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    Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

    My son, 7, is a rising 3rd grader and my daughter, 9, is a rising 5th grader. She will be 10 in July. The issue primarily revolves around my daughter in that she is ADHD and we struggle in two areas: writing and math. I believe I have the writing issue addressed as we are going to start out using Intro to Composition and use it at somewhat accelerated pace before starting CC Fable. For background, last year was my first homeschooling. I pulled my children out of public school in October 2017. Prior to doing so, I researched math programs and settled on Math Mammoth Level 3 (she was in 4th grade) because I was looking for a mastery based program based upon what I had read on the Memoria Press website and other sources, it was affordable, and claimed to require little teacher involvement. However, Math Mammoth was a complete disaster. The material is challenging but did not work for her because there is too little by way of instruction and no guidance for the me, the teacher. Further, there is zero review built into the program. I saw very quickly that it was just not working for her and I went to the opposite extreme and we started over using the spiral approaching program, Teaching Textbooks level 4. For a variety of reasons, I am very unhappy with Teaching Textbooks. One issue that I soon realized is that Teaching Textbooks seems to omit topics that are included in most other programs that are of an "equivalent" level or addresses them at a very basic level. Although she is currently doing well with the program (because it seems to be easy), her errors are usually the result of carelessness. Also, I had to take away the computer application because she wasn't writing anything out despite having paper and a pencil with her at all times. I was concerned this was going to hinder her in the future, because I believe there is something to using pencil and paper making brain connections. At any rate, she now completes the problems directly in the textbook and using scrap paper when necessary.

    I now see the beauty in Rod and Staff because while a mastery program it DOES have review built in. My concern is this: although she is about 10 lessons from completing Teaching Textbooks Level 4, I am worried about putting her in Rod and Staff Level 5. Initially, I was going to put her in Level 4, but I had her take took the Rod and Staff placement test to be sure and she technically passed by the skin of her teeth (she needed an 80% and she scored 80%). That being said, she missed every question on fractions. She also struggled with decimals and Roman Numerals, and averaging but ultimately answered most correctly. She incorrectly answered an addition problem due to carelessness. All of the challenging concepts were omitted or barely covered in Teaching Textbooks Level 4. I just purchased level 5 last night from MP based upon the placement test, but I am worried that jumping from Teaching Textbooks to Rod and Staff is going to be too much of a leap given that fractions and decimals are extensively covered in Level 5. I am also worried the difficultly may discourage her and will result in a daily struggle. Am I right to feel this way? Should I put her in Level 4 instead? Is there enough review for her to catch-up? I feel that my mistakes this past year have been the result of me lacking the confidence to listen to my gut (e.g. I was too scared to use MP out of the gate), and I should just put her in level 4.

    I am unsure if this makes a difference, but we worked so hard at multiplication and division and she now knows her tables almost instantaneously through 12, but had a poor foundation in public school and still struggles with addition and subtraction facts.

    Now, a practical question, IF I do decide to use Rod and Staff Level 4 instead of Level 5, does anyone have experience with MP changing an order before it is shipped? I would like to avoid the cost of having to return Level 5 only to need to turn around and purchase Level 4.

    Thank you for all your suggestions. And so you know, I have scoured this forum and have learned so much about MP and how to use the materials. It is this reason I now have the confidence to jump in using MP for both of my children for the coming school year.

    Jennifer

    #2
    Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

    Super quick (while validating your concerns):

    I’d do Level 4, followed closely by Level 5. That is to say, do Level 4 — let it be an easy(ish) and confidence-building adjustment from MM/TT to RS. Your daughter will get great review in areas of strength and good remediation in areas of weakness. This should not take as long as an academic year (and feel free to skip pages within lessons you feel are too redundant). THEN she’ll be ready for Level 5 (and so will you!).

    If cost is an issue, go to https://www.milestonebooks.com and look under Rod and Staff to see if they have any used copies of Level 4 to sell.
    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
    ~Pope St John Paul II

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

      Originally posted by laetjennifer View Post
      My son, 7, is a rising 3rd grader and my daughter, 9, is a rising 5th grader. She will be 10 in July. The issue primarily revolves around my daughter in that she is ADHD and we struggle in two areas: writing and math. I believe I have the writing issue addressed as we are going to start out using Intro to Composition and use it at somewhat accelerated pace before starting CC Fable. For background, last year was my first homeschooling. I pulled my children out of public school in October 2017. Prior to doing so, I researched math programs and settled on Math Mammoth Level 3 (she was in 4th grade) because I was looking for a mastery based program based upon what I had read on the Memoria Press website and other sources, it was affordable, and claimed to require little teacher involvement. However, Math Mammoth was a complete disaster. The material is challenging but did not work for her because there is too little by way of instruction and no guidance for the me, the teacher. Further, there is zero review built into the program. I saw very quickly that it was just not working for her and I went to the opposite extreme and we started over using the spiral approaching program, Teaching Textbooks level 4. For a variety of reasons, I am very unhappy with Teaching Textbooks. One issue that I soon realized is that Teaching Textbooks seems to omit topics that are included in most other programs that are of an "equivalent" level or addresses them at a very basic level. Although she is currently doing well with the program (because it seems to be easy), her errors are usually the result of carelessness. Also, I had to take away the computer application because she wasn't writing anything out despite having paper and a pencil with her at all times. I was concerned this was going to hinder her in the future, because I believe there is something to using pencil and paper making brain connections. At any rate, she now completes the problems directly in the textbook and using scrap paper when necessary.

      I now see the beauty in Rod and Staff because while a mastery program it DOES have review built in. My concern is this: although she is about 10 lessons from completing Teaching Textbooks Level 4, I am worried about putting her in Rod and Staff Level 5. Initially, I was going to put her in Level 4, but I had her take took the Rod and Staff placement test to be sure and she technically passed by the skin of her teeth (she needed an 80% and she scored 80%). That being said, she missed every question on fractions. She also struggled with decimals and Roman Numerals, and averaging but ultimately answered most correctly. She incorrectly answered an addition problem due to carelessness. All of the challenging concepts were omitted or barely covered in Teaching Textbooks Level 4. I just purchased level 5 last night from MP based upon the placement test, but I am worried that jumping from Teaching Textbooks to Rod and Staff is going to be too much of a leap given that fractions and decimals are extensively covered in Level 5. I am also worried the difficultly may discourage her and will result in a daily struggle. Am I right to feel this way? Should I put her in Level 4 instead? Is there enough review for her to catch-up? I feel that my mistakes this past year have been the result of me lacking the confidence to listen to my gut (e.g. I was too scared to use MP out of the gate), and I should just put her in level 4.

      I am unsure if this makes a difference, but we worked so hard at multiplication and division and she now knows her tables almost instantaneously through 12, but had a poor foundation in public school and still struggles with addition and subtraction facts.

      Now, a practical question, IF I do decide to use Rod and Staff Level 4 instead of Level 5, does anyone have experience with MP changing an order before it is shipped? I would like to avoid the cost of having to return Level 5 only to need to turn around and purchase Level 4.

      Thank you for all your suggestions. And so you know, I have scoured this forum and have learned so much about MP and how to use the materials. It is this reason I now have the confidence to jump in using MP for both of my children for the coming school year.

      Jennifer

      I will preface this by saying that I have never used TT. However, I have several friends that have. In my research also I have heard/read that TT starts at level "3" and many begin this in the 2nd grade, because TT seems to be about 1/2- 1 grade lower than standard grade levels. So, placing her in R&S 4 is probably going to be best. Also keep in mind that MP goes from R&S 6 to PRe- Algebra in 7th. There are students that are still not ready for Algebra in 8th. So, even if she "only" does R&S 4 this year, she would be on track to do Algebra in 9th.

      Also, since she is doing well with the multiplication and division tables, she may be able to move more quickly through those lessons. The first 40 lessons in R&S are typically review of the previous years. If she only has holes in the areas you described, maybe she will finish earlier. Again, the first 40 of 170 lessons typically review, so you might be able to then breeze through the first 40 lessons of the 5th grade math book. I wouldn't rush to accomplish this, but you may find you can complete 4 and 5 in less than 2 school years?
      Christine

      (2019/2020)
      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

        Jennifer,

        Here's a link to a R&S placement test. Perhaps this could also help.
        https://www.milestonebooks.com/bin/P..._Test_Math.pdf


        SusanP in VA

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

          I would hate to see a child go back through a textbook if she received the necessary score on the placement test. Since the issue seems to revolve around fractions, maybe some focused work this summer on just that topic. I like the key to fractions books (they have a set for decimals as well) or the right start fractions book or hands on fractions (from the publishers of hands on equations). There will be lots of review in rod and staff 5. If you decide to buy rod and staff 4, I would get the test booklet and have her take the tests a chapter at a time as a pretest to get more specific placement. If she does well on a test, skip that chapter and move on to the next test. Once you get to where she struggles then see what she missed and reteach those sections. You might want to consider allowing her to write in the book as much as possible as the copying everything onto paper is a major downside to me for Rod and staff.
          Dorinda

          For 2019-2020
          DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
          DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
          DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
          DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

            Yes yes, write in the textbook! R&S is so cheap compared to most other math programs that using the textbook as consumable is the best way to go.

            I agree that she did pass the test. Spend some review time on fractions and decimals this summer and move to your purchased level in the fall.

            Work on flashcards review for all operations to increase mastery and speed.

            Edited to add: hey, what about just getting the cheapy speed drill packet and using the last half of them for daily review this summer? They are designed to be used for every other lesson so that would be a good review. I wouldn't time them...just complete them.

            But if you really want grade 4 there's a set on homeschool classifieds.com for $25 with shipping. Both teacher books and student. Score!
            Last edited by Colomama; 06-10-2018, 11:01 PM.
            Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
            DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
            DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

            We've completed:
            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

              I think R&S 5 would be fine. Fractions are covered again thoroughly. I would just plan to take a little extra time on those lessons if needed, and use this summer to do some practice. I agree that the speed drills would be great! Or you could use some of the supplemental drills that are in the back of the 5th grade TM and you wouldn't even need to purchase anything.
              2018/2019
              Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
              Ds 10: MP 5M
              Ds 5: MP K

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

                Originally posted by laetjennifer View Post
                Now, a practical question, IF I do decide to use Rod and Staff Level 4 instead of Level 5, does anyone have experience with MP changing an order before it is shipped? I would like to avoid the cost of having to return Level 5 only to need to turn around and purchase Level 4.
                Good morning,

                We are happy to change an order before it ships. Please let us know as soon as possible though; our warehouse usually ships within 1-2 business days!
                Michael
                Memoria Press

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

                  Originally posted by Anita View Post
                  Super quick (while validating your concerns):

                  I’d do Level 4, followed closely by Level 5. That is to say, do Level 4 — let it be an easy(ish) and confidence-building adjustment from MM/TT to RS. Your daughter will get great review in areas of strength and good remediation in areas of weakness. This should not take as long as an academic year (and feel free to skip pages within lessons you feel are too redundant). THEN she’ll be ready for Level 5 (and so will you!).

                  If cost is an issue, go to https://www.milestonebooks.com and look under Rod and Staff to see if they have any used copies of Level 4 to sell.
                  Anita,

                  I just wanted to say thank you for your thoughtful suggestion. I decided to take this approach because I believe it will be the best means to build her confidence in math. I think that long term her (lack of) confidence will be the biggest potential problem and this is probably the easiest way to correct the issue while simultaneously working on neatness, accuracy, fractions, and decimals.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

                    Originally posted by Michael View Post
                    Good morning,

                    We are happy to change an order before it ships. Please let us know as soon as possible though; our warehouse usually ships within 1-2 business days!
                    I ended up taking the advice of the other Mom's and we are going to start Level 4 where my daughter begins to struggle. As such, I anticipate needing Level 5 by the end of the school year so I will just keep the set. Thank you so much!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Transitioning to Rod & Staff Math

                      Originally posted by colomama View Post
                      but if you really want grade 4 there's a set on homeschool classifieds.com for $25 with shipping. Both teacher books and student. Score!
                      snagged it! :-)

                      Comment

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