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Roots and Fruits and Write With The Best Review

9/28/2009
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EDUDPS, Educational Diagnostic Presciptive Services, is a company that provides "homeschool curriculum and guidance that works." As a member of the Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to review 2 items from EDUDPS and I will share if they "work" for us. Roots and Fruits I love the study of Greek and Latin roots and prefixes, so I was very excited to be able to review Roots and Fruits. Roots and Fruits is a vocabulary curriculum that uses English forms of Greek and Latin roots and prefixes and is designed to help increase the vocabulary, reading, and spelling skills of your students in just 15 minutes a day. About Roots and Fruits:
  • Includes 673 roots and prefixes, 1716 vocabulary words, 15 minutes a day. (Comprehensive, complete, and only 15 minutes a day ~ like that)
  • Weekly schedule, detailed lesson plans and daily activities included. (Most of the work is done for you)
  • Activities approach rather than workbook approach. (Love this)
  • Meets the needs of all learners - visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. (Love this, too)
  • One program can be used for all your learners. (Definitely a bonus with multileveled students)
Additional supplies needed include a set of index cards. A few of the activities and games require additional supplies, but they may just be ones you already keep on hand (such as a Scrabble game and jello).
Price:
$14.98 e-book*
$17.48 pages only
$19.98 pages comb bound
*See note below.
Our experience:
I took the lesson plan ideas and wrote out a schedule based on the suggestions and posted it on the board next to the set of cards we are working on.
Posting the roots and words where they can be seen daily is an important part of this program and encourages long term retention.
Here is what we did:
On day 1, we began with the prefixes a (not) and a (on). Each student wrote these on an index card and chose 1-2 words with that prefix and looked up the definition of the word(s) and wrote this on the back of the card. They then looked up the part of speech and wrote that in the corner. Next step is to look up the origin of the word (Greek or Latin) and write that down (neither of our 3 dictionaries included that info, but the program does recommend options that do). In subsequent days, they are to find synomyms, write the words in a sentence and complete other activities and games that reinforce their understanding.
One of the suggested games is bingo, so I used an online bingo card generator to make one with our first set of prefixes. We used this to learn and to review the prefixes we learned this week.
Roots and Fruits works for us. I am really liking this program and plan to continue using it while working through the list alphabetically. Write With The Best Volume 1
A few things about this program:
  • No teacher prep or training required
  • Average of 15-30 minute daily lessons
  • Lessons are short and utilize various learning styles
  • Everything needed is included with the curriculum
The idea behind Write With The Best is to use quality literature and known writers as an example of what good writing looks like.
Price:
$19.95 for the e-book*
$22.45 for the pages only
$24.95 for the pages in a 3-ring binder
Contents include:
  • Describing an Object from Jules Verne - a Place from Charles Dickens - a Character from Daniel Defoe
  • Dialogue from Kenneth Grahame
  • The Short Story from O. Henry
  • Fables from Aesop
  • Friendly Letters from Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Poetry - Rhyming Verse from William Wordsworth
  • The Ballad or Narrative Poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Our experience:
We chose to work in Unit 7: "Writing a Friendly Letter". On Day 1, we read an excerpt from Treasure Island, determined the purpose of the letter and where in the letter we find this and talked about what makes the letter interesting. On Day 2, we read the letter again, underlined all the descriptive language, circled all specific nouns, put brackets around the sentence where the purpose of the letter is stated (an answer key is available). Then we talked about what makes a letter "the best." On Day 3, we studied the friendly letter form in the "How To Write Guide" in the back of the book, decided who we wanted to write a letter to and the purpose of the letter. Day 4 involved evaluating letters that we find in books or that we find ourselves (we had a hard time with finding examples). Days 5-9 focused on writing the actual letter, evaluating it and making a final copy. I like that Write With The Best has a natural learning approach and that it is literature based and modeled after classic works; however, some of the writing selections simply do not work for our family. I also thought some of the exercises were tedious.
What works for one family may not work for every family. And while this did not work for us, you can view the first two units of Write With the Best here to see if it will work for your family. *Note: EDUDPS products are available as an e-book or printed version. I received the printed versions (pages only) of both materials I reviewed, so I do not have experience with the ebooks but do know that they are not compatible with a Mac. I also know that the e-books have restrictions, so please read the special notes for all e-books if you consider this route. E-books are currently on sale now for 25% off. And you can see what other "fluff-free" standard products they have to offer here.
I suggest you see what other Crew members think of EDUDPS by clicking on the banner below.

3 comments:

Andi said...

Chel,
I am pleased to read your review on the writing - at first I was thinking of purchasing this - but now feel I need to dig deeper into it before I make a purchase...thank you so much....

Tristan said...

Michelle - good review. I wanted to point out that you CAN copy the literature selections so your student is not writing in your copy of Write With the Best. EDUDPS allows this and it is mentioned in the "How to use this program" portion of the book (#13 on page 11). You are also allowed to copy the Proofreading checklist.

Hope that helps~
Tristan from the Crew

Michelle said...

Thanks again, Tristan. I do remember reading that now, but then I looked at the beginning of the book and it says "No part of this book may be reproduced" and no exception is listed there. So, thanks for pointing that out. *Ü*

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