RV Travel with Kids

Sonlight vs Rod and Staff Homeschool Curriculum Review

In 2010 we decided to "officially" begin homeschooling our daughter after a short stint in public school, I wanted a curriculum that was easy to use, encouraged lots of reading and the formation of good study habits and listening skills. Also something challenging especially in the areas of science and math. I was also looking for something that wouldn't take up alot of my time with planning as I also have a younger child that needs my time too and I was expecting.

After much research I narrowed my choices down to Sonlight and Rod and Staff. I really liked the Sonlight curriculum as far as how much reading would be done. There are also a lot of options as far as tailoring the curriculum to your needs. The information on the site if very thorough. I also enjoyed the fact that it is a Christian based curriculum but it seemed kind of passive. The science program looks very strong and there are good choices for math too.

In the end, I chose Rod and Staff grade one since she was bored in Kindergarten. I like the fact that it encourages proper posture when writing and reading. It is also very bold in the Christian teachings which is my main reason for choosing it. It is however, very repetitive, and it lacks cultural diversity.

It took me two days to go through and color most of the pictures (all of which are in black and white btw)so that all races "looked like" they were being presented. I didn't have a chance to view the social studies materials beforehand, but some of the materials are IMO quite offensive in the way minorities are depicted.

We're bored with the first unit because my daughter has been home her whole life minus three months of school, so she has known this material for a long time. It comes in three units that get progressively harder and I don't foresee any challenges until maybe the end of the last unit. Within those units are phonics, reading, penmanship, etc.

I also added a book on manners and healthy habits which my children do love. I like the fact that my daughter has further developed her faith and that she is learning the "old school" way of respecting people especially the elderly, which is something that is lost these days especially in my community. But, she does need to be challenged. Next year I will use mainly Sonlight for the academic challenge and cultural exposure, and some Rod and Staff for spiritual/character development.

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