We recently had the opportunity to review a 12-month subscription of MaxScholar’s Reading Intervention Programs. Created specifically to help students who have Dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, processing problems, or who are struggling to learn to read.
Maxscholar’s Reading Programs are
- based on the research methods of the Orton-Gillingham approach
- and the Linda Mood-Bell process
The Reading Intervention Programs include:
The features that my kindergartener loved and utilized the most were the
- letter families, blends, and digraphs
- handwriting practice – which worked best on the tablet
- videos demonstrating correct pronunciation
- drills and practices
This program was heaven sent for my oldest who has difficulty reading in English – as she began learning the basics in Spanish first. It was created to teach reading strategies to students who are reading below grade level. And, as I expected, when she took the level 3 pre-test (as per her age), she was placed in level 2.
She enjoyed reading the passages in level 2. I was glad she was engaged and not focused on the level she was assigned.
For my kindergartner, MaxReading was slightly different. She began at level 0, so her program was more about observation than about reading.
Although the content is different, each MaxReading program above level 0 features:
- 13 levels of difficulty with several multi-chapter books (picture “books” for the kindergartner)
- electric highlighters to help identify important parts of the text
- vocabulary presented in the context
- comprehension questions after the chapter (also in level 0)
- a read-aloud feature (also in level 0)
This program helps students to build vocabulary.
- Latin roots and Greek roots
- prefixes and suffixes
- spelling rules
- and syllabification
Uses music and games for students with learning disabilities.
This particular program did not completely engage either of my girls – even though my oldest excelled at it. Both expected this portion to be more of a music theory or performance type of session. However, the final portion of the program where they were able to play the piano kept their interest.
The program mostly uses games to work on memory, recognition and auditory skills through a sequence labeled:
My oldest was not fond of just pulling out the dictionary and going through definitions and sentences. However, she quite enjoyed the interactive games. I think the games helped to reinforce the vocabulary more than drills with the dictionary.
She has not had the opportunity to go through MaxPlaces and MaxBios. However, we did look through it together in the Parent/Teacher section.
MaxPlaces and MaxBios
These two programs are similar to MaxReading, except with specific global locations or biographies on notable figures. Students are instructed to read the story, highlight, and then answer the comprehension questions.
This is control center for the parent/teacher.
In the Reports tab, I am able to look at my entire class (since I was working with both girls) or look at the progress of each child separately. For those of us who co-parent, this is a great option. We can monitor the child’s work and progress. This helps me know from where to continue.
In the Classes/Groups tab, I can add teachers if I’m working with a group. I can also add or delete students. There is also an option to change the settings of the programs for the entire class. In our case, it would be our homeschool.
In the Students tab, I can see each student enrolled in my class. There, I can edit their settings individually.
The Materials tab has downloadable aids for lesson plans, drills, workbooks, and charts. These materials are for MaxPhonics, MaxReading and MaxWords. There are also informational documents and case studies. I found the Teacher’s Manual for the Dashboard under Professional Development quite useful before we started.
There’s also the Parent/Teacher MyMax section of the program. Instead of going into the child’s session, we are able to take a look at what type of instructions the child will be receiving. We can know what will be ahead – without adding to the time on their profile and causing the reports to be incorrect.
Both of my girls enjoyed working with MaxScholar. I have noticed that the reading and comprehension skills of my oldest have improved as a result. We will continue with MaxScholar until the end of our subscription.