Christine A Howard

A Homeschool Review of MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software

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. 

Do you have struggling readers in your family? Maybe like our family, you have tried everything and found more programs that don’t work for your child than ones that do. That is why we were so excited to get the opportunity to review MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software from MaxScholar. Here is what we found…

What is MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software?

MaxScholar Orton-Gillingham Software is an online reading program from MaxScholar. For those that may not know, Orton-Gillingham is a reading program designed to help those with dyslexia learn to read. MaxScholar is multi-leveled covering all grades from Kindergarten to 12th grade. This is very important to our family, as my senior in highschool has dyslexia and still struggles with reading and phonics.

The program is set up to begin with a skills test. The skills test that my son started with was much different than my daughter. Since we figured that my son is reading at a middle school level, he was tested at a higher level. My daughter (although she is in 10th grade) is at a Kindergarten/ First Grade reading level, so she was tested with much earlier concepts.

Once my students finished the initial tests, they were each given a place to start. My son was given reading passages to work with, while my daughter was started with letter sounds. And as the parent, I was provided with reports such as time spent, reading level, and scores.

How We Use MaxScholar

My son uses MaxScholar 3-4 days a week for about an hour. He typically can finish one reading assignment along with the associated activities. These activities include highlighting text and answering questions

With each reading assignment, the student is shown imporant words with their meaning, and then the student reads the text independently. The student is then asked to highlight the main idea, as well as what is important within the text. Once the student has finished, the program will provide a score, as well as a comparision for the student to see what the program thought was important. Finally, the student is given 5-6 comprehension questions. However, the student is not given the correct answer in the event of an incorrect question.

My daughter uses the program much less, because I have to sit with her for the entire session. She uses the program only 1-2 hours per week. Since she is an English language learner, she needs me to help her understand the computer commands and which buttons to press.

Each of her lessons focus on a letter and it’s sound. She is shown the letter, provided a picture of something that starts with the letter, the letter sound is spoken to her, and then the letter is drawn out. Once the program feels she has had enough practice, she is tested for mastery. She must answer questions about the letter and then write the letter on the screen. She has not gotten very far, as she has significant trouble understanding what the questions are asking her.

This program is really nice for families, as each person is given their own login information, and the parent can see the progress of all “students.” Once thing to remember, is that you need to adjust the dates you want to see reports for. I thought my son had not done any work one day, and then I realized I hadn’t included the correct dates in my search.

Our Thoughts…

Zachary (age 18)

“I think its a great program. It is great at helping identify important information, but I would like to see more help with understanding what I am reading. I really like the comparision where it shows what they thought was important. It shows were I could have highlighted and it will help me so that I don’t miss things when I read.”

Ruth (age 17)

“It is a good program, but I got some things wrong, and I don’t know why. The learning games are fun, and I can do them over and over to get better.”

Chris (Mom)

“MaxScholar is a wonderful program, and we will keep using it for my son. It is nice that he can access the program independently, and then I can see what he has been doing as well as his progress. For my daughter, this program is difficult, as she doesn’t have enough English to know what she is being asked to do. Then she gets frustrated and wants to give up.”

Review Crew Thoughts…

You don’t have to take our word for it though. Other Review Crew families have been working hard to bring you a great review. I highly recommend you check out all of the Review Crew Reviews.

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