MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs
We have two boys who are not big on reading. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could call them reluctant readers. When we were gifted access for two students to use and review MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs by MaxScholar, I was more than thrilled. We were gifted the MaxGuru program. I will explain all that is included in the MaxGuru program below.
The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs use the Orton-Gillingham approach (which I wasn’t familiar with) by addressing the five pillars of effective reading instruction: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. These programs are aimed towards children with Dyslexia, ADHD, and various reading struggles. However, their programs can be used for ANY reader.
I thought introducing an online approach might help with our reluctant reader problem.
Before I get into my review of MaxScholar I want to share with you what we had access to with the MaxGuru program.
I vow to be honest with all my posts, reviews and otherwise. So this one won’t be any different. When we were asked to review this product it was intended for the use of two of our children. One child loved the style and concepts of the programs while the other didn’t care for doing his school work on the computer. Lesson learned here. So, as I continue this review it will be the opinion of just one child. In all fairness, the fact that one of our sons did not like this should be of no reflect on MaxScholar because he just doesn’t enjoy doing lessons on the computer.
This was our experience.
After the student logs in for the first time they are prompted to take a pre-assessment test to help with their placement in the program. I didn’t feel that the evaluation of this pre-assessment test was very accurate. I didn’t feel like the placement was correct. With that being said, we just kept on anyway and continued where the test placed us. I never could figure out a way to advance in the program without having to complete the sessions they placed us in.
We had some unexpected family obligations come up during our review time and we weren’t able to use these programs as much as we’d hoped before having to publish this review. We mainly used the MAXPHONICS and MAXREADING programs.
Our son enjoyed the learning and then being able to play the games that are offered. The games are based off of what concepts you just worked on.
In MAXREADING a picture appears and you look for all and any details you can think of. Then the child is asked a few questions pertaining to the picture. These questions worked on topic, main idea, details, and what will happen next concepts. There are different levels of reading and when a higher level is reached they will be highlighting (with the cursor) what the above concepts are.
Unfortunately, as I stated above we were not able to work on every program to date. I will continue with the programs we did use from here.
In MAXMUSIC The child is asked to pick out certain parts of speech such as; nouns, verbs, etc from song lyrics. HOWEVER, the choice in artists baffled me. Most of the options to choose from are artists we would NOT allow our children to listen to due to the nature of their lyrics. I would have LOVED this part of the program and been ecstatic with it had the content been better chosen. I will not allow my child to dissect a song that speaks about eluding police and such. The only band that I allowed our son to pick was the Beatles.
For whatever reason we were never able to access MAXPLACES. This looked like a very neat program. To my understanding, you picked a city (worldwide) and you could learn different facts about that city and would break down the paragraphs by topic, main idea, etc.
We briefly looked through the MAXBIOS. This is another part of the program that confused me. You are supposed to learn about influential people who made a difference in our world. Whereas, there were some of those people on the list such as, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bob Hope, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, etc that were most definitely influential. There were quite a few people on the list that I would have to censor my children from reading their Bios. There is a Hip-Hop category with artists that speak about “rolling papers” and living a life of crime to make a living before becoming a rapper. This is not the influence I choose to bring forward to my children. Some of the artists are now dead due to gang related violence, while others are in prison. Not influential AT ALL!
My final thoughts.
There are concepts of this program that we really enjoyed and will continue. I do think there is a large learning gap between some of the phonics and reading programs so we won’t be using this as a full online curriculum in our homeschool but more a supplement. Before we can move on to MAXWORDS & MAXVOCAB we need to go further in the Phonics and Reading program.
If I allow our 8 year old to access the MAXMUSIC or MAXBIOS programs I will need to fully supervise him so he doesn’t access content that is not appropriate for him.
I want to say that I really don’t like being negative about things on my blog, but I also feel that, you, the readers, deserve my honesty. Thank you all for being loyal readers.