Sunday, October 11, 2009


**Note: If you are reading this on facebook, please scroll to the bottome of the post and click "Original Post".

As part of The Homeschool Crew, we were sent several products at no charge  from Educational Diagonostic Prescriptive Services for the purpose of reviewing. I received, Write with the Best Volumes 1 & 2, Roots and Fruits and The Complete Career, College and High School Guide for Homeschoolers.
Each are authored by Jill J. Dixon, B.S.Ed., M. Ed.

I began using Write with the Best Vol. 1 with my kids. It is geared for grades 3-12!! I love the fact that I can teach all my kids at the same time. That is the way our house does most of our schooling, so this fits our style.  I will touch on that a bit later in this review.

WWTB Vol. 1's goal is to "zero in on the skills that produce excellent writing and to teach students to use these same skills."  The curriculum teaches grammar and parts of speech throughout the curriculum, while also "following in the steps" of writers of great works of literature. In other words, you will be modeling the writing of some of the great literary writers.

The program was designed to take a semester to teach. However, if this is your first venture into the world of writing with your child/ren then you can take it a bit slower and have it take a full year.

The author actually encourages you to make sure that your child/ren masters the skills taught in each section before they move onto the next section. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

So how exactly does this program work? Your child will read a passage from a great literary work. Then they will use that to learn how to properly write themselves.
For example, in the area of descriptive writing, first they will read a passage from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne and then learn to write about describing an object. In the next unit they will read, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and then learn to write about describing a place.
There are a total of nine units in Vol. 1, including;
Describing a Character
Writing a Dialogue,
Writing a Short Story,
Writing a Fable,
Writing a Friendly Letter
Writing Poetry-Rhyming Verse
Writing Poetry-A Ballad on Narrative Poem

As you work through the program, the author shares with you what to expect from beginning writers vs. what to expect with writers with some writing experience under their belt.  This is how you will be able to tailor this program for all the children you have in the house. I found it very helpful to refer to as I moved through the program.

Write With the Best Vol. 1, is available in 3 formats.
E-Book- $19.99 (for a limited time on sale for $14.95)
Pages Only- $22.45
3 Ring Binder- $24.95


Write With the Best Vol. 2 picks up where Vol. 1 leaves off. It follows the same format as it did in Vol. 1. There are also 9 units in Vol. 2;
~Writing Poetry- Free Verse
~Writing a Business Letter
~Taking Notes-Outlines-
    Writing Summaries
~Writing Essays-Persuasive and     Expository
~Writing a Literary Critique and      a Book Review
~Writing a Newspaper Article
~Writing a Speech
~Writing a Dramatic Monologue

Write With the Best is for grades 6-12. However, I feel that if you finish up Vol. 1 you will be able to go write to Vol. 2 even if your child is not quite in the 6th grade.  Vol. 2 is also available in 3 formats;
E-book-$24.95 ( for a limited time on sale for $18.65)
Pages Only-$27.45
3 Ring Binder-$29.95


Roots and Fruits- A Comprehensive Vocabulary Curriculum covering Grades K through 12. Uses English Forms of Greek and Latin Roots and Prefixes. 673 Roots and Prefixes-1716 Vocabulary Words. In 15 minutes a Day.

That mouthful is straight off the cover!! Once again with Roots and Fruits, this one program can be used with all your children, with differentiated games for elementary students vs. middle and high school students.

Again, the author gives you detailed instruction on how to teach each level of student. A weekly schedule is given for you to follow and several pages of games and activities that will be used throughout the week.  The Roots  are listed
alphabetically that helps with finding the roots.

We have just begun to work with Roots and Fruits as we have spent most of our time on Writing With the Best. However, I am intrigued by this program.
What I think will be great for our family, is the fact that there are so many games and hands on activities. Something that my family needs for retention!

Roots and Fruits is also available in several versions;
E-book-$14.98 ( for a limited time on sale for $11.25)
Pages Only-$17.48


The Complete Career, College, and High School Guide for HomeschoolersIncludes Middle School through Adult. I have only had time to begin to peruse the pages of this guide. This is another one that I am really looking forward to digging into.

Once again, there is a step by step detailed process laid out on how to use this guide. You begin with taking 4 self administered assessments which will take 45 minutes to an hour and half. Once finished and scored you can move on to a list of jobs, careers and majors. Once you have worked through the several step process to figure out what matches your assessment.

The next step is "High School Planning".  You will find lists of possible middle school and high school classes, volunteer service opportunities. There are a few transcript samples, as well as worksheets to help plan high school for your student.

What I have found to be the most helpful at this point, are the sections, that help parents to keep their focus and priority. To remember that we are not just training up children with grade point averages. We are raising young men and women and we need to continue to nurture their heart and build their character!  I appreciate that this author has this perspective and infuses it throughout this guide.

You can order this in an Ebook- $34.95 (for a limited on sale for $26.20)
                            Soft Cover-  $39.95


When you order an E-book, EDUDPS has a reader that is automatically downloaded in order to keep their product secure. Crew members were sent Ebooks, I was able to download the books just fine, however, I was having trouble printing. I was unable to print any of the books. I was in contact with the company, I let them know what I was dealing with. Theodore with the company was a huge blessing. He spent many hours, trying to dissect the problem. It was something that had never occured before, and only 1 other crew member was having the same problem. In the end, he sent me the print copies of the books. I wanted to share this story with you, so you would know that you would be dealing with a company that cares! And they will make sure that you are satisfied with your purchase!

If you would like to see what the rest of the crew thought about EDUDPS products please visit the crew blog.

1 comment:

  1. I love your review...I know this product and the homeschool family that produces it~The author is awesome! I have used Roots and Fruits for several years (about 3) with my oldest child and beginning this year, have begun with my youngest~yes, it's perfect for mulit-age teaching!! ;-))

    I have an AWARD for you!

    Come by

    to pick it up!


    blessings and hugs,