MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs
Multi-Sensory Reading for Students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, Dyslexia
MaxScholar offers Reading Intervention programs that target children with learning disabilities, dyslexia and ADHD/ADD. Or children just learning to read, as well as struggling readers. Super Hero does not actually fit in any of these categories.Still, children of any ability can use MaxGuru, MaxScholar’s complete reading suite.
What We Received
We received one year subscription to MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs free of charge. In return, we are now posting our honest and thorough review after using MaxGuru for the last few weeks.
MaxGuru provides the child a comprehensive reading experience. It’s designed with rich visual, auditory and tactile activities and games. Aside from the basic phonics and spelling instruction, readings cover music, biographies and geography. These are sure to pique your child’s interest and cozy up his good graces. Well, that’s the idea anyway. And in fact MaxGuru does deliver, albeit not without a few minor glitches. Still, I believe that as this excellent program matures, it will continue to be refined. And debugged!
Here’s a brief introduction to MaxGuru’s components:
MaxPhonics: Phonics for children just getting started or for struggling readers. It uses a multi-sensory approach with videos and games to deliver the lessons.
MaxReading: After completing a placement test, the child is placed in the appropriate level. There are 13 levels of instruction. Each level teaches vocabulary and reading skills. Such skills include highlighting the reading’s topic, its main idea and supporting details. Next, the lesson teaches the crafting of an outline, and writing a summary. Final games reward the child for completing the lesson..
MaxWords: I appreciated this section much. It covers syllables and words sound rules, syllable division rules, Latin and Greek roots, vocabulary, and prefixes and suffixes. All these presented in a detailed visual fashion that makes understanding easy and effective.
MaxMusic: This features several famous past and present singers. The games here are fun. Kids will appreciate using their favorite lyrics to identify verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. It also covers basic musical notes for particular artists’ songs.
MaxVocab: Vocabulary words in context and with games.
MaxPlaces: A combination of geography and reading. Brief descriptions of places around the world for further reading practice.
MaxBios: Children can pick from an assortment of past and present personalities. These range from entertainment, music, sports, business, artists, and fascinating men and women. Legends such as The Beatles appear alongside current divas like Taylor Swift. Modern athletes like Usain Bolt and LeBron James. Business icons like Andrew Carnegie and Mark Zuckerberg. And so many others whom we may not see in regular notable biographies, such as Tyra Banks. I like that. Closer people may make their accomplishments so much more real, and thus perhaps more reachable, for the children.
How Did We Use MaxGuru?
Wanting to pinpoint Super Hero’s level was a bit confusing at first. He took a placement test that yielded level 4 to start. I was surprised that his level includes what seems to be such basic phonics. Super Hero who’s 10, has a good grasp of these concepts. Indeed, MaxPhonics is intended for children 5 to 7 years-old. Even though it seemed “too basic” for Super Hero, he’s shown interest in this section quite a bit. Certainly, such reinforcement can only enhance his phonics and reading skills.
I loved MaxReading. To start, Super Hero is free to choose a topic from history, famous cities, or sports. Naturally, he picked a historical topic. History has become one of his most favorite subjects. Once the activity begins, the steps are clearly labeled on top of the screen so the child knows where he is at all times. These steps are:
- Check highlighting
He can’t navigate back and forth between the steps. He must go in order. The highlighting serves to identify the story’s topic, main idea, and supporting details. Next, Super Hero crafts an outline and writes a summary based on his own highlights.
MaxVocab appears first. The child reads some words in context, and can consult definitions, synonyms and antonyms.
Reading: he gets to read the passage at his own pace.
Highlighting: MaxScholar requires highlighting the text with different colors. Green for the main idea, blue for the topic, and yellow for the supporting details. MaxScholar claims research shows highlighting text enhances reading comprehension.
Check highlighting: Next MaxReading shows what he’s supposed to have highlighted. This is an excellent way to refine and learn from his mistakes or omissions. Or to stand by his own input!
Outline: Next, Super Hero creates an outline summarizing the essence of the story. He can always refer to the text and his own highlights.
Writing: He may choose from 3 options: a summary, an open-ended question, or a general question. I still have to be lenient when it comes to writing. I either allow him to dictate to me or we take turns writing. He’s much more willing to write longer now. I’m impressed with how much he’s writing has progressed this way. (I mean his writing in general, not just with this curriculum.)
Questions & Games: After the last round of multiple choice questions, his score appears. At last, he can play some rewarding games.
Super Hero also likes MaxBios, MaxWords and MaxMusic. He’s interested in star athletes, renowned singers, and curious places. All these subjects blend the reading with such interesting topics for kids. The vocabulary activities, questions, music, and games are all woven seamlessly into all modules.
MaxMusic’s real fun. Super Hero has to identify verbs, nouns adverbs and adjectives in popular songs’ lyrics. This and a variety of games make MaxMusic a real hit.
Lessons have gone smoothly, almost always. We did encounter a situation once. Super Hero says we are only supposed to use Chrome with MaxGuru. I have used Firefox to access the parent portal with no complaints. I don’t know if the culprit was our browser or MaxScholar’s system, but while reading a MaxBio piece on Super Hero’s hero, Usain Bolt, the technology acted up. And we were using Chrome, mind you! After reading and highlighting (a long text, per Super Hero’s account) he clicked on “next”. Except for a “go back to the text” button nothing appeared. Super Hero clicked on the button. The reading loaded asking him to read and highlight the text again. He did sullenly, only to go through the same scenario all over again. We had gotten stuck in some kind of perverse loop that frustrated the child to no end. It was just too bad, because he was eager about Usain Bolt, and wanted to continue. Well, he just couldn’t. It was impossible to progress and finish the exercise. Not that day anyway. The fastest man in the planet had to wait! “Let’s quit for now, you can try Usain again some other time.” –I said. He agreed. Since no more problems have reemerged since then, I trust MaxGuru will continue behaving and throw no more tantrums.
Our Opinion About MaxGuru
I like MaxGuru. I must say that somehow it wasn’t all that clear how to proceed at the beginning. But once we got the hang of it, I appreciate the lessons. I like the way it presents the exercises. I like the visually-rich diagrams, the auditory and tactile features, and of course, the games. No program for children could be complete without games, right? Right! I love MaxReading, MaxWords and MaxMusic. The last two especially, are so much fun!
As mentioned earlier, MaxScholar requires highlighting the text to support comprehension. Unfortunately, Super Hero found it much too tedious. “It takes way too long” –was his chief complaint. Thus, he was not thrilled taking on an activity in any modules requiring it. I think it’s just a matter of practice. In time, he’ll come to understand the value of the highlighting. Yet, even if he doesn’t highlight as much, it doesn’t diminish the exercise. Nor does it diminish the learning experience itself.
Aside from his highlighting quibble, Super Hero enjoys MaxGuru. His favorites are MaxWords and MaxMusic.
Want to Learn More?
If so, there’s plenty more reviews from my fellow Crew members. Or just pay these folks a visit at any of their social media accounts. That’ll give you an immediate feel for what they’re all about:
Facebook: MaxScholar, https://www.facebook.com/MaxScholarLLC/?fref=nf
Twitter: @MaxScholarLLC, https://twitter.com/MaxScholarLLC
Pintrest: MaxScholar LLC, https://www.pinterest.com/MaxScholarLLC/
Google+: MaxScholar, https://plus.google.com/+Maxscholar/posts
LinkedIn: MaxScholar, https://www.linkedin.com/company/2884620
YouTube: MaxScholar LLC, https://www.youtube.com/user/MaxScholarLLC
I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was i compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.