Rod and Staff is a Mennonite publishing company that is very supportive of homeschooling. The curriculum relies heavily upon Biblical material in all subject areas.
Among the distinctives of the Mennonite philosophy are nonresistance and separation, including the belief that the church should not involve itself in government, and this is reflected in their texts. Mennonite philosophy also emphasizes hard work and diligence, and this is very evident throughout the material. Learning occurs via reading, lectures, and memorization rather than through experimentation and discovery.
There is much busywork and extra material in Rod and Staff's textbooks since they were designed for classroom use. So you should not try to use everything in every book. If you know your goals and use curriculum as a tool, you can use Rod and Staff effectively by choosing how much of the material to have your child do.
Their Bible and Nurture Readers are appealing to those who desire strong Biblical content since they feature retold Bible stories and character-building stories based on Biblical principles, rejecting the fantasy, science fiction, and fables found in most other readers.
The Building Christian English texts are solid, traditional courses for second through tenth grades that follow an accelerated scope and sequence. Their Spelling by Sound and Structure series is also very popular among homeschoolers.
Science books have excellent content, but they present science experiments to illustrate what has been taught rather than as a means of discovery learning.
History/Social Studies courses primarily cover world history, geography, and world cultures. U.S. history is taught within the context of the history of North America. Most of these texts were published many years ago and include some outdated information. For example, the second-grade text, Our Father's World, published in 1982, reflects the world situation before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Rod and Staff offers complete curriculum for most subjects for the elementary grades. While they publish some readiness/ preschool materials, they do not have a kindergarten program as such. These readiness materials serve the same purpose and are to be used with an informal preparation (described in Rod and Staff's catalog) for formal education beginning at first grade.
They have some resources for high school up through tenth grade—English for grades 9 and 10, a math course that might be used in ninth or tenth grade titled Recordkeeping for Christian Stewardship, history and geography for ninth grade, one science course that can be used in grades 9 and/or 10 for students not going on to college, and Bible for grades 9 and 10. Since many Mennonite children receive vocational training for the rest of high school, they do not continue with the usual academics past this point.
A number of Rod and Staff courses have been translated into Spanish. As of March 2016 these include the reading series for grades 1 through 8, math texts for grades 1 through 6, science for grades 3, 4, and 6, health for grade 2, Music Level A, and some preschool workbooks and storybooks.
You might want to check out the ready-made lesson plans from Homeschool Planet that are available for Rod and Staff courses.
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