Having a delayed reader, I am always on the lookout for helpful curricula and supplement programs. Generally our son does best with programs online. He is just more interested in them, and they keep him engaged, so I was glad for the opportunity to review MaxScholar which offers a variety of activities for students to improve reading skills with their MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs.
The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs are online and can be accessed anywhere you have internet access. We have been using it on both a laptop with Windows 10 and desktop computer with Windows 10 using Google Chrome. Our oldest son (age 10) and our daughter (age 8). Although our daughter has caught up to her reading, it’s such an essential skill that it’s always good to learn and reinforce those skills.
For our review we have been using the MaxGuru, which contains multiple resources including:
- All MaxPhonics
- All MaxReading
- All MaxWords
- All MaxMusic
- All MaxPlaces
- All MaxBios
- All MaxVocab
It’s really a lot of different options in one program!
Each child has their own unique account with login information. This definitely makes it easy when homeschooling multiple children because they can both do their work at the same time, and their progress and information is always saved.
To get started with MaxScholar both kids took a placement test for MaxReading. I’m honestly not sure how they decide where to start them, and I’m still a little unclear what the level equivalents are. Although we don’t focus too much on grade level, our children are currently working at an equivalent of the 3rd Grade level, though our son is reading more at a Kindergarten – 1st Grade level. Both of their placement tests started at a Level 7.
This was clearly too advanced for our son, and just a little advanced for our daughter. The reading placement test was, interestingly, more focused on comprehension. This is an area both children struggle in, so I was really glad it is an area they would be working on. Ultimately, our son was placed in Level 0, and our daughter was placed in Level 2. My biggest concern with the placement tests is I feel they didn’t get a lot of time “in the middle.” For example, if they couldn’t perform at a Level 7, they should have the option to test at the levels below it rather than just be dropped to a low level.
For the level 0 the Reading is simply looking at pictures and then answering comprehension questions regarding the picture. Again, I definitely appreciated the emphasis on comprehension, but even so I felt like some of the questions were subjective, and our son was getting frustrated. For example, in one picture there were people in an airport and one of the questions is “What do you think they’re going to do next?” I think based on the child looking at the picture, they might all think something different yet there was a specific “right answer.”
Our daughter had to read a paragraph then do follow up activities relating to what she read. She was rather frustrated as well. Partly because comprehension is a challenge for her due to her having ADHD. So, she was able to read it and understood it, but the comprehension questions were still challenging for her. The activities include highlighting specific parts of the story, and she was getting very frustrated. I tried to sit down and help her, but even I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was requiring either.
In MaxPhonics the kids are learning consonants and vowel signs. It’s really very basic, and I would like them to try something more challenging, but I have been unable to adjust the level. They way they use Visual, Tactile and Auditory is really great. I am actually considering allowing our youngest to use one of his sibling’s accounts for the phonics portion because it would be perfect for him (age 6).
MaxWords is probably my favorite part of the program. It offers help for building words, which I feel has been a big gap in other curricula we have used. They have been learning roots, different types of syllables, and prefixes and suffixes. It also includes Latin roots and Greek roots as well which we haven’t worked on yet.
They have mostly been learning about syllables. For the syllables, they are introduced to different types of syllables and are then shown a series of words where they are asked to divide them into syllables correctly. This has really been a great exercise for them!
There are the other parts of the program I’ve mentioned, but they have only dabbled in them a little bit here and there as I really wanted them to focus on the language arts.
Additionally, parents are given their own account to track their children’s progress. It requires visiting a website link specifically for parents – completely separate of the main MaxScholar Website and children’s accounts. I found this to be a little confusing at first because I would try to log in from the main website. Of course, once I did I would remember I needed to use the other one!
The Parent Account is full of great tutorials. In fact, I started to grasp the highlighting more thanks to the tutorials. It offers a tutorial for every aspect of the program, and has been a great resource.
Additionally, I can generate reports for each of the children. The basic report shows their score and performance in each area, the cumulative time spent on the programs, as well as a usage percentage per program. This way I can see where they are spending the most of their time! Plus, I can access detailed reports in each specific area.
Overall, I think MaxScholar offers a variety of different tools and activities. It offers something for every style of learning and even offers learning games, which appeal to most children. It offers a lot of great content for different ages and learning levels, and I love that it takes reading beyond simply reading the words but comprehension as well. The Parent Account offers great resources from the tutorials to the detailed reports.
I don’t think it was a good fit for our kids, and I found it to be a little confusing and not user-friendly. For those who are quick to learn and navigate, this may not be a problem. In fact, many families from the Review Crew had the chance to review MaxScholar, so be sure to check out their reviews as well by clicking on the banner below.