MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software Review

{Disclaimer:  I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.}



We recently received a 6-month subscription to MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software by MaxScholar for review.

So what is MaxScholar?  Well, it's a comprehensive online reading program that uses a multi-sensory approach.  This Orton-Gillingham program aims to help students improve their reading skills (letter recognition, phonic awareness, sound blending, fluency, vocabulary and more) along with their language and performance skills as well.

Core Programs within MaxScholar

Within MaxScholar, there are a number of subprograms that cover various skills.  The main or core instructional programs within MaxScholar are MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords.  MaxPhonics helps with letter and sound recognition, phonetic awareness, fluency, sight words, consonants, blends, short vowels, etc.  MaxReading focuses on reading, reading comprehension, vocabulary, summarizing, etc.  And MaxWords focuses on syllabication, spelling rules, prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc. 

Supplemental Programs within MaxScholar

There are other subprograms that are more supplemental instruction for reinforcing reading skills and more game based activities.  These are MaxMusic, MacVocab, MaxPlaces and MaxBios.

You can use MaxScholar of any device but I want to note that you need to use google chrome as your browser.  I have a teacher account and D, E and F all have student accounts. 


My teacher account has a dashboard where I can access reports, setting, and materials (additional resources to supplement the program).  In my reports I can see how the kids are progressing and growing in the program as well as monitor their usage and activity.  I also have complete access to MyMax, which is the student site.  Unlike my students, I have access to all the programs and all the levels with no restrictions.  I like that I get to view the program from the students perspective and I really appreciate having full access.  Now, D, E, and F only have access to their own MyMax, which means they can only get to some programs and some levels.  Their access was determined by their placement tests, or by me (I can customize where I want them to be as their teacher). 

 Taking Placement Test

 E was placed in Level 3.

 D was placed in Level 8.

Remember, if the placement isn't a good fit, or if you disagree with it, you have full customization for each student as their teacher.  I think this is a huge plus in the program.  Now that you have a basic overview of the content, let's jump into it a bit more specifically.


MaxPhonics contains 4 modules and students will be assigned to work through one module at a time.  In module 1, students learn consonants and short vowels (PreK).  In module 2, students learn alphabet consonants and short vowels.  I want to note that module 1 and module 2 are very similar.  Module 1 has fewer steps and activities; whereas, module 2 is more comprehensive.  In module 3, students work on consonant blends and in module 4, students work on digraphs.

Above you can see one of the visual components for the letter p, the picture of a panda.

And here, you can see the p was drawn for the student (tactile section).

And here, students are asked to click on the pictures that start with the sound p.  There are speakers for the students to hear the words if needed.
 
I like the format and progression of this section.  It shows the students the letter or letters they are learning.  Then, it asks the student to say or draw the letter/s with them.  Then, it has the student do it on their own.  I think this format works well.

D reading about the American Civil War.

MaxReading has reading content from K-12.  This is the section that my kids have spent the most time on so far.  Levels correspond to grade in that 0=K, 1=1st grade, 2=2nd grade, and so on.  The program gives you recommended readings but you have free choice within your level.  

 A picture example from Level 0

And when you go to the questions, the student is asked what might be the main idea of this picture?

In level 0, there is no text as all the chapters are pictures.  This gives students encouragement to look deeper at the pictures and all the details.  It can help students understand, retain and recall information.  There is a read aloud option but it's only available in levels K-2.  

An example of a Level 3 reading for E.

Within the reading there are highlighted words that students can click to get the definition of the word.  This is really helpful if they do not know what the word means.  There are various exercises for students to complete.  They will be asked to highlight 3 things: the topic of the reading, the main idea, and the important details.  They will get an overall score of these three things, which needs to be 75% or higher in order to move on.  I like that students get an answer key to compare with their own selections to see what they missed.  There is also a section where students learn to create an outline based on their reading.  I think this is a super important skill to learn.  And there are additional writing exercises.  If your student scores 75% or higher, they can play games (vocabulary games, hangman, definition game or word search).  If your score is below 75%, they can redo the chapter and try to improve their score.

MaxWords

As you can see above, MaxWords helps students build words through learning roots, prefixes, suffixes and syllabication rules.  There are 5 modules:  CLOVER, Spelling Rules, Prefixes and Suffixes, Latin Roots and Greek Roots.  There are multiple subsections within each module.

Each letter in the word CLOVER stands for a different type of syllable:  Closed Syllables, Consonant-Le Syllables,  Open Syllables, Vowel Teams, Vowel-Consonant-E Syllables, and R-Controlled Syllables.


In CLOVER, you will learn the types of syllables and how to split words properly into syllables.

 Here, E is learning about closed syllables.

You can see the 5 sections within this lesson - listen up, break it down, match, fill in the blank, and countdown.

She mastered this section and moved on.

There are 18 spelling rules for the students to learn.

The prefixes and suffixes along with the Latin roots and Greet roots sections are geared for 4th grade and above.  There is a lot of material in these sections and I personally really impressed with the roots sections, so much to learn!

In MaxMusic, students can read lyrics by their favorite artists and complete challenges.  In MaxVocab, students have the opportunity to learn new words and their meaning; thus expanding their vocabulary.  In MaxPlaces, students get to explore the world through learning about new cities and cultures.  And in MaxBios, students learn about influential people in history.  I'm hoping to have the kids dig deeper into both MaxPlaces and MaxBios as they look really fun and contain a lot of information.

The Orton-Gillingham method and multi-sensory approach used by MaxScholar is hugely beneficial for students with dyslexia, ADHD, as well as other learning deficits.  I think this program works well for everyone.  I like that it helps with retention in general and while my kids do not have any known learning deficits, they can definitely still benefit from all that MaxScholar has to offer.  Not sure if MaxScholar is the right fit for your family?  They have a great 15-day trial.  It would be a great place to start!

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MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software {MaxScholar Reviews}

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