I’m pretty sure by now you’ve heard the quote, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”, by Maimonides . I like to switch up the words a little bit when it comes to education. I don’t know if there is already a quote like this but you can imagine, “Read to a child and you open the door for an hour; teach a child to read and you open the world for a lifetime.” That’s sounds pretty good eh?
When you think of a well rounded education you think of Reading, Writing, Math, History, and Science but I your child struggles with reading it can make all the other subjects that much harder. My daughter has been testing out Reading Comprehension with one of the Reading Intervention Programs from MaxScholar.
MaxScholar is an online reading program designed to help address learning difficulties such as dyslexia, reading comprehension, poor writing, poor spelling, and more.
MaxScholar is a bundle of several products to help with reading fluency.
- MaxReading which words on reading comprehension.
- MaxPhonics which works on reading of words, phonics and writing.
- MaxWords which includes games and helps your student to build their vocabulary.
And the secondary products…
- MaxMusic learn by reading lyrics to song (While I didn’t read any objectionable words in the few songs I looked at, the artists in this part of the program are not ones we generally listen to in our household).
- MaxPlaces is similar to MaxReading but with a focus on places and cultures.
- MaxVocab is space for learning new words and their meanings.
- MaxBios is similar to MaxPlaces and MaxReading but with a focus on famous people. They are divided into categories and the mix is historical figures and current news or movie stars.
We were given an online subscription to MaxScholar to test out their reading program.
How We Used MaxScholar
After much tugging and pulling my daughter finally got busy and spent most of her time in MaxReading. We are working on Reading Comprehension and retention in our homeschool.
After taking a placement test to get accurate placing she was presented with a small essay to read. The level of reading in the essay was accurate for her. First she is able to go through any words she may not understand and increase her vocabulary. After reading she is then asked to pick out the topic, main idea, and important details of the essay using the onscreen highlighter.
The Main Idea and Topic are easy enough but when it came to picking out the important details that was where her estimation of what she needed to pay attention to was not quite up to par.
To be fair I too, when looking through the essay, didn’t pick out all the details the program felt I should either.
Her answers are then checked and she’s presented with a score for each of the three details (Main Topic, Idea, and Important Details) so that we know what to work on.
In the next screen she’s asked to pick a writing exercise such as the one in the picture above.
When you are all finished with an essay, and have done well you get access to the online games. You have to get a C or above to get access to the games.
The games are Hangman, Definitions, and Wordsearch.
With the parent login in on MaxScholar I can see how my daughter is doing and her scores along the way. It’s nice and detailed and I can see where she had problems.
As far as reading comprehension goes I think MaxScholar was very good practice for her in pointing out what things you should be aware of when reading through a text. We have what are called Section Reviews at various spots in each chapter of our regular Science and History curriculum. This lets me know what she has retained from the lesson and where we need to do some review. The great news is that I have noticed some marked improvement since starting MaxScholar. Her scores are 90% or above for on the Section Reviews. I think this is due to MaxScholar pointing out what are the important details when you read.
There are many parts of this program that I really like. While I like MaxReading the essays would come together, for us, if they were attached to something already being studied. I know that’s not possible but since they were pretty detailed essays on historical figures or events just reading them for the sake of reading them felt a little out of place and hard to focus on. For our homeschool it worked better when used in the MaxBios and MaxPlaces format where you could choose the person or place to read about. That way you could customize it to match your scope of study.
With are so many aspects to MaxScholar I do think it’s a good option for struggling readers.