Reading is a really big thing in our house. I have loved books for as long as I can remember. Yet my oldest son dreads reading; he sees it as a chore and is very reluctant to read anything at all. When he does read, its for very short periods of time and he seldom finishes what he starts. We received a one year subscription to MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar for review and I admit I was a bit overwhelmed yet also hopeful, by this one when it arrived and we began to use the program. This is full of different programs like MaxPhonics, MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios. Wow!
MaxGuru MyMax is a digital online subscription website made up of 7 different programs: MaxPhonics, MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxVocab, MaxBios, MaxPlaces, and MaxMusic. My oldest son used this as he is a very reluctant reader and struggles with focus and comprehension.
This was a great opportunity for my younger son (6) to really focus on his letters. We have been struggling to really gain confidence in reading so it was a great program for him. He stayed in MaxPhonics; this is divided into a couple different sections and as they progress they learn blending, digraphs, short vowels. I love how the lessons all have three methods of learning: visual, tactile and auditory. In the visual section there is a teacher who makes the sound of the letter and shows their face while making the sound. The tactile section is where the students can practice writing the letter with their mouse (my son did not use this but preferred to write the letters himself on paper). He really enjoyed the auditory portion of the lessons. In this part, you are typing the letter that makes a specific sound. He really didn’t mind this method and went through most of these very quickly. I think it was encouraging for him too. A great way for him to boost his confidence as a beginning reader. There were also games he enjoyed playing where he had to build a word and the space rhyming game was one of his favorites. I especially enjoyed seeing him having the opportunity to have fun while practicing and expanding his reading skills.
My oldest son is 10 and we really struggle with reading and comprehension, as I mentioned earlier. For some time we have taken to having read aloud time where we then use narration with him to encourage greater focus. In this way I have hoped to encourage more of a love of literature while also having the ability to discuss and expand his understanding as we read. With MaxReading there are paragraphs for the student to read; within the paragraphs are highlighted vocabulary words. If you aren’t sure of the meaning of the word, as you read, you are able to click on it and see details relating to that word. This includes a definition, use in a sentence, even synonyms for the word. As the lessons are completed the activities range from showing actual demonstration of their comprehension of what they just read through “highlighting” things like the topic, main idea, and important details within the story. There are also opportunities to create topics, share ideas, and details in an outline of the story they which they read. There are writing exercises at the end of the lessons as well as questions to test the understanding of what was read.
We spent quite a bit of time in MaxBios where there were seven categories to read through: Entertainment, Fascinating Men, Amazing Women, Old School Musicians, Hip-Hop Artists, Business and Star Athletes. Each category contains quite a number of biographies on famous individuals to learn lots more about. These were fun and enlightening for my oldest; he really appreciated learning about some of the different musicians and athletes especially within this area.
MaxPlaces looked like a really fun program but we were unable to access it since we were not at the right level for this one. Bummer, since my son is fascinated by other parts of the world (probably because we almost always have an exchange student with us from somewhere around the world). However, MaxPlaces presents itself in the form of a map with multiple destinations to click on while exploring the world we live in.
I have been wanting to introduce Greek and Latin with my oldest; since he really enjoys foreign languages I thought this might be a great way to encourage him a bit more with reading and vocabulary. So I was really pleased to see MaxWords which has a whole portion that is all Latin and Greek Roots. Start by listening to the word, then move on to breaking it down before the challenges begin. So many fun ways to learn the roots of the words from move and match, to filling in the blanks, the ultimate challenge and then the final countdown! I admit I played a few of these myself and had so much fun.
We didn’t really spend a lot of time in MaxVocab but here, you are able to focus on the meaning of different words. There are a variety of levels to choose from in this area and in each one a variety of topics to choose from. These topics range from hobbies, to Abe Lincoln, Psychology, Useful Facts, Alaska, Extreme Sports, Media and so many more! In each topic you find vocabulary words which relate to this subject and can be seen as synonyms and antonyms; they are also shown used in a sentence and of course, the definition itself is provided.
MaxMusic is another fun area. This is made up of about 20 famous musicians such as The Beatles, Duke Ellington Louis Armstrong and Taylor Swift. There are quite a few others, but these were the only ones we were really familiar with ourselves.Basically, you choose a musician and then a song. In one activity you have to read the lyrics of the song and identify the verbs, in other games you may fill in missing words, and there is even a digital keyboard where they can “play” songs for themselves. My oldest has been learning guitar and keyboard himself so this was a fun and encouraging way for him to play around with music. MaxGuitar was probably his favorite activity in this area. I do have to say that some of the content in here could have been a lot better. We stuck with the classic stuff butt there were many song lyrics on here that I felt were quite inappropriate for children. Considering how much good music there is out there it was rather sad to find so much that was just not a good example for our children. Needless to say my son loved this part so we used it very cautiously and again there were only certain artists he was allowed to peruse.
This really is a very multi sensory program and I do appreciate that aspect of it. I also really love their use of the Five Pillars. Well this was not really something that I plan to continue with my children this really is an amazing program academically. This is a great way to encourage and strengthen comprehension skills. If you have a child that is struggling in their learning this could be a good fit for them. There really is so much the site has to offer.
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