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Differences btw Barton & WRTR?

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I think WRTR is connected w/Orton... but it doesn't seem to be very similar to Barton. Can anyone explain the progression or approach of Barton?
I'm currently using Barton. My 2 1st graders are doing well in Level 3. I'm really pleased. It really has helped them to break down the sounds and blend. Mainly I think their difficulty was slowing down, going in order, even a working memory issue to remember all the sounds after sounding them out, to blend them into a word.
However, I taught my 4 older children using TATRAS which is similar to WRTR (but without the writing) and SWR, and I like some things such as the "vertical" idea of teaching 3 sounds for /a/, "think to spell", etc. Are these unique to WRTR and do not carry over to Barton?

I can see at this point introducing all the sounds of each phonogram would have been way to much for my 1st graders. But I wonder if eventually that would be a helpful approach. Or, is that generally too much for dyslexics?

TATRAS is different from WRTR in that it's more like training wheels to get your kids reading, and spelling is only light reinforcement for reading. Spelling is really minor in TATRAS. But I know that spelling is hard for dyslexics. OTOH learning all the Barton spelling rules seems like a lot.
I guess I'm curious what is the magic of Barton. Is it the "break it down into micro-bits" part, or does she take a fundamentally different approach to reading & spelling compared to WRTR? At some point, do Barton & WRTR align more closely?
Sorry, this is a bit rambly and I know I don't need to worry about this at Barton level 3, I just like to have the big picture and know where I'm going.
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I hope someone who has used both can actually compare the two.  I have not used WRTR, but I have heard (not sure how accurate this is) that WRTR is much more challenging for a layman not trained in OG to implement and it isn't really designed for dyslexics, it is really more for NT kids.  


I will say this, if you have children who are dyslexic, hitting them with a whole bunch of things at once, especially in their weak areas, can be less than useless.  Barton brings in all the sounds eventually, but does it in small parts, in many ways, over time.  If you move at the pace that works best for your children, and there are no additional underlying issues that are interfering, Barton should work.  WRTR may work, too, but as I understand it the system was created to use OG based principles with neurotypical kids.  The system is sped up and has much fewer steps.  May work well for non-dyslexics.  I would be concerned about using it with a dyslexic child.  Again, though, I have not used it personally.


By the way, a lot of people think the child is supposed to memorize all the rules in Barton.  Actually, they are supposed to apply the rules in various ways until they internalize.  No memorization involved, just lots of exposure.  If the child is struggling, then slowing down, doing more review and application may work well.  If the child is clicking with a lesson, then keep moving forward at whatever pace works for them.


FWIW, Level 4 is much harder and much longer than Level 3 because long vowel sounds get introduced.  That really mucked up both kids the first time we went through.  I know if they had been hit with multiple sounds at once we would never have progressed at all.  Thankfully, even though Level 4 was hard, they were pretty solid with Level 3 and the short vowel sounds so we had that to fall back on.  We had to take an extended break during the summer, right in the middle of Level 4, which is a no no with dyslexic kids so the progress we had made was lost.  We had to start Level 4 over. But again, thankfully we had Level 3 down well.  Starting over with Level 4 actually worked better.  Level 4 has gone MUCH more smoothly the second time around. 


As I understand it, the levels after Level 4 usually go much more quickly than Level 4.  Some here have made it through 2-3 levels a year after Level 4, sometimes even faster, but they worked through summers, too, so information/skills weren't lost.


Not sure I helped much at all.  Hopefully, others more knowledgeable than I will chime in.


Best wishes.

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Thanks for your thoughts. They all make a lot of sense. You're right, I need to be patient and just wait.


My 7yo is not reading on her own. She has virtually no desire to pick up a book and try to read anything.  I think in her mind, reading is still very hard. She can read all the words & stories in Barton, but she's not fluent. I should pull out those fluency drills. Maybe that would help her confidence.


When would it be reasonable to expect her to start reading on her own? Any thots about that? I know Susan B. says no reading other books for a while longer, maybe after level 4? I guess it does seem odd that we still haven't gotten to long vowels, and I understand why, but it feels like it's going to still be so long before she has enough tools to read Little Bear or other easy books.


OTOH the 6yo is reading on her own. She loves it. She can do Little Bear books. But, she can't read a lot of the words and just makes them up. After she's told a long word, like "everything", she will remember it in context. 


BTW I found this thread that talks about the differences btw Barton & Spalding.


Also thanks for the heads up re: extended breaks. So Barton users work thru the summer? That seems like a good idea.

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Have you had any assessments for the 7 yo?  Also, did you give them the Barton pretests?  How did your kids do, if you did?


As to your specific questions:

1.  When would it be reasonable to expect your DD to start reading on her own?  That REALLY depends on the child, her specific strengths and weaknesses, interest level, etc.  The fluency drills might help.  I would start with the drills from the earliest ones and work forward.  She may have some glitches that are not readily apparent in the normal lessons.


2.  Yes, Susan Barton says no outside reading until after Level 4 UNLESS the child initiates it and does it for fun, no reading aloud required by the parent.  Why?  Because kids DO develop guessing and the guessing can get ingrained.  They can develop really poor decoding skills and those skills then have to be unlearned so more efficient ways of decoding become the norm.  DD, for instance, did not start Barton until she was in 6th grade.  She had a TON of bad reading processes in place that she had developed through years of being forced to read in ways that were not the best for how her brain processes language.  All of those skills had to be unlearned.  It took a long time.


3.  Does it seem like progress is slow?  Yes, it probably does, especially if you had kids that learned to read much more quickly.  Reading for a dyslexic DOES take time.  Sometimes it can take a LOT of time.  Give them whatever time they need to progress.  If there was no progress being made, I would even suggest seeking out an OG specialist for additional tutoring.  Since they are making progress, I say just try to be patient.  This is a hard process for them.


4.  But keep reading TO them, let them listen to audio books, expose them to content subjects/concepts/vocabulary, etc. through other means so they don't fall behind in exposure while they work through learning to read/spell.  Scribe for them for output so they aren't working on trying to remember how to spell something but are working on the content and can see YOU spelling and writing their words correctly.  Better to take the slow and steady path than to rush forward and realize you have to start over again from the beginning, losing even more time.  Your children are actually very young.  Level 9 and 10 of Barton are actually for High School level prep.  This program isn't just for basic reading remediation.  You don't have to get through all 10 levels before reading can take place.


5.  I do not recommend taking any lengthy breaks.  No more than 2-3 weeks if possible.  Every time I have, we have had to do extensive review on the most recent material learned.  The older stuff usually sticks because it has been reviewed and internalized.  The more recent material, however, can get really mucked up if we take an extended break.


Hope that helps....

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I used SWR for years with my dd (not dyslexic) as well as AAS, HTTS, and WRTR and a few others.  With my ds6 I use Barton, because he is dyslexic and needs the extras of Barton.  Yes, I've taught my ds all the sounds from the very beginning.  The way I did it was with LIPS.  We were covering the sounds anyway using the mouth faces, so I picked a limited number of orthographical representations and presented them, connecting them to the faces.  That is the ONLY way and time he uses them, during that warm-up with the LIPS faces.  I never attempt to add them onto a lesson.  I *do* use them to explain words that Barton presents as sight/frequency words and to explain environmental text he attempts to decode.  He does not yet attempt to read books.


I think if you do no yet have fluency that's a bigger goal to work on.  I put all his words onto lists in Quizlet (an app) and I drill him till they're fluent.  If they're not yet fluent, how are they having good reading comprehension when they read the end of lesson passages??  Fluency is very important, because it frees them up to comprehend.  Yes, Barton includes fluency pages and has extra pages in her online tutor section (which is AWESOME).  Really though, for us the Quizlet app has been fabulous.  I have it on his kindle, with 3 lists for every lesson (word, phrases, sentences).  I go through the lesson and find everything, type it in, and we're ready to go.  Adore, adore, adore the Quizlet app.  I often run through them before bed, because it seems to be a good time for him.    It doesn't take that long, maybe 10 minutes, but it yields big results.  It's something they can do in the car while you're driving places.  The one can read and show the tablet to the other to see if she got it right.  When child 1 is through the list, then flip and child 2 goes through.  The app can shuffle, so they won't be memorizing the order.


Yes, you may need to work on working memory.  Did you do LIPS?  That should have given you some working memory improvement.  


WRTR/SWR has as their approach that you don't actually force reading but instead let reading happen as the outgrowth of their increased abilities, ie. they know when they're ready.  I think Barton is right, that the dc is going to have to be in level 4 or later before that happens.  Until then you have plenty to keep you busy with fluency drills multiple times a day, the end of lesson stories to review, etc.  I think the most important thing is to put your time into Barton.  An hour a day is NOT too much, and it can increase your progress dramatically if you were previously working say 30 minutes a day.  This might require you to work in multiple sessions.  It would be a way to get the progress you're wanting without pushing skills they're not ready for.



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>>Yes, you may need to work on working memory.  Did you do LIPS?  That should have given you some working memory improvement.  



OhE, this statement intrigued me. Actually, I've been seeing little things in my 7yo that are making me think I should do LIPS. She did fail the Barton screening, but got thru L1 & L2 fine. She's improved a lot in that whole phonemic awareness thing. BUT she's definitely still having trouble distinguishing some sounds. 


She does good w/reading, as far as sounding out the words, but is not fluent, and forgets the word right after she read it. Spelling is where I really see the trouble that I think LIPS would help with. 


For ex., she had to write "champ". She wrote "chat". ??? Halfway thru the word she switched from saying /m/ to /n/... she knew CHANP was not a word... so she reasoned, 'the word I'm supposed to be writing must be "CHANT".' I don't know, that seems more like something's wrong with her wiring, than just a careless error. Thots?


She's almost done Lesson 3 of  Barton L3. Should we stop and switch to LIPS, finish that, then pick up Barton again? Or try to keep them going simultaneously?



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If you could maybe keep her from losing what she already has done with Barton by using practice worksheets, maybe get the Spelling Success card games and do those, etc. but work on LiPS for a bit, then blend the two like OhE does that might work better.  


FWIW, DS failed the Barton pretest and did a little bit of LiPS with my mom before starting Barton but it wasn't enough.  He should have done more in LiPS.  Mom just didn't want to press and I didn't realize he wasn't really getting much.  He should have done it longer and more frequently and we should have blended LiPS and Barton once he started Barton.  He breezed through Barton Level 1 and 2 much faster than DD (even though she passed the pretest with flying colors and he definitely didn't) but he really got mucked up in Level 3 several times.  By Level 4 it was obvious we had made a mistake in pressing forward without more LiPS.  Definitely not an lack of understanding of the rules, either.  It has to do with sound.

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Well I'm not you're best one to help, because I'm so black and white.  Either they hear the sounds, or they don't.  Either they have the working memory, or they don't.  Are you going through every letter (sound to written, written to sound) as part of your daily warm-up?  That lets you know if she's hearing the sounds.  Mainly what you're describing sounds like working memory and attention, assuming she can hear the sounds.  You may not be implementing the methodology carefully, using the fingers to work through every single sound to ensure she hears the sounds before she begins writing.  The act of doing the Barton finger tapping carefully will in fact improve her working memory.  Barton includes little steps that are easy to skip if our kids leap.  The reason they try to leap is because it's hard for them to hold the sounds AND do the steps.  The irony is that doing the steps builds the working memory they're low in.


So review the Barton tutoring videos and make sure you're doing every step completely.  If she's having issues hearing the sounds, then yes you can bring in LIPS.  There's no reason to stop your Barton progress.  Simply get LIPS and bring it into your warm-up time.  However if she needed LIPS only for the working memory, not for phonemic awareness, I wouldn't bother.  I'd pay more attention to the Barton steps and do other things (games, digit spans, Cogmed, etc.) to work on working memory. Have you redone the pretest to see whether, at this point, she passes?  Remember you can call and talk the results through with Susan herself.  I would definitely recommend you consider it if you redo the pretest and are uncertain of how to proceed.

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And I'll add Timberly is the one who clued me in to this!  She's the one who pointed out how her ds' working memory improved working through the Barton levels.  That's why it was so striking to me to watch my (very impulsive) ds TRY to cut corners and to realize he WASN'T doing it because he was strong but in fact because of the opposite reason, that it was so hard for him!  So it helps to be very careful to watch the videos and require the steps.  

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Agree with Timberly and OhE...work through each step very carefully and don't let them cut corners.  Follow the recommendations in Barton.  They are definitely there for a reason.


Also, though, if there are still consistent oddball glitches, look at LiPS.  No matter how many fluency drills and no matter how many times DS taps out the sounds with his fingers or breaks everything apart and reassembles, etc., there are still certain blends he adds that shouldn't be there or certain sounds that should be there that aren't.  With DD, not cutting corners helped tremendously,.  With DS, there are days when the more we work the more glitches there are.  

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See that's the one advantage I have with ds, that I can actually slow him down and do the speech inputs and help him FEEL the sounds.  I think when you get private tutors they'll make hand signs for sounds.  Ds is kinesthetic, so the sensory act of feeling the /g/ in the back of his throat or turning his motor on/off with the touching really makes things click for him.  We have inputs for the vowels too (retraction vs. rounding vs. a dropped jaw), and for the blends the inputs are actually a blend of two sounds.  So literally for /oi/ we do the motor planning for /O/ and then the motor planning for /E/.  Nifty, eh?  


Just saying that's this extra tool we have, because of his apraxia therapy, that I'm able to bring in to our Barton sessions.  When he gets glitchy, I go physical and help him FEEL it. I actually think it's methodology that would be good for kids beyond just those with apraxia, but it's too complicated to learn just for that purpose.  

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I so wish I had helpful ideas for dealing with blend ommitions and additions. 


Have you stood up and done the upside down U sweep where the first blend is the beginning of the u, the vowel is the bottom and the final blend is the last sweet, with you way, way, way, overexagerating each and every sound?  I'm not explaining well, but Susan Barton demonstrates it in her videos.  DS definitely needed that piece of help for a few months. 


I wish I could learn to tutor Lips.  DS10 is figuring it out as we go, with daily AHA! moments for words that he never knew he said wrong.  He began reading at Christmas time, Magic Tree House Series, and that helped him make more connections.  I dropped him from 14 hrs a week of Barton to 10 hours each week and weekends are for 30 minutes of reading each day.


DS10 is finding Barton Box 6 simple.  It was heart breaking to see him struggle through the proceedures needed to do each new level.  But he doesn't want to quit Barton, he loves his success.  He loves being able to type his phrases and sentences on the computer, with spell checker turned off.  He types 23 wpm and that waaaaaaaay faster than he can pencil the words.


I'm considering going back to the neuro-psch for math guidance.  I need a systematic, explicity approach for his  extremes strengths and extreme weakness in math.  I thought it would have been blends that  I needed help with but that's smoothed right over. It's math that I need help with.


  :grouphug: Keep moving forward.  You changing your kids lives.  I'm proud of you.  Thank you for sharing your journey and your welcoming warmth with this Learning Challenges Board.  You make this a better place to be.


Actually, I've tried several things but I haven't tried that one.  Where is it in the videos?  I don't recall seeing that.


Love the idea of typing everything on the computer for Barton.  DS just switched from Type to Learn 4, which he loved for a very long time but has totally burned out on after nearly 2 years, to Touch-Type Read and Spell.  Scores so far are in the 96-99% accurate range but I am not seeing this as a superior program yet.  Jury is still out...hoping he can do what you mention upthread, though.  Sounds great!


For the math, maybe start a new thread and ask some targeted questions here while you seek professional help?  I have been able to implement so many useful ideas from here...


And thanks.  You, too... :)

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