As part of the Schoolhouse Review crew, my family is given a one-year access to MaxScholar in exchange for a review. The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs aims to help students with Dyslexia, learning disabilities and those who are struggling to read. Since my son already knows how to read at age 9, we chose to review the program MaxGuru.
The programs under MaxGuru are developed based on the research based methods of the Orton-Gillingham approach and the the Lindamood-Bell Process. The methodology behind this approach is that it uses the multi-sensory approach to help the student read effectively. It uses the student’s dominant learning mode while using instruction that also strengthens the other learning methods to fully access all avenues in the brain. In MaxGuru, the Five Pillars of Reading is addressed to help the students reach reading proficiency. The Five Pillars of Reading includes Phonetic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension.
MaxGuru is an online program and it is accessible through any mobile device or computer that has a browser and an internet access.
Upon login, This is the screen that we saw. My son chose the MaxReading section.
The vocabulary words are highlighted and used within the proper context in the story.
MaxReading develops the student’s comprehension. It uses highlighting, outlining and summarizing. The student will read or will ask the computer to read aloud the chapter book and then he will be asked to identify the topic, main idea and details using the digital highlighter provided.
After highlighting, the student is given immediate feedback whether he got the answers correctly. Then he will be asked to create an outline based on what he just read. After, the student can choose to work on the writing exercise. He needs to choose whether he wants to write a summary, answer an open-ended question or a general question. After which, he is given a set of comprehension questions. The student only has one chance to answer the question correctly.
The computer auto-computes the grades and gives the student to choice to play a game or continue on to the next lesson.
My son likes the game hangman so he had fun playing it! It helped him remember the correct spelling of the vocabulary words.
My son takes approximately 20-25 minutes per session to complete one chapter along with its activities. He only works on one chapter per session.
The stories he read were all stories of other nationality so it was quite interesting for him. He not only learned new words but was also introduced to a new culture and places.
There are 12 levels of difficulty and my son started working in level 2. In level 2, there are 6 different story books, and each book has several chapters each.
MaxGuru offers other programs aside from MaxReading like MaxWords, MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces and MaxBios.
MaxWords is all about the study of the word like prefixes, suffixes, Greek and Latin root words and spelling rules.
MaxMusic uses the current favorite artists and their songs to help students identify different words from the lyrics.
MaxVocab is a dictionary for all of the levels. You can see the definition of the words, the word used in a sentence, synonyms and antonym.
MaxBios is a collection of biography of influential people. After reading the stories, the student has a set of comprehension questions to check if he understood the story.
The individual license for the MaxGuru pack currently costs $279.
What We Think About the Product
It took my son about 5 chapters before he finally understood how the highlighting works. He hasn’t been introduced to this approach before so it was confusing to him at the beginning. Eventually he understood the system and was able to follow along.
If your children is on summer break, then this program would be ideal to use! It helps develop reading comprehension and exposes the children to different stories that encourages critical thinking. It can also be used as a good reading material during the school year since it is a complete program already.
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