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Dyslexia... stick with AAR/S or Barton?


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So, my 8 year old DD has been struggling with reading from day 1. I started her in AAR pre-1 in Kindergarten, and she is in 2nd grade now (just finishing up) and still stuck in AAR 1 (quick backstory: I progressed her through AAR 1 onto last year, without seeing mastery... she could do the lesson on the day, but it wasn't sticking... so we went BACK to level 1 mid year this year... she is struggling through it and we are about halfway through level 1) I did start AAS with her, trying for some reinforcement, and we are about 10 lessons in. Anyway, we've been working on AAR for 3 solid years now, just waiting for it to "click"

 

A few weeks back I started looking into dyslexia markers and was seeing a lot of signs, so we had her evaluated at a tutoring place, we just got the results today and while they can't officially diagnose she had some concerning scores.  I have copies of 2 of the tests (GORT and CTOPP) and while I'm not 100% sure how to read them (she just explained them to me) she has so/so phonological awareness, great phonological memory and very poor rapid naming,  basically she really struggles with fluency, rate and accuracy.  None of this is a surprise to me, exactly what I was seeing... but I guess I'm a bit shocked with how severe it seems (she scores in the 2% oral reading and would be labeled "very poor" reader) reading level K.  She gets how to spell (well at least the why of it where we are at in AAR and AAS) but transferring that to actually reading is just not happening.    

 

 

Sorry this is long, I'm mulling over what to do next. The center that evaluated her suggested (obviously) we do their Barton tutoring program... but right now I just cannot do $500 a month. I'm able to get 2 afternoons a week for just her and I to go down to the library and do "tutoring" and I'm thinking I will give that a solid try before I figure out a way to pay for a tutor. I'm not sure I should stay with All About Reading/ Spelling, which I do like, and it is orton-gillingham based and good for dyslexic students or move on to Barton, which is an o-g program written FOR dyslexic students. Maybe she just needs something a bit heavier?  I am tempted by the "all in one" aspect of Barton (I'm kinda struggling with fitting the AAR, AAS, readers, supplemental games etc all together into one program.)

 

Can anyone weigh in on switching from AAR to Barton?  Or any other ideas/suggestions/encouragement? I'm feeling really defeated, confused and discouraged right now  :sad:

 

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Disclaimer: I tried AAS with my dyslexic daughter before AAR was available, so I haven't seen AAR.

 

We got absolutely nowhere with AAS. We ended up doing LiPS to gets dd's phonemic awareness to a point that she could start Barton, then switched to Barton. It's wonderful. Effective and easy to use.  It is hard work, though. Any reading program is going to be hard for a dyslexic student, but hey, if you're going to have tears, you at least want something that works!  DD loves reading now and she's reading a little above grade level.  She's almost 13.

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Our kids are a bit different so I can't guarantee that a switch would help.  What I can say is that DD13 did pretty poorly with trying to learn to read and spell all the way through 5th grade.  So did DS10, honestly, although he was doing much better than DD until 2nd grade.  Regular tutors didn't help.  The school wasn't helping.  And the two specialized tutors, including one specifically trained to tutor dyslexic children, certainly didn't help.  Things didn't actually turn around until we began using Barton.  Only I am tutoring her myself, as well as my son, instead of hiring a professional tutor.  

 

Honestly, I don't think I would do it any differently.  It has worked better this way and isn't nearly as costly.  Might you consider doing Barton yourself?  There are training DVD's with each level and the manual is very clearly laid out.  Also, there are great suggestions for what to do if your child is struggling in a particular area and there are lots of options for additional practice and reinforcement.

 

The first two levels are $250 each, and they are really short compared to the other levels, which are $300 a piece.  However, in my honest opinion, the first two levels are critical for success with this program.  I realize that adds up, especially since the system includes 10 levels.  However, the later levels usually take months or even a year or more to complete (depending on the child and the level) so you won't have to buy all the levels at once.  Something to factor in is the resale value is quite high.  And you can also use the system to tutor other students for additional money if you were interested.  That could pay for levels, too.  

 

I really recommend doing it yourself to anyone who has the time and patience.  A huge benefit of doing it yourself is that you can keep the sessions shorter so your child doesn't burn out (or you, either) but can do it 4-5 days a week.  The kids did so much better with shorter sessions done every day, than just 2 one hour sessions twice a week with a tutor.  And you can go at the pace of your child without sweating out the cost of each tutoring session.  If your child needs additional review in a level it doesn't cost one thin dime more.  Also, if your child is sick or just out of sorts that day, you can either just play some reinforcing games or ditch Barton for the day without having to worry about rescheduling.  Another thing I love is finally seeing, day to day, the progress my child is making and understanding WHY they are making progress.  We celebrate the successes together as well as finding better ways to tackle the areas where they struggle.

 

To do Barton you and she would need to pass the tutor/student screenings but they are free, pretty easy to administer, accessible to anyone through the website and don't take very long.  Just make certain you are both well rested and cannot be interrupted.  Do it somewhere that there are no distractions, either.  Link is below.  Even if you choose to go through the tutoring center with Barton make certain that they administer the screening.  If your child doesn't pass the screening then something like LiPS may be the first step before tackling Barton.  Pushing through into Barton if they aren't ready could prove to be futile and extremely demoralizing (and expensive).

 

http://www.bartonreading.com/tutors.html#screen

 

 

You might also look at a couple of old threads regarding Barton.  If I can find them I will link them.

 

:grouphug:   Huge hugs and best wishes.  Many on this board have been where you are.  You are not alone.  

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O.k. here is one thread that started out talking about LiPS, which, as LizzyBee mentioned upthread is sometimes necessary before starting a program like Barton.  This thread does then talk some about Barton so you might glean some useful info from it.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/494226-lips-by-lindamood/page-2?hl=lips

 

I will look for others before I start breakfast.  

 

Edited to add more threads that might help:

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/509979-barton-reading-and-grade-level-of-reading/?hl=barton&do=findComment&comment=5570055

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/501404-need-help-choosing-reading-program-14-yo-dyslexic/?hl=barton&do=findComment&comment=5440717

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LettucePatch, obviously you're going to need to do the Barton pre-test first to see if she's even ready for Barton.  She may need LIPS first.  Thing is, I don't see how your twice a week at the library thing gets her where she needs to be.  You only work in short sessions.  What you want to think of is how you can fit in 4 *short sessions* during the day.  I see that you have a 5 and a 2 yo.  Do they have a mandatory quiet time?  Do they nap?  My ds stopped napping at 2, so I know how hard that is to get some peace to work with the other dc.  You're going to have to think LOGISTICS.  You could get in a session with dd 8 after supper if you have someone there to watch the littles.  That's one session daily.  They could have a morning Mr. Rogers/Calliou time for a 1/2 hour, giving you a 2nd session.  After lunch they could have nap/quiet time, giving you a longer session.  That would be 2 short sessions and one long session just by structuring.

 

At least that's how I do things.  I think frequent, short sessions like that would get you farther than two long sessions a week.  The brain responds better and makes more connection and has more time to process it.  The same is true in athletics.  The coach would rather have you practice daily for a short session rather than having infrequent, long practices.

 

I agree to ditch AAR and stop holding onto it.  My ds couldn't handle AAR pre.  It's amazingly fun, but he just wasn't there.  We're using LIPS instead.  The only thing that matters is results.

 

Btw, have you done any metronome work?  Did they testing working memory or do any IQ testing as well?  You might try Heathermomster's free metronome homework protocol.  When your dc is able to do the instructions as Heather describes, then start adding in digit spans using the auditory memory workbook.  ($17 on amazon?)  Reading requires lots of working memory to hold all those sounds in their brain, so anything you can do to improve their working memory can help.  There's also the game A Fistful of Coins.  Don't assume there's *only* dyslexia or a phonological problem, kwim?  

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I am another who tried AAS (before AAR was released) with my son, and it was just not enough to meet his needs.  I love it, though. It is just not able to meet the needs of every single student imo.  

 

If you can afford Barton -- you certainly can work with her, the DVDs are really good I think.

 

If there is a mental obstacle to trying Barton, there doesn't need to be.  It is just a reading program, it doesn't have to *mean* anything that she uses it and not AAR.  

 

Otoh there were people on the AAS forums who were successful in adapting AAS for their students.  My son hit too much of a road block with consonant blends.  Very quickly there were words with consonant blends at the beginnings and ends of words, and with 3 consonants in a row (like str-) and it was just extremely difficult for me to modify around that.  

 

But there are people that it does work out for.  

 

There is a possible negative I had not realized.  My son had a good attitude for a while, he was willing to try and make an effort.  After he felt like he wasn't good at it, he had a lot harder time and i had a lot harder time.  So I think you need to get something she can have success with as soon as possible.  

 

For my son -- I have not had too much trouble with him comparing himself to others.  It is more -- repeatedly not being able to get the right answer.  So if you see that happening -- it is playing with fire imo.  If she can get answers right but it is slow progress -- that is not the same.  If you are basically going back to the beginning after she has already worked on the same program ----- sometimes just switching to any different program can be better for a child.  

 

But my son is particular this way, I don't think all kids are.  It is just something I always say to look out for, b/c I could have made things so much easier if I had been more aware.  

 

My son learned to blend CVC words with AAS, though.  It was great for that for him (in conjunction with speech therapy).  It just moved too fast after that.  I still used some lessons for practice later, too, and I still used the letter tiles and white board and dry erase markers.  I do love the letter tiles from AAS.  

 

But he needed so much more on consonant blends, and there was not enough practice for him, he just needed more.  I think it is very hard for one program to provide the right amount of practice for everyone, when some people need a medium amount of practice and rate of new material, and others need a larger amount of practice and slower rate of new material.  

 

 

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Lecka, I think you've just sold me on Barton.  I hadn't thought through it that way (we're still at the LIPS stage), but you're right that's totally where my ds is.  And yes, we saw that with AAR pre.  It was so fun, so charming, but it would just take too many mental leaps all at once.  Some kids just need one teeny tiny step at a time, and it was too hard to make that happen with AAR pre.  It makes sense that the regular levels would do the same thing.  It's just a different audience.  Same thing with the math.  He is bright, but he just needs everything in teeny tiny steps that lets it come.  It is SO hard to reign in your horses and teach this way and embrace the pace.  You just want to rocket off!!!  It's why I try never to look ahead in our Ronit Bird stuff, because if I did I would die and go crazy.  I just read the page and we do it.  Then all that extra energy has to go to something else.

 

The really interesting question is when we should switch over to multiple sessions a day.  So far we just do 1, but he's 5.5 and considered K4.  I guess for K5 as he turns 6 that would be ok.  Definitely by 8, mercy.  With my dd I used multiple short sessions a day for learning to read.  It wasn't gelling otherwise.  They're sorta different birds though.  With him you sort of rely on his good graces to want to be there and want to work with you.

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I agree with Lecka that some kids can get demoralized when they go over something using the same methods several times over the course of days, weeks, months and still struggle.  Then they start thinking they really can't do it and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way.  Switching may boost both of you, if you can find a program that will work better, even a tiny bit better.

 

And I agree with OhE that you may be dealing with more than just dyslexia but you can't really know for sure about all the other potential issues (as well as possible hidden strengths) without a thorough evaluation.  Most people here recommend getting an eye exam through a Developmental optometrist since there can be underlying issues with vision that do not show up in a normal vision screening plus evaluations through a neuropsychologist to determine the details of strengths and weaknesses, etc.  There are others but those two are a good starting point.  

 

The eye exam would be the easy one to just go and do, honestly.  DS10 has heterophoria but we didn't know it until this year.  He passed every eye exam with flying colors.  He has 20/15+ vision.  But he also has a developmental eye problem that has caused a lot of his issues with reading.  There are several that can trip a child (or adult) up that do not show up in normal vision screenings and would be difficult to tweak out by a layman, even a parent.  I knew nothing about any of them, and DS never seemed to have any vision issues to cause me to question his vision screenings, until I heard about them on this board.  It was a real eye opener to get that more detailed screening and get another important piece of the puzzle.

 

 

Edited to add that since you did get a sort of an eval through the tutoring place, you might not need more than that with regards to evaluations of that nature.  If they were only really screening for dyslexia, though, that won't give you the full picture regarding all the possible strengths and weaknesses.  And I would definitely look at a developmental eye exam.

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My 8 yo, who was totally stuck at AAS/AAR 1, has been able to work through Barton level 4 lesson 7 since last September. She has gone from non-reading (might be able to get a cvc work correct one day, but not another) to reading multisyllable words with accuracy.

 

We work with Barton at home for about 30 minutes a day- 4 days per week. We also add on reading with Barton's books and Spelling Success for a total time of about 45 minutes of Reading/Spelling/writing work per day. With this schedule, she went from poor reading at K level to almost grade level reading in 9 months.

 

Susan Barton served as our resource for proof of a disability so that we were able to access Learning Ally. We used a discount code from homeschoolbuyersco-op.org for Learning Ally,  and Learning Ally has helped make my dyslexic children become much more  independent in their schoolwork.

 

 

 

I suggest you follow up with the screening and get a full evaluation. We went through Scottish Rite since it was available for us. Cost was free other than the cost of an overnight hotel room. In addition to being formally identified as dyslexic ( the actual DSM codes is Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in reading and SLD-written expression), they both also were formally identified as SLD-mathematics (those pesky math facts really slowed down their ability to complete the math portion of their testing). One child was also ID as ADHD-hyperactive ( not a shock ) and another as Dysgraphia (which falls under a  DSM code for Developmental Coordination Disorder).

 

Whew! That sounds like a lot. However, they are both the sweet, wonderful kids that they were before this process. They just now know that their difficulties in certain aspects of their lives because of a  specific neurological difference in their brain. Both were starting to feel "stupid" since they struggled with reading, but now know that they both have high normal IQs. Formal identification has relieved a lot of building anxiety in the kids. It has also helped me identify specific accommodations that are documented as appropriate for each child. Things like audiobooks, typing, and Dragon Naturally Speaking.

 

One more thing to consider, dyslexia is hereditary. So the initial cost of Barton might pay off if your other children need an O-G program. I have 3 out of 4 kids who are dyslexic.

 

Best of luck!

 

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Our neuropsychologist said "IF" you are seeing progress with a program with a dyslexic, continue. If you have been doing the same thing day after day with no progress. Re-evaluate and move on. We were seeing progress with AAR and AAS but it was slow. He recommended we add another element. We chose Read Write Type and we are seeing steady progress now.

 

Sounds like your system currently isn't working. If I had to do it all over knowing what I know now, I'd just start with Barton!

 

Best wishes!

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Oh, ladies what wonderful encouragement to wake up to and read (with a huge cup of coffee... not sure if snark is in here though :laugh: ) thank you all!

 

Ok to answer some questions...

Yes I am planning on tutoring her to begin with, if that doesn't work then I will look into (paying for) a tutor.  I have a fair amount of contacts who have used Barton through tutors and another friend who is a barton tutor, she has offered to train me in any way that I want.

Right now my plan is to tutor her away from the house (library) 2 times a week for about 45m a sesson (we will be gone 1 hour total)... BUT also keep up my scheduled language arts time in our daily school schedule.  So she would get shorter (possibly distracted) 30-45 min lessons daily at home, and then twice a week focused lessons, at the library.  Do you think this would be a good schedule????  I can re-work it all too... my kids are (for the most part) pretty good/mellow, do have a rest time (nap for the baby) and my mom lives 7 doors down our street and is MORE than willing to help in any way (she is going to watch the other kids those 2 days a week)

In my head I'm thinking of starting Barton, really devoting time to work on this... and if I'm not seeing progress to look into getting more/different testing.  This is just a start.

Regarding starting Barton, I will do the pre-test for sure, but the tutoring place she was evaluated at did a pre-test and said she could start straight in level 1, which was encouraging to me.

 

 

I think you all hit on my issues with AAR/S.  It is a WONDERFUL program, I really do love it, and plan to keep on it for my other kids (for now), but yes it doesn't seem to be the best fit for her.  I just have a gut feeling she just needs a program like Barton that is written for dyslexic students, something more focused... or maybe simiply a change.  I feel she is getting frustrated with AAR, she is beyond sick of the readers, and I am having a hard time figuring how to puzzle the parts together (like AAR with AAS with fluency games with extra readers... and finding extra readers.. sigh)

 

Can you tell me more about metronome????  Maybe a link, I've never heard of this before.

 

I know I have a bunch more  questions but I need to run off for a field trip.  I'll be back later.

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Right now my plan is to tutor her away from the house (library) 2 times a week for about 45m a sesson (we will be gone 1 hour total)... BUT also keep up my scheduled language arts time in our daily school schedule.  So she would get shorter (possibly distracted) 30-45 min lessons daily at home, and then twice a week focused lessons, at the library.  Do you think this would be a good schedule????  

 

 

Is the scheduled language arts time in the daily schedule using other resources or using Barton? If you are planning on 30 minutes of possible distracted Barton lessons 3 days a week + focused Barton lessons of 45 minutes 2 times a week, then yes I think this is a good plan.

 

The Barton website has a video on recommendations for using Barton in the homeschool setting which is very helpful. Barton's videos have provided me with all the training needed to teach the program. Watch the lesson, then teach a lesson. Susan Barton has also helped me when I hit a snag with my 8 yo and Level 4. Level 4 has been the most difficult level so far!

 

I was seeing progress, but I am still glad that I  had formal testing done. I wanted to start to create a paper-trail for college entrance exams and college accommodations.

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Every child and every parent are different.  With DD, it works best if we do Barton first thing in the morning before anyone else is up and do it every day, M-Th with review on Friday.  After level 1 I was able to get into a rhythm with DD and knew which parts of each lesson were harder for her.  I didn't break at a specified time so mach as at a specific point in the lesson.  In other words, you may find that your plan works really, really well.  If it doesn't, then adjust as needed.  And as you progress in levels and age then you can adjust the plan as needed.  Until you start using the system it will be hard to determine what will work best.

 

Level 1 is pretty different than the other levels so don't judge the whole system by that level, btw.  I was rather disappointed that I had paid $250 for what was in that box.  But it was a critical level, not just because the components were what finally unlocked real decoding for my kids but because it also helped us to function much more efficiently in higher levels.  Some of the things you will be asking your child to do, such as hand gestures, need to be done consistently and systematically, even if they seem silly or time consuming.  Once those things are automatic, you don't have to spend so much time with verbal communication, which can actually bog some kids down and slow down the lesson and the learning process.  Lessons will go much more smoothly if you keep doing what is asked of you as a tutor and are consistent in what you are asking of your child.

 

I also strongly encourage you to practice with another adult, maybe your mother, when you first start out.  It takes a bit of time to get used to this system, or at least it did for me, and having some practice with another human being helped me realize where my delivery wasn't very smooth.

 

Best wishes.

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My 8 yo, who was totally stuck at AAS/AAR 1, has been able to work through Barton level 4 lesson 7 since last September. She has gone from non-reading (might be able to get a cvc work correct one day, but not another) to reading multisyllable words with accuracy.

Congrats on your AMAZING progress!!!!!

 

:party:   :party:

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Lettuce--With your mother living so close and OFFERING to help, you need to take her up on this!!!!  Don't be bashful!!  You know what might be super cool is if she just came over to your house and did something with them to keep them quiet.  Could be crafts or a read aloud time while they go down for naps or just anything.  USE her!!  My MIL is a dear like that and will help the way I need.  She's in her 70s, so she can't handle ds all the time, mercy, but I definitely take advantage of her.  It's special for them to help, and it's only for a season.  Think up something special that she would enjoy and do it, kwim?  It's not about you failing or not being good enough.  It's about giving HER the gift of being with your kids and getting a special season with them.

 

Have you seen SWB's talk of a daily quiet time?  If you aren't doing this, you're totally missing out on the BLISS that could be yours...  

 

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So I bumped into a friend of mine who has tutored with Barton, and has her kids in this tutoring program... so I was able to really pick her brain, she was of the mindset that a tutor will make a HUGE difference... oh please tell me I can do this on my own.   She was very encouraging and is a HUGE believer in using Barton, and in the end did say that I could totally teach her myself, but she was really for tutoring.   :001_unsure:

 

 

Is the scheduled language arts time in the daily schedule using other resources or using Barton? If you are planning on 30 minutes of possible distracted Barton lessons 3 days a week + focused Barton lessons of 45 minutes 2 times a week, then yes I think this is a good plan.

 

Yes that is pretty much the idea, I have one-on-one blocks scheduled for each child, so for this DD we have 45 minutes daily to do math and any LA... Math takes about 15 minutes max, so I have a good 30 minutes to just work on LA, which currently all we do is AAR.  Then 2 days a week I can get away for a distraction free lesson time.

 

 

By the way, I don't know if they explained this to you but Barton would replace ALL other language arts for the first 3 levels.

So after Level 3 what would I need to add in?  She is currently doing AAR, AAS and HWOT cursive... she LOVES (and has amazing) handwriting.  I was figuring Barton would replace AAR & AAS.  She does no writing now... she is timid because she doesn't know how to spell the words she wants.

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So I bumped into a friend of mine who has tutored with Barton, and has her kids in this tutoring program... so I was able to really pick her brain, she was of the mindset that a tutor will make a HUGE difference... oh please tell me I can do this on my own.   She was very encouraging and is a HUGE believer in using Barton, and in the end did say that I could totally teach her myself, but she was really for tutoring.   :001_unsure:

 

 

Yes that is pretty much the idea, I have one-on-one blocks scheduled for each child, so for this DD we have 45 minutes daily to do math and any LA... Math takes about 15 minutes max, so I have a good 30 minutes to just work on LA, which currently all we do is AAR.  Then 2 days a week I can get away for a distraction free lesson time.

 

 

So after Level 3 what would I need to add in?  She is currently doing AAR, AAS and HWOT cursive... she LOVES (and has amazing) handwriting.  I was figuring Barton would replace AAR & AAS.  She does no writing now... she is timid because she doesn't know how to spell the words she wants.

With regards to tutoring, my suggestion is you try doing Level 1 and Level 2 on your own.   If it is working out, great.  If not, then you can see about outsourcing.  That will save a lot of money right there and will give you a good basis for how to use the program and if it will work for you.  The higher levels are a lot more challenging to tutor.  If you started with a tutor first, then tried to switch to home tutoring it would be much more challenging since you would be unfamiliar with the program and would have a steep learning curve.  Does that make sense?  The DVD's and the TM are designed so that a parent with NO TUTOR TRAINING in this system or any other can still work with their children.  Just read through it ahead of time, watch the DVD, practice with another adult before you start your first Level so it will be smoother for both of you.

 

Barton recommends NO outside reading and preferably no outside writing until after Level 4 unless the child picks up books on their own to read.  This is to undo any guessing and bad habits the child may have developed as well as prevent bad habits from forming as they struggle to spell/decode/etc. with material they have not been exposed to yet.  In other words, don't do any forced outside reading/writing practice while doing the lower levels of Barton so the lessons will actually stick.  There ARE leveled readers available that you can use for reading material.  They will be listed on the website and probably with the material that will come with the first level.

 

After Level 4, you will need to include a writing program.  Barton recommends IEW but you don't have to use that.  We are actually going to start IEW and Fix-It Grammar in January, theoretically.  DD should be through Level 4 and starting Level 5 by then if things go well this summer.  DS is a bit behind because he still has some issues that are not directly related to the dyslexia so I am not certain if he will be ready yet.  We'll see.

 

By the way, once you get to Level 2 and beyond there are a number of wonderful resources for extra practice pages, card games through Spelling Success, board games etc. that are specifically designed to work with Barton.  I use these for reinforcement, practice and on days when we are in a hurry or too tired to tackle a full lesson.  Also work great for keeping skills and concepts fresh while we wait for the next level.

 

If you do keep tutoring on your own, once you get to Level 3 let me know.  I have some suggestions for organizing the student sheets, etc that someone else passed on to me.  I have found those suggestions tremendously helpful.

 

Best wishes.

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So I bumped into a friend of mine who has tutored with Barton, and has her kids in this tutoring program... so I was able to really pick her brain, she was of the mindset that a tutor will make a HUGE difference... oh please tell me I can do this on my own.   She was very encouraging and is a HUGE believer in using Barton, and in the end did say that I could totally teach her myself, but she was really for tutoring.   :001_unsure:

 

 

You can totally do this yourself. Don't let anyone scare you. Barton is designed to be accessible for parents and volunteers in addition to professionals.

 

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Read through the old threads I linked, especially the one regarding LiPS.  I explain about Barton in there in more detail.  It might help you visualize what you would be doing.

 

I will... I have a list of sites/threads to look at tonight after I get my little people to bed.

 

With regards to tutoring, my suggestion is you try doing Level 1 and Level 2 on your own.   If it is working out, great.  If not, then you can see about outsourcing.  That will save a lot of money right there and will give you a good basis for how to use the program and if it will work for you.  The higher levels are a lot more challenging to tutor.  If you started with a tutor first, then tried to switch to home tutoring it would be much more challenging since you would be unfamiliar with the program and would have a steep learning curve.  Does that make sense?  The DVD's and the TM are designed so that a parent with NO TUTOR TRAINING in this system or any other can still work with their children.  Just read through it ahead of time, watch the DVD, practice with another adult before you start your first Level so it will be smoother for both of you.

 

Barton recommends NO outside reading and preferably no outside writing until after Level 4 unless the child picks up books on their own to read.  This is to undo any guessing and bad habits the child may have developed as well as prevent bad habits from forming as they struggle to spell/decode/etc. with material they have not been exposed to yet.  In other words, don't do any forced outside reading/writing practice while doing the lower levels of Barton so the lessons will actually stick.  There ARE leveled readers available that you can use for reading material.  They will be listed on the website and probably with the material that will come with the first level.

 

After Level 4, you will need to include a writing program.  Barton recommends IEW but you don't have to use that.  We are actually going to start IEW and Fix-It Grammar in January, theoretically.  DD should be through Level 4 and starting Level 5 by then if things go well this summer.  DS is a bit behind because he still has some issues that are not directly related to the dyslexia so I am not certain if he will be ready yet.  We'll see.

 

By the way, once you get to Level 2 and beyond there are a number of wonderful resources for extra practice pages, card games through Spelling Success, board games etc. that are specifically designed to work with Barton.  I use these for reinforcement, practice and on days when we are in a hurry or too tired to tackle a full lesson.  Also work great for keeping skills and concepts fresh while we wait for the next level.

 

If you do keep tutoring on your own, once you get to Level 3 let me know.  I have some suggestions for organizing the student sheets, etc that someone else passed on to me.  I have found those suggestions tremendously helpful.

 

 

Thank you!

So how much teacher prep time (watching the DVDs) is involved?

On the restricting readers... she is sick of the AAR readers, so I've been letting her check out anything she wants to from the library... I know she mainly looks at the pictures, but she does want to read them (junky disney princess books... sigh) should I just read them to her?  not let her look through them??  I have only asked her to try to read it to me once or twice... but I will not do that again... total lightbulb moment reading about controlled readers in the beginning.

I've looked into IEW in the past... my church actually has an IEW co-op which is an option in the future.

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I will... I have a list of sites/threads to look at tonight after I get my little people to bed.

 

Thank you!

So how much teacher prep time (watching the DVDs) is involved?

On the restricting readers... she is sick of the AAR readers, so I've been letting her check out anything she wants to from the library... I know she mainly looks at the pictures, but she does want to read them (junky disney princess books... sigh) should I just read them to her?  not let her look through them??  I have only asked her to try to read it to me once or twice... but I will not do that again... total lightbulb moment reading about controlled readers in the beginning.

I've looked into IEW in the past... my church actually has an IEW co-op which is an option in the future.

With regards to Teacher Prep, honestly that kind of depends on the tutor.  The first lesson I watched the DVD all the way through once, just so I had some idea of where it was going, then watched the 1st lesson again while reading through the TM, then read the TM again without the DVD support.  Then I practiced the first couple of lessons with my mother after she watched the DVD, too.  But normal prep is not that long.  Maybe 30 minutes or so, depending on how long the DVD portion of the lesson is?  I can't remember clearly with Level 1.  

 

I know I definitely do better if I watch the DVD lesson with the TM in front of me the night before, then skim through the TM again the next morning, before I even attempt to start a lesson.  This was especially true in Level 3, which was definitely more intense than Level 1 or 2.  Each level through Level 4 ups the ante quite a bit for the tutor and the student, even though Barton is taking everything in small steps.  

 

But we are in Level 4 now and it is probably the hardest of any of the levels.  I need more "mental prep" now and less DVD prep, if that makes any sense.  I need to have my head in the game.  I know some parents that throw in the towel with this level (and I considered it :) ) and others that had to repeat it after completing it.  But if you can get through Level 4 a whole host of knowledge will be unlocked and the rest of the levels go much smoother, apparently.

 

If you do have a co-op teaching it that might be a great option for IEW.  I have nothing like that in our area.  

 

As for reading, yes, read to her.  Do it a lot.  Read to her at a more advanced level than her current reading level (as long as the material is still age appropriate of course :) ).  Expose her to more advanced concepts, vocabulary, complex grammar, etc.  Let her listen to audio books.  If you have any or can get some from the library, then get books you can pair with audio books and let her follow along as she listens.  Let her follow along in a book while you read to her if she is interested, but don't make her follow each word as you read.  And don't ask her to read anything out loud and don't ask her to sound anything out at this point.

 

Does any of that make sense?  Having to type in a hurry.  Best wishes.

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.  

 

As for reading, yes, read to her.  Do it a lot.  Read to her at a more advanced level than her current reading level (as long as the material is still age appropriate of course :) ).  Expose her to more advanced concepts, vocabulary, complex grammar, etc.  Let her listen to audio books.  If you have any or can get some from the library, then get books you can pair with audio books and let her follow along as she listens.  Let her follow along in a book while you read to her if she is interested, but don't make her follow each word as you read.  And don't ask her to read anything out loud and don't ask her to sound anything out at this point.

 

Does any of that make sense?  Having to type in a hurry.  Best wishes.

yes it makes sense, read to her, don't ask her to read to me.  I read a TON here... like typically at least 2 hours a day... and a lot of audio books... so I'm feeling confident in that (one thing lol)

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yes it makes sense, read to her, don't ask her to read to me.  I read a TON here... like typically at least 2 hours a day... and a lot of audio books... so I'm feeling confident in that (one thing lol)

I second, third, and fourth doing read alouds with your daughter! As has been said, it exposes children to higher level vocabulary and sentence structure than they can get with books at their independent reading level. This is helpful for ALL students but absolutely essential for dyslexic students so their cognitive and language development can keep pace with their peers. I did a lot of reading aloud to my children all the way until they were in high school and it showed on assessments done in middle school and high school. They have great vocabulary. My son's reading comprehension is excellent even though he still struggles some with decoding. He has a well developed sense for sentence structure and academic language, so is able to predict what words might come next.

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Has anyone ever used Dyslexia Games?

 

My DD would love these... but I was wondering if this would be a no-no paired with Barton?  

it really just looks like complete the picture type logic games...

???

I have not really looked into those, although someone else linked to them once, IIRC.  We had already started Barton and I didn't want to mess them up.  DD was finally getting her reversed letters straight and her reading and spelling had already improved significantly in just a few months so I was nervous about rocking the boat.

 

I really don't know how well it would pair with Barton.  I guess you could try it BEFORE you start Barton....?  That way you could get a feel for what they are offering without it interfering with the Barton lessons.  Then maybe you could just do Barton Level 1 and Level 2 on their own and decide if Dyslexia Games would be o.k. to use on the side when/if you began Level 3?  

 

I honestly would hesitate to use them while you were doing Level 1 and Level 2, though, since those are foundational levels and I it is hard to see, while doing those levels, how Barton comes together.  I know I didn't have a good vision of the overall picture when I started.  Once I had made it into Level 3 I finally understood much more clearly why certain steps were incorporated or were not incorporated into the lower levels.  I am probably clear as mud, here.  Sorry.  Haven't really waked up yet.  :)

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Has anyone ever used Dyslexia Games?

 

My DD would love these... but I was wondering if this would be a no-no paired with Barton?  

it really just looks like complete the picture type logic games...

???

 

You could ask Susan Barton, but I'm pretty sure she has said these games are not appropriate for dyslexic students.

 

ETA: I have an email where she said NOT to use those games with Barton.

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