|picture: Milestone Ministries|
Rod and Staff is written from a protestant, mennonite, perspective. The illustrations are of mennonite families and many of their lessons have selections from the Bible. This doesn't concern me in the least. I am not a protestant mennonite, but I couldn't care less if the example they use to teach my child about appositive adjectives comes from the gospels or from Harry Potter. I want well written examples and, yes, the Bible is a fantastic source for that. As many who have read my blog know, I consider myself a secular homeschooler because I place academics at the core of our education. When I look for resources I look first to their accuracy and second to their compatibility with my kids learning methods. That is about it. As long as they are reasonably priced, the viewpoint, be it secular or christian, is not a concern as long as it doesn't attempt to preach. When I teach my children about religion, I'll use my own religious resources.
My daughter, on the other hand, is bothered by this perspective. Every time she gets a lesson that is heavily biblical, I hear the sighs and grumbling start. It is distracting to her. She is very sensitive to having people try to persuade her to think or believe differently than she does. My grandmother would say she has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to religion. My mother would say she takes after me. I'd say they both have a point. So, I made a deal with her: if you can find another program or book that teaches grammar as effectively, I would consider it.
Oh, how she wished for another level from the books we used before, but no such luck. Even if new books from the authors of First Language Lessons were being written, they would not be ready for her in time. We looked at three different texts and two different co-ops before she agreed that the Rod and Staff books are either better or allow her more independent study, both of which are important to her.
So, there you have it! Even my daughter, who can smell a religious hard sell a mile away, chose these books for their quality. Once the decision was ours and not just mine, her grumbling stopped too.