Rod & Staff Math

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Grades Used: 1st - 8th
  • Dates used: 2001 - currently
We have been very pleased with the Rod & Staff math curriculum which we have been using for the past 14 years. We started out by using the textbooks, worksheets, and quiz booklets but now only use the textbooks as well as any k-3 teaching aids (flash cards, math fact family charts, etc.). All 5 of my sons have done well in math, and I think it is very much due to Rod & Staff's no-nonsense, methodical style. We tried Saxon with my oldest when he was in 4th grade and he did HORRIBLY using that program. I think the main problem was that Saxon moved on too quickly to the next concept before my son had time to really absorb/grasp the current concept. And my son was not a special-needs math student. By the end of 8th grade, he tested "PHS" on his standardized test for math and several other subjects - "PHS" means "post-high-school".

I encourage all homeschool families to use Rod & Staff math program for their families. I believe it builds great foundation in mathematics.

Mrs M

  • Reviewed on Thursday, February 12, 2015
  • Grades Used: 2nd Grade
  • Dates used: 2014-2015
Like other parents, we too started out with Singapore this year (Standards Edition). It didn't take too long for us to figure out that it was NOT going to work. Being a new homeschooler, I probably waited too long and should have started out looking for something else immediately. We got really lucky (blessed is a better word) when I remembered an old friend and veteran homeschooler mentioning Rod & Staff was something she had used throughout the years with her 4 and so I took a risk ordering at first just the Arithmetic 2 basic set (teacher's guides & workbooks) and the English 3 set. When we unboxed I was immediately SO pleased with the quality of everything. 2 or so months into using the 2nd grade Rod & Staff arithmetic, I am so sold on this curriculum and want to say it was a true godsend to find something that really works for my second grader who really is a gentle learner. The entire first unit is all review and so if you, like me, have pulled your 2nd grader from public school and don't know where to start because they are behind, THIS is the answer. Grade 1 basic math facts are taught comprehensively throughout this first unit. We are just finishing up the first unit out of five. I'm fairly sure this teaching/learning method is called the mastery method and I am all for it.

Note: When ordering, you may want to purchase the Blossom and Bee posters and I recommend the flash cards as well. There is a boat theme and poster you can make for the first unit and you'll need a standard blank blue poster, the kind you get at the Dollar Store. This is an adorable curriculum for a second grader.

There is only one con so far that I can see for other parents. There are 5 workbooks to complete and so this might not be a good choice if you are short on time for whatever reason.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, November 20, 2014
  • Grades Used: 2-3
  • Dates used: 2012-2015
This math curriculum has been great for my daughter. We are still using it and plan too keep using it. It reviews a concept until it is mastered and it is everyday, practical math. This method is really a good fit for my daughter. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a down to earth, no nonsense math curriculum. Also, it's very easy to teach, which is a big plus to me.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • Grades Used: 1-6th
  • Dates used: 2007-2014
While we started using Rod and Staff in early elementary, this review is mostly about grades 5 -6. We've tried other programs, honestly, because sometimes R & S gets a little boring after so many years. But each time we end up coming back to Rod and Staff. There is nothing flashy about this curriculum. It's methodical, thorough, practical, and no-nonsense. There's no "new math" or other silliness. I think that even a child who is not naturally gifted at math will at least have a solid foundation with this curriculum. In our case, we've often had to adapt the curriculum, review many many times, or work a little more slowly, but I'm constantly amazed at how thoroughly the books teach concepts. We've tried computer-based programs and other programs, but I always came away with the feeling that my child wasn't really learning. Some children may learn a concept by just doing a few problems, but I think most of us need to do a good many problems before we memorize and then actually learn how to perform certain skills.