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Wilson Reading System vs. Barton Reading & Spelling


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#1 *~Tina~*

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:17 PM

I know parents are often looking at these two OG programs and wondering about the differences, so I thought I'd share a thread from my reading group for those who may be interested in hearing some opinions on the two different programs. . .

Barton and Wilson are both OG programs and both have their positives, however, they are at very different ends of the spectrum in both price and guidance. I will just list a few differences I can think of right now. . .

Barton is much more expensive, but the lessons are scripted and you get more support in the form of DVD training for each level and the ability to email Susan if you get stuck or have a question.

Wilson is much less expensive, but the lessons are not scripted and the support not quite so readily available (okay, well there's us! - but help from the company can be a few days coming if you need it) If you purchase the Deluxe Kit (and this full set is what *I* recommend to parents starting with Wilson) it does come with everything you need including a set of "Overview Training DVD's" that I think are excellent for getting the gist of the program and developing a deeper understanding of the dyslexic learner.

Barton does a better job of covering accented vs. unaccented syllables and explaining why this matters.

Barton teaches a student how to actually "use" a spell checker, Wilson just recommends the use of one.

Barton jumps into syllable division as it simultaneously begins to introduce syllable types (I think this can be overwhelming for some dyslexic kids - too much too soon. Level 4 is particularly meaty in that sense.) But so long as you take whatever time the student needs to "get it", it should be fine I reckon!

Barton does a better job teaching syllable division using the tiles. I love the tiles for this!! Wilson does do this with the sound cards, but the instruction for *you* is not quite as explicit as it is in Barton.

Wilson has plenty of practice via the workbooks and readers. The readers offer practice in words, sentences, and stories, plus the children get to chart their own progress which I think is very motivating. I personally believe this review and controlled text practice is vital! IMHO, Barton is short on practice and review in this respect.

Barton does a better job of incorporating "sight words". Wilson has them listed in the "rules" book, but there is really no reference to them in the lesson plan, nor much guidance for introduction and mastery of these words as you progress through the levels.

Wilson offers much more dictation practice, including sounds, words, nonsense words, and sentences for each step along the way. Again, I think this consistent and repetitive practice is essential!

Barton ultimately goes into much more advanced concepts if you go through ALL of the levels.

Barton seems to introduce material at a much faster pace (could possibly be too fast for some children). Wilson is more purposeful in scope and sequence, but slower overall in pace imho (often good for the dyslexic learner, but harder for the Mom who wants to hurry up and get through it!)

Anyway, those are just a few things to consider, maybe others can jump in here and share what their experience has been with one program or the other.

P.S Here are some additional comments from a couple other members on my group. . .

********
The Wilson materials are great when I need more practice materials...I agree that Barton doesn't offer enough practice sometimes. Wilson doesn't explain things as well, and the Barton tiles are more fun than the cards. One thing I love about the Barton is that you don't have to use the script. The summaries in the side columns are fantastic. I also like the hand motions. My students really like the hand motions, too.

********
Just a reminder that Barton has extra practice sheets on their website.
You need a password to access them. Just email Susan and you'll get one
quickly.

There is also an awkward little games section on their website, but
kids are so use to bells and whistle type games that they aren't as
much fun.

The only thing I hate about the Barton DVD's is Susan's monotone. UGH!
I could never tutor like that. I am all about upbeat and positive!
********

Hope this information is useful to someone! :)

Blessings,
(`'·.¸(`'·.¸ ¸.·'´)¸.·'´)
*-:¦:~ Tina ~:¦:-*
(¸.·'(¸.·'´~`'·.¸)`'·.¸)

#2 Quiver0f10

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:04 PM

Barton is much more expensive, but the lessons are scripted and you get more support in the form of DVD training for each level and the ability to email Susan if you get stuck or have a question.


We chose Barton's because I wanted the DVD instruction and felt the scripting would be a benefit to me. Also, I had a few questions and called Susan ( and was put right through to her, no waiting) and she spent 30 minutes on the phone with me! She told me to call or email anytime. That alone, is worth the money to me!

#3 Claire

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 03:44 PM

One other thing I have heard about Barton is that it starts out with explicit exercises to work on segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation skills. Many OG programs do not do this, but rather assume that the student will acquire these skills as they move through the program. IMO, this makes Barton a step above many other OG programs.

#4 Sixmeadows

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:23 AM

We are in the early stages of Barton and it good to know I made a good choice. I do think it is a bit expensive but less than getting a OG tutor. Ds is doing well so far.

Cheri:001_smile:

#5 Rod Everson

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 10:53 AM

How much are Barton and Wilson, if I might ask?

Just curious.

Rod Everson

#6 *~Tina~*

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 04:36 PM

Rod,

It depends on what you get to start with.

Barton's first 2 levels are $250, subsequent levels are $300. Each level is shipped in a separate, easy-to-store box and contains everything you need including tutor training on DVD, a tutor manual with complete lesson plans, our color-coded letter tiles and much more. To go through the entire program is $2900, plus $14.95 shipping per level.

The only downside is that if you opt to sell the levels as you finish them, you will need to purchase an extra set of tiles to go with it to the new purchaser, as you will need to keep yours for use with future levels. So if you know your going to sell it, your best bet is to order the extra set of tiles with your initial purchase. Otherwise, the extra tiles are $10 a set, plus another $10 for shipping.

Wilson has different set arrangements you can get to start with, or you can get everything you need via the "Deluxe Kit" for $459. The Deluxe Kit comes with the overview DVD's, teacher's manual, dictation books, rules book, student readers, student workbooks (levels A and B), magnetic journal and tiles, sound cards, word cards, syllable cards, WADE assessment, magnetic strips (for sound cards), 3 "stories for older children" books, and a tote bag.

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*~:¦:- Tina -:¦:~*
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#7 Sixmeadows

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:19 PM

;) for the reply
cheri

#8 Rod Everson

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:08 PM

Rod,

Barton's ...To go through the entire program is $2900, plus $14.95 shipping per level.

Wilson has different set arrangements you can get to start with, or you can get everything you need via the "Deluxe Kit" for $459.

(`'·.¸(`'·.¸ ¸.·'´)¸.·'´)
*~:¦:- Tina -:¦:~*
(¸.·'(¸.·'´~`'·.¸)`'·.¸)


Thanks Tina,

One reason I asked is that I sell an Advanced Code Workbook to be used as a follow-up to the Basic Code work in the Reading Reflex curriculum. Once a child gets the Basic Code down (one letter-one sound) a parent or tutor can switch to the Workbook and go from there, all the way through multisyllable decoding. The whole package, including shipping and instructions, is less than $30, and I consider it a complete advanced code phonics program start to finish.

Instructions for using the workbook are detailed, but they're not on a DVD. On the other hand, they're free for the downloading from my website (the instructions, that is.) I tell people to download the instructions first and see what they think before spending any money on the workbook.

That's as much as I'll say in this post, as I get concerned that I'm advertising a product. What I'd like to know is if I open a thread to discuss the ins and outs of my workbook, would that violate the rules of this forum? I think people would be interested in it because of the low cost and the results I get, but I've hesitated to get into it much here until I better understand the rules in here. Up until now, I've just referred people to various pages of information on reading on my website, figuring that they will find the workbook information if they end up digging around a bit on the site. Then this discussion on Barton and Wilson crops up......

Anyone got a suggestion, or should I just drop it and continue on as I've been doing, trying to offer help when I think I have something to say?

Thanks,

Rod Everson
OnTrack Reading

#9 PhunandFonics

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:19 PM

This is what I found in the Board Rules/FAQs:

No advertising
If you are the publisher or author of home schooling (or other) materials, or have a financial interest in a particular program, you may answer direct questions about those materials but don't use a general query ("What science/language arts/history materials should I use?") as a chance to promote your product. When these questions are posed, we hope that parents will hear from other parents not from those who may have a vested interest in the use of a particular program.

HTH!

#10 Rod Everson

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 11:32 PM

This is what I found in the Board Rules/FAQs:

No advertising
If you are the publisher or author of home schooling (or other) materials, or have a financial interest in a particular program, you may answer direct questions about those materials but don't use a general query ("What science/language arts/history materials should I use?") as a chance to promote your product. When these questions are posed, we hope that parents will hear from other parents not from those who may have a vested interest in the use of a particular program.

HTH!


Yes, that's pretty clear. Thanks.

Rod Everson

#11 jandkmoon

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 01:09 PM

I too am trying to decide b/w Wilson and Barton for my 8 year old son, whom I homeschool. Barton's materials look awesome, and I'd buy it in a heartbeat if not for the price. Wilson looks appealing for all that you get for the "low" price, yet I'd like more details on the scope and sequence before I buy. On the Barton website, you are able to see the scope and sequence of every level. Is there any way to find something similar for the Wilson program? I'd also like to know what a lesson looks like in the Wilson program. Does it teach spelling rules, and reasons for the oddities of the English language the way Barton does? Thanks so much!

#12 *~Tina~*

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:21 PM

Here's a link to a group exclusively for homeschool families of struggling learners that has several Wilson users. It'd be a great place to pose any specific questions regarding Wilson.

http://groups.yahoo....HeartofReading/

Blessings,
Tina

#13 carmensmom

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 03:21 AM

I'm a elem reading teacher and I teach remedial reading to grades 1-3 using Wilson's Fundations curriculum--which has been adapted from the Wilson's Reading System (I use regular Wilson's for grades 4-5). We do 30 minutes 4 times a week and we've had great success--supported by both formal and informal assessments.
My 1-3 graders love Fundations--come running into the class each day ready to get to work. Each level of the curriculum comes with a DVD that demonstrates the learning targets of each unit so you can view each lesson before teaching it.
You can view samples of the Fundations curriculum at their website here:
http://www.fundations.com/sample.asp
Also, the regular Wilson's curriculum has a DVD series that teaches instruction for the 12 Wilson Steps. However, you have to purchase it separately.

Just my 2 cents--I don't have any experience with the other curriculum.

#14 customtutoring

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 04:12 PM

Hi Tina,
Thank you for taking the time to share your insights on the Wilson Reading System and the Barton Reading System. I just attended a seminar with Susan Barton and came away with a much better understanding of what Dyslexia is and is not.

I am trying to decide whether it would be worth my time and money to take a course in Orton-Gillingmham Training with the Rocky Mountain Dyslexia branch in Colorado. If I decide to go with the Barton Reading system, do you feel there would be a lot of overlap? What do you suggest?

Thanks,
Jennifer
Owner of Custom Tutoring

#15 *~Tina~*

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:28 PM

I think there may likely be "some" overlap, but I also think gaining some OG experience outside a Barton will give you a wider knowledge base to use with your students. While Barton is OG based, it has it's own style, just as with any other OG based program. I imagine the class you are considering might give you a good foundational and general understanding of the Orton-Gillingham methodology and once you have a basic foundation to build on, you'll have more flexibility and skill to bring to the table.

Blessings,
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
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#16 Brenda Peter

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:15 AM

Hi,

Is special training required to use Wilson?

Thank you!

Brenda

#17 Carolina3

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 09:31 AM

Hi Brenda,

I'm no expert but I believe that Wilson says that the tutoring should be done by a certified instructor. However, they do offer a set of training videos that I feel walk you through the process very well. You can also find one of the videos on Ebay (for much cheaper) which shows you exactly how to set up a lesson plan. It's certainly not scripted like Barton but it is a solid program.

#18 LizzyBee

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:09 AM

Tina,

Do you know what grade level Wilson works to? I know Barton goes to a 9th grade reading/spelling level, but I've never heard how far Wilson goes.

Thanks!

#19 *~Tina~*

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 11:30 AM

Hi,

Is special training required to use Wilson?

Thank you!

Brenda


Wilson believes so ;) I say it depends - depends on how much time and energy a parent is willing to invest. At minimum I highly recommend that you watch the Wilson Overview DVD's in their entirety so that you have a solid grasp of dyslexia and how the program works. From there you need to read the manual and follow-up with being consistent in implementing the program as it is intended.

Too often, parents like to "pick and choose" or "redesign" the programs and while I understand the tendency to do that, the reality is that it negates the efficacy of them as they've been studied and researched.

If a parent is not willing to do these things...then I'd recommend Barton instead. Susan is very blunt about the need to stick with Barton as designed, but she is also there to answer your questions and guide you along as you need it.


Tina,

Do you know what grade level Wilson works to? I know Barton goes to a 9th grade reading/spelling level, but I've never heard how far Wilson goes.

Thanks!


I have to be honest. I'm not sure how Barton defines 9th grade reading level. Generally, when a child learns to read well - meaning they are fluent and have sufficient comprehension, associating their reading level with a grade level is not as meaningful as it is in the earlier, elementary level years.

Upon completion of all 12 Steps Wilson takes a child to full reading ability. Minus the in-depth study of Latin and Greek roots that Barton provides.

Hope that helps.

#20 cat

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:43 PM

I have been using Barton with my two kids for 3 years....

While it is more expensive, I figure when I'm done with it, I can sell it, and get back some of what I spent on it.

The first year we did Barton, my kids had a tutor..... that cost a whole lot more than doing it myself.......

It is a wonderful program and has helped a lot.

I do wish that I lived in Texas where the have an awesome program thru the Shriners for dyslexia.... it is a free program and you have to be willing to commit to 2 years with them...... I wish other Shriners from other states also offered this as it would be a great help.

#21 Dobela

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:09 PM

I have been using Barton with my two kids for 3 years....

While it is more expensive, I figure when I'm done with it, I can sell it, and get back some of what I spent on it.

The first year we did Barton, my kids had a tutor..... that cost a whole lot more than doing it myself.......

It is a wonderful program and has helped a lot.

I do wish that I lived in Texas where the have an awesome program thru the Shriners for dyslexia.... it is a free program and you have to be willing to commit to 2 years with them...... I wish other Shriners from other states also offered this as it would be a great help.

Some do, you just have to find the Scottish Rite Clinics that provide it.

#22 cat

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 11:39 PM

maybe I'll try searching again.... thanks.

#23 Dobela

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 08:51 PM

maybe I'll try searching again.... thanks.

Cat, I am not part of the Masonic Lodge and don't know anyone directly connected with it. Friends of ours do though and contacted the local Masons for help. They arranged for her dd to go to the Dallas clinic and for the parents to receive the training and curriculum. Shriners, Masons, Scottish Rite are all parts of the same group and are interconnected.

#24 Trishawr

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:16 AM

I just found this site while looking for some information on the Wilson Program. I have tutored the Barton Program for 7 years now. I have not taught a child it was not successful with. It works best to be taught one-on-one (especially if a child is dealing with dyslexia), and you only move on when the child has mastered what you are presently doing. My "kids" have always enjoyed doing the computer games (but I only put them on them once every 2 or 3 lessons for about 10 minutes. I just use them for extra practice and have them read aloud to me the words they are seeing. There are fluency drills that I use for some students, esp. during levels 2 and 3, until they are reading smoothly - they don't all need to use them.

Repeatedly, I have parents who say to me, "My child never complains about coming to see you." The program has enough diversity and plenty of success, so that the kids only feel good about themselves and their progress.

Yes, it works best presented by a certified tutor. But, a parent can get that training by using the DVDs. You will not have the same success if you try to "pick and choose" what you teach. That is true of any Ortin-Gillingham based program (which both Barton and Wilson are). The skills build on each other and it is important to use the programs as directed - so use them right or hire a certified tutor to do it.

I highly recommend the Barton Reading/Spelling System.

Trisha Wright
Certified Dyslexia Testing Specialist and Tutor

#25 eslmama

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Barton is much more expensive because you get everything in a box - training, a script, homework assignments, etc. There is also the resale value of Barton on ebay and other venues. It does not cost as much to get started with Wilson, but you will need to purchase several items and the training provided in the deluxe kit is meant to be an introduction to training.
 
Susan Barton is very vague about her background. I do not know what multisensory language education she has. Please understand, I am not knocking her; I know she is well-loved on this board and I admire her as well :). I am merely stating a fact. She states that her program is influenced by Orton-Gillingham (which is like saying a movie is inspired by a true story, not based on it). So there are considerable differences between Barton and a true Orton-Gillingham Approach. Why does this matter? It may or may not to many people who are looking for help. However, for someone who can read cues beyond what the script says, you may feel the need to change the scope and sequence. If you are only trained in a rigid scope and sequence, then you are trained in a program. But Orton-Gillingham is an approach - a way to teach. Susan has Orton-GIllingham training but I don't know from where or how much. Barbara Wilson got her training as a special educator and at the MGH Language Disorders Unit. Her program reflects it. Susan Barton states that her program is not watered down OG, but in actuality it is. However, that doesn't mean that you can't read other books and watch other DVDs to complement Barton's level kits.
 
As I said, the fact that Barton is scripted makes it more user-friendly for people who do not have multisensory language education training. Wilson does not have a script. It supposes that the teacher/tutor seek training outside of the manual and DVDs. With no script, there is greater flexibility in the scope and sequence.
 
One thing I LOVE about Barton (about time, right) is that it is designed for a clinical setting; that is, tutor/student. Wilson works well in a clinical, group, or classroom setting. But it is not as accessible to people who are not teachers in the traditional sense. To get Wilson training, you must attend a workshop in Massachusetts or in a local school district. The IDA local branch here gives an express Wilson training in the summer and you get to work with dyslexic students who qualify for the program. It is less expensive for both teacher and student this way. However, if you call Wilson they know nothing about it. I only know about it from local IDA meetings and colleagues. Again, the training is not as accessible or non-classroom teachers. Even if you are a classroom teacher, the training in the school system is not as effective. More about this in my next paragraph.
 
Wilson is heavily branded. In a city where our mayor and the former schools chancellors were business people, Wilson has thrived. Barbara Wilson has made her product a household name. A result of that is that a great deal of the training is spent teaching you how to use the materials. It takes a lot of training before you really get to understand what drives this thing. This is where Susan Barton nails it. Her training and materials get right to the chase. This is why I still think it is worthwhile to do some additional training and research on your own. Get your hands on the reading lists from the Orton Academy or ALTA.
 
One thing I love about traditional OG is the multisensory learning notebook. Wilson has a student notebook included in its program and I feel like it is missing from Barton. I have a notebook template for students and as we learn something new, we add to the notebook. I make the letters big enough for them to trace with their fingers. Too many students lose cards and I have to keep making extra decks. Even if they don't have their notebooks, I print the pages on 3-hole punched paper and they can add it to the notebook later.
 
Traditional OG uses cards, but I find these get cumbersome after a while. I do rapid blending and I feel like I'm dealing black jack. So I made a pack of cards for myself and a few extra sets. But when we build words, we use tiles. Barton's tiles are much easier to move around. I don't like the colors, unfortunately - would have preferred red or pink for the vowels and a neutral color for the consonants. The colors of Wilson's tiles make more sense to me, but you have to work hard to pry them off the magnetic journal.
 
I like that Barton has the phonemic awareness piece in its first level. I also like the phonemic awareness warm-up exercises. Wilson weaves phonemic awareness into its program by teaching students to tap - which leads me to my next point.
 
I don't like Barton's vowel tapping - tapping twice for a single phoneme seems confusing to me. On the other hand, Wilson teaches tapping for each sound in a word and, later on, tapping for each syllable.
 
Wilson has resources for teaching handwriting, but they aren't incorporated into their lesson plan. If you are working with a non-reader or very beginning reader, chances are s/he needs to know how to form letters correctly. It could easily be added on to either program. Susan Barton suggests Handwriting Without Tears, which is a solid, well-known program. However, if you have older students, HWT can seem babyish. The Orton-Gillingham Approach incorporates handwriting into the lesson; that's part of what makes it multisensory. You shouldn't need to invest in another program to teach it.
 
Come to think of it, a lot of things that Wilson offers aren't in its lesson plan or instructor manual so it is up to you to figure out how to teach them. Barton does a better job of introducing sight words and incorporating them, same for the spell checker. The rules notebook is handy but it could be incorporated into the student notebook.
 
I think the concept of silent 'e' is taught much too late in Barton. If you want to change it, it is hard to alter the entire scope and sequence.

I like that Barton helps with sentence structure by presenting phrases.
 
Wilson has more practice materials.
 
The word cards in Wilson would be better if they were printed on cardstock and ready to be printed on something perforated. They are quite flimsy.
 
Susan Barton is very accessible. Her staff is friendly, but not very knowledgeable. It is nice that she gets on the phone and spends time with people but she shouldn't have to. Barbara Wilson is not accessible, but customer service can connect you to a real live literacy specialist, which is great.
 
Wilson's assessments are expensive and not very useful in many settings. It works in school systems that use it, but not for the general population. Plus, you have to teach everything, no matter what. The old OG adage is that we go as quickly as the students can but as slowly as they need to. You teach everything to make sure there are no gaps in learning. How much time you spend teaching it depends on the student. No lengthy, complicated WADE assessment needed.
I love that Barton goes into advanced concepts.
 
Wilson has readers for older students, which are great.
 
Barton is for all ages, which is why the scripted/rigid scope and sequence are problematic for me. There are certain things that I like to incorporate earlier with older students. Like silent 'e' with closed syllable. Also the Latin roots could be incorporated earlier for older students whose vocabularies are more advanced (regardless of whether or not they can read). There is a way to do this but then you will have to find your own word lists and controlled text to support a customized scope & sequence.
 
This is my first post. I hope I don't get kicked off the board for writing so much...lol.


#26 burleygirl

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 07:30 PM

Itsasmallworld - Thank you so much for your post. I just attended a training class for Barton Level I this past weekend. It was very helpful. They are offering Level II in October. The training class and materials are being offered at a good price. So I going so that I can help tutor others. The information you gave will help me as I work with my students.


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