Why and How I do CC (Classical Conversations) and Rod and Staff

I was recently telling a friend of mine that I used Rod and Staff as a GENTLE supplement for padding/strengthening skills… and especially to deliver me from flashcards in the early grades!

She said she’d always heard they were a bit too easy, a bit behind. And though I do see her point, it is what makes them so wonderful.  They are very gentle.

If you have a student who loves to tear into books and needs something on her level or below, they are great and CHEAP!


If you hate flashcards like I do, their math facts in 2nd and 3rd grade are taught in THE MOST GENTLE SLOW WAY…  so that you can load up an independent notebook with those materials BEFORE that math skill hits their normal math program.  Sounds cooky…but it saved us.  It is a gentle way to double up and let the materials do the work for you! That’s the point of using books and materials, right?


These are great!  2nd grade readers are a chornological survey.

3rd Grade bible readers aren’t.

They come with worksheets, but I have not used these. We use them only for enjoyment ….as readers.


Their phonics workbooks 1st through 3rd are gentle and great.  Great materials to look through. You can view samples on their website here.


My daughter needed a lot of handwriting practice.  The first grade R&S workbooks have very large tablets, which she needed

In first grade, the handwriting lessons become memory work for The Lord’s Prayer and other scripture passages.  I LOVE THAT!!!


If it seems weird that I have all these pieces coming and going, you can peek in on a process I call “Educational Engineering“… my step by step method of keeping things smooth and sustainable through independent notebooking.