Rod and Staff English question

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Silliness7
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:35 am

Rod and Staff English question

Post by Silliness7 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:44 pm

I am trying to decide how to continue with Rod & Staff in the fall when we begin our HOD journey. We are currently working on it at grade level but I see that HOD has students complete Book 6 by the 8th grade. I know that I can choose to go at our own pace with R&S but I'm not sure if I want to do that.

I wonder if some seasoned moms could tell me their experiences with finishing Book 6 by the 8th grade particularly with college bound students.
Did you continue with books 7, 8, 9-10 in highschool? All of them or some of them? Did you quit grammar altogether or just Rod & Staff and continue with something different in highschool?

Thank you so much!!
In Him,
Rebecca

2011-2012
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ds 12 Rev2Rev
ds 11 CtC

dd 9 CtC
dd 7 BHFHG
dd 4 LHTH

ds 2 causing trouble

momofgreatones
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by momofgreatones » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:07 pm

I am planning on using R & S all the way through up to level 10. Levels 7-10 focus mainly on writing. I have read in numerous places that R & S used all the way through results in very high test scores and solid writing abilities suitable for college-bound students. Since we like it and I know it is solid and thorough, I'm not planning to switch. :) But I know some families do choose another English curric for the high school years and you can get good results that way too. From what I've read though R & S is as solid and thorough as it gets for basic grammar and writing instruction.

HTH :)
Monique

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Silliness7
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Silliness7 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:49 pm

momofgreatones wrote:I am planning on using R & S all the way through up to level 10. Levels 7-10 focus mainly on writing. I have read in numerous places that R & S used all the way through results in very high test scores and solid writing abilities suitable for college-bound students. Since we like it and I know it is solid and thorough, I'm not planning to switch. :) But I know some families do choose another English curric for the high school years and you can get good results that way too. From what I've read though R & S is as solid and thorough as it gets for basic grammar and writing instruction.

HTH :)
I see you are a "mom of multiple guides" :D That is great!! I may have to pick your brain about more than just R&S when I plunge into my HOD guides.

I had thought about taking R&S all the way through Level 10 but I didn't know what that would look like if we only get through Book 6 by Grade 8. How do you do it?

Maybe it's possible to just skip a book altogether. We started R&S this fall for the first time with minimal grammar background. I put everyone in at grade level with the intention of backing up if they started to flounder but they are all doing fine. So I suppose if we only got to Level 6 by 8th grade we could potentially skip Book 7 and do Book 8 in 9th grade, finishing the series in 11th. I kind of don't want to be doing grammar Senior year.

I have the privilege of going through both Book 7 and Book 8 this year with my guys and they are very similar. Book 8 gives all the info from book 7 just in a more condensed re-capping sort of way and then adds a few more details. So even though my 8th grader didn't do any of the previous books he's getting all of the information. He just has to process more at one sitting. But he is capable so it is working.

Anyway, I would love to hear how you schedule R&S out.

Thanks.
In Him,
Rebecca

2011-2012
ds 14 MFW AHL
ds 12 Rev2Rev
ds 11 CtC

dd 9 CtC
dd 7 BHFHG
dd 4 LHTH

ds 2 causing trouble

Carrie
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Carrie » Sun May 01, 2011 8:34 am

Ladies,

This is such a good question, and I'm so glad that we're talking about it, as I don't think I've fully shared what my thinking will be on this as HOD heads into the high school years. :D So, I'll take this opportunity to share with you our thought process on this area, and of course, you are always in the driver's seat as to how you choose to proceed in this area with your own students. :D

Within the HOD guides, we are scheduling it so that students complete English 6 by the end of grade 8. We will schedule English 7 and 8 to be completed in high school, doing half of a book each year. :D

Our reasoning on this pacing is as follows: Rod and Staff is a very rigorous grammar program, but what is even better is that it is also a very full-coverage English program in areas reaching far beyond grammar instruction. So, when comparing the scope and sequence of Rod and Staff 6 to the standards required in the area of English/grammar for middle school, you will find that Rod and Staff 6 covers standards found in most freshman and sophomore English/grammar courses. When looking at the scope and sequence of English 7 and 8, you will see that they cover all needed high school standards (and much beyond that)! :D

Rod and Staff originally only went through English 8, until about 5 years ago when they added English 9 and 10, mainly to address the area of writing. Since Rod and Staff does not use another writing program outside of their English books, but rather has writing integrated within the English, to address the "upped" level of writing being demanded of high school level students they needed to add other levels to their English program. Up through English 8, there is still an equally strong focus on grammar and writing, and other skills too. But after English 8, the focus shifts mainly toward writing through application of the learned grammar concepts. Since our HOD guides will use a plethora of other writing resources to address writing, as we are already doing in the guides from CTC on up, the best balance (when using an HOD guide) will be to follow the progression we're scheduling for grammar within our guides. Otherwise, you will find your child's school day to be a very heavy load in the language arts area, but especially in the area of writing! :D

While you may easily follow a different grammar route, if desired for your own family, within our HOD guides we are looking for the meshing of all English and writing together, without overloading the student in any particular area. There is also a need to keep the time spent on grammar instruction, for both parent and child, in balance with the rest of the day's subjects as well. We feel the plan I've outlined above, will address all of these needs and still allow families to utilize a very rigorous grammar program all throughout their child's years (without burning out parent or student). :D

One other thing to note is that many high schools across the country right now are not teaching grammar at all in high school, so the plan above will far exceed what is required for college admission and will prepare a child well for SAT/ACT testing. Much of the ACT/SAT is not distinctly grammar related (and there is no actual grammar section on the test), but rather there are quite a few of the subtests that are English/language arts related. So, doing Rod and Staff throughout the high school years keeps those skills fresh, while allowing students time to apply their grammar/English knowledge to their writing across the curriculum within the HOD guide. :D

We definitely would not recommend skipping a level of Rod and Staff English, as each level builds well on the previous one. You can see the reasons for completion of Rod and Staff 8 as the goal, and the reasoning behind the pacing we've selected for the HOD guides. We would only recommend completion of Rod and Staff 9 and 10 for those families who are not using any other formal writing program throughout the high school years, because those families will need the writing lessons contained within 9 and 10. Since HOD will schedule a formal writing program each year of high school (along with all the writing we require throughout the other parts of the guide), English 9 and 10 will not be needed when using HOD as written. :D As my own son is currently using English 7, we are finding wonderful application of the concepts from his English lessons throughout his writing time. Rather than grammar being a subject to get through every day, we have time to actually apply what he is learning to his written work. This is truly the goal of his lessons and the goal of Rod and Staff English. :D From English 7 on up the lessons can get v-e-r-y long, and we want to be sure that these are kept in balance with the rest of our day, allowing us to finish what we start by steadily working on the higher levels throughout high school. :D

One more interesting sidenote to consider is that Rod and Staff is a Mennonite company, and the Mennonite students who school with Rod and Staff typically complete their schooling by grade 10. This is why you will notice that Rod and Staff does not have curriculum beyond that grade level. These students also do not usually attend college. So, this shows you what an accelerated time table the publisher is considering when labeling their materials by "grade level". :D

I appreciate the chance to share what our thinking will be on this, as I know so many of you will be pondering this question for your own students right now too. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

momofgreatones
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by momofgreatones » Sun May 01, 2011 11:27 am

This is so good to see Carrie's reasoning and thought process for scheduling R&S and LA! Since my oldest two won't get to use the HOD high school guides :evil:, I will probably continue with my plan to use R&S through level 10, scheduling it out to get through a level each year for them. But then go with Carrie's plan for the rest of my dc. :D
Monique

dd 18 graduated!
dd 16 studying for CLEPs
dd 14 Studying for CLEPs
ds 12 CTC with extensions
ds 10 Bigger Hearts
dd 8 Bigger Hearts
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Silliness7
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Silliness7 » Mon May 02, 2011 9:40 am

Thank you Carrie for such an informative post. I appreciate your response and truly feel free to now follow HOD's pacing for Rod & Staff. It really does feel like a burden lifted. The less tweaking the better. :D

I am really looking forward to seeing HOD's highschool guides. I will be patient. :wink:
My first two will not have the benefit either. :( However I'm content with what those 2 will be doing and it was in researching the other that I landed on HOD for my youngers.

I showed my 12yo the catalog today, the pages with Rev to Rev on it. He started drooling too. He really liked the looks of the student notebook pages. He wanted to start today. :D
In Him,
Rebecca

2011-2012
ds 14 MFW AHL
ds 12 Rev2Rev
ds 11 CtC

dd 9 CtC
dd 7 BHFHG
dd 4 LHTH

ds 2 causing trouble

Carrie
Site Admin
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Carrie » Thu May 05, 2011 6:43 pm

Oh! I'm so glad that the explanation helped! :D It is good for me to explain why we do what we do schedule-wise too, as so much thought goes into each decision and often I forget to share the "why" behind the "how". Thanks for asking! :D

I may place this in the "reasons behind HOD's choices" sticky, if you think this is helpful.

Blessings,
Carrie

Silliness7
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:35 am

Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Silliness7 » Fri May 06, 2011 10:47 pm

Oh yes!! I think that would be very helpful for a lot of people. I've learned quite a bit reading through that thread. Thank you so much!! :D
In Him,
Rebecca

2011-2012
ds 14 MFW AHL
ds 12 Rev2Rev
ds 11 CtC

dd 9 CtC
dd 7 BHFHG
dd 4 LHTH

ds 2 causing trouble

mamas4bugs
Posts: 227
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Location: Seattle area

Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by mamas4bugs » Sat May 07, 2011 12:13 am

This would make a great addition to the reasons sticky! I learned a lot from this thread!

Quick question---my oldest son is going to go through high school before all of the high school guides are written. He will be using Rev to Rev in 9th and the guide following that one (modern) in 10th. Should we add to the writing in those guides since he will be in high school, but those were not intended as high school credit?

Thanks! :)
Living the adventure, blessed to be schooling 3:
Cub 15 MTMM with extentions
Crawdad 11 Preparing
Taz 6 her own interesting mix

Have used and loved: LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
http://ourhomeschooltravelingzoo.blogspot.com/

holyhart
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by holyhart » Sat May 07, 2011 5:51 am

Carrie wrote:Oh! I'm so glad that the explanation helped! :D It is good for me to explain why we do what we do schedule-wise too, as so much thought goes into each decision and often I forget to share the "why" behind the "how". Thanks for asking! :D

I may place this in the "reasons behind HOD's choices" sticky, if you think this is helpful.

Blessings,
Carrie
I definately agree that this should be in the sticky about your reasons! As I was reading this thread, I kept thinking to myself, "I will have to put this in that sticky....this is sooo good!". :D

Even though highschool is still a bit far for us (haha, we are only in R&S 2!), it is great to know what the goal and plan to accomplish said goal is! I love it! :D I am also so pleased with R&S. Thank you for taking so much time to give us the best resources!
~Kelly~
wife of CB since 10/99
mother to:
~Evelyn Grace 5/03
~Joshua Ryan 11/05
~Lillian Rose 8/08
~Caleb Charles 8/10

Carrie
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Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by Carrie » Wed May 11, 2011 1:42 pm

mamas4bugs,

As far as writing goes, since you'll be using the guides for a highschooler, you may want to read the threads for each guide on beefing up for credit for high schoolers. I know it is a sorting through process, but I do address the writing in each guide within those threads, which may be of help to you as you ponder. :D

Here's a link to the sticky I'm referring to where you can scroll down to my links. :D Link: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6571

The short version would be that Write with the Best is used within CTC, which is labeled for grades 3-12. I think for sure it could go through grades 9 or 10 (if a student has not had much descriptive writing). For a student who has had quite a bit of descriptive writing, you could instead look at using Write with the Best Vol. 2, which is definitely credit worthy at any time in high school.

For RTR, Medieval-History Based Writing Lessons would definitely be enough for high school, as we list a standard plan and an extension plan. :D

For Rev2Rev, the Exciting World of Creative Writing is high school worthy, when combined with the other writing in Rev2Rev. If your child will be a junior when using this, and has not had much practice with essay writing, you may wish to focus more on essay writing, through something like Write with the Best II or The Elegant Essay. The creative writing book is very good though, for learning to write with moral discernement (so I wouldn't replace it too quickly). :D

In all of the scenarios above, we are also assuming that you are using Rod and Staff to teach guided writing and application of grammar as well. Rod and Staff does a very good job of going through note-taking, research skills, and outlining, along with a myriad of other needed English skills. Plus, we're assuming your kiddos are doing all of the writing across the curriculum scheduled within our guides as well, including the written narrations. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

mamas4bugs
Posts: 227
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Location: Seattle area

Re: Rod and Staff English question

Post by mamas4bugs » Wed May 11, 2011 4:48 pm

Thanks! :)

He's using RTR next year in 8th grade, so he will be using Rev to Rev and the new guide for 9th and 10th. Then the first two high school programs as 11th and 12th. What I was hoping was that I could use the LA in all the guides as written just adding in Lit, and it sounds like we can. Excellent! Thank you!

ps--Yes, he will be using R&S and doing all the other writing across the curriculum. :)
Living the adventure, blessed to be schooling 3:
Cub 15 MTMM with extentions
Crawdad 11 Preparing
Taz 6 her own interesting mix

Have used and loved: LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
http://ourhomeschooltravelingzoo.blogspot.com/

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