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    Why rod and staff?

    I would like to use the full mp curriculum so I don't have to tweak anything. My only hang up is switching from MUS to R&s. I Need to be convinced to switch. What's better about RS? I have 5 children and am concerned it will take more time to teach than MUS. I would love some input from those who have also used MUS.
    Thanks!
    Courtney
    Ds10 acc.5th
    Dd8 2nd
    Ds6 K
    Dd4
    Ds2
    Dd1
    #7coming July
    "saved by grace"

    #2
    Court,

    I have to agree with you...I always needed to know the "why" behind curriculum choices before I could fully commit to them, which is what prevented me from completely embracing one, full, complete curriculum. I would always tweak and alter, which was actually very frustrating.

    So your question is great, and has been a frequent one by folks who want the convenience of the full core, completely planned, and all in one place. I would suggest to you to search through old threads of this forum, as there are many which discuss math per your exact question.

    That being said, I will still try to offer what I have learned from my decisions about Math. First, MUS is a very successful program in its own right, and many many people are very happy with it. I personally still have our basic set of blocks, which I use to introduce new concepts when we need them. They are our only manipulative!

    But where MUS differs the most from Rod and Staff is in the expectation for how much of that visual, concrete practice a child needs to be successful in math. MUS relies heavily on the visual and tactile approach to math. Rod and Staff uses its own materials to present concepts visually, but does not treat that as such a need for as long as MUS. Especially in the younger years visual aids are still used with R&S, but memorization becomes the major factor of the daily work rather than continued emphasis on using the manipulatives.

    For example, when we used MUS, the TM/videos would have us using the blocks every day to reinforce the concepts being practiced. Now, after many years of using Rod and Staff, the box of blocks is usually in the cupboard. When I need to show a concept, we may use them for a day or two, but then they "get it" and we don't "need" the blocks anymore. We practice through the brief drills in the TM, and through their worksheets.

    Rod and Staff is therefore much more streamlined. Lessons are learned and practiced to master basic facts in a traditional format, with much independent work for children to do. Where MUS expects children to regularly use the blocks to "see" concepts in action, Rod and Staff trusts that the same understanding does come simply through the repeated practice of learning their facts, and learnng them to mastery. For example, my children usually come to figure out what multiplication is during their second grade books just because they know their addition facts so well. MUS would expect to need to display it with the blocks. Since using R&S, we have never seen that need. They just "get it" already.

    The First through Third grade books expect a parent to help explain and drill the lessons, which is very brief, as the emphasis is on mastering the four arithmetic processes; by fourth grade the lessons are presented directly to the student, offering even less need for direct teaching every single day.

    With a busy household such as yours, I would not hesitate at all to recommend making the switch. Ever since we fully embraced the full Cores from MP, my life is so much less stressful as far as curriculum goes. We just open and go....helping us continue being successful at homeschooling such a large brood.

    Hths!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    Last edited by KF2000; 02-17-2015, 09:08 AM.
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you Sarah! I see now that there are quite a few threads talking about the same thing! I will be browsing those. Thank you for your explanation. My plan is to jump in ans see! My son has been doing Gamma this year. Will it be an ok transition into RS 4?
      Courtney
      Ds10 acc.5th
      Dd8 2nd
      Ds6 K
      Dd4
      Ds2
      Dd1
      #7coming July
      "saved by grace"

      Comment


        #4
        I cannot judge the content of Gamma, but having your son on grade level in R&S is a great plan. Make sure he is very well drilled in all four sets of math facts (addition, subtraction, mult, and div) so that his year goes as smoothly as possible. R&S is very thorough and builds well from one year to the next. I think you will be pleased!

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2020-2021
        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
        DS, 17
        DD, 15
        DD, 13
        DD, 11
        DD, 9
        DD, 7
        +DS+
        DS, 2

        Comment


          #5
          Gamma is just multiplication. He'll have had no division by the fourth.
          Courtney
          Courtney
          Ds10 acc.5th
          Dd8 2nd
          Ds6 K
          Dd4
          Ds2
          Dd1
          #7coming July
          "saved by grace"

          Comment


            #6
            Well, I checked my fourth grade book to look for you. The first two chapters review addition and subtraction to two digits, the third chapter reviews multiplication, and chapter four gets into division. It starts out with a review of what division is (the undoing of multiplication), and the basic division facts to the six's. That same chapter also introduces the steps of long division....which is brand new, not covered in third. This is covered with more depth again in chapter 8. There are 17 chapters total, so the coverage of division is included early, and practiced a lot through the year.

            I would think division would be easy enough for you to add into the work he is doing on multiplication. Jus like subtraction undos addition, division undos multiplication. So having one set of facts mastered, essentially means you know the facts for the other too. See if he can grasp these concepts, and maybe work on division facts along with the multiplication facts he is already working on. That is how they handle it in the third grade book....just a lot of practice going both ways.

            Does that help?
            AMDG,
            Sarah
            2020-2021
            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
            DS, 17
            DD, 15
            DD, 13
            DD, 11
            DD, 9
            DD, 7
            +DS+
            DS, 2

            Comment


              #7
              We started fourth grade last month and are just now getting to the chapter on division. While it was introduced in third grade, I don't think a student would have a problem seeing it for the first time in 4th. In chapter 4, it is taught as repeated subtraction and as the opposite of multiplication. If your child knows the multiplication facts fairly well (and those are also reviews in chapter 3), division shouldn't be a problem.

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you Angela for that information. Sarah, thank you for checking the book for me. I will definitely introduce division this second half f the year or during the summer. He will catch on quickly I'm sure. My mind is at ease a little more! Thank you
                Courtney
                Ds10 acc.5th
                Dd8 2nd
                Ds6 K
                Dd4
                Ds2
                Dd1
                #7coming July
                "saved by grace"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Super! That sounds great!
                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  2020-2021
                  16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                  DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                  DS, 17
                  DD, 15
                  DD, 13
                  DD, 11
                  DD, 9
                  DD, 7
                  +DS+
                  DS, 2

                  Comment

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