Wednesday, September 30, 2009



I received two items from the company Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (EDUDPS for short) to review. I have to admit that even though I love to read, I never enjoyed any part of the writing process or “English” when I was in school. Because of this I have not pushed this with my kids. Unfortunately this has left a gap in their learning. I was happy to receive Roots and Fruits and Write with the Best Volume 1 so I could hopefully start filling in that gap.

I received e-books to download and had a lot of problems getting them to work due to the very high security. Finally I did get them to download and printed off Roots and Fruits. This is a curriculum that helps your student learn over 670 roots and prefixes. My first thought was, wow that’s a lot of stuff to learn. The good thing is that you only work on 1 or 2 a week. Because of problems with copy write infringements the company only allows 2 copies to be printed when you purchase an item from them. I highly recommend you read their special notes for all e-book purchasers before buying one.

Here’s what the company has to say about Roots and Fruits.

Roots and Fruits is Jill J. Dixon's best selling, uncomplicated Greek and Latin based vocabulary curriculum that uses the English forms of 673 roots and prefixes with their meanings. The English forms are used for easier learning and better retention than is normally experienced by using the classic Greek and Latin forms.

I used Microsoft Word to print the prefix out on cardstock with the definition and sample vocabulary work so I could hang it on the wall. They recommend this to give the student exposure. My kids immediately asked me what it was. After that they really didn’t pay much attention to it. Or so I thought. I had my son who is 10 look it up in the dictionary on day 2 and each kid tried to use a word that used this prefix in a sentence. On day 3, I heard my 6 year old use the sample word when talking to her little friend. I cracked up. It was not used correctly and totally didn’t make sense but at least I knew she was paying attention.

I liked the fact that the easier words had an asterisk by them so you can start with those. Also, vocabulary regularly found on the SAT are clearly marked. This is an item that can be used from 3rd grade and up. If you are not sure about this but would like to try it you can download a free sample at This includes all of the “A” words and includes enough information that you will definitely know if this will work for your family or not.

Right not you can get this for 25% off at $11.25 for the e-book. The unbound printed book is $17.48 and the bound, printed book is $19.98. I personally would get the printed version because of the problems I had with downloads.

We also received Write with the Best Vol. 1 to review. I have to admit after doing the first chapter, which you can try for free here, I didn’t print the entire book. After we did this chapter, my son was very uninterested and frustrated so we didn’t continue with it. I am hoping that we can use this later because I feel like it is a very thorough writing curriculum.

This focuses on descriptive writing skills, literature analysis and grammar. It is nice because grammar is included in the writing and not an additional subject. It uses well known literature to learn how to write. I like that you do not have to find these books because the passages are included in the curriculum. This is recommended for grades 3-12. You will need a thesaurus, dictionary, colored pencils, and a copy machine to use Write with the Best.

We read a passage from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Griffin had a fun time drawing a picture of what he thought the monster looked like. That was pretty much where his enjoyment stopped. He didn’t like finding the nouns and adjectives but I think it was because it took him several tries to get them all. He gets frustrated very easily and I think that is why this didn’t work for our family. He did enjoy learning how to use a Thesaurus and has looked up a lot of words since then. He even asked me to get him a better one because a couple of the words were not in his.

All in all, I think this is a very good program. There is very little preparation time needed for the teacher which is great. The price for Write with The Best Vol. 1 is $19.95 for the e-book and $24.95 for the printed one. I also feel like I should mention that if your family likes pretty pictures or you have very visual learners then this might not be the curriculum for you. There are no pictures and this is a very straightforward curriculum.

EDUDPS also has the following items available on their website and each one has a free download available for your to “try” out their stuff.

Career Guide

Write with the Best - Vol.1 / Write with the Best - Vol. 2 / Roots and Fruits

The Concise Learning Styles Assessment / POC4U

The Homeschooler's Guide to Learning Problems / The Homeschooler's Guide for Attentional Difficulties

The Diagnostic Prescriptive Assessment - K through 5th Grades

The Total Language Diagnostic Assessment / The Diagnostic Grade Placement Screening

So, we will definitely continue using the Roots and Fruits and hopefully will be able to use Write with the Best at a later date.

You can see what the rest of the Homeschool Crew has to say about the items offered from this company at

Happy Homeschooling!

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