. Access

We will provide you with access to the Website in accordance with these Conditions.

2. Your Obligations

2.1 You:

  • 2.1.1 agree not to use the Website (or any part of) for any illegal purpose and agree to use it in accordance with all relevant laws;
  • 2.1.2 agree not to upload or transmit through the Website any computer viruses, macro viruses, trojan horses, worms or anything else designed to interfere with, interrupt or disrupt the normal operating procedures of a computer;
  • 2.1.3 will not upload or transmit through the Website any material which is defamatory, offensive, or of an obscene or menacing character, or that may cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety;
  • 2.1.4 will not use the Website in a way that may cause the Website to be interrupted, damaged, rendered less efficient or such that the effectiveness or functionality of the Website is in any way impaired;
  • 2.1.5 will not use the Website in any manner which violates or infringes the rights of any person, firm or company (including, but not limited to, rights of intellectual property, rights of confidentiality or rights of privacy);
  • 2.1.6 agree that in the event that you have any right, claim or action against any Users arising out of that User's use of the Website, then you will pursue such right, claim or action independently of and without recourse to us.
3. Indemnity

3.1 You agree to be fully responsible for (and fully indemnify us against) all claims, liability, damages, losses, costs and expenses, including legal fees, suffered by us and arising out of any breach of the Conditions by you or any other liabilities arising out of your use of the Website, or the use by any other person accessing the Website using your PC or internet access account.

4. Our Rights

4.1 We reserve the right to:

  • 4.1.1 modify or withdraw, temporarily or permanently, the Website (or any part of) with or without notice to you and you confirm that we shall not be liable to you or any third party for any modification to or withdrawal of the Website; and/or
  • 4.1.2 change these Conditions from time to time, and your continued use of the Website (or any part of) following such change shall be deemed to be your acceptance of such change. It is your responsibility to check regularly to determine whether the Conditions have been changed. If you do not agree to any change to the Conditions then you must immediately stop using the Website.

4.2 We will use our reasonable endeavors to maintain the Website. The Website is subject to change from time to time. You will not be eligible for any compensation because you cannot use any part of the Website or because of a failure, suspension or withdrawal of all or part of the Website due to circumstances beyond our control.

5. Third Party Links

In an attempt to provide increased value to our Users, we may provide links to other websites or resources. You acknowledge and agree that we are not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and do not endorse and are not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for the privacy practices or the content (including misrepresentative or defamatory content) of such websites, including (without limitation) any advertising, products or other materials or services on or available from such websites or resources, nor for any damage, loss or offense caused or alleged to be caused by, or in connection with, the use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on such external sites or resources.

6. Monitoring

We have the right, but not the obligation, to monitor any activity and content associated with the Website. We may investigate any reported violation of these Conditions or complaints and take any action that we deem appropriate (which may include, but is not limited to, issuing warnings, suspending, terminating or attaching conditions to your access and/or removing any materials from the Website).

7. Your Data

7.1 We respect your personal information and undertake to comply with applicable legislation.

7.2 You should be aware that if we are requested by the police or any regulatory or government authority investigating suspected illegal activities, or upon receipt of a court order, to provide your Personal Information and/or information concerning your activities whilst using the Website we shall do so; and

7.3 We reserve the right in our reasonable discretion to disclose details of your use of the Website in relation to any, or any threatened, Court Proceedings in connection with your use, or the use of anyone under your control, of the Website whether in connection with the matters set out in these Conditions or otherwise.

7.4 Please view our Privacy Policy, which forms part of these Conditions.

8. Intellectual Property and Right of Use

8.1 You acknowledge and agree that all copyright, trademarks and all other intellectual property rights in all material or content supplied as part of the Website shall remain at all times vested in us or our licensors. You are permitted to use this material only as expressly authorized by us.

8.2 The Website is copyright Milestone Books, 2013. All rights reserved.

9. Notices

9.1 You may send us notices under or in connection with these Conditions; see our Contact Us page.

9.2 As proof of sending does not guarantee our receipt of your notice, you must ensure that you have received an acknowledgement from us, which will be sent within 3 working days of our receipt and should be retained by you.

10. Limitation of Liability

10.1 While we will use reasonable endeavors to verify the accuracy of any information we place on the website, we make no warranties, whether express or implied in relation to its accuracy.

10.2 The Website is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis without any representation or endorsement. Unless specified in separate terms and conditions related to a particular product or service, we make no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, in relation to the Website, or products or services offered on the Website whether by us or on our behalf (including free software downloads) including but not limited to, implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security, accuracy, condition or completeness, or any implied warranty arising from course of dealing or usage or trade.

10.3 Unless specified in separate terms and conditions related to a particular product or service, we make no warranty that the Website or products or services offered on the Website whether by us or on our behalf (including free software downloads) will meet your requirements or will be uninterrupted, timely, secure or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that the Website or the server that makes it available or products or services offered on the Website whether by us or on our behalf (including free software downloads) are free of viruses or bugs or are fully functional, accurate, or reliable. We will not be responsible or liable to you for any loss of content or material as a result of uploading to or downloading from the Website.

10.4 Notwithstanding any other provision in the Conditions, nothing shall limit your rights as a consumer under United States law.

10.5 You acknowledge that we cannot guarantee and therefore shall not be in any way responsible for the security or privacy of the Website and any information provided to or taken from the Website by you.

10.6 We will not be liable in contract, tort or otherwise if you incur loss or damage connecting to the Website through a third party's hyper-text link.

10.7 We will not be liable, in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), pre-contract or other representations (other than fraudulent misrepresentations) or otherwise out of or in connection with the Website or products or services offered on the Website whether by us or on our behalf (including free software downloads) for:

  • 10.7.1 any economic losses (including without limitation loss of revenues, profits, contracts, business or anticipated savings); or
  • 10.7.2 any loss of goodwill or reputation; or
  • 10.7.3 any special or indirect or consequential losses; in any case whether or not such losses were within the contemplation of either of us at the date on which the event giving rise to the loss occurred.

10.8 Nothing in the Conditions shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or that of our servants, agents or employees.