Grammar help - Voyages in English/Rod and Staff/Language Lessons for Today

Hi! I’m trying to decide on a grammar curriculum for 8yo. I am torn between the three mentioned above. Can anyone help sway me one way or the other by your experience w/ any of them? Likes/Dislikes? Thank you!

The only one of the three I have experience with is Rod and Staff. We used it when my daughter was in 3rd grade. It’s a very solid curriculum and my daughter learned a lot from it. However, it’s very boring. It was like pulling teeth everyday just to get her to do her work. I hate saying that because it is a good curriculum but it’s true.

I had her finish the year out but it was a long year for English. We switched to BJU English and she loves it. Rod and Staff is just very dry and goes into so much detail with each lesson that it becomes too much! Also, there is nothing visual to help grab a child’s attention. If your child is ok with no color or pictures, they might do ok with it. My daughter is not a visual learner so I was surprised when she asked for more pictures and colors for English. I’m thinking she just needed something to grab her attention when it comes to such a difficult subject for her.

I love how much they incorporated religion into every lesson and I think that’s why I have a hard time saying I don’t like it.

Good luck and I hope my opinion helps a little bit.


I used Voyages in English for grade 1 and really liked it. I like how it switches from grammar to writing every other unit. It was a nice break for both the student and I. I have switched to BJU since then. it follows the same concept but was easier to get used than voyages.

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I agree J_momof3- I loved the curriculum as well!
I have used Voyages for grade 1& 2 and wish it was more accessible used.

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My experience with Rod and Staff was the same as csuttermedic. My kids would rather have a filling done without Novacain than work through R&S. I have often wished for a more secular (not completely, but just a tad toned down) and less dry option. (Growing with Grammar touts itself as being that option but fails to produce retention. It is too easy for the child to fill and forget. It lacks the excellent TMs that R&S has.)

First Language Lessons is our choice here. It may be boring but only takes 3 days a week. It is the only program my kids have retained from. It is teacher-intensive for a reason. The kids learn!

I have used VIE and BJU English. Neither is strong on building expository writing skills so for us, they are not worth the money.

Truthfully, if you want your child to retain what they are learning, they NEED to have that repetition, though boring, and direct teaching from Mom.

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