For the past few months, Bam Bam has been mastering phonics via the Reading Intervention Programs offered by MaxScholar. This unique, multi-sensory, mobile, activity-based program was designed specifically to help students with Dyslexia, ADHD, and other reading processing problems. I decided to review this program for additional assistance in correcting our four-year-old’s speech impediment. We used this program at least four times each week and the lessons took approximately 7 to 15 minutes to complete. Let’s walk through the website and discuss how each part worked for our homeschool.
Assessments for each reading program offered is available when your child logs into MaxScholar for the first time. Scores indicate your child’s placement and level of difficulty within each intervention program. I helped Bam Bam take the phonics and reading tests. The phonics portion was too long for a young child and there was not an option to pause testing and come back to it. Because of the time that it took us to work through phonics, we decided to take the reading test the next day. He passed most of the reading comprehension questions because he was able to look at the picture while I read him the story and then tell me what was going on. Since my son is currently learning how to read he was not able to work through most of the reading test. I had to use the skip option for a least 70% of it. Based on the final results he was placed in Level 2 for phonics and Level 0 for reading which was accurate for him. His dashboard only provided options for phonics and reading but there are five additional programs offered.
The MAXREADING section was the least used out of his two options. The directions are for the student to read the story, highlight various aspects, and answer questions. The reading program is designed with stories that have chapters unlock after you pass the comprehension test. The stories were long and included too many words for his level of a reading. Even though he could not read the text he was able to listen to the story, read by me, and answer the comprehension questions out loud. It showed that he did understand what was going on but does not know how to gather (read) the information himself.
Though this section was not a favorite for us I do think that highlighting important things, understanding the main idea, and answering comprehension questions are all great skills to learn at this age. I also believe that a picture book option should be made available for children who do not know how to read. Sight words flashcards and adding audio to shorter stories are also other options that should be looked into.
Our favorite Reading Intervention Program was MAXPHONICS because of the layout and activities. We are currently working on reading lessons and this program lined up perfectly alongside that. Each lesson includes introducing a letter, hearing the sound, learning words that start with that letter, and writing practice. Some letter sounds work great and is accurate but others are quite confusing. For example, the /f/ sound is not at all similar to that heard in any of the words shown. If more emphasis was added it would be easier to hear in the video example. In the end, a master exam is given which includes working through each activity again. Once your child scores a 100% on each activity that letter is considered mastered.
Since Bam Bam has a speech impediment it has taken us quite some time to work through the phonics. He needs a lot of practice saying each of the letter sounds and over time he gained confidence in this area. The program will repeat each lesson until your child has mastered it which was a definite plus for me. I want to ensure that our son has a clear understanding of phonics because that is the baseline of his speech therapy. I didn’t mind him having to repeat lessons and made sure that I monitored his progress as he worked through the program. Once he mastered a letter no one was happier than his father and I because we know that they sounds did not come easily to him.
Upon logging into the teacher account you are greeted with a welcome sign and the dashboard menu. I thought that the layout for the dashboard was convenient and easy to use. In the Reports section, your options include looking at reports for individual students or an entire class, which is good for those of us who have multiple children. A generated report includes percentages for each available activity. The length of time the app was used for each day. The Materials section provides instant downloads of articles, teaching aids, and printables for your child. The other portions of the dashboard menu were not applicable to our homeschool because I only had one student enrolled.
You also have the option to preview some lessons and activities available via your dashboard by clicking Go to My Max. In this section you are shown an example of what year students dashboard would look like. From there you are able to click through the program and see what is offered. The only con for this section is that I believe that it should highlight where your child is specifically so you can view that first. I like the chance to get an overview of the entire program and seeing what is coming up so I can plan accordingly.
EASE OF USE
This is a convenient, easy to access, and user friendly website. It is recommended that you use this with a Chrome browser which does allow the audio instructions to play automatically. We tried this on a different browser and the program worked well. This website can be used on various devices but I strongly recommend using it on a tablet or computer. Cell phone view is a bit skewed and we had to constantly rotate the phone for the best view.
The MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs offer a variety of activities that can be catered specifically for each child in your household. Though all the features weren’t available to us, the phonics program did work well for Bam Bam and helped improve his impediment. Frequent use of the website and practicing letter sounds did build his speech confidence therefore, we will continue to use this program. With consistent use, people with other learning disabilities or struggling readers might also benefit.
Click the MAXIMUM SIZED picture below to hear what members of the Homeschool Review Crew think about all MaxScholar’s Reading Intervention Programs have to offer.
Make this week grand,