Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reading with MaxScholar - A Homeschool Curriculum Review

As many of you already know I have been working on helping my youngest daughter improve her overall reading skills.  Recently we tried a program that just wasn't a good fit for her.  So, when the homeschool review crew was offered the opportunity to review MaxScholar I was a bit hesitant because I wanted to complete the previous program that we were using and I didn't want to put too much stress on my daughter by having her do both.  So, I went ahead and jumped ship with the other program and signed up to review MaxScholar.  Our family was able to review a 12-month subscription to the Reading Intervention Programs by MaxScholar.   My daughter that is using this program is my "go with the flow" kind of girl so she did not complain at all when I told her I had a new reading program for her to try out.  So we started right away.  I will be sharing all the good and bad with you about this reading software so go grab your notebook and maybe a cup of coffee or tea and let's get started.

What is MaxScholar and what does their Reading Intervention Programs have to offer?

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs


Is a software that helps kids work on their reading skills effectively while using technology. They use the Orton Gillingham and highlighting method to improve reading comprehension skills.

What is Orton Gillingham?

Orton Gillingham is an approach that teaches reading and spelling with these features, multisensory, sequential, incremental, cumulative, individualized, based on phonograms, and explicit.

The Reading Intervention Programs

The following topics are what make the program.  The child will have to take a pretest so they can be properly placed in a level that fits them.  As the parent, you can adjust as needed.

Taking the pretest

 MAXPHONICS - introduces letters and their sounds.  It teaches the child using visual, tactile, and auditory learning methods.  There are 4 different lessons for each sound.  The child can trace the letters with the mouse, repeat the sound after the recording, and they even have a quiz at the end of each lesson to reinforce what they have learned.  This section takes about 4 minutes depending on the child.  We did not do a lot of work in here because she has already mastered phonics.

MAXREADING - introduces the concepts of highlighting, summarizing, and outlining text to improve reading comprehension.
 It is split up into 8 before the child starts each section there is a speaker the child can click to hear the instructions for that lesson.
First, the child will start with the vocabulary.  The child is instructed to click each highlighted vocabulary word to see the definition. There it also shows how to use the word in a sentence, synonym, and for some the antonym as well.  

The next step is for the child to read through the passage.
After they read the passage it is time to highlight.  They are instructed to highlight the main topic, main idea, and the important details.  Don't worry they tell the child what each one is, so they know what to look for.  This has been my daughter's biggest challenge because she has never been taught how to pick our the main idea, main topic, etc.  so she has been having a difficult time deciphering which is which.

After they highlight they are able to check their highlighting there is a side by side screen with their highlighting and the correct highlighting.
Next, they are asked to write an outline of the story basically using what they have highlighted.
Then there is the writing exercise.  They will choose from 3 different writing topics, a summary of the passage, an open-ended question, or another question.
After that, there are multiple choice questions about the passage that they will have to answer.
Then if they score above a C+ they can play games.

MAXWORDS - teaches definitions of root, prefix, and suffix to help build your child's vocabulary.

MAXMUSIC - the kids read music lyrics after selecting the artist and song of their choice.  They will have to read through the lyrics and find the verbs or other parts of speech.  My daughter did not use this section because we don't listen to any of the secular artists.

MAXVOCAB - this gives the child some extra practice with the vocabulary words found in the different books.

MAXPLACES - teaches geography the child will learn about different places in the world.  They can select the city of their choice read a passage about it and answer the questions.

MAXBIOS - is where kids learn about important and influential people.

Our family thoughts  

I like how the program teaches and enforces reading skills.  I do want to point out that the software is adherent to the common core standards.  It seems like it was designed for the classroom setting however, it can be adapted to fit your homeschool.  I love the fact that it can be accessed through any device this made it easy for us to school on the go.  They offer a blended learning approach because they want to ensure all kids can learn in a way that works for them.  Children with dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, ADHD, autism, or Asperger syndrome can all benefit from MaxScholar.  This is a not a Christian curriculum and the music choices in the music section are secular.  If I could change anything about the software it would have to be the CCS and the secular aspects of it.  The parent dashboard is a great way to keep up with your child's progress.  It creates a report for you and you are able to print it off for easy recording keeping.  Overall it is a great software and I would recommend to parents who are looking o improve their child's reading skills.  

My daughter thoughts

My daughter said, " It is a good reading curriculum it teaches reading ad I enjoy the different stories and that it allows me to pick the story I want to read.  The highlighting is my least favorite.  The phonics is boring because I already knew that.  I would recommend it to other kids and on a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 9." 

From Mom:  I just want to say that even though she did not like the highlighting part she did get better at it (smile)

Check out what the other awesome moms on the crew has to say about their experience with MaxScholar.

Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

You can find MaxScholar on social media here




Thanks for stopping by have a blessed day!!

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