Homeschool Creations

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services {Review}

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Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services {EDUDPS} is a company passionate about providing educational materials for families that are "fluff-free".
'Simply put, by "fluff-free" we mean educational products that contain no extraneous material, those that get right to the relevant issues concerned – products that focus on actual educational material only.'
Homeschool Crew members received various products from EDUDPS to review. I personally received Roots and Fruits and Write With the Best Volume 1.

Roots and Fruits is a vocabulary curriculum for grades K through 12 that has over 1,700 vocabulary words and almost 700 roots and prefixes. Children learn vocabulary words that are derived from Greek and Latin roots as young as age 5, helping them develop an extensive vocabulary so that they can flourish in all subject areas. The program is one that can be used with all of your children from elementary to high school, and it distinguishes which roots are appropriate for different ages.

The curriculum provides a simple weekly schedule along with games and activities to play that will help children learn and recall the meanings of words. The vocabulary list is alphabetized to help find things quickly and easily. Overall, it takes around 15 minutes a day to work on the vocabulary words, which isn't a huge chunk of our school day. McKenna works on one to two words a week and Laurianna focuses on 3 or more. You can view a sample of Roots and Fruits here. Prices vary from $14.95 {ebook} to $19.95 {print version}.

Write with the Best Volume 1 is a writing program for children grades 3 - 12. It uses world literature to teach children descriptive and creative writing. Volume 1 focuses on descriptive writing skills, literature analysis and grammar.Grammar is not an additional subject, but rather included within the writing curriculum. Writing topics and literature include:
  1. Describing an Object {20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ~ Verne}
  2. Describing a Place {A Christmas Carol ~ Dickens}
  3. Describing a Character {Robinson Crusoe ~ Defoe}
  4. Writing a Dialogue {The Wind in the Willows ~ Grahame}
  5. Writing a Short Story {The Gift of the Maji ~ O. Henry}
  6. Writing a Fable {Aesop's fables}
  7. Writing a Friendly Letter {Treasure Island ~ Stevenson}
  8. Writing Rhyming Poetry {Wordsworth}
  9. Writing Ballad/Narrative Poem {Longfellow}
Each of the nine units provides activities for 10 lessons, requiring very little teacher prep-work {other than reading through the unit first and understanding what will be covered}. Each unit was designed to take 2 weeks to complete, meaning Volume 1 would be finished in 18 weeks {half of a typical school year}, allowing time to work through the Volume 2 for the remainder of the year. The curriculum also includes a grading guide, answer key and other suggestions for different learning styles.

We worked on unit one, which focuses on describing an object. We read a passage from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and talked about why this passage represented good literature. Over the course of our unit, we also talked about parts of speech {nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs}, identified different parts of speech in the passage, learned about writing paragraphs, and wrote our own descriptive paragraph. If you'd like to see how the units are put together, you can view Unit 1 and Unit 2 from Write with the Best Volume 1 here. Prices vary from $19.95 {ebook} to $24.95 {print/binder version}.

Pros
  • The curriculum is affordable. Roots and Fruits can be used for your kids entire schooling from K-12. Several different options are available to purchase, from eBooks to print copies.
  • Curriculum can be used with children of multiple ages. Both of the books that I reviewed would be easy to adapt and use with multiple children by just adding/adjusting activities based on their abilities.
  • Customer service is great. When I had questions or problems initially with my eBook downloads, Diagnostic Prescriptive Service answered quickly and did all that they could to help.
Cons
  • Software for running the eBook software is rather tricky in my opinion. They use File Secure Pro which has extensive security features. So secure, I was never able to access the eBooks even after hours of trying. EDUDPS was wonderful and sent me the physical versions of the book instead to review. Before you purchase an eBook, I would highly recommend reading the 'Special Notes for EBooks' page on their site.
  • You are only allowed two printings of the eBook. The computer program will track the printings. In my opinion, the physical print books are really worth paying a little more, especially in light of the time it took me to try to download File Secure Pro. For both books I reviewed, the printed version is only $5 more {plus s/h}.
  • 'No fluff' is really no-fluff. No frills. No graphics. Just the basics. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I am a highly visual person, so it made it a little more difficult for me personally to get excited about it.
Out of both of the programs, Roots and Fruits is one that we will keep around to use in the coming years, since it does offer such a wide variety of vocabulary. EDUDPS offers several other books, including diagnostic screenings and guides for children with special needs. Be sure to check out the EDUDPS website to read more about the company and their products.


Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.
As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I was given this product to review,
and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post.
All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

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