Review: MaxScholar

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs  is a collection of online interactive programs designed to help beginning and struggling students how to read. It uses well-researched and proven methods such as the Orton-Gillingham approach and the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes.

Now both my girls (ages 8 and 11) read way above their age and grade level. I still requested to do this review because the programs beyond MaxPhonics (which lays the foundation of reading) and MaxReading (teaches reading comprehension strategies) looked very promising for honing the girls' language arts skills. Besides, the entire website looked fun!

MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs

The girls and I focused on MaxWords, which are games and activities that help further develop vocabulary and comprehension. MaxWords has five components: CLOVER, Spelling Rules, Prefixes & Suffixes, Latin Roots, and Greek Roots. I left it up to the girls to choose which modules and activities they wanted to work on, and both decided to work on Latin and Greek Roots. Raine is currently studying word roots in our regular Language Arts curriculum, so I thought MaxWords would complement her main lessons perfectly.

We focused our review on MaxWords


Both Latin and Greek Roots have several sets of roots that you study at a time. With each set, you go through the same exercises: you listen as the roots are defined, and examples are given; then you go through a series of activities. You can choose to do the activities in order, or you can choose a particular activity to do. I recommend the former.

Sample Latin Roots lesson


You get instant feedback whether you have the right answers or not, and all the results are collated in a report (which I will talk about later). We discovered that my girls, Breeze in particular, don't really know how to syllabicate! It dawned on me that we never formally discussed syllabication in any of our lessons, and I know that it's a crucial factor in knowing how to spell words correctly. On hindsight, we should have done the modules in order, because syllabication is taught in the CLOVER and Spelling Rules modules. Even knowing prefixes and suffixes will help with syllabication and correct spelling. So I have since required the girls to go back and start from the first modules.

While we didn't focus on MaxReading, the girls did practice comprehension skills working on MaxBios and MaxPlaces. These programs feature short paragraphs about famous people, and key cities around the globe. There is a highlighting tool available when you read the articles, and students are encouraged to highlight important facts. After reading, there are several questions to answer. You only get one chance to answer each question, and your answer is graded immediately (you can go back to the text before you answer though).

MaxBios offers an interesting selection of biographies, grouped into different categories. You can read about people like Mark Zuckerberg, Mother Teresa, Beethoven, The Rolling Stones, and Danica Patrick. In MaxPlaces, you click on a city on the world map to read about it.

MaxBios has an interesting mix of profiles, ranging from Mother Teresa to Angelina Jolie


Click on the map to read about the city


For the girls, though, the highlight of MaxScholar is the 'fun stuff',  the games in MaxVocab and MaxMusic (I very much enjoy MaxVocab as well, which I tried out in the name of research). Our favorite is the Hangman game. You are given a definition of a word, and you have five chances to guess the correct word before you get a game over (Would have been great if they showed the actual hangman though!). Another favorite is the Word Search, also in MaxVocab. I realized that it's so much easier looking for words on print rather than on the screen! Or that could just be my age talking.

Our favorite vocabulary game: Hangman


Word Search is another crowd (of three) pleaser


I didn't get to try the MaxMusic, but Raine loves the MaxGuitar, which is the most video game-like of all the activities on MaxScholar. Using the direction keys on the keyboard, you have to 'play' the song when the note hits the timeline. This really works hand-eye coordination, which I suck at. Raine is pretty good at it though.

Playing the keyboard guitar on MaxGuitar


Two of the key features of MaxScholar are the Parent Dashboard, and the Reports. The Dashboard allows you to see all things related to your kids, from their grade levels to all the activities that they have done on MaxScholar. You can also generate reports that show you their progress and performance on all their activities. Since my main objective was to supplement their vocabulary skills, I haven't really been able to maximize these powerful tools. I imagine that if you have MaxScholar as part of your main Language Arts curriculum, these would be very useful, particularly for grading.


You can see your kids and their progress on the dashboard


The reports can show you an overall score for a program, and you can also get a detailed report on specific activities. This way, you can monitor which areas your child excels at, and which areas you will need to work on (we obviously need to learn about syllabication).

You can see your child's progress via the Reports function on the dashboard

Parents also get access to a whole lot of materials--lesson plans, trackers, instructions, sample worksheets, research material, even the MaxScholar brochures. You can find all these under 'Materials' on the dashboard.

Another great thing about MaxScholar is that it's fairly easy to do it on tablets and iPads. Since the girls' laptop conked out on us, we've been having problems with activities and lessons that require screen time and being online. Fortunately, MaxScholar works pretty well on handheld gadgets, so we are able to keep on using the programs. The girls also have their individual login credentials, and they can go do their activities without my help.

Breeze working on her word roots

The student dashboard is also easy to use

We love MaxScholar. I think this is a keeper that we will continue using even after the review period (the games make great incentives to finish regular school work!).

Other families also tried MaxScholar. Click below to read about their experiences.


Reading Intervention Programs {MaxScholar Reviews}

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