How can you achieve success with Rod and Staff English?

Teaching Tip:

How can you achieve success with Rod and Staff English?

Success with Rod and Staff English can be achieved in more than one way. You can easily do it as written. Or, you can modify the presentation while still covering all the content. While we truly love Rod and Staff English, the lessons at the upper levels can get quite long. So, here is one tip we’ve found that helps us consistently get it done.

Do two-thirds of each lesson orally or on a whiteboard.

Working through the lesson orally and/or on a whiteboard speeds each lesson right along. This method also keeps the student’s interest and allows you to correct any misconceptions immediately. Plus, in this scenario, written work is limited to only meaningful answers. For example, it is much more important to write diagramming exercises than it is to write the words ‘singular’ and ‘plural.’ So, anything that can be done orally… we do orally! Anything that can be done quickly on a whiteboard, we do in that fashion.

Assign one-third of the lesson to be done as written work.

At the end of the lesson, we assign one section to be done as written work. When choosing which section this will be, we make sure it is a section that is most meaningfully done in writing. This assigned section often includes diagramming or composition exercises. If there isn’t a certain section that benefits from being written, we may do the entire lesson orally instead.

To cement previous concepts, be sure to do the oral review at the beginning of each lesson.

We also make sure to do the oral review at the beginning of each lesson to cement previous concepts. Skipping the oral review means students forget what has been studied previously. So, don’t skip the oral review!

Using this method results in quicker lessons and positive results!

We’ve tried this method from English 2 through English 8 with good results. We consistently get it done, and our boys have good overall retention of concepts. Our two older sons in college are thankful for the strong English background they acquired through Rod and Staff English! Try this method yourself, and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

Do you have a plan for laundry at your house?

Teaching Tip: 

Do you have a plan for laundry at your house?

Having a routine for dealing with laundry each week is a huge time saver. Laundry may seem like an odd topic to include on our teaching tip day! But, laundry can really interfere with teaching by taking up needed space for “school” and overtaking your house! So, I’ll just share a tip that may get you thinking of how to address laundry at your house.

How do we deal with sorting laundry each week?

As our family has grown, we’ve discovered that the sorting of whose clothes belong to whom can really take time. It also slows down the folding process. So, we’ve found it’s easier to keep the laundry more separated from start to finish. To do this, each of our bedrooms has a laundry hamper. Even within the bedrooms, we have individual clothes baskets for our boys. This reduces the amount of mixing of clothes among family members.

How do we schedule our laundry to be done?

We schedule our laundry to be done in smaller chunks each day to keep it more manageable. So, at our house, Monday is our littlest guy’s laundry day. Tuesday is towel day and also the day my hubby and I’s laundry is done. Wednesday is our third son’s laundry day. His laundry requires special laundry detergent, due to skin allergies. Thursday is our oldest son’s laundry day. Friday is our second son’s laundry day. Saturday and Sunday we have off from laundry.

What is our laundry routine?

Everyone just brings their own laundry downstairs in their hamper or basket on their designated day. The person whose laundry it is also helps fold and put away on his/her assigned day. This makes sense, as each person knows best where his/her own clothes go! Of course, we all pitch in to help fold and put away when we are in a hurry. We have a goal to get everything put away by bedtime. Sometimes, we don’t quite make it. But, having a school workspace free of folded laundry is a great motivator!

Try making a laundry plan and see what you think.

Having a plan for your laundry may really free you up from feeling like the laundry is never really done. Try making a laundry plan, and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

What did 2018 hold for you?

Teaching Tip:

What did 2018 hold for you?

As we turn our eyes toward the new year, it is also the time when we reflect back on the year that has passed. What did 2018 hold for you? Was it a year of joy, a year of struggle, a year of change, or a year of adjustment? Did you accomplish what you desired, or did you feel like you were falling short most days?

God was not taken by surprise by what your year held.

Whatever your year held, remember that God was not taken by surprise by anything that occurred. He knew what your year would hold before you ever ventured into 2018. He knows what 2019 will hold for you too! That means that whatever is ahead, you will not walk alone. For our family, this has been incredibly important to remember this past year.

Our year held joy and struggle, change and adjustment.

Our son Greyson was diagnosed with colitis in March. After difficult months culminating in a month-long stay in the hospital, he was taken to Mayo Clinic by ambulance and had his entire colon and appendix removed. More surgeries have followed and are still to come. After his most recent hospital stay, we were blessed to bring Grey home the day before Christmas Eve. He is being treated for an abscess that was a complication from the second surgery. Yet, through this all we have watched Grey grow in his faith and so have we!

The Lord has a plan for your good!

We take heart that the Lord has a plan, and His plan is for our good. My Dad’s favorite verse is one that I have had to cling to often this past year: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. So, even when we can’t see the good in what is happening, we can rest in knowing that God is working behind the scenes for our good. Remember the story of Joseph in the Bible? That is our glimpse into how God works in times of great trial in ways we can’t imagine for His good and for ours.

Did we accomplish everything we desired this year?

We did not accomplish a lot of what we wanted to do this year. Yet, we have moved forward with life and with school as best we could. Our older boys have had to pitch in and be the teacher for our younger one. They delayed starting their college classes this fall, so they could be here and keep things running. Family watched over our boys when we couldn’t be here. Friends, and family, and churches, and people we’ve never met prayed without ceasing over Grey and continue to do so. Looking back on 2018, we can say our lives are richer for the united, loving body of Christ.

Faith is strengthened is times of struggle.

As we look back on 2018, we realize that the greatest gift we can give our boys is faith in the Lord. The academics are important too, but a deep and abiding faith is what matters for eternity. In times of struggle, we are teaching our boys to pull together as a family. They have learned to set aside their own wants to serve others. As a family, we have been driven to our knees to call upon our heavenly Father. Blessedly, He opens His arms and draws us to Him.

In 2019, reach for your Father in heaven.

So, as you look toward 2019, reach for your Father in heaven who loves you. Know that He will walk with you no matter what is ahead. Join with us in fervently praying that your children will come to know Him more deeply. If that is what you seek to accomplish this coming year, you will be doing what matters for eternity!

Blessings,

Carrie

Is your child new to independence in school?

Teaching Tip: 

Is your child new to independence in school?

Do you have a child doing Preparing Hearts or Creation to Christ on up who is new to “independence” in school? If so, here is a helpful tip for you! Have your child read the instructions in any “I” box out loud to you prior to beginning the box.

Why is it helpful to have students read aloud the directions in the “independent” boxes of plans?

When kiddos read aloud the directions first, they often have a better idea of what is coming. This makes them less likely to miss steps when performing the “I” box. It can take extra time to have the child read aloud the box first. But, it will save you time later, because the child will know more clearly what to do. If needed, you can also discuss the directions right after the child has read them aloud.

When can you phase out this “reading aloud” step?

The reading aloud step can be phased out as the child gains confidence in reading and following written directions. It helps “train” the child to read the directions through before beginning the box. Try this tip and see if it helps your child! This extra step has really helped our boys!

Blessings,
Carrie

Try the repeating method for “Rhymes in Motion”

Teaching Tip:

Do you have a child doing Little Hands to Heaven or Little Hearts for His Glory?

If you have kiddos doing either Little Hands to Heaven or Little Hearts for His Glory, today’s teaching tip is for you! It’s a simple tip, but one that makes the “Rhymes in Motion” go more smoothly with your little ones!

What is one helpful tip when you begin a new “Rhymes in Motion?”

Here is one helpful tip for beginning a new “Rhymes in Motion.” Say the rhyme and do the motions one line at a time, with your child repeating each line right after you.

What does the repeating method look like on Day 1 of the rhyme?

For example, on Day 1 of the rhyme, you will say and perform line one of the rhyme. Then, your child will repeat line one with the motions. Next, you will move on to line two, saying and demonstrating the line. Then, your child will repeat line two with the motions. Continue on through the rhyme this way to make sure your child is getting the words and motions.

How does the repeating method differ on Day 2?

At our house, we usually continue to use the repeating method on the second day too. However, at the end of the rhyme on day two, we also do the whole rhyme once more in unison.

What are the benefits of doing the rhymes this way?

Usually after two days of repeating each line after you, kiddos are more sure of the words and motions. Then, they are ready to do the rhyme in unison with you in the coming days. The repeating method is also great for making sure your child is participating and has the words down! Try this method at the beginning of a new rhyme and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

PS: For more information on how “Rhymes in Motion” help kids’ skills develop, check out this blog article here:

What are the benefits of the Rhymes in Motion?