Thursday, October 1, 2009

Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services

Recently, I received Write with the Best, Vol. 1 from Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services (EDUDPS) to review. EDUDPS offers several items, from complete writing curriculum to a vocabulary program, career planning and learning diagnostic tools. They have a resourceful website chock-full of incredible information...see the site map here.

Write with the Best, Vol. 1 is a writing program written for students in grades 3-12. It focuses on descriptive writing skills, literature analysis and grammar. Grammar is taught in the context of writing, not as a separate subject [no sentence dissecting!]. The idea is to teach your child how to write descriptively by having him model great works of literature.

From the 'Focus and Goal' page of the manual:

The goal of the program is to produce successful writers who know how to write effectively, who know how to proofread their work efficiently, and who know how to properly analyze great literature.

Each of the nine units provides activities for 10 lessons, designed to take 2 weeks to complete. Each lesson has 1-3 objectives for each day which breaks down the writing task into small, manageable bites.

Nine different genres are covered:

* Describing an Object from Jules Verne

* Describing a Place from Charles Dickens
* Describing a Character from Daniel Defoe
* Writing 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

The curriculum also includes a grading guide, answer key and other suggestions for different learning styles.

Katelyn is in 5th grade this year and up to this point we have covered writing through copywork, dictation, & narration. I was ready to go forward with some actual writing lessons, for this year, so a writing curriculum was on my 'find list' all summer! When I was given the opportunity to review this product...I happily accepted! I'm certainly glad I did, because it eases the student into the writing process and teaches them excellent writing skills through a 'gentle' approach [Charlotte Mason style!]. While the author suggests each unit taking 2 weeks to complete, she also encourages parents to not rush through each genre. It took us 5 weeks to complete the first unit. It is my plan to work a little each day [15-20 minutes] and use Volume 1 the whole year.

Write with the Best sells for $19.95 to $24.95. The e-book version is currently on sale for $14.95. The first two units (out of a total of nine) can be downloaded as a trial version HERE...go check it out.

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