Sunday, November 1, 2009

Review: Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services

Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (EDUDPS) offers a host of unique products designed to make the most of your homeschooling efforts. They offer everything from tests and assessments, literature-based writing curriculum, an in-depth college and career planning guide, to a comprehensive vocabulary program that can be used for all grade levels.

Founder and author, Jill J. Dixon "holds a Bachelor of Science in English Education (magna cum laude) and a Master’s Degree in Special Education (summa cum laude)." She's amassed 27 years of teaching experience in the private and public sectors, as well as 16 years homeschooling her own four children. She opened EDUDPS in 1993 to offer "educational consulting, tutoring, and testing services to parents, schools, and homeschool support groups" and presently serves as a "national consultant to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association" among other endeavors.

Our family received digital copies (E-books) of 4 products: Write With the Best Volumes 1 and 2, Roots and Fruits, and The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers.

Write with the Best Volume 1: Modeling Writing After Great Works of Literature, is a descriptive writing program for grades 3-12. The premise is that in order to become a great writer, one must study great writing. (Works for me!)

This program is broken into nine units, each covering a specific writing aspect (or genre), which is then represented by an excerpt from a classic tale or poem. (No separate book purchase necessary! Woohoo!)

Topics include:
  • Writing a descriptive paragraph (focusing on a specific object, place or character)
  • Writing a dialog
  • Short Stories
  • Fables
  • Writing a friendly letter (a lost art these days)
  • and finally aspects of poetry (rhyming verse and a ballad/narrative poem)

Excerpts from such famous works include Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Vernes' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and more.

Units consist of 10 lessons, which take between 15-45 minutes each to complete. Prep-time is basically "zero" as daily objectives are included (reading the passage, learning the parts of speech, using a thesaurus), with the entire e-book presented in a clear, easy-to-follow manner.

We didn't delve into this book too deeply yet, but so far we're really enjoying it. The lessons and schedule are short enough to implement into our busy day without feeling burdensome.

This terrific resource is available on sale in E-book format for only $14.95 (regular price is $19.95), $22.45 (Pages Only, 3-hole punched, no binder), or as a 3-Ring Binder for $24.95.

To learn more, you can download sample pages by clicking here.

Write with the Best Volume 2 is designed for 6th-12th graders and covers elements of expository and informative writing. As with Volume 1, Write with the Best Volume 2 incorporates excerpts of literary classics to illustrate its eight distinctive units (genres). Each unit provides 10 days worth of lessons, which take approximately 15-45 to complete.

Genres and corresponding excerpts include:
  • Poetry - Free Verse from Emily Dickinson
  • Business Letters from Helen Keller
  • Persuasive Essays from Thomas Paine
  • Expository Essays from Francis Bacon
  • Literary Critiques from Edgar Allan Poe
  • Newspaper Articles from Ernest Hemingway
  • Speeches from Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Dramatic Monologues from William Shakespeare (my personal favorite!)

This is a phenomenal program that I was very happy to receive, especially since Sierra loves to write. I love how both Volumes 1 and 2 break down heavier literary concepts, making this program not only effective but enjoyable (for teacher and student alike!).

This volume can be purchased in Ebook format on sale for only $18.65 (regularly priced at $24.95), $27.45 (Pages Only, 3-hole punched, no binder) or $29.95 (3-ring binder).

Samples can be viewed by clicking here.

Next up is Roots and Fruits. This comprehensive vocabulary program for grades K-12 teaches the English forms of Latin and Greek roots and prefixes. In only 15 minutes per day, younger children (K-3rd grade) learn one root per week, while older students (4th and up) learn 2 roots per week with corresponding vocabulary words.

Suggested activities are provided for each weekday and include:
  • Writing the roots on a large sheet of paper (the idea is to keep the roots visible throughout the week)
  • Looking up the meanings of the roots and vocabulary words in the dictionary
  • Using vocabulary words in sentences
  • Using provided "games" to test retention
The games are actually pretty neat and were my favorite part of the program. Two of my favorites were "Beat the Clock" (matching game) and "Goofy Sentences" (self-explanatory).

Roots and Fruits is a great way to teach vocabulary in a simple, non-intimidating format. Dixon's writing style throughout is one of a cherished friend, never pushy or over-the-top.

You can purchase this great product in E-book format for only $11.25 (regular price: $14.98), $17.48 (Pages Only, 3-hole punched, no binding) or $19.95 (Comb-binding).

You can download samples of this program by clicking here.

Last but not least is the The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for Homeschoolers. This nifty volume arrives jam-packed with over 200 pages containing a wealth of necessary information to plan your college years with success. Examples include:
  • Various assessments and questionnaires
  • Job profiles (including those specifically for stay-at-home Moms!)
  • GPA calculation
  • CLEP and AP tests
  • ACT, and PSAT/SAT testing information and a whole lot more.

My oldest daughter, Sierra is developing a passion for cooking and baking (don't know where she gets that from!), so the section on Culinary Arts was especially helpful to us, as were the personal assessments.

This well organized and extremely useful tool is available for $39.95 (softcover) or on sale for $26.20 (E-book). Regular price for the E-book is $34.95.

To get an idea of just how spectacular this product is, please click here to download your free sample pages.

Overall, I was very pleased with the quality of products from EDUDPS. Mrs. Dixon provides an outstanding amount of information in several neat little (and some not so little!) packages. Her prices are affordable and her style is friendly, caring, and supremely helpful. Whether you're a homeschooler, or send your children to public or private school--or are perhaps looking for a way to teach your struggling or disabled learner, EDUDPS has something for everyone.

Their products are fantastic, their customer service exemplary. Visit their website today to learn more about this great company.

We award EDUDPS two Snoopy-dancing thumbs up!

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