Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Review of the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar

We are in summer mode at our house and we don't officially do school in the summer, but I do want my kids to keep their skills fresh and their brains working through the summer.  Since it is summer, I try to find things they can do to have fun while exercising their brains.  The Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar does exactly that.  We recently got a chance to review their programs when they gave us a 12 month online subscription to try.
MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs, A Glimpse of Normal
We have reviewed the programs that MaxScholar offers before, but let me take a minute and remind you about them.  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.

How Did We Use this Online Site?
I used this online site with both Buddy and Little Miss.  I thought this would be a good chance to work on reading and comprehension for both of them over the summer.  I also wanted them to work on their vocabulary skills which this program does a nice job with.  I know that my kids like programs that mix 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 always like to see where their comprehension levels are.  Little Miss ended up testing in at a third grade level this time which didn’t surprise me.  The placement test is very thorough and she has a tendency to read quickly and miss some detail so while I know she is a good reader we are always working on looking at the details with her.  Buddy tested in at a level 10 which is right where he is at in school since he just finished 9th grade.  Some of the questions involved root words in both Latin and Greek and he just didn’t know them, but I didn't expect him to either.  We just started focusing on vocabulary this last year so he had to guess at many of those questions.  He did much better on the placement test this time than he did the last time and I think that is because he sort of knew what to expect.  After their tests, I let them pick the areas of the program they worked in each time they logged in.  Buddy had completed a lot of the MaxPlaces last time so this time he worked more in the MaxVocab to build his vocabulary skills and he worked some in the MaxReading.  Little Miss worked more across the board and used several of the programs.  She loves the MaxMusic (at least the artists I let her work on) and the MaxPlaces.  She has also been doing a lot better in the MaxReading and MaxWords this time around.  Both of the kids like being able to work on their own level in each part of the program.  They have the option to pick and choose what they can do based on what they have unlocked by completing levels.  Once they complete enough levels in areas, there are games they can play that will help them practice what they learned in the levels.

What Is New?
When we reviewed these programs a couple of years ago, their site was pretty easy to use and navigate.  Now I think they have made it even more user-friendly.  I know for a fact that the teacher dashboard where you can view reports and usage is much easier to use.  In my opinion it is easier to use now and much more streamlined.  Just by logging in to my teacher's account and clicking a couple of buttons, I can see what areas my kids have been spending time in and the progress they are making.  It is also easier now to find out what level your student is working at in each of the areas of this program.  Another new thing is that you can now have the stories in MaxReading read aloud to you.  Little Miss tried this out one day when she wanted to do a reading lesson, but didn't want to read.  It read the story aloud to her and all she had to do was listen and then answer the questions like normal.  I think this would be very helpful for younger readers and for struggling readers.  Each program also directs you through using it.  I think the program did this before, but now it seems to be even more detailed which makes the site easier to navigate.  Also in the teacher's area, I can use the program on my own level so that I can see exactly what my kids have to do and the kinds of things they are learning.  I like this because I can try it without bumping up their level since my level of learning is different than theirs.
This was the quick view of my teacher dashboard early on.

What Did We Think?
Overall we were pleased with the 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 the 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 really appreciated how quickly I could navigate the parent dashboard and the graphs the program created for me so that I could glance quickly and see the progress or I could create reports and get a detailed view.  I liked that how 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.  My only complaint about this program is that I personally disagree with some of the artists they use for the MaxMusic and some of the people that students can read about in the MaxReading.  Some of the artists I did not let my kids work on because we won’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.  Many of the people my son could read about in the 10th level of MaxReading were rappers and just not people that my son would want to read about or people I want him reading about.  I personally feel that there are a lot of other people this program could have students reading and learning about.  There were many great people to read about in the MaxBios so I am not quite sure why they chose rappers for the MaxReading.

You can learn more about the Reading Intervention Programs that we received by clicking here.  You can learn about all that MaxScholar offers by checking out their website.  You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.  You can also learn more about these programs by clicking on the banner below to read the reviews of my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew. 
Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

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