What It Is ~ We were delighted to receive this reading program because it is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach. This multi-sensory approach is well known for being excellent for children with learning challenges and dyslexia. My daughter has struggled with reading her entire life and been through several therapies to improve her reading skills. However, I was never able to afford an Orton-Gillingham tutor. How wonderful to have a program online at a fraction of the cost of a tutor!
How It Works ~ MaxGuru gives your student access to MaxReading, MaxWords, MaxVocab, MaxMusic, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios. Your student can read about musicians, famous people, famous cities, and play a nice variety of games.
Anne began the program by taking the reading pretest. This test is set at level 8. She struggled a bit with it and was placed in level 3. I do wonder if she was placed a bit lower than she should have been, since she continually gets 100% accuracy on the reading comprehension portion. However, she has struggled with learning the highlighting skills and finding all of the important details in the reading assignments. Her score has been lower in this area. After the student reads the passage, he/she is asked to highlight the main idea, topic and important details with different color highlighters. This is definitely an area where my daughter needs work. She has struggled to understand and highlight the important details. She has mostly used the reading passages from the MaxReading section. She has also used the MaxPlaces. She was excited to see that they have New York City to read about. We are hoping to get there later this summer. She also explored the music area but didn't recognize many of the singers and so wasn't very interested in this area.
What Anne Likes About This Program ~ At the end of each chapter there is a writing assignment. Anne has enjoyed the writing assignments. She enjoys writing and finds it fun to do it on the computer. She also likes that the program gives a score at the end of each lesson. She is very competitive and likes to see high scores. She likes the stories and large variety of different things to read. She likes that the program tells her what she did wrong and lets her compare her highlighting to the correct highlighting sheet.
What Anne Didn't Like ~ Anne generally doesn't like educational programs on the computer very much and usually gives them a thumbs down. However, this program ran smoothly, had interesting graphics and was easy to understand so it got a so-so rating from Anne. She really didn't like the highlighting, and even though she is improving steadily, she feels that she is very poor in this area. I have explained to her that this is a very important skill for her future and that she will learn and improve with time, but she continues to dislike it -- mainly because of her low scores and perfectionist ways. This is her own personal flaw and she will have to work through it.
What I Think ~I am delighted to have a program that is teaching reading skills using Orton-Gillingham techniques. I feel that in just a short amount of time her reading comprehension has improved. We will continue with this program through the summer and into next year. My daughter is not happy with this decision, but not every learning opportunity is a delight. I hope that with time and higher scores she will come to appreciate the program. I love that it is doing such a good job at exposing her to good highlighting skills. These skills will pay off for a lifetime.
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