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EDUDPS stands for Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services. Jill J. Dixon is the author of the EDUDPS materials. She has both a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and has over 20 years of teaching experience in the classroom, in addition to homeschooling her four children. EDUDPS has two main areas of focus that are aligned with Ms. Dixon’s particular areas of expertise. These areas are composition/language and learning assessments. I received three products in the first category: Write with the Best Volumes 1 and 2, and Roots and Fruits. I also received The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers and a special bonus of POC4U from the assessments category.

Write with the Best
Write with the Best is a composition program. Volume 1 is designed for students in grades 3-12.  It is based on the idea that to learn to write effectively, students should study good writing. Volume 1 has 9 units including:

  1. Writing a Descriptive Paragraph – Describing an Object
  2. Writing a Descriptive paragraph – Describing a Place
  3. Writing a Descriptive Paragraph – Describing a Character
  4. Writing a Dialogue
  5. Writing a Short Story
  6. Writing a Fable
  7. Writing a Friendly Letter
  8. Writing Poetry – Rhyming Verse
  9. Writing poetry – A Ballad or Narrative Poem

Each of these units contain an excerpt from  classic literature to demonstrate the concept being taught. Some of the execerpts are from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, A Christmas Carol, Robinson Crusoe, and The Wind in the Willows. Each of the units is divided into 10 lessons that follow a similar sequence. The first days focus on studying the classic passage, while the last days lead the student through the steps to write their own passage of the same genre.

Write with the Best Volume 1 is available in the following formats and prices.

e-book – $14.95 (regularly $19.95)
Pages only – $22.45
Pages in 3-ring binder – $24.95

Volume 2 is meant to be used after Volume 1 and is designed for students in grades 6-12. The format is the same as the first volume but includes different writing styles.

  1. Writing Poetry – Free Verse
  2. Writing a Business Letter
  3. Taking Notes – Writing Outlines – Writing Summaries
  4. Writing Essays – Persuasive and Expository
  5. Writing a Literary Critique and a Book Review
  6. Writing a Newspaper Article
  7. Writing a Speech
  8. Writing a Dramatic Monologue

Write with the Best Volume 2 is available in the following formats and prices.

e-book – $18.65 (regularly $24.95)
Pages only – $27.45
Pages in 3-ring binder – $29.95

In addition to the lessons, both volumes contain lists of additional literary passages to use with students following the same outline used in the unit. They also have a “How to Write” guide that covers each of the types of writing discussed as well as appropriate proofreading checklists.

What I like about Write with the Best.

  • Imitative method
  • Simple, basic writing instruction
  • Non-consumable
  • Multi-age
  • Short lessons
  • Affordable

The only thing that I don’t like about Write with the Best is that my children are not enjoying the program. Part of the reason they aren’t is because we haven’t done a lot of writing and they think it’s hard. That’s not a valid reason for disliking the program in my opinion. My son also has an especially difficult time picking out which words are descriptive. I found that the lessons go a lot better when I talk about the passage with my children rather than have them pick out the nouns, adjectives, and adverbs independently. I personally like the format and instruction and plan to continue with the program. I am planning to do much of the analysis of the literature orally.

Roots and Fruits

Roots and Fruits is a vocabulary program that is based on Latin and Greek roots. It is designed for students in grades K-12 and, like Write with the Best, is non-consumable. One unique feature of this program is that the roots are taught in their English forms rather than the Latin or Greek spellings like other vocabulary root programs.

The spiral-bound book consists of instructions on how to use the program, a suggested weekly schedule, lists of activity and game ideas for learning the roots, and 50+ pages of roots with meanings and derivative words. It really couldn’t be simpler. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive vocabulary program that is NOT a workbook, this is an excellent choice. It does require more teacher prep than a workbook program, but I think this would be a much more effective learning method.

Roots and Fruits is available in the following formats and prices.

e-book – $11.25
Pages only – $17.48
Comb-binding – $19.98

The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers
I don’t know about you, but high school frightens me a little. Mainly because of the unknown and the fear that I’ll mess something up. I want to make sure my children are prepared for further study in a field that interests them.

The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers has helped me to relax a little about the future. I went through the book with my 6th grade son. It contains several tests on things like learning styles, personality, and desired work conditions. Along with the tests are lists and lists and lists of college majors and jobs that fit with the different types of thinkers and personalities. Looking through the lists helps you and your student to see what areas would be good ones to explore during the high school years. It gives suggested high school courses and ideas for internships as well. This was an excellent exercise for him to think about his future and what careers he might be interested in pursuing. It was also good for him to see what types of things he should be learning now to help him accomplish his future goals.

The Career Guide is available in the following formats and prices.

e-book – $26.20 (regularly $34.95)
Soft-cover – $39.95

This resource contains the Concise Learning Styles Assessment (also available from EDUDPS). But it has much more. It aids the parent in choosing specific homeschool curricula that are well-suited to your child’s primary and secondary learning styles! It is frequently revised to include any new materials that are available. This is an excellent resource both for determining learning style, and determining how to teach specifically to that learning style.

Comb-bound book – $12.98

All of these products are available at the EDUDPS website. An important note about the e-books: To protect against unauthorized copying, the e-books can only be printed twice. They also cannot be transferred between computers. I originally received all the products as e-books, but due to some unresolvable computer problems, I was never able to get the books to print. However, during that time I was able to see what FANTASTIC customer service EDUDPS offers.  Since I was unable to print, they sent me printed versions of all the books to review and POC4U as a bonus for all the time spent troubleshooting with their customer service. My experience with the e-books was not typical though. Normally, I would recommend purchasing the print versions of these books because the price isn’t substantially lower for the e-book. However, the e-books are currently 25% off their regular price which might make them more cost effective.

To read more reviews of EDUDPS products, visit the Crew blog.

Disclosure: This product was provided to our family for free as members of the 2009-2010 Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew. Reviews and opinions expressed in this blog are our own.

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