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#1 MistyMountain

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:02 PM

I finally got my curriculum approved and ordered. Barton level 1 and 2 is on its way and I will be starting it with my 1st grader. I got videos to watch in an email in the mean time. Do you have any advice about using it? I have a feeling this will be a learning curve for both of us and may be a little frustrating at first.

Edited by MistyMountain, 17 August 2017 - 10:03 PM.


#2 ZaraBellesMom

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:08 PM

Try to stay awake while watching the videos. If you can do that, you'll be just fine. 😉Can you practice a lesson on your spouse. It was easy once I got the hang of it, but it took a couple of lessons to really be comfortable with it.
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#3 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 11:55 PM

Agree, try and stay awake during the videos. I love Barton but the videos are dull (for a reason but still...).

It helps to have the manual and the tiles in front of you to practice with as you watch the video but you could start watching now then practice once they come in. Hand gestures are important and will help a lot as the levels intensify. Make sure you learn them and your child learns them.

Practice with a partner if you can, at least for the first few lessons. It may seem deceptively easy after watching the video but in the moment you can get lost or accidentally miss a key component, at least until you are used to the system. The more comfortable and practiced you are, the easier it will be to go with the flow and adapt as needed. Plus, kids can smell a rookie a mile away. They need to believe you have a clue what you are doing. LOL

I suggest plan on keeping the lesson short for now. If your child realizes that lessons are not long they may be less likely to ball at doing them, plus this is a LOT for their brains. They can mentally wear out pretty quickly. Their brains are being forced to do something that is hard.

Keep a positive attitude if you can. Smile, make eye contact, be calm and reassuring and make sure to give them plenty of time to respond. Don't seem impatient and don't leap in if they don't immediately answer. They may need time to process and will need to come to trust that you will consistently give them that time.

Don't feel you have to complete a lesson in one sitting. Many kids cant. Sometimes it could take a week or more, maybe way more. Box checking won't work here. They need to master the material before moving on. Think of it as putting down the foundation. You don't want holes/cracks.

Maybe shoot for 20 minutes. Shorten that if they can't stay focused that long. Do your best to end on a high note.

Good luck.
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#4 MistyMountain

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 12:19 AM

You guys are right about the videos! I just started watching them and they are very dull and there are so many of them to watch. I am not sure who I can practice on.


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#5 scoutingmom

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 03:12 AM

I used a program to speed the videos up a bit

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#6 TheReader

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 07:46 AM

I practiced on my DH; he was only semi willing, but I made it clear that his job to help us help our child was to willingly be a fake student so I could be sure I was doing this right. After that he settled down ;) If you have a spouse, partner, friend, anyone else that also cares about your child, see if they'll let you make them your fake student to practice on. 

 

And I can't second enough the time aspect....we work until my son starts showing signs of "I'm getting fatigued, but not yet frustrated" and quit on a high note. That can be 15 mins or 30, depending on the day & what part of the lesson we're on (ex: he has dysgraphia too, so the writing days we get less done). We've taken anywhere from 4 days to 9 days to finish a lesson. Don't let that discourage you, if that's the case with your 1st grader. 


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#7 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 10:21 AM

You guys are right about the videos! I just started watching them and they are very dull and there are so many of them to watch. I am not sure who I can practice on.

Pick anyone that cares about your kids.  You could even Skype sessions if you needed to.  Practice.  It will seem awkward, you may feel terribly embarrassed, but it will help with presentation and really getting this process smoothed out. My mom was able to help me.  DH was not willing but if I hadn't had Mom I probably would have insisted DH participate.  With a NT person they should go through things pretty quickly.  It won't be like with a non NT little kid.

 

That first level here is what I did:

 

1.  Watch the videos all the way through, in short segments so I didn't fall asleep.   I would wake up early, grab a cup of hot tea, play the video on my lap top and listen using headsets.  I did that every morning for about 30 minutes each morning with the TM in front of me.

 

2.  I then went back through with my Mom twice a week practicing the lessons with the tiles and the TM.

 

3.  Once I thought I was ready I set up a space (unfortunately not well right at first but I'll get to that in a minute), and let DD know we would be starting a new program the next day that was designed specifically to help her read (she had been in school for several years and was very demoralized and distrusting at this point but this gave her some hope that she would eventually be able to read).

 

4.  I got up early and skimmed through the video for that one lesson again, then mentally walked myself through the TM to be sure I was ready.  I called DD over and we started.  Some days were smoother than others but I honestly had not really embraced the program yet, or the hand gestures.  It led to some rocky moments and not a lot of buy-in from my daughter.  I also realized that NOT using the hand gestures I was actually talking too much trying to explain things and would start babbling a bit.  It undermined DD's ability to focus on the sounds.  Info overload.  I started over, made the hand gestures mandatory and committed us to really working through the program.  It helped tremendously and both our attitudes and functionality improved significantly.

 

5.  Once I got used to the system I no longer needed the videos or someone to practice with but walking myself mentally through the material prior to each lesson was a huge help.

 

 

Things I recommend:

  • Set up a dedicated space that isn't used for anything else if you can possibly swing it.  Some people even use a ventilated closet.  Keep ALL Barton stuff in that one space.  The paper and pencil, dry erase board, etc that you might need further down the road should be dedicated just to Barton and stays in this space.  Make sure the location is pretty quiet and you can keep others from messing with everything.
  • Try out different times of the day but once you find something that works try to stick to that same time of day every day.  This is your dedicated Barton time that does not keep getting pushed back because other things come up (and because subconsciously you are both tired and don't want to do it).  My daughter did better if we did Barton early in the morning then she was allowed to go outside and swing for a bit to relax her brain.  
    Any time we pushed it to later she was less focused, grumpy, wanted to rush through, etc.
  • Get the tutor password from Barton if you haven't already so you will have access to the tutor support materials available on line (just go on the website and under tutors there should be some sort of request button or something).
  • As you move through the program you will eventually start working on sight words.  The system asks that you only work on 3 sight words at a time in a very specific fashion.  It tracks reading and spelling of these sight words separately.  A child does not move on until a sight word is mastered, but this can be very asynchronous.  I created a separate notebook for the sightwords and kept all the lists in there.  With DD, she ended up moving through the lists very quickly so she ended up a couple of levels ahead of where she was with her reading/spelling lessons.  DS was much slower so he was actually a level behind the level he was using for lessons.  Having those lists in one location I didn't have to keep flipping through notebooks filled with lessons to find the correct sight word list.  I kept their sight word checklists in there, too.
  • Eventually, if it isn't too costly, I would recommend getting the Spelling Success card games.  They are great for review, for using in place of a lesson when you are both too tired to tackle a full Barton lesson, great for keeping skills up during a hiatus or when you are traveling, and are great as a fun way to wrap up a lesson on a good note.
  • Possibly start a Barton journal.  Just a few notes after each session. Keep track of things that are going smoothly or roughly on a particular day.  It may help you see patterns of areas to work on or areas that are strengths you can tap into.
  • On days when your child is grumpy and frustrated, keep the lessons super short and try really hard not to panic or take it personally.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  You will have bad days and good days.  Hang in there through the bad days.
  • If you run into snags or have questions, there are many people here who can help and Barton has always responded when I needed help, too.  And if you need help setting up the notebook for Level 2, just ask.

Good luck and best wishes.  You will do fine.


Edited by OneStepAtATime, 18 August 2017 - 10:25 AM.

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#8 caedmyn

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 08:40 PM

FWIW I never practiced and they went fine (though we had been using a reading program before that which had some similarities to Barton so I already had some experience with things like touch and say and finger spelling.
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#9 MistyMountain

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:35 PM

Well it came and we used it about a week so far. She is taking a while to get the whole hand gesture thing and does not really like it. I had to explain many times to watch and what each gesture means. It is slow going so far and I needed all the extra practice so far. We have not even gotten through the 1st lesson yet. If this is hard and frustrating I guess she really needs it. Good thing she is at least kicking butt in math and picked up where we left off there despite a long break.
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#10 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:59 PM

FWIW, there are some suggestions (maybe in the back of the TM?) for what to do with resistant kids that don't like the hand gestures.  It might help you.  Also there is a support group.  I think you can access it through the Barton site somehow.



#11 OhElizabeth

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:23 AM

Have you tried doing multiple short sessions a day. That's what I did with my ds at that stage.
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#12 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 10:39 AM

Have you tried doing multiple short sessions a day. That's what I did with my ds at that stage.

Yes.  DD and DS both did better with short sessions, sometimes two a day, rather than one longer one.  We never really did more than two because they wanted to know they were done with Barton by a certain time each day (helped them to mentally unwind) but two short sessions with a physical run around break, a snack and some other less mentally taxing academic activity in between definitely helped.



#13 frogger

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 02:43 PM

Practice on a stuffed animal.  A real live adult won't respond any differently than you imagine them to.  :) Your child might respond differently though. :)

 


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#14 OhElizabeth

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 03:19 PM

I would have to practice on a LIVE animal for that to work. Actually, a live animal would be easier than teaching ds sometimes.  :lol:


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#15 frogger

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 06:47 PM

I can relate!
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#16 MistyMountain

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 07:48 PM

I would have to practice on a LIVE animal for that to work. Actually, a live animal would be easier than teaching ds sometimes. :lol:

I have been feeling like this after a lesson. Lol It has been seriously trying this past week with Barton. I have been thinking of those videos and the adult she is practicing on in those videos and how that is nothing like how dd responds at all.

This is trying my patience even more then I anticipated. It is rough going so far. She hates the hand gestures and making mistakes which she is doing a lot because of the hand gestures and it is hard to know what to do when they do not want to follow the directions of the gestures.

Edited by MistyMountain, 04 September 2017 - 07:51 PM.


#17 OhElizabeth

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 09:16 PM

You could take a week and work on behavior and calming strategies. You might need to use very short sessions with a timer. You might need to practice ahead strategies for what to do when she feels frustrated. You could identify WHY it's so hard for her to comply (doing guestures while spelling) and address the underlying deficits. She may have low working memory and need to work on it to be able to handle so many things at once.

 

You could also point out that if she continues and does NOT help you find strategies to get to where you two can work together with her having expected behavior, that she will have to go to a paid tutor, which result in no pizza, no christmas gifts, etc. etc. Like tell the truth, kwim? A tutor is astonishingly expensive and if she won't help you find ways that you can work successfully together, there will be consequences and loss of good things she's used to having.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 04 September 2017 - 09:17 PM.

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#18 Chanley

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:04 AM

As far as hand gestures, I always remind students that we are re-training their brain and the gestures help with that. Also, for some kids, we make a goal that we are going to get to a certain place in the lesson then stop for a game. 

 

Also, there are no mistakes when I tutor, we have two modes; try again and let's move on. Some kids get so upset when they fail again and again. I usually ask them if they can ride a bike. If they can ride a bike, I ask them if they could do it the first time they tried. The answer is obviously no, so I draw a parallel between riding a bike and getting the Barton procedures down. We just try again until we are ready to move on. It will come. 

 

I am going to advise that when you feel like your student is getting upset and frustrated, stop and play a game. Make this fun. That is not always easy, I had a student last week who wanted to cry through half the lesson. I am 100% certain this kid has used that tactic to get out of work with other people, he is terribly cute. I am impervious to cute unless you are a puppy.  

 

At level 1 and 2, I usually play a lot of alphabet go fish. Instead of using letter names, we use sounds. The kids love it, often it is easy for them to win and it helps me learn which letter sounds they cannot immediately recall. 

 

Another idea, is to get out of the house to do the lessons. Can you go to the library? My kids always behaved better in public and would not lose their cool as quickly out of the house. 


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#19 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 10:54 AM

I have been feeling like this after a lesson. Lol It has been seriously trying this past week with Barton. I have been thinking of those videos and the adult she is practicing on in those videos and how that is nothing like how dd responds at all.

This is trying my patience even more then I anticipated. It is rough going so far. She hates the hand gestures and making mistakes which she is doing a lot because of the hand gestures and it is hard to know what to do when they do not want to follow the directions of the gestures.

:grouphug:

 

Great suggestions up thread.  I only have a moment but I would suggest looking at the lesson and picking a very short, simple goal to achieve each day.  Explain to her what that goal is and that this is all you are going to try and achieve for the day.  Keep it simple.  Then try to incorporate a game to help achieve that goal.  

 

In all likelihood her brain is automatically going into fight or flight mode.  That makes it much harder to process what is expected of her.  It is going to take time to build trust.  If she senses she is failing your expectations that will make it even harder the next time.  Fight or flight will get triggered even more strongly.  

 

Maybe do a reset.  Give her a hug, be honest that this is new for you, too, and you are struggling a bit as well.  Tell her that each of you is going to get a reward after each lesson (and keep the lesson very, very short).  As soon as you have a success, make eye contact, smile, give a hug, cheer you both on, and end on a high note. Then do whatever "reward" seems appropriate.  Reading to her from a favorite book while you each sip from a favorite beverage.  Playing hide and seek with her for a bit then you gleaning 10 minutes to yourself.  Or maybe you share some M&Ms or some grapes or whatever works as a little reward.  Do the same thing the next day.

 

And try to determine exactly what is tripping her up about the hand gestures.  Are you moving too fast through the lesson?  Did you come on too strong at first and now she is feeling overwhelmed?  Is she struggling with remembering to link the hand gesture to the individual lesson requirements?  Could she have low processing speed/low working memory?  If the latter, then you may need to slow waaaaaaaayyyyyy down and keep segments VERY short until things become more automatic.  

 

FWIW, DD was super resistant to the hand gestures but she also has low processing speed and low working memory.  It was hard for her to keep things linked and straight in her head.  I got so frustrated and took it personally.   I felt like a failure.  I read about different ways to approach resistant teens (which could be applied to nearly any kid actually) and tried to figure out where the disconnect was.  We had to do a reset.  We took a break from Barton then started over, with VERY short sessions, focusing on slowly getting the hand gestures linked to the lesson requirements.  It was a tremendous help.  Now, those hand gestures are a great short cut for many things we do and keeps her from getting overwhelmed with too many words.


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#20 MistyMountain

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 08:53 PM

She is struggling to link the hand gesture to the individual lesson requirement. She also does not seem to even want to stay looking at me to see the hand gestures. She seems to have a hard time putting all the steps together. I know if I gave her instructions she would get it but I know the hand gestures do have a purpose. I think she probably does have low working memory but it has never been tested. I am not sure on the processing speed. For sure on the fine motor aspects of writing that they test but she does not stall and drag out and take forever to answer or attend like my child I know has a slow processing speed. Today went a little better. Maybe when she gets used to the gestures and they will be used for a while it will get a little better. It is good to hear other kids get very upset too.

Edited by MistyMountain, 05 September 2017 - 08:57 PM.

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#21 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 09:37 PM

She is struggling to link the hand gesture to the individual lesson requirement. She also does not seem to even want to stay looking at me to see the hand gestures. She seems to have a hard time putting all the steps together. I know if I gave her instructions she would get it but I know the hand gestures do have a purpose. I think she probably does have low working memory but it has never been tested. I am not sure on the processing speed. For sure on the fine motor aspects of writing that they test but she does not stall and drag out and take forever to answer or attend like my child I know has a slow processing speed. Today went a little better. Maybe when she gets used to the gestures and they will be used for a while it will get a little better. It is good to hear other kids get very upset too.

Well, the whole process can be frustrating for them at first.  And yes definitely DD definitely HATED those hand gestures when we first started.   She thought they were silly and stupid and not intuitive.  Once she finally got them down and it was automatic she loved them.  No more long explanations from Mom (which she also hated).  Now we have this great short cut.  

 

But when you first start with Level 1 it can take time to establish the gestures and the system.  Some kids breeze through.  Others need a lot more time and much shorter lessons before it starts really clicking.

 

Could she also have ADD?  I can't remember if you said...



#22 MistyMountain

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:30 PM

So things have settled down and we are now onto level 2 which she was excited about. She mostly got used to the process but still the hand gestures can trip her up. She seems to find level 2 even easier then level 1. We can only get a short lesson in each school day. I have a love hate relationship with it myself. The videos are so hard for me to watch and it seems so slow going. I wonder if it is good to wait so long to get to long vowel words. I do think it will be good for her though. I can see where some of it is going like some of the tricks or how you do not move quickly to sentences like mentioned in another thread.

#23 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:03 PM

I know it feels like you are going really slowly and there is so much to cover but she is having to rewrite her brain.  It takes time.  Rushing means she may end up having to repeat lessons later on (or maybe even a whole level) because things were not solid before she moved on.  Level 2 should move fairly quickly.  Level 3 is longer.  It will take more time.  Make sure she is solid on Level 2 before moving on.  Still, Level 3 usually doesn't take more than a few months.  In other words, she might get through Level 1-3 relatively quickly as long as you really make sure she is solid on each thing before moving on to the next.  (It takes a lot longer if you rush and then have to go back).

 

Level 4 is frequently the nightmare level that takes tremendous time and energy to get through (though not for every child).  You absolutely want to make sure that she is very solid on the first 3 levels before you hit Level 4.

 

And FWIW, DD didn't start this process until she was in 6th grade.  She was barely decoding Clifford books at that point.  By the end of Level 3 her reading was taking off.  By the end of level 5 the changes were astounding.  Years of standard reading instruction in school had been nearly useless.  Her progress was like that of a snail moving through cold molasses.  I was in such a bad state thinking my poor Middle Schooler still couldn't really read.  I kept thinking that Barton was SLOW.  We needed to CATCH UP.  I was wrong.  It was not a productive approach.  I had to readjust my time table, readjust my expectations, acknowledge and really internalize that this process was HARD and she could only do so much at a time.  I had to be patient, accept this is a process, and I had to move on her brain's time table, not mine.

 

DD is eternally grateful to Barton for giving her the ability to read and spell, but we both acknowledge it seemed incredibly slow at the time.  Considering she spent 7 years in brick and mortar and was barely decoding Clifford, then started Barton and a year and a half later was reading Divergent, it may have SEEMED slow, but in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn't so slow after all.  :)



#24 OhElizabeth

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:28 AM

I like the Barton videos and her slow methodical pace, but I don't know why since everyone else seems to hate them. I guess I take them as a communication of Zen, the demeanor and calm you're supposed to have.

 

Look, we're all intelligent women here, and of course doing CVC words with a kid who is very bright, etc. seems really grating. It's not answering our questions and it's BORING. That's fine to admit that to yourself. It's even fine to go ahead and buy all the levels and watch all the videos! That would answer your questions! But for me, as someone who's very bright kid has disabilities in EVERY AREA (math, reading, and writing), I tell myself one thing, over and over... EMBRACE THE PACE. 

 

I don't know, that works for me. Cuz you think Barton is slow? Math intervention is even slower, oy. Embrace the pace. Fall into it, say this is how it is, compel yourself to stay there, embrace it, put it on like a fur coat. And if you're needing diamonds and pearls and necklaces to keep your mind from going crazy, go take up a hobby, kwim? Because it's for the good of your kid to embrace the pace. You add more, go faster, bring in more, and you're very likely to overwhelm them and spoil the magical balance you've got going. For some things in Barton, sure I did that, but I already knew where the whole approach was going, and I still kept the pace and feel the same, even when I tweaked how I was presenting it. And I had a kid with extra disabilities who needed modification. 

 

So yeah, embrace the pace, that's my advice. Every time I get squirrelly, that's what I tell myself. Be methodical, be patient, lay foundations, tile by tile, brick by brick. Don't rush foundations. Focus on foundations till they're solid and second nature.


Edited by OhElizabeth, 22 October 2017 - 09:11 AM.

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#25 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

Maybe we've scared you off.  I hope not.  

 

Perhaps it would help to look at the big picture.  There are 10 levels of Barton.  Level 9 and 10 are for High School level.  This program is not just for basic reading remediation.  It carries a student up into the beginning of High School.  While you are only on Level 2, this program covers years of skills, not just the basics.  

 

Let's pace it out.  From my own experience and that of some others this seems to be a fairly common pace (but each child is different so each level may go much faster or much slower, depending on the level/child)...

 

Level 1 - 3   4 months to a year

Level 4        6 months to a year 

Level 5 - 6   6 months to a year

Level 7-8     6 months to a year

Level 9-10   6 months to a year

 

Worst case scenario based on the above your 1st grader would be doing High School level prep in 5 years.  Actually I don't necessarily recommend that but I wanted you to see that you have time.  If things go well you might need to slow down a bit before hitting Level 9 and 10 (if you choose to do those levels; not everyone does).

 

Right now the basic foundation of language (reading/writing/spelling) is not really there.  Pieces are missing, connections that should have been there were not made.  Barton is helping her build that foundation and make those connections but the early foundational parts are frequently the hardest to build.  They take the most effort.  Once that foundation is sound, the rest tends to go much more smoothly because there is something to build ON.  Does that make sense?  There will still be areas that your child may really snag on in later levels but it won't always be a slog.  Some areas may just click.  DD, for instance, dragged through Level 4 at a snails pace but whipped through Level 5 at breakneck speed.  It just clicked for her.  In the end, though, you are working with a 1st grader and you have TIME.  You really do.  Keep moving at a successful pace and keep the overall picture in mind.

 

Hang in there.  Best wishes.



#26 MistyMountain

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:06 PM

I do want to make sure she is solid before moving on and I am keeping level 1 around a little longer just in case. I will give the post tests but if she ends up not passing after a level should I really I do it all over again. I do know she needs the foundation and it really is better then having her read what she was not ready for. I know I do have time since she is in 1st but with how short a lesson she can tolerate it seems like the best I can hope for is a lesson every 6 months after level 3 so she still will not be reading for a while since they do the long vowel words in level 6. I hope a level will not take a year but I guess that could happen. This is a long way away but can you wait on level 9 and 10 if she was youngish when she gets there?

It hard to find time to watch the videos. With homeschooling 3 all who need some one on one time it takes a lot of time and we have extra curricular activities too. I do not have much time and it is hard to want to watch those dry videos when I finally have a moment. Lol. Videos are not my preferred way of learning material.

As much as I have mixed feelings at the same time I wish there was something very similar out there for math but for another child of mine. ;) Plus things have really settled down and lessons are going good now.

Edited by MistyMountain, 23 October 2017 - 08:37 PM.

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#27 Zinnia

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:22 PM

Those videos are absolutely painful.

I have 2 in Barton. My 3rd grader just moved to level 3 after a year. We did repeat level 2 after he didn't pass the post test, and I have seen big jumps. He hates Barton, is quick to frustration level, and he fights it about half the time, so we are not fast at it. He has low working memory, so he didn't realize we did level 2 twice. :) That was helpful, because the success of it going through twice was good for us both.

My first grader is in month 10 of level 1. I am seeing progress, though, so that's exciting.

But slow is the name of the game in our house.
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#28 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 10:02 PM

I do want to make sure she is solid before moving on and I am keeping level 1 around a little longer just in case. I will give the post tests but if she ends up not passing after a level should I really I do it all over again. I do know she needs the foundation and it really is better then having her read what she was not ready for. I know I do have time since she is in 1st but with how short a lesson she can tolerate it seems like the best I can hope for is a lesson every 6 months after level 3 so she still will not be reading for a while since they do the long vowel words in level 6. I hope a level will not take a year but I guess that could happen. This is a long way away but can you wait on level 9 and 10 if she was youngish when she gets there?

It hard to find time to watch the videos. With homeschooling 3 all who need some one on one time it takes a lot of time and we have extra curricular activities too. I do not have much time and it is hard to want to watch those dry videos when I finally have a moment. Lol. Videos are not my preferred way of learning material.

As much as I have mixed feelings at the same time I wish there was something very similar out there for math but for another child of mine. ;) Plus things have really settled down and lessons are going good now.

So glad that the lessons are going well.  I have some ideas for math but first, regarding Barton...

 

1.  If she does not pass a post test, the way they are structured it shows which areas she had issues with.  You only have to review those areas, not the entire level (unless she really failed everything, which is highly unlikely).  There are supports and extra words to run through to solidify weak spots.

 

2.  Long Vowels are not introduced in Level 6.  They are introduced in Level 4.  Also, Units and digraphs and other very useful reading skills are taught in Level 3.  I promise that your child does not have to wait until Level 6 to learn Long Vowel sounds.  And even by the end of Level 3 your child should be making some solid leaps in reading.

 

3.  Once you are fairly comfortable with Barton you really don't have to watch the videos.  By the middle of Level 2 I was only watching the videos sporadically.  I primarily would watch if I was reading through the TM and was having trouble visualizing whatever was being taught.  I stopped watching altogether after Level 4. Theoretically you won't need to watch the videos for every lesson, even with Level 2, if you can read through the TM and feel comfortable teaching from it.  The TM is designed for teaching right from the TM during the lesson so if you read through it, maybe practice a bit with a pretend kid in your head and you feel solid then don't even bother with the videos. 

 

4.  If you feel you still need the videos then maybe there are ways to tweak this process.  Right now, are you trying to watch the entire level at once?  I assume your daughter is not getting through an entire lesson every day, therefore maybe you could just watch the lesson you will be teaching (if reading the TM is not enough) perhaps over a couple of early mornings or after the kids are in bed.  Just that one lesson.  Only watch the next lesson when you are ready to teach the next lesson.

 

I will post about math in another post but it will probably be late tonight or sometime tomorrow.


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#29 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:40 PM

I do want to make sure she is solid before moving on and I am keeping level 1 around a little longer just in case. I will give the post tests but if she ends up not passing after a level should I really I do it all over again. I do know she needs the foundation and it really is better then having her read what she was not ready for. I know I do have time since she is in 1st but with how short a lesson she can tolerate it seems like the best I can hope for is a lesson every 6 months after level 3 so she still will not be reading for a while since they do the long vowel words in level 6. I hope a level will not take a year but I guess that could happen. This is a long way away but can you wait on level 9 and 10 if she was youngish when she gets there?

It hard to find time to watch the videos. With homeschooling 3 all who need some one on one time it takes a lot of time and we have extra curricular activities too. I do not have much time and it is hard to want to watch those dry videos when I finally have a moment. Lol. Videos are not my preferred way of learning material.

As much as I have mixed feelings at the same time I wish there was something very similar out there for math but for another child of mine. ;) Plus things have really settled down and lessons are going good now.

 

I was rereading this post and I wanted to address this specifically, if you don't mind.  Although I did post about this up thread I am uncertain if my post was entirely clear.  I think there may be a misconception underlying these sentences and if so I would like to clarify something (because when I started this system I didn't have the big picture I am thinking maybe you aren't clear on it either...?).

 

Barton really ISN'T just for some basic reading remediation that takes 10 levels to complete.  It really isn't.  This is a language arts curriculum for dyslexics that covers material all the way through to High School level prep.  For the first 4 levels it completely replaces all other language arts.  After Level 4 Susan Barton encourages adding in a formal writing program to use alongside it but it IS a Language arts program, not just basic reading remediation.  

 

Every level will add pieces to reading/writing/spelling just like a child would get in a brick and mortar school.  The difference is that this one is specifically designed for dyslexic students.  A 1st grader in brick and mortar would not be expected to cram in 10 grade levels of language arts instruction in just a year or two.  Neither would a dyslexic child going through Barton.  Barton just goes back further than a normal Language arts program to fill in steps that are normally sort of intuited with very little instruction for an NT child.  It then continues Language arts instruction through elementary/middle/early high school level with more detail, not making so many leaps of knowledge as a standard LA program but instead taking things in smaller pieces while building up the layers of learning with more detail and practice and using a multi-sensory approach because most dyslexics seem to need that extra layering.    

 

If your child gets through Level 1-3 in a year, your child should be reading pretty well at the end of that year.  At the end of Level 4 your child will be reading even more advanced material.  If it takes a year to get through Level 4, that really isn't a bad thing.  She will have completed Level 4 by the end of 2nd grade.  Getting through Level 4 will give your child a large array of reading skill sets.  She should be able to decode a SIGNIFICANT amount of words by then.  And one of the things that really made a HUGE difference in my kids' ability to decode was the syllable division lessons in Level 4.  I had always assumed the biggest issue was associating the correct sounds with the letters.  Actually the inability to break up the words efficiently into the syllables and then correctly reassemble them was also a huge deficit.  Level 4 addresses that skill set along with the long vowel sounds (among other critical reading skills) so at the end of Level 4 there should be an exponential leap in reading ability.

 

Level 5 usually goes way faster than Level 4 so she might finish 5 and 6 in a year or even sooner.  That means she could be starting Level 7 around 4th grade.  At that point she would probably be reading above grade level for pleasure reading even if writing/spelling/comprehension of fact text might lag a bit behind (some children need more time to solidify writing/spelling/reading comprehension of fact based text).   DD was reading at or above grade level by the time she finished Level 5 and she started the whole program in 6th grade.

 

In other words, please don't fear that your child will not be able to read anything but basic CVC words until well into Level 7 or 8.  Unless they have profound comorbid issues that are not being addressed (or cannot effectively be addressed) you should see significant changes in your child's ability to read by the end of Level 3 and see additional leaps of ability with every level.  

 

Right now you only have the first two levels.  They are the most basic, cover the just the foundation.  Those building blocks are frequently the missing pieces that keep a dyslexic from learning to read in the first place so while they are very, very basic they are also frequently absolutely critical.  But please don't judge the rest of the program based on what you see in those two levels.  Level 3 is where the meat of the program really begins.  The other levels above Level 3 cover even more advanced skill sets.  Every level is a leap up to more advanced skills so every level gives your child an exponential gain in ability. 

 

Pacing is a guess, though.  I will be honest, some kids need a lot longer per level than others.  Some breeze through Level 1-4 in a year or less.  Others need 3 years or more just to get through those first 4 levels.  And most fall somewhere in between.  Basically, though, I wanted to make sure you were understanding that whatever pace your child successfully manages, this is a language arts curriculum for elementary and middle school plus some High School level prep.  Your child really, really does have time to move through this program.

 

Best wishes.


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#30 MistyMountain

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:38 PM

Ok that does sound a lot better. Level 6 is silent E words. Do they have words like bake and time in earlier levels too and it is solidified there or are they introduced there first? I thought you were not suppose to do any outside reading until at least level 6 and in a FAQ it mentions sticking to their readers until level 8 which I think is a bit much. I see in research though that kids made big gains in grade level though so why wait so long to have them read.
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#31 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 07:38 PM

Ok that does sound a lot better. Level 6 is silent E words. Do they have words like bake and time in earlier levels too and it is solidified there or are they introduced there first? I thought you were not suppose to do any outside reading until at least level 6 and in a FAQ it mentions sticking to their readers until level 8 which I think is a bit much. I see in research though that kids made big gains in grade level though so why wait so long to have them read.

They encourage a child not to be FORCED to do any outside reading until after Level 4, but if your child is interested and picks up a book TO READ SILENTLY then let them.  The main thing is not to make them do outside out loud reading before they complete Level 4.  After that, you can incorporate more outside SILENT reading as an assignment but you are encouraged to use their readers or equivalent readers for out loud reading practice.  At least that is how it used to be.  Absolutely, though, if your child picks up a book and wants to read it silently then let them, especially once they have made it through Level 4.  

 

When a child is reading out loud they are having to decode each and every word.  You don't want them guessing.  You want them practicing the decoding and fluency skills they are learning in Barton.  Silent reading, especially once they have completed Level 4, is not as hard for most kids since they can glean meaning from the overall passage and being able to decode a lot of the words correctly.  

 

FWIW, when DD was halfway through Level 3, Lecka and some others of us on the LC board were conversing and she pointed out that the book Divergent actually had a lot of decodable words that were not as challenging as other books for the same age/reading level.  I checked it out and discovered Lecka was right.  I bought Divergent and gave it to DD for Christmas.  There was a time when getting a multi-chapter, no pictures, long book would have reduced her to tears.  That Christmas was so special.  DD opened the present and immediately curled up in a chair to start reading.  That had NEVER happened before.  And miracle of miracles, she was able to read the entire book.  If I had asked her to read every word out loud could she?  No.  Not yet.  But she had reached a point where she could accurately decode enough words with fluency that she was able to read the book and understand what she was reading.  It was an incredibly special moment for me and my family.  It also gave DD a HUGE boost of confidence.

 

As for silent E, I don't recall if it is in the reading portion of Level 4 and 5 but I know that a lot of kids learn to read words before they learn how to spell them accurately.  Sometimes words are introduced in the reading portion before they are explicitly taught to decode and spell the word.  If I recall correctly those more advanced words incorporated in the reading passages are there because they are relatively easy to decode within the context of the story and the rest of the passage is words that have already been explicitly taught so it is not an overwhelming number of new words they have not yet been given instruction on.  I think silent e words were some of the words used that way.  Does that make sense?



#32 frogger

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:45 AM

They have a few silent E words in the sight words but the whole silent E concept is introduced in Level 6. I would not worry about rushing to get her reading outside the program. My son made a giant leap after levels 4 and 6. You see they aren't memorizing every word so they can decode words they've never seen before. This means you may feel stuck at a grade one reading level for years, which feels frightening but it's ok because you might skip grades 2,3, and 4 and find your child reading at a 5th grade level for awhile. I hope that makes sense. I will add though that having a good vocab makes a big difference. My children were decoding words they had heard before and understood. I have tutored a child who had a very small vocabulary. He did not make the same giant leaps despite being older. So I advise reading aloud, poetry, audio books etc to help with expanding their vocabulary.
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#33 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:45 AM

They have a few silent E words in the sight words but the whole silent E concept is introduced in Level 6. I would not worry about rushing to get her reading outside the program. My son made a giant leap after levels 4 and 6. You see they aren't memorizing every word so they can decode words they've never seen before. This means you may feel stuck at a grade one reading level for years, which feels frightening but it's ok because you might skip grades 2,3, and 4 and find your child reading at a 5th grade level for awhile. I hope that makes sense. I will add though that having a good vocab makes a big difference. My children were decoding words they had heard before and understood. I have tutored a child who had a very small vocabulary. He did not make the same giant leaps despite being older. So I advise reading aloud, poetry, audio books etc to help with expanding their vocabulary.

This is an EXCELLENT point. Exposure to rich vocabulary seems critical for big gains.  Audio books, read alouds, documentaries, etc. Make those a priority.  Let your child hear rich language, concepts, vocabulary, grammar while you work on the actually visual reading decoding/fluency skills separately. 

 

DS does well with auditory input so we got him a Kindle with a wireless headset.  He loved working on lego sets or playing with playdough or doing science experiments or just walking around in the backyard playing with our animals while he listened to books on his Kindle.  DD liked me reading to her (she never did well with audio books) and watching documentaries in areas of interest.  The exposure to the words helped tremendously as they moved through Barton.

 

Another thing to think about is reading in general.  Most people read silently for the bulk of their reading needs.  When reading silently people usually do not read every single word.  They read most words but not all of them.  They don't need to decode every single word on the page to understand the passage. They just need to be able to accurately decode most of them and the rest gets filled in from context. 

 

One of the things that can trip up a dyslexic is that they skip over the connecting words AND they have to put tremendous time and effort into decoding nouns and verbs (which are frequently misread) so they miss key important pieces and fatigue rapidly.  By the end of the page they may not be able to decode anything accurately because they are so fatigued.  And without the connecting words key pieces get missed.  They may not even register they exist.  Pronouns, articles, etc.  Without those, the meaning of the sentence can change dramatically.  Then when they struggle to decode nouns and verbs they may only accurately decode a few words in an entire page.  Comprehension can be really poor. 

 

Every set of words they learn to decode smoothly adds to the overall total per page of words they can understand, including rapidly recognizing those connecting words.  If you are only accurately decoding 15% of a page, comprehension may be horrible, especially if decoding is labored because of a lack of fluency.  After the next lesson in Barton the child can now decode another type of word and with fluency.  That opens up a whole new group of words and adds to the total percentage.  It also reduces the effort the child is having to put forth to read the page.  Then another lesson is mastered.  Then another.  And another.  They finish the level.  Now the child is accurately decoding with fluency 70% of the words on the page and knows to pay attention to those connecting words.  Comprehension goes up significantly.

 

Even though that last 30% may be harder to master, may not even be introduced until a much later level, they now have enough information from the words they CAN decode accurately to fill in the blanks for the rest.  Also, they have gained enough strategies in syllable division and separating out the pieces of a word they can probably still make a fairly accurate guess at the remaining words.  This is especially true if they are being exposed to rich literature and other resources for vocabulary/grammar through auditory sources.  Plus, they are no longer having to work to the point of utter brain exhaustion to decode every single word laboriously.  Much of what they are reading is finally a smooth, automatic process.  Leaves more brain power for comprehension of the passage as a whole.

 

In other words, every lesson, every level gives them an exponentially larger base of words they can read, which exponentially increases their ability to comprehend passages they are reading  as well (as long as there is no comorbid issue tripping up reading comprehension) and makes reading a more pleasant task. 

 

The majority of the word types in the English language are covered in the first 5 levels.  The others are certainly very, very helpful, but if you were to break down most passages in a book or textbook the majority of the words on those pages would be covered by the end of Level 5 and a significant portion are covered by the end of Level 4.



#34 MistyMountain

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 09:46 PM

I have been having her listen to audiobooks. We also do read alouds every nights. We used to watch a lot of documentaries but not lately. Maybe I should have her watch some while I am working with her siblings. She does have a good vocabulary. It is funny but I am noticing that read to yourself silently first thing works well for her so maybe she will want to eventually do some reading once she can.
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#35 Jenn in CA

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:29 PM

OP, your experience sounds a lot like my dd's. She started reading pretty fluently at the end of 3rd grade. And we were only at level 4! Somehow she got the idea, even before being formally taught silent E's, vowel teams, etc. 

 

Re: hand signs, etc. sometimes kids don't like things because they're HARD for them... which means they need them. So hang in there.

 

I do not insist on mastery. I'm finding that exposure has been more valuable than mastery. She needs to hear things soooo many times, and I can't get frustrated about that. Insisting on mastery seems to make it worse. Better to tell her the answer (or use "guided discovery" to the best of my ability), and move on.  We do a lot of extra practice. Barton doesn't have enough for her. But as long as she's about 80-85% accurate, we move on.



#36 caedmyn

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 02:08 PM

I'm doing Barton with a 1st grader too.  I want to rip my hair out most days.  He's slow, he uncooperative, and he's forgetful.  We don't do very much in a day.  I don't know how we'll get through level 4.  He has a hard time remembering/keeping straight the 4 rules introduced in level 3.  I can see it taking years to get through level 4.  We did 1, 2, and part of 3 last year, and I was hoping we'd finish up 3 and get through 4 this year, but that's not going to happen.

 

Susan Barton recommends not letting them do any other reading until they're done with level 4, because it encourages guessing.  I guess it depends on the kid to some extent.  My 8 YO would sometimes pick up a book outside of Barton, but he'd give up quickly.  I didn't want to discourage him and he did it so rarely that it didn't seem to affect his Barton reading (and he already guessed a ton anyway due to ADHD).  I had to keep my 11 YO from reading while we went through level 4 because the habit of guessing was so ingrained that she would just guess at words even though she now had the tools to figure them out.  She still guesses, but now if I stop her she can almost always figure out the correct pronunciation quickly.  My 7 YO is a different story.  If he reads ANYTHING, including random words on a sign or something, it seems to confuse him and then he starts doing weird stuff like spelling the word "a" as "ay" and reading the vowels as long sounds inside of short which is all he's been taught so far.



#37 Chanley

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 11:12 AM

I think Susan recommends not asking them to do any outside reading until after level 4. My son started picking up books to read before we were finished with level 4. When I emailed Susan she advised me to just let him do it, if he was enjoying books then let him enjoy them. At that point they were mostly the DK style encyclopedia type books that have a lot of pictures, so I have no idea how much reading he was doing. But it was a great joy to me to walk into his bedroom and find him behind the covers of a book at bedtime. I did not say anything about it to him. We just carried on as usual.