Tuesday, June 19, 2018

MaxScholar {Homeschool Crew Review}

SJ is a struggling learner, who struggles especially in the language arts. I was extremely interested in the opportunity to use and review the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar, for which we received a 12 month subscription.

MaxScholar offers online intervention reading programs based on the research methods of the Orton-Gillingham approach, and are systematic and multi-sensory. These programs can be accessed on computer or tablet. In addition, their writing programs teach students how to write basic paragraphs, answer open-ended questions, and take notes on passages.

SJ is currently taking an online math course, which has essay questions in most of the exams. I thought this would be very helpful for him in composing his answers for those! 
Each student has his/her own dashboard, from which to access each of the programs. There are Pre-K phonics, and MaxPhonics, which begin by teaching the letters of the English alphabet, their sounds, and how they are written, and progresses on to teaching blends and digraphs, using a multi-sensory approach. Your child will hear the correct pronunciation, and practice writing letters and blends and words. There are also games, to reinforce what your child has learned.
I was especially interested in MaxReading for SJ, because of its benefits for children with learning disabilities. It improves reading comprehension, while introducing the concepts of highlighting, summarizing, and outlining. Like I said before, these are areas of greatest struggle for SJ.
MaxWords helps your student learn how to build words, through learning Latin and Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes, syllabification and spelling rules. And, get this! By using MaxWords, your child can increase his vocabulary by 16,000 words! That would be a great benefit for ACT or SAT preparation, wouldn't it?
A couple other programs are MaxPlaces and MaxBios. These are especially beneficial for improving reading comprehension. Your student will also learn how to highlight topic, main idea, and important details, so they can create an outline. These basically expand on the skills they learn in MaxReading by providing further exercises.
MaxPlaces discusses information about various locations, as you can see by the yellow dots on the map above. MaxBios uses brief biographies to introduce your student to famous people from around the world, both past and present, and are set up on a timeline. This will also help your child learn chronological ordering skills.
SJ has been using MaxScholar on his iPad the past few weeks. Sometimes Milo keeps him company while he works. There is a read-aloud feature, which reads the instructions to him, which I think is beneficial. I had hoped it would also read aloud the passages, and highlight what's read, like the immersion reading feature on my Kindle, but I haven't seen that it does that.

When we first began using MaxScholar, SJ took the pretests, to assess what level at which he should begin. I had hoped that by now he was at the fifth grade reading level, but the pretest results assigned him at third grade level...which has caused me to feel so discouraged, and like a failure. So I've been trying to urge the importance of working on this consistently while we have the opportunity to use it! I'll be praying for improvements over the next several months.

To be honest, I think this is a great program, and I'd recommend it to anyone with young children beginning to read, or especially for older, struggling readers.

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Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

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