Rod & Staff Math

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  • Reviewed on Friday, November 15, 2013
  • Grades Used: Grades 1, 2, 3, & plan on continuing
  • Dates used: Fall 2012 - present
Solid. Foundational. Builds a solid math foundation the children can build on as they grow in math understanding. Sets a stage for advanced mathematics. Drills the math facts to the point they can do them without thinking and in quick time; I know how helpful this can be later from my own math education!

I switched to Rod and Staff math when my oldest was just starting 3rd grade and I am very glad that I did. He had done Singapore books 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, and started 3B. I actually had to take him back a grade in R&S math. The reason was that as much as he learned conceptual mathematical thinking with Singapore he never learned his math facts. He had to think about every single fact. I couldn't see us continuing higher until he knew his basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts without having to think about them. Rod and Staff, happily, solved the problem!

I read pages and pages of math reviews for Rod and Staff and could not find a single poor review. I did find many excellent reviews. This included one that mentioned that the private school that scores in the top 2% in the nation for math uses Rod and Staff for Grades K thru 6th. The math foundation Rod and Staff lays really is that good.

I highly recommend this program. I dread the day I have to look for Algebra for 8th grade, and only wish this one went higher. I do recommend teaching from the Teacher's Manual, and the extra worksheets can be helpful at times. I also recommend Milestone Books. They ship quickly each and every time, and the prices are very reasonable. We also use Rod and Staff for our English program and phonics program. It is my most successful curriculum choice that I have made over the past four years.

BTW: We have to test and my oldest tested 99th percentile in math after a year with Rod and Staff.


  • Reviewed on Tuesday, August 13, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
This really is a great math program. My biggest complaint as a former public school math teacher (5th grade) was that kids simply didn't know their math facts at all, which made higher level mathematical thinking almost impossible. I would ask them 8-3, and they would have to THINK about it. Not good. I was determined that my kids would know their math facts well, and thus be able to think at a higher level once the foundation was laid.

Rod and Staff lays 'the foundation' wonderfully. Concepts are introduced gently and then practiced often until they are mastered. No skipping around and surprising students by throwing in random ideas every now and then. They simply master the concept and move on to the next building block while reviewing the previous concepts. The pages of the workbook are clean, clear, and enable the child to focus well. In first grade, I didn't find it to be too much work at all - 2 pages per day. We've received our 2nd grade books, and there are 4 pages per day this year. We may or may not do all of them, depending on my son's ability and stamina, but just as he now knows his addition and subtraction facts through 10 very well, he will know his facts 1-20 just as well by the end of 2nd grade. Other concepts covered in first grade are: telling time (to the hour and half-hour), fractions (halves, thirds, and fourths), counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 25s, American coins, the concept of a dozen, before and after numbers, a little on reading a thermometer, and simple story problems.

I highly recommend this program!

Mindy P

  • Reviewed on Thursday, June 13, 2013
  • Grades Used: 1st and 2nd
  • Dates used: 2012-2013
We just finished our first complete year using Rod & Staff for math.
We had been using Singapore, but found that it was introducing new concepts before the previous ones were mastered. The pace was too fast and became frustrating for my first grader last year. So this year we used Grade 1 for our older Kindergartener and Grade 2 for our 2nd grader, following the teacher's manual pretty closely, and loved the results. Both girls KNOW their addition and subtraction math facts inside and out. (Grade 1 facts are through 10 and Grade 2 facts are through 20). By the end of grade 2 they are also beginning multiplication facts as supplemental work.
I chose to use the teacher's manual and actually "taught" each day, doing the examples on the board, skip counting, drilling the triplets, etc. This may seem tedious and unnecessary, but it was valuable reinforcement, made it much more engaging for our girls and set the stage for them to do their lessons on their own.
I was encouraged part way during this year when I had some other children in our home from two different families of the same ages. They were both using Horizons math and were using their fingers to get answers to basic addition. My girls have never used their fingers (I'm not sure they even know they can), but have the facts down pat and understand what they mean.
I am very happy with this curriculum and just ordered a grade up for each for next year.


  • Reviewed on Thursday, April 4, 2013
  • Grades Used: 4th-6th and just ordered 7th
  • Dates used: 2009-present
We have used Rod & Staff math for 4 years now, and we love it! We're actually quite disappointed that we only have 2 more books (7th and 8th grade) before we have to find another math curriculum.

Our children started using R&S curriculum in 4th grade. I like having the teachers manual to help refresh my memory, and sometimes give me another way to explain the process to my kids.
LIKES: the problems are real life based instead of picture problems (ex. base 10 blocks, cutesy pictures, etc.). There are no distracting colors or pictures. It's a very traditional math curriculum. The lesson in the pupil textbook explains the lesson very very well. There have only been a couple of times that I've had to use the teachers manual or another resource to help explain the lesson to my children.
DISLIKES: This curriculum is repetitive. The beauty of home schooling is that I get to choose what problems my children do. If I know that they are proficient then we skip the review problems.

I have recommended Rod and Staff math curriculum to friends in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. Happy Home Schooling!!