Do you have an older child who struggles with language arts? I do, and I know how much of a challenge it can be to find something that works for them but isn’t geared toward early elementary or even pre-k. I was thrilled to find about an online curriculum which is geared toward struggling readers. MaxScholar offers a variety of activities for students to improve reading skills with their MaxScholar Reading Intervention Programs.
We received MaxGuru as a one-year subscription for two of our kids. Our oldest son, A, has autism and global developmental delays. He struggled to learn to read, although he reads now at about late first-grade level. My second son, B, has dyslexia and so for very different reasons than our oldest, he also struggles with reading. He is reading on a late fourth or early fifth-grade level but still struggles with fluency. I was ecstatic to try this program.
What is MaxGuru?
MaxGuru MyMax is a digital online subscription website which includes 7 different sections under these headers: MaxPhonics, MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxVocab, MaxBios, MaxPlaces, and MaxMusic.
MaxPlaces looks really fun but for some reason, I didn’t appear to have access to it. I believe it has something to do with the level my kids were placed, but MaxPlaces is a huge map with multiple destinations – it appears that you should be able to click on them so that your child can learn more about those places.
MaxMusic – includes about 20 famous musicians from a variety of decades like The Beatles, Duke Ellington and more modern day hits like Adele and Coldplay. Once your student picks their favorite musicians they will be able to choose from a variety of songs that the musicians made famous. The games include having the student read the lyrics of the song, identifying verbs in the song, filling in the missing words, and even learning how to play the song on a pretend digital keyboard.
My two sons used this for several weeks as part of their homeschool curriculum. We started off using the MaxReading feature with my 11-year-old son who has dyslexia. It proved to be too difficult for him to start with. We ended up switching him down to the MaxPhonics as a review for him. The MaxReading seemed to have too many components that were slightly above his reading level and it, at times, was too opened ended (like the highlighting of the main ideas and topics). He did fine at the phonics and enjoyed the MaxBios where he could learn more about important people throughout history. I’m excited about the MaxWords section because I want him to study the Latin and Greek roots and I’m thrilled that this is included in the program.
My 13-year-old son who has multiple developmental delay and autism did very well with the MaxPhonics and that seemed to be completely on his level and what he needs right now. He went through several sections of that and then for “fun” he enjoyed playing around with MaxMusic. He adores music from the 1960s – especially the Beatles. He enjoyed learning the lyrics and playing the melody on their digital keyboard. I think the MaxMusic would be a great asset to any child who struggles with language and reading but who loves music like my son does. Before he was even verbal, he could sing words to songs. Somehow, it seems that music taps into a different part of the brain than speaking and writing does and I think this part of the program could be hugely beneficial to kids who need some extra motivation to learn their words, vocab, and grammar.
My one flaw that I found is the gap between phonics and reading in this program seems large, to me. I wish there was the section between the phonics and the reading section for kids who aren’t quite at a higher reading level but who have also gone through the phonics program. However, even in my younger son’s case, though he doesn’t still study phonics in our homeschooling, it never hurts to review and to study the spelling rules again!
I think overall this is an excellent program for kids who need extra work in language arts and is especially good for older kids who might need more help on their level. So many times phonics programs are geared toward little kids and I think this fills a gap for kids who are older but still need help with reading and writing. If your children struggle with a learning disability like dyslexia, autism, or other delays in language check out MaxGuru – it might just be the thing you’ve been looking for.
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