Monday, June 6, 2016

Online Learning - MaxScholar Review

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review Dyslexia learning disabilities ADHD processing problems Orton-Gillingham approach the Lindamood-Bell Process phonics multi-sensory notebook tablet iPad RTI Five Pillars of Reading
I am always on the lookout for great online programs that are also educational.  This is exactly what we found when we recently received a one year membership to the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar to review.  Both of my kids really enjoyed working through different parts of the MaxGuru program, which gave us access to all of the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs.  I was very excited to find one website that both of my kids could use even though they are in completely different grades. 
Buddy and Little Miss working on MaxGuru
 What is MaxScholar?
MaxScholar is a comprehensive reading and language-based program.  It is designed to help students improve their reading skills, language, and their performance scores.  They offer many different programs for students that are Pre-K through 12th grade.  These programs include Pre-K Phonics, MaxPhonics, MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios.  Each of these programs have several lessons and levels in them.  Certain areas have games that your student can play.  This online program is very engaging and highly interactive.  It is also available not only on your computer, but you can get an app for your mobile device.
Areas to work on in MaxWords and MaxBios
How Did We Use this Online Site?
I used this online site with both Buddy and Little Miss.  I knew there were specific parts of this program that each of them would like based on what they like for school.  I also thought this would be a chance to sneak in work on reading and comprehension for both of them, which in my mind this never hurts.  I am that sneaky mom/teacher who mixes in fun with the real work.  It was very easy to get both kids set up and ready to login to MaxScholar.  Once they logged in I had them take the placement test under the MaxReading section so the program could decide what level to have them work at.  I know that both of my kids are good readers and they don’t struggle too much, but I wondered where their comprehension levels were.  Little Miss ended up testing in at a Kindergarten level which didn’t surprise me.  The placement test was very thorough and asked her things she had not learned yet so she did have to guess.  I also wasn’t surprised that she tested at this level because while she is a good reader, she tends to read pretty fast and then can’t remember all that she read (this is something we are really working on with her.)  Buddy tested in at a level 6, which again didn’t surprise me.  There were questions he didn’t know on the placement test even though he just finished 7th grade.  Some of the questions involved root words in both Latin and Greek that he just didn’t know.  We have always focused on spelling instead of vocabulary until this last year so he had to guess at many of those questions.   He is also a very good reader, but also has the tendency to read fast and while he comprehends more, he doesn’t always get the little details.  I am working on getting him to slow down and look for the little details, but it is a process.  I wasn’t upset where they placed with the placement test, I just know both of my kids can do more than the level the program chose for them, but it did tell me that we really need to work on reading comprehension.
Favorite areas of Little Miss
Little Miss began focusing on working through some of the MaxPhonics lessons and the MaxReading lessons because we figured out that she can’t play all of the games until she gets more levels unlocked in the MaxReading.  There are 12 levels in that area of the program.  In the MaxReading it would give her a picture, ask her to study it, and then ask questions about it.  When she got through some of the work, it switched to having her read about the picture and highlight different things the program asked for – topic, the main idea , and important details.  She also worked in MaxWords on the CLOVER which works on six areas of syllabication and she worked on some spelling rules.  Little Miss also worked on MaxMusic.  This was probably her favorite part of the program as she loves playing music.  She got to read song lyrics, highlight verbs in the songs, and then her favorite part was playing the song on the piano on the screen.  It would give her a few notes to play and then she would have to play them back.  If she got them right, she got to go to the next level and play a few more notes and it continued to build from there.  She also tried a couple of the other programs in the MaxGuru just to see what they were about.  She is currently working on her MaxReading so that she can get at a high enough level to play more games.
Favorite Areas of Buddy
Buddy started immediately working on the MaxPlaces as he LOVES geography.  He has worked mostly in this area and he has really loved reading about the places and then answering the questions to see the places go from yellow to green when he completes them.  He also enjoys the MaxMusic area and learning the words to songs along with playing the piano part.  Buddy also loved playing the Hangman game.  He tested in a higher level of MaxReading so many of the games are unlocked for him.  I also asked him to work on the MaxWords, specifically the Greek and Latin roots.  He did work on them, but they were not his favorite area as he is not a word lover like me.  I did notice he used the words he learned after he learned them.  He also tried a few levels of the MaxReading just to see what he had to do.  His part of this program had him reading a passage then he had to pick out the topic, main idea, and important details along with answering questions about the paragraph.  He didn’t mind this area and I will have him work on this area more to build his reading comprehension.  The level he was working at for this whole program was more difficult than the levels Little Miss was working on, which was a very good thing. 
Parent's Dashboard
What Did We Think?
Overall we were very pleased with MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar.  We liked the variety of programs they offer and the variety of levels that the kids could work at.  I really appreciated that both of my kids could work on the programs offered by this one site and they both found their favorite areas to work in.  I also liked having a parent dashboard that I could log in to so that I could see what they had been working on and how they were doing.  I could view the work as a whole from the dashboard or I could break it down by subject for each student.  Both kids had a lot of fun on this website and they want to continue working on areas of it.  The only thing I would have liked better is to have a few different artists in the MaxMusic area.  Some of the artists I did not let my kids work on because we don’t listen to their music.  I would like to see a wider selection of musical artists, but my kids did a good job of asking me which ones they could work on before they went into an artist. 

You can find MaxScholar on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  You can find out more about the MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs we used here.  We definitely encourage you to check it out and see if this product works for you and your family. 

You can find out what my friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about MaxScholar by clicking the banner below.
MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs Review

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