Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
MaxScholar is a online reading software program set that allows students of all ages and ability levels to get individual instruction and practice with necessary reading skills. This is a bundle of comprehensive instruction for phonics and reading. Based on research and using this research to build a platform that is effective and interesting for students to use, this site works for students from PK – grade 12. MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software is a fluent program that works with the knowledge the student has and is a dynamic program that adjusts to the needs of the student as they complete sessions.
Based on the research, this program is considered highly successful in helping students with learning differences, particularly dyslexia. It uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching the grapheme/phoneme connection. For students with auditory processing disorders and or student struggling with reading comprehension, this program works well by using highlighting, summarizing, and retelling, among other approaches. Students with ADD and ADHD respond well to the format, variety of games, and speed of activity on MaxScholar.
Due to the variety of materials included, this program is highly adaptable. As a parent, there are plenty of reports and tracking materials to help you follow and document your student’s progress. Whether for at home instruction or as a supplement to learning outside the home, this program has a lot to offer.
There are several parts to the MaxScholar site. The main three are MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords.
MaxPhonics includes things basic skills such as:
- letter recognition
- sound recognition
- sight words
- short vowels
- and more.
Each lesson includes multisensory approaches. There is a slide-show type lesson, for example, for teaching the letter P. It shows the letter and says its name. It shows a picture of a panda and says the word. It showed a lady saying the sound. It shows a video of the letter being written and describes how to write it. It has the student use the mouse to draw the letter on the screen. There is a matching game, where there are pictures and the student selects the one that starts with the P sound.
This is just one lesson on teaching a letter. With so many areas, there is a lot of information for the young learner in MaxPhonics. There are reviews built in, as well as testing.
MaxReading is for grades k-12 and includes:
- reading comprehension
In MaxReading, there are books online to read. These can be simple comprehension things or much more involved non-fiction reads. Lessons deal with vocabulary with pops-up from rolling over the word with the mouse, reading, instruction in highlighting important information, and outlining what is read. Next there is a writing exercise and review questions. After completing this, the option for some games comes up.
Since there are a variety of book topics and levels, there is something for all students here.
MaxWords contains learning for multi-syllabic words and includes:
- root words
- spelling rules
Each of the areas in MaxWords builds on the one before. Moving from syllables to spelling rules and on to prefixes and suffixes, the student really learns the building blocks of words in these modules. This section includes a module on Greek roots and Latin roots.
There are also four game based learning activities: MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios.
MaxMusic uses popular music artists and songs to work on reading and grammar. The student chooses an artist and then clicks on the name of the song. The lyrics appear and instructions are read to tell the student to read the lyrics. After reading, the student is given an instruction to click on all of a certain type of word. Most of what I saw was click on the verbs to identify them. It self checks and gives the student a score when they click done. Then the student can do a fill-in-the-blank type of item with it, trying to complete the blanks with the right word in the right place. The games in MaxMusic include identify the sound and match it or play the guitar to songs.
MaxVocab includes a dictionary that has all of the words from the MaxReading books. You select the level and book. To the right appears all of the vocabulary words from that book. Each word has a definition, is used in a sentence, shows an antonym, and shows a synonym. There are 3 games that can be played. These are hangman, definitions (matching), and word search. These are great ways to get familiar with new words and to work on spelling of the new words. If you are working with MaxReading, this corresponds perfectly.
MaxPlaces allows the student to choose a city to read about. After reading a few paragraphs about the place, the student can answer a question about it. There are highlighters to mark different items in the text and it directs the student to ask the teacher what to mark.
MaxBios has the student choose a category to read a biography from. Then the student chooses a particular biography to read and highlight information in. The text is a few paragraphs long. After reading and highlighting, the student can answer questions about what was read.
Accessing the program is quite simple. Each student has a unique login so the system can track each individual. When starting, students in grades K-2 will take a phonics placement and students in grades 3+ will take a reading placement. The teacher can modify this setting. The teacher dashboard allows for each access to student lists, adding or changing student settings, monitoring progress, generating reports, and much more. It is very user friendly.
The student access is called MyMax. It shows the icons for each of the programs that they have access to. If the teacher wants the student to have less access, particularly for older students, icons and access can be hidden. To access the programs, the student just click on the section and follows the prompts. Everything has an auditory prompt to go along with it so the student always knows what to do next.
This program is built really well and I can see it being a fabulous program for elementary aged students or students who have some struggles with various learning differences. It is worth checking out if you are in the market for an online phonics and reading program. Learn more about MaxScholar from families who used this program for instruction with their students by visiting the Homeschool Review Crew site and picking a few reviews to read.
Lori, At Home.
We think the same way about MaxScholar… a good program that should work well for many students.
Yes. I can definitely see using it if we were closer to a college entrance exam.