I was going to start a poll, but there were too many options to include, so I thought I'd post like this.
For those who use/used Barton:
What age did you start?
What level(s) of Barton did you complete?
If you are still using the program, do you plan to complete all levels?
When you stopped Barton, what level would you say your child was reading at?
Do they enjoy reading?
What programs did you try before Barton and for how long?
Inquiring, as we are researching programs for youngest at the moment.
We started last summer, when ds was 11 yrs old/5th grade.
We are currently midway through level 3.
We definitely plan (at this point) to complete all levels.
We haven't stopped, but his reading level is.....I don't know. He can follow subtitles on most movies w/o us reading to him, at this point. He can read on his video games w/o being read to. He maybe could, but we haven't had him, read books on his own. He is functional, though, and can read, copy words in school, etc. He doesn't stumble over any words in the current level of Barton that we're on.
He definitely does not enjoy reading....yet. I have hope that maybe he will; he very much enjoys read-alouds/being read to, and he's insanely creative and makes up stories (and has from a very very very young age) so I hope once he has the ability, he'll have the enjoyment as well.
We tried a LOT before starting Barton. He was dx'ed with dyslexia at 7.5 yrs old, and we had to go wayyyy back to the beginning and start with Earobics software for phonemic awareness before we could even try letter sounds (we had, when he was dx'ed, been doing the pre-Explode the Code books off & on for 3 yrs, with zero progress/retention in all that time). We spent 6 months to a year on just the Earobics, mixed with a very basic use of All About Spelling just working on tapping the sounds/segmenting words and games like alphabet bingo/letter sound bingo. A full year just on phonemic awareness and some very basic letter sound work.
We used AAS mixed with Spalding/Writing Road to Reading (loosely, because I found it a royal pain) for a while...maybe another year? And just kept working on letter sounds, and letter sounds, and letter sounds.
We tried the IEW PAL program (I forget what it stands for), because it mixes sight words in and because he was so.very.bored. as a 10 yr old (9 or 10) just drilling letter sounds and decoding cvc words. He lacked motivation and so was getting frustrated and feeling more and more dumb. So even though it isn't the recommended approach, we tried that. And he actually was reading with it, and when he more or less got done-ish with it (it's kind of a blur now...) we just started reading. We started with the BOB books, and then leveled readers, and just....had him read. So that was all from about age 10 to 11. I think.
In that time frame, we'd been waiting on a repeat evaluation, which finally happened, when he was (at that time) able to read Level 2 readers but in short bits at a time. So, he could read Amelia Bedelia or Frog & Toad, but a few pages would max him out. We'd spent a year getting from "I know my letter sounds and how to blend them into a word..." to being able to do that, but it was still a big strain for him.
At his repeat evaluation, which was actually to see if he had autism or not, the evaluator (an autism specialist, not a reading or education specialist) said it was the worst dyslexia she'd seen in a kid his age. :sigh: She acknowledged and praised his progress, and acknowledged the fact we'd not lost any ground (he had, from the 1st eval to the 2nd, progressed the same number of years of progress as how many years had passed), but said we HAD to find something better to get him help.
At which point we finally started Barton. We were able to skip Level 1, and start with Level 2, which still took a few months. Then we started Level 3 and we're about half done. It was taking him about 2 weeks (5 days, but for various reasons that took place over a 2 wk time period) to finish each single lesson....now it's taking him half that, so I imagine we'll go faster through the rest of it and likely need to order Level 4 by September.
Some/maybe all of the programs we used are likely effective for a kid w/o dyslexia &/or a kid with only dyslexia and not all the other stuff that my DS has going on. But for all that my boy has going on....Barton has been, if not a literal life-saver, a very literal "literacy-saver."