Rod & Staff Math

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2015-2016
Rod and Staff is a sound program. No bells and whistles, but solid, traditional math. A couple of things this math includes that "newer" math tends to leave out are Roman numerals and lots of work with standard measurement (converting inches to yards, quarts to gallons, etc. and measuring down to the 1/16th of an inch). Having taught in the fifth grade classroom, I noticed a couple of things that R&S does not emphasize as much as newer math. One is algebraic expressions using letters (Y-10=15 What is Y?) and another is the metric system (although once that is learned, it is quite easy to convert so maybe it is taught in a later year.) IMHO at fourth grade it is more important to have the solid math under one's belt so that once in middle school, algebraic problems won't pose such a problem because basic math has been taught so well.
I am ordering R&S math for fifth grade for next year, and it looks like it will follow the same pattern as fourth grade. Same topics I covered in fifth grade in the classroom, minus algebraic emphasis, but Roman numerals are reviewed along with plenty of work with standard measurement.
If you would like your child to have a strong foundation in math before moving on to algebra, I highly recommend Rod and Staff.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
  • Grades Used: 1st-8th
  • Dates used: 2007-2015
We have used Rod and Staff math since 1st grade! Our oldest began Algebra 1 by Saxon this year, and was more than well prepared for it! Rod and Staff is mastery based, clear, easy to teach. I wish they offered Algebra 1. The ninth grade is business math only (which I am sure is awesome and the skills learned would be wonderful...maybe I will add it into our high school lessons as well :) ) I love the price! You get solid skills for a very reasonable price. I also love the confidence and ease it lends to our homeschooling! I am so thankful for Rod and Staff texts.


  • 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.