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zarabellesmom

Talk me into Barton because I can't afford the tutor...

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Some of you may remember my previous post inquiring about reading problems for my daughter and wondering (hoping) that her troubles were vision related. Well long story short, she had a full evaluation over the course of Wednesday and Thursday and the psychologist then sat with us for quite awhile after her testing to discuss the results. I'll get a full written report later, but all of that aside.... Yes, she's dyslexic. This morning he sent me the names of a couple of tutors in the area, and when I say area, I mean about 45 minutes from where I am (because I'm in the middle of nowhere). I had already watched some of the Barton videos and just assumed we would go that direction. But out of curiosity, I called the closest tutor on the list and she was soooo lovely. I know it's probably silly to covet a tutor, but I do, I really really do. Part of it is that she's obviously trained (she's a Wilson tutor and has been through several courses, including one at the very highly regarded dyslexia school in the area) and she's one of the two that the psychologist recommended (he said he really liked her). She's been doing this a long time and has helped so many kids become successful. And...teaching Barton doesn't sound like much fun (I know that's a lame excuse, but there it is).  In any case, she's not really in our price range (and I don't think she's overpriced) and I don't love the idea of giving up time out of our school day to make the drive back and forth and also because I don't have the money... Have I mentioned that I don't have the money?

 

So am I going to hate teaching Barton? Does it work well?

 

 

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Well that's wonderful that you got a helpful eval and feedback to point you in the right direction!  As far as the cost of the tutor, anything under $100 an hour would be pretty par for the course around here.  Like I can't even get into a top quality tutor here for under $60 an hour, and they'll go up to $80+.

 

I think your biggest thing to get realistic about is pace.  The frequency of your sessions (given equal length and intensity) is really going to affect your progress, so doing 3-5 days a week at 45 minutes away is pretty significant.  What that means is using the tutor you're doing maybe twice a week.  If you buy Barton, you're able to go at it 5 days a week, maybe even do some drill on Sunday.  And to me, I can be a LOT LESS AWESOME and still get more done, if I'm doing it every day and that tutor only has 1-2 days a week, kwim?

 

But I'm fall for tutors, fine and dandy.  Not like I'm anti-tutor.  I just think you have to consider how frequently you can make this happen.  If you have behaviors or real life or health problems and YOU aren't going to make it happen more frequently, then sometimes it's better to drive to the tutor, kwim?  But at that distance, which I've done for therapies, I personally would be maxing out at 1-2 times a week.  Winter is coming and that just gets hard.  Think how much you can get done in these half weeks of the holidays, these times when you'd have no appts with a tutor but could be banging it out.  If you KNOW you'll be faithful, it's worth considering, even as a trial.  Like get Barton, see how it goes, then decide in January on the tutor, kwim?  I think that's a really reasonable path.  There's not a lot lost by doing that, and it gives you better info to decide.

 

Ok, now as far as ugly reasons to do it with Barton instead of a tutor?  Maybe that tutor is awesome, but maybe awesome depends on the kid.  My kid is extremely challenging to work with, and when I visited the (psych-recommended, VERY expensive, well-regarded) tutor in town, they're like oh hiding under the table is normal!  Like hello, no it's not.  It's normal to you because you don't have the tools, the teaching experience, the behavioral tools, to go as really multi-modal, way out of the box as it takes.  *I* think, and this is just me, that tutors are used to seeing pretty typical dyslexics.  So if your dc is a pretty typical dyslexic, with nothing else complicating, then it could go really well!  They seem to have their gig and their gig works.  They don't go NEARLY as out of the box as you have to go with extremely challenging kids.

 

In other words, with the most complex situations, you can go pay $60-80 an hour for a well-regarded tutor and STILL not get success.  It's not always a good fit.  So that really matters, kwim?  I might not start off knowing as much as that other tutor, but I can come up to speed very quickly with Barton.  And then I have the OG knowledge AND the intimate knowledge of what my ds needs.  The tutor doesn't have that.  But they do really well for most kids!  I'm just saying if you have a really, really challenging child to work with, there is no guarantee that you'd be happy with how it would go with a $$$ tutor.  It happens.  

 

My theory was start with Barton, because I can always hire a tutor (or get OG training) later if it's not working.  For us it was enough.  When I combined my knowledge of my ds with what Barton could do for me, it was enough.  It's rocket science, but it's not, kwim?  I think in general, if you're one who is cool with learning new things and are game for it, you're going to be fine.

 

Now I'll tell you that I finally got it explained to me WHY people like our psych, like your psych, are so DEATH on parents teaching their dyslexic kids.  This is going to be ROCKET SCIENCE for the kids.  They aren't going to like it.  They aren't going to beg for it or say thank you necessarily.  They might have behaviors or resist.  We might be confused or be too timid to push, because we're seeing how hard it is.  There's sort of a thankless diligence, persistence, and intensity about this tutoring.  If you're not going to cut through that and be firm but kind and say do it anyway, then you might find yourself stuck in the hole if intention, where you want to do it and just aren't getting it done.  And DONE matters.  This is NOT necessarily fun.  It really is rocket science.

 

Full disclosure.  My ds is so hard to work with, I now have ABA tutors who do new things with him first.  There really has to be that firm but kind yes we're doing this then we'll do something you like, end of discussion.  Barton also needed significant, significant modification for him because of his additional problems (language, ASD, etc.).  Even with all that, Barton has been a brilliant tool.  I'm just saying it's no walk in the park.  It's not a crime to say hey that's just not a dynamic I want in our parenting.  It would cost me almost $10K a year go to the frequency I would want for private.  To me, my half-effective attempts with Barton will have to do, kwim?  Can't do it all.  But doing a tutor for a while COULD be a really good choice for your family.  In general though, I would *try* Barton, see how it goes, then decide in January.  Not much loss there.  You'll sell your levels for almost what you pay for them, and you may really end up liking it.  :)

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What I really *like* about doing the tutoring myself is that we can do things in snippets, instead of long blocks.  So I can snatch 15 minutes at bedtime, 10 minutes in the car, etc.  I can go ok Quizlet on the kindle would be really easy to implement for fluency drills, and I can make that happen at the grocery store, etc.  Kwim?  

 

When you hire a tutor, you're stuck with what they think up, and you also get undermined as far as your authority on the subject.  Hate that.  And some tutors are going to want to do EVERYTHING, not just spelling/reading.  Like at the place I visited, they did writing, typing, everything.  Now they did it because the kids were struggling, but my point is I don't WANT to pay you $60-80 an hour to work on writing.  I'm wanting to teach the writing myself!  So in a typical hour session there, maybe 30 was on reading/spelling, and the rest was writing, reading aloud, etc.  Think through that.  You just drove 45 minutes each way for a tutoring session that only had 30 minutes of stuff you weren't already ready to do yourself, kwim?  You can be REALLY INEFFECTIVE and trying AT ALL will probably get you that 30 minutes of benefit.  

 

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If you order Barton today, like right now, it might not go *out* till Monday, but you'll get the video access tonight or tomorrow.  :)  Like seriously, it's fun stuff!  If you order, she'll send you the link to the videos right away.  That way when your stuff comes, you'll hit the ground running!

 

Have you done the pre-test?

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LOL, what OhE said (as usual).   :laugh:

 

But to go ahead and add my own response, just for kicks....

 

First, have you given the Barton tutor and student screenings?  I would do that before making any sort of decision.  If you cannot pass the screening then you may not be able to tutor her yourself.  Also, if she cannot pass the student screening then she may not be able to have much success with the Wilson tutor either until she has had some targeted help with sounds (usually through LiPS or Foundations in Sound).  More that likely you will both pass, but it is better to know before committing to anything.  (FWIW, DD passed with flying colors and so did I.  DS?  My very articulate son did not pass.  He needed LiPS first.)

 

When you do the screenings do the following:

  • Make sure you are both rested.
  • Make sure you are doing the screenings in a very quiet place where you will not be interrupted.
  • Make sure you are not hungry or distracted.

 

Are there any Barton tutors in your area?  Did you check on the Barton site to see?  I ask because what you might consider doing is tutoring your child with Barton through Level 3, then if you are really getting burned out you could switch her over to a tutor for Level 4 (usually the hardest level and the one that many find very challenging to tutor).  There are also remote access tutors you could use if there is no one local.  If you start her in a program you are tutoring yourself but you have a local tutor (or remote tutor) you can turn to if you run into trouble or get burned out, that would seem a less costly option than just committing to having to use a tutor from the start.

 

Level 1 usually goes very quickly compared to the others.  Level 2 is usually pretty short, too.  Level 3 is longer and meatier but usually only takes a few months.  In other words, she might get through all three of the first levels in 4-8 months.  That should give you a good idea of whether you are comfortable tutoring her yourself without committing years to the process.  Add up what it would cost to pay a tutor for at least 2 sessions a week (most tutors I know recommend at least 2 sessions a week no matter the program) for 8 months then compare that to the cost of the first three levels of Barton.  And consider that usually tutoring a dyslexic student will take years, not months.  It might be worth your while to go with Barton.

 

Advantages of tutoring her yourself:

 

1.  You can customize the length of the lessons to what works best for your child.  Some kids cannot handle an entire hour of very intense one on one tutoring, especially when they are working their brains through material that is NOT easy for them, does NOT come naturally, and takes a TON of effort.  If your child can only handle 10 minutes, so be it.  You can do that.  

 

2.  Also, many students do better with 20-30 minutes of tutoring daily (or even shorter sessions) 5 days a week than 2 very intense and draining sessions twice a week.  You can provide that if you tutor her yourself.  A professional tutor can't do that (and even if they could, that would be VERY costly).

 

3.  You can work around your schedule.  Let's say that you want to take a family vacation, you can do so without having to worry about the tutor schedule.  You wake up and find you are feeling awful.  You don't have to worry about still needing to drive your child to the tutoring session or feeling guilty if you can't.  You can just shift your tutoring session with your child to the next day (or even later).  

 

4.  You don't have to drive anywhere (saves gas, effort, interruption to the schedule).

 

5.  You can see first hand how your child is progressing and adjust the approach if she runs into areas where she needs more review or more game like approaches, etc. (the TM's have suggestions for different ways to handle things if a child is struggling or resistant).

 

6.  There is a lot of support for home tutoring parents on the website and Susan Barton will talk to you if you run into trouble.

 

7.  Is this your older or younger child?  If it is your older, keep in mind that you can use this system with neurotypical children, too, so your younger one could also use it, just at a faster pace.  The program does not just remediate basic reading skills, it prepares a student for High School level material if you go all the way through Level 10.

 

8.  If you start with Barton and discover it isn't working, you can always try the Wilson tutor.  Your choice is not set in stone. 

 

But if you really, really hate the idea of tutoring her yourself, and you feel you will not commit the time and energy needed, you may be better off not trying Barton.  Tutoring a dyslexic child is not easy.  This stuff is hard for them and therefore is not a picnic for the tutor, either.

 

Don't get me wrong, though.  It isn't a hard program for the tutor to understand how to implement. The TM is well laid out, the videos have good examples (if boring), and the structure over all is designed specifically for a layman to implement.  Is it fun?  No, I wouldn't say it was fun. What I will say is that once my kids and I really committed to using it and got comfortable with the structure, it was much easier.  Level 4 was hard but as Frogger mentioned on another thread, Level 4 is hard because the English language is not easy and Level 4 tackles some really challenging parts of the English language, especially for a dyslexic.  

 

DD, especially, actually does ask for lessons now, upon occassion.  They are familiar to her, they are comfortable, and she has learned so much.  Her reading/spelling/writing has improved a zillion fold from where she was in 6th grade (barely decoding Clifford books).  It has worked miracles where no other program, no other teacher, no specialized tutor, was able to help.  It doesn't work for all students, so I cannot guarantee it will work for yours.  It definitely worked for mine, but that is all I can really be certain of.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:   I know this is a tough decision.  BTDT.  I hope you are happy with whatever you decide.  Good luck.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Ok, I've put it in the shopping cart.  :)  Baby steps.

 

I really don't want to drive to the tutor's office. Like really really don't. I shuttle people to dance and dance and dance and piano and piano... all week long and the thought of going to just one more place is just yuck. Yes, if I decided to go that route, I would be faithful to it. I'm just that way, once we make a commitment, that's it. But just thinking of it as ANOTHER place to be...and another good point, if we did decide to go that route, going more than once a week would be out of the question. $80 an hour, once a week, seems very reasonable for a tutor, but double that each week and total it up over the course of a month and I'm wondering where that money will come from.

 

My DD is pretty easy to work with. I'm pretty blessed in that way. She likes school and doesn't mind hard work. She takes it all in stride. (Her older sister is a much different story). We won't have any problem committing to doing it at home and actually getting it done because we just make a list and do what's on the list and she knows that the list is the rule and no amount of whining or complaining or messing around will move your work off of the list and so you just do it. And since she's such a people pleaser (to her own detriment sometimes) she really does most of it cheerfully. It's almost bizarre really. (Maybe she's trying to make up for the struggles I have with her sister?)

 

ALSO! Something I hadn't thought of, snatching time. What an excellent point.  Similarly, we like the freedom to hit the road during the summers and I can take Barton with me when we decide to visit Grandma for two weeks and not feel like we are losing ground.

 

 

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If you order Barton today, like right now, it might not go *out* till Monday, but you'll get the video access tonight or tomorrow.   :)  Like seriously, it's fun stuff!  If you order, she'll send you the link to the videos right away.  That way when your stuff comes, you'll hit the ground running!

 

Have you done the pre-test?

 

Yes, I did the tutor screening and gave my daughter the pretest. We are good to go.

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LOL, what OhE said (as usual).   :laugh:

 

But to go ahead and add my own response, just for kicks....

 

First, have you given the Barton tutor and student screenings?  I would do that before making any sort of decision.  If you cannot pass the screening then you may not be able to tutor her yourself.  Also, if she cannot pass the student screening then she may not be able to have much success with the Wilson tutor either until she has had some targeted help with sounds (usually through LiPS or Foundations in Sound).  More that likely you will both pass, but it is better to know before committing to anything.  (FWIW, DD passed with flying colors and so did I.  DS?  My very articulate son did not pass.  He needed LiPS first.)

 

When you do the screenings do the following:

  • Make sure you are both rested.
  • Make sure you are doing the screenings in a very quiet place where you will not be interrupted.
  • Make sure you are not hungry or distracted.

 

Are there any Barton tutors in your area?  Did you check on the Barton site to see?  I ask because what you might consider doing is tutoring your child with Barton through Level 3, then if you are really getting burned out you could switch her over to a tutor for Level 4 (usually the hardest level and the one that many find very challenging to tutor).  There are also remote access tutors you could use if there is no one local.  If you start her in a program you are tutoring yourself but you have a local tutor (or remote tutor) you can turn to if you run into trouble or get burned out, that would seem a less costly option than just committing to having to use a tutor from the start.

 

Level 1 usually goes very quickly compared to the others.  Level 2 is usually pretty short, too.  Level 3 is longer and meatier but usually only takes a few months.  In other words, she might get through all three of the first levels in 4-8 months.  That should give you a good idea of whether you are comfortable tutoring her yourself without committing years to the process.  Add up what it would cost to pay a tutor for at least 2 sessions a week (most tutors I know recommend at least 2 sessions a week no matter the program) for 8 months then compare that to the cost of the first three levels of Barton.  And consider that usually tutoring a dyslexic student will take years, not months.  It might be worth your while to go with Barton.

 

Advantages of tutoring her yourself:

 

1.  You can customize the length of the lessons to what works best for your child.  Some kids cannot handle an entire hour of very intense one on one tutoring, especially when they are working their brains through material that is NOT easy for them, does NOT come naturally, and takes a TON of effort.  If your child can only handle 10 minutes, so be it.  You can do that.  

 

2.  Also, many students do better with 20-30 minutes of tutoring daily (or even shorter sessions) 5 days a week than 2 very intense and draining sessions twice a week.  You can provide that if you tutor her yourself.  A professional tutor can't do that (and even if they could, that would be VERY costly).

 

3.  You can work around your schedule.  Let's say that you want to take a family vacation, you can do so without having to worry about the tutor schedule.  You wake up and find you are feeling awful.  You don't have to worry about still needing to drive your child to the tutoring session or feeling guilty if you can't.  You can just shift your tutoring session with your child to the next day (or even later).  

 

4.  You don't have to drive anywhere (saves gas, effort, interruption to the schedule).

 

5.  You can see first hand how your child is progressing and adjust the approach if she runs into areas where she needs more review or more game like approaches, etc. (the TM's have suggestions for different ways to handle things if a child is struggling or resistant).

 

6.  There is a lot of support for home tutoring parents on the website and Susan Barton will talk to you if you run into trouble.

 

7.  Is this your older or younger child?  If it is your older, keep in mind that you can use this system with neurotypical children, too, so your younger one could also use it, just at a faster pace.  The program does not just remediate basic reading skills, it prepares a student for High School level material if you go all the way through Level 10.

 

8.  If you start with Barton and discover it isn't working, you can always try the Wilson tutor.  Your choice is not set in stone. 

 

But if you really, really hate the idea of tutoring her yourself, and you feel you will not commit the time and energy needed, you may be better off not trying Barton.  Tutoring a dyslexic child is not easy.  This stuff is hard for them and therefore is not a picnic for the tutor, either.

 

Don't get me wrong, though.  It isn't a hard program for the tutor to understand how to implement. The TM is well laid out, the videos have good examples (if boring), and the structure over all is designed specifically for a layman to implement.  Is it fun?  No, I wouldn't say it was fun. What I will say is that once my kids and I really committed to using it and got comfortable with the structure, it was much easier.  Level 4 was hard but as Frogger mentioned on another thread, Level 4 is hard because the English language is not easy and Level 4 tackles some really challenging parts of the English language, especially for a dyslexic.  

 

DD, especially, actually does ask for lessons now, upon occassion.  They are familiar to her, they are comfortable, and she has learned so much.  Her reading/spelling/writing has improved a zillion fold from where she was in 6th grade (barely decoding Clifford books).  It has worked miracles where no other program, no other teacher, no specialized tutor, was able to help.  It doesn't work for all students, so I cannot guarantee it will work for yours.  It definitely worked for mine, but that is all I can really be certain of.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:   I know this is a tough decision.  BTDT.  I hope you are happy with whatever you decide.  Good luck.

 

Wow! Thank you for taking the time to reply. You, too, make a lot of good points. This will be for my youngest child, but I'm thinking of running my oldest through it as well (reads fine, but written expression disorder makes spelling a real challenge for her). Ok, lots of good stuff to think about here. I'm thinking I'm sold. I'm also really tired. This whole evaluation process was really draining for me, and I wasn't the one being evaluated! I'm going to sleep on it and probably move on it in the morning. Then I can spend the holiday watching the videos and be ready to go when it comes.

 

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Wow! Thank you for taking the time to reply. You, too, make a lot of good points. This will be for my youngest child, but I'm thinking of running my oldest through it as well (reads fine, but written expression disorder makes spelling a real challenge for her). Ok, lots of good stuff to think about here. I'm thinking I'm sold. I'm also really tired. This whole evaluation process was really draining for me, and I wasn't the one being evaluated! I'm going to sleep on it and probably move on it in the morning. Then I can spend the holiday watching the videos and be ready to go when it comes.

 

Take a break, sleep on it like you said and revisit this whole thing after you have rested.  :)

 

By the way, another bonus if you go with Barton is that several of us on the LC board have used it so we can help if you need pointers.  

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just chiming in, now that you've mostly decided, to say "ditto" to all they stated. We just started recently, my DS is severely dyslexic (the last evaluator actually said "worst case she has seen in someone his age" even while she acknowledged the HUGE progress we have made since he was dx'ed.....) and has multiple other LD's alongside it that make him a complicated case....exactly the sort that a traditional tutor would find mind boggling, but since I've been muddling my way through trying to teach him for a few years now, I know his quirks and what works, what doesn't, what motivates him, when he needs to stop, when we can push through, etc. 

 

So, we started. He was able to skip over Level 1 and start in Level 2, and we're just finishing it up and going to order Level 3 (like you, so I can watch it over the holidays and start after). Thus far -- in only one level -- I can already tell he has a firmer grasp on things, is no longer mixing up vowels, can spell, and has more confidence. He no longer says "I can't read" (which he was saying prior to Barton, even as he was decoding various Scholastic Step 1/Level 1 early readers); he now says "I can't read very well..." -- subtle, but yet a HUGE difference, IMO. Already, in one level, he has gained that small bit of confidence to acknowledge, "Hey, I *can* read, I'm just not good at it yet..." 

 

For me, over the past few years since his diagnosis, we tried Spalding (Writing Road to Reading), with All About Spelling, after first spending a solid year just on phonemic awareness stuff, and then did IEW's PAL (which mixes sight words, whole words, multi-sensory, and phonics), worked our way through leveled readers.....and the whole while, we were making progress, usually gaining a year's worth of improvement in each year, yet the whole while I felt like I was muddling through. Where to go after he makes this amount of progress? Where to turn/what do I use for the next step? How do I get from A to Z, what do I use for the B, C, D, E, etc... steps?? I really felt overwhelmed and inadequate, cobbling together the next part of what we needed to make the next gains. 

 

Since starting Barton, and knowing it will take us all the way through highschool, I finally feel we've got something that will work. Not only in it's effectiveness for teaching him (which is great), but in it's ease of use/user-friendly for me to understand and implement. Spalding was incredibly complicated (for me), AAS required too much tweaking, and none of the other programs I found covered K to High School levels, which meant I'd forever be researching "what do I do next??"; I was very insecure. With Barton, it isn't fun, it isn't flashy, it isn't intuitive until you've seen the videos and begun doing it, but the way the manual is laid out, it IS easy to follow and does give the tutor the confidence needed to keep going, as well as the student (at least in my case). 

 

So...all that to say, it really solved, for me, not only the problem of "how do I teach him" but also the problem of "can I be capable to teach him?", it relieved all the muddling, cobbling together, piecemealing, etc. In other words -- I too really, really, really coveted a tutor. Oh, man, did I want someone else to do this. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and felt horribly inadequate. Horribly. But there's the secret -- with Barton, even though it's me, I feel like someone else now, because each level first teaches *me* how to teach him. I don't know how to explain it....it's not just be picking up a program and muddling through; it's me, becoming a trained tutor. 

 

Anyway, hope that helps you see the decision as a good one. :) I'll leave the advise giving to those further down the road than me, but just had to chime in and say it was the best decision we ever made. You won't regret it, I think. 

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I paid the equivalent of two levels of Barton for one month of O-G tutoring with a highly experienced Wilson and Slingerland certified tutor.  It has been awhile, but at the time DS recieved 5 hours of weekly tutoring. 

Edited by Heathermomster
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Worse than that around here.  Our place wanted $60 an hour as a starting point and $80 for kids with ASD. I took that to mean my kid was too much of a pain in the butt for them.  That would be, um, $1600 a month to get amounts like Heathermomster got.  That's a lotta $$$!

 

PS.  I use those amounts to remind dh what I'm worth.  :D

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Just wanted to chime in. I am so grateful I decided to use Barton with my 9yo who is dyslexic. It has made a world of difference for her and has also been really good for my 7yo as well. It is not a flashy fun program to teach but it is extremely effective. I don't think you will regret it.

 

Also, I am really grateful for the ability to teach the program on our own schedule. There is no way my 9yo would be able to sit through a 45 min session and get what she needs out of it. She maxes out at about 20-25 min. It is also really nice to have the ability to review and repeat lessons however much I feel they need it. We don't always do things in exactly the order as written, but we have figured out a good routine that works well for us. I hope it goes well for you! :-)

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Barton worked so well for my son, I became a certified tutor!  

 

If you find that the student cannot handle anymore than 25-30 mins of work, I highly recommend the Spelling Success games to reinforce the rules you are learning. I try to switch gears with one boy that I tutor. He has ADHD and needs to move after about 20 minutes. There is a white board on the wall and I have him get up and stand at the board to do the spelling. This lets him move around and spend the last 15 minutes of every session doing something fun that reinforces what we are doing in Barton. 

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Barton worked so well for my son, I became a certified tutor!

 

If you find that the student cannot handle anymore than 25-30 mins of work, I highly recommend the Spelling Success games to reinforce the rules you are learning. I try to switch gears with one boy that I tutor. He has ADHD and needs to move after about 20 minutes. There is a white board on the wall and I have him get up and stand at the board to do the spelling. This lets him move around and spend the last 15 minutes of every session doing something fun that reinforces what we are doing in Barton.

Thank you. I'm running both of my girls through it. One is dyslexic and the other is dysgraphic. The dysgraphic one needs help with spelling so I think it will be good for her. Both are ADHD, one wiggly and one inattentive. I appreciate the idea of using the whiteboard. I have one on the wall as well. My wiggly one will appreciate getting up. I'll check out the games too. We are moving right along in level two so far, but I know we will get to a point where we need more practice. The youngest especially appreciates practice with games. (Currently using the Rightstart games for math fact practice.)

 

Thanks,

Teresa

 

PS: I've considered getting certified (though it's pretty early in my journey to decide). There is no one in my area who does it was far as I can tell. It's a forty minute drive to the next town to find someone.

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We have also enjoyed using the spelling success games, definitely worth it. We also purchased the reader sets that Barton sells, they are pricey but they have been really nice to have. I have my kids read a story from their current level/lesson (usually one lesson behind) as well as a couple pages out of their readers (which is one level behind). I think it is really helping to improve their fluency.

 

ETA: I believe the first readers available are the level 3 readers which are meant to be used when the child has completed level 3. The level 3 readers practice all the words they learned throughout level 3. So for example we are currently reading through the level 3 readers while working through level 4. Just thought I would clarify that, as I didn't realize when exactly they were supposed to be used until after I had purchased them.

Edited by ForeverFamily
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We have also enjoyed using the spelling success games, definitely worth it. We also purchased the reader sets that Barton sells, they are pricey but they have been really nice to have. I have my kids read a story from their current level/lesson (usually one lesson behind) as well as a couple pages out of their readers (which is one level behind). I think it is really helping to improve their fluency.

 

ETA: I believe the first readers available are the level 3 readers which are meant to be used when the child has completed level 3. The level 3 readers practice all the words they learned throughout level 3. So for example we are currently reading through the level 3 readers while working through level 4. Just thought I would clarify that, as I didn't realize when exactly they were supposed to be used until after I had purchased them.

Oh, thank you for explaining that! I was just looking at the readers on the website, and wasn't sure when to add them to our routine, during or after the listed level. I'm glad to hear they are worth the price, too.

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Thank you. I'm running both of my girls through it. One is dyslexic and the other is dysgraphic. The dysgraphic one needs help with spelling so I think it will be good for her. Both are ADHD, one wiggly and one inattentive. I appreciate the idea of using the whiteboard. I have one on the wall as well. My wiggly one will appreciate getting up. I'll check out the games too. We are moving right along in level two so far, but I know we will get to a point where we need more practice. The youngest especially appreciates practice with games. (Currently using the Rightstart games for math fact practice.)

 

Thanks,

Teresa

 

PS: I've considered getting certified (though it's pretty early in my journey to decide). There is no one in my area who does it was far as I can tell. It's a forty minute drive to the next town to find someone.

The Spelling Success games have been great here.  Awesome for review, for keeping a lesson fresh, for use during a hiatus from the main program to prevent loss of information, etc.  Very portable, too.

 

Also, I don't know if you have gotten on the website for Barton and downloaded the extra support pages for tutors but those can be very helpful as well.  The back of the TM also has suggestions for activities/games that can be played with stuff lying around the house (can't remember what level those start at).

 

And I agree about the white board.  DS needs to move.  It helps when he can get up and move.  He is also dysgraphic so writing with the dry erase board keeps him moving through the material without severe hand strain and frustration.  With the big dry erase board he likes to use the thick markers and write pretty large.  The big muscle movement helps him remember but it also helps his focus to get that kind of movement in periodically.

 

I also have two smaller dry erase boards he uses at the table.  One has the wide lines with the guided dots like the tablet paper used in Kindergarten.  It helps DS write more accurately/legibly.  He uses the thinner dry erase markers for that board.  

 

The second board has much narrower lines and is thin, almost like cardstock but not flexible.  I have extra fine dry erase markers for that one.  DS and DD both like to rotate which one they want to use.  

 

Another thing we got was a chair that rocks a bit.  DD likes to rock back and forth in the chair.  She does better with rhythmic movement.  I'm considering getting an exercise ball as well.

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Oh, another thing that has kept DS engaged is modifying the stories at the end of the lessons, at least starting with Level 3.  He reads the story as written, then likes to go back and edit the story so it sounds better to him.  If he needs help spelling a word he wants to add, I just help him since he has finished the lesson.  He loves changing the story then reading it back to me.  Extra practice and it keeps him motivated.  :)

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Do you have other kids? I didn't pick that up when I read through the posts. Barton seems a little time intensive at first. I actually have the best of both worlds because my mom is tutoring and we talk a LOT, and she tutors 3 days a week but we do other "stuff" Barton related on the days she doesn't tutor. We tutored all summer last summer and ds9 got through 3 levels of Barton before starting out this year. I do think its possible for parents to use, but working from home and homeschooling 3 kids would have killed me had I chosen to implement Barton myself. Its also...boring. Ds does not appreciate it at all, although the other night he spend about an hour telling his grandfather how much it was helping him break apart words and decode them, not to mention how much it has improved his overall ability to write things down! In general, however, tutoring is like pulling teeth around here. Of course, my mom isn't probably as innovative as a tutor would be but she is certainly more patient with him than I would have been. He IS very difficult though--he has other issues as well (ADHD, processing speed issues, dysgraphia, and a negative personality). He is also profoundly dyslexic so it has been a significant challenge. Anyway, I just wanted to offer a dissenting view--I think you can and should give it a try, but don't be discouraged because you are the only person who couldn't--because you aren't.

 

As a side, my mom is also now tutoring another little fella (for free!!!) because she loves the reward of watching the kids succeed and she states the other young man is much less difficult in general. Attitude makes all the difference!

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Do you have other kids? I didn't pick that up when I read through the posts. Barton seems a little time intensive at first. I actually have the best of both worlds because my mom is tutoring and we talk a LOT, and she tutors 3 days a week but we do other "stuff" Barton related on the days she doesn't tutor. We tutored all summer last summer and ds9 got through 3 levels of Barton before starting out this year. I do think its possible for parents to use, but working from home and homeschooling 3 kids would have killed me had I chosen to implement Barton myself. Its also...boring. Ds does not appreciate it at all, although the other night he spend about an hour telling his grandfather how much it was helping him break apart words and decode them, not to mention how much it has improved his overall ability to write things down! In general, however, tutoring is like pulling teeth around here. Of course, my mom isn't probably as innovative as a tutor would be but she is certainly more patient with him than I would have been. He IS very difficult though--he has other issues as well (ADHD, processing speed issues, dysgraphia, and a negative personality). He is also profoundly dyslexic so it has been a significant challenge. Anyway, I just wanted to offer a dissenting view--I think you can and should give it a try, but don't be discouraged because you are the only person who couldn't--because you aren't.

 

As a side, my mom is also now tutoring another little fella (for free!!!) because she loves the reward of watching the kids succeed and she states the other young man is much less difficult in general. Attitude makes all the difference!

 

I agree, I hope we aren't all giving the impression that Barton is a breeze and someone must be defective if they cannot easily tutor with this program.  I definitely don't think that.  I love Barton.  Puffy heart love it.  But there have been days/weeks/months where I wanted to run screaming over the hills never to be seen again (just kidding).  And when I got to Level 4....well, I just won't go there.  We survived.  And apparently some people make it through Level 4 without the extremes we went through so I don't want to scare anyone.  :)

 

The bottom line is, tutoring a child with neurological differences can be VERY challenging, no matter how well laid out/thought out the program you are using.  And sometimes, no matter how great the program, it can be a terrible fit for either the tutor/parent or the student.  

 

Best wishes.

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This is an  update and a thank you to quite a few of you (not just those in this particular post) who assisted me on my journey. I can't figure out how to add the word update to the topic, but...

We are just a few months shy of three years of Barton and my daughter is mid level 8. She's become a successful reader. She's a great decoder even if she reads rather slowly. Her spelling is much improved but still obviously dyslexic. This may always be the case, but she's becoming proficient with technology, so that's a big help. I can't find the posts I made prior to this, when you fabulous people were encouraging me to get testing and then supporting me with my grieving when we finally had results, but wow! What a journey. Annabelle has entered 6th grade this year and while we are only beginning our third week so far, she's sight read A Long Walk to Water and is part of the way through The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. This is such an amazing difference. She's so confident and actually enjoys reading (both audibooks, family read alouds, and sight reading). This is a big deal considering that slightly before testing she told me, "Books just aren't for me." She's in book 3 of CAP Writing & Rhetoric and while she's ok at speech to text in Google Docs, she prefers to type and her spelling is decent enough that it mostly comes out ok. I'm not sure we would be here without the many members of this particular subforum--and not just those who posted in this thread. Reading about everyone else's struggles and successes, encouragement and advice... You've made all the difference and as we continue our journey, I'm sure you will continue to see me hanging around. So thank you. Many times over, thank you.

Teresa

PS: I also dragged my older daughter who is dysgraphic+adhd, but who is am amazing reader, through Barton. She did all ten levels and is such a confident speller now that if you didn't have the psychologist's report, you would never suspect that she struggled with spelling. She occasionally asks for help with a word that spellcheck can't figure out, but even her handwritten work is mostly spelled correctly. We've come such a long way. 

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I LOVE your post and am so happy for you!! It totally made me smile!!  We SO need our happy dance emojis back.  :biggrin:

Meanwhile, have you done RAN/RAS work? Might bump that reading speed a bit. You could also have her eyes checked. Sometimes they can bump the tracking and visual processing with VT and get it faster. My dd never read slowly, but she read NOTICEABLY faster after VT. So vision check with a developmental optometrist, just an annual and asking them to screen, could be good.

But stellar, stellar, stellar!!!! And hooray on the ADHD going through level 10, wow! Yes, my dd with ADHD was crunchy. That's fabulous that you had it to run her through. Your hard work is paying off!!!

Ok, just for our trivia, how long do you work per day on your Barton stuff (on average) to get that kind of progress?

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Originally we were working about 45 minutes to an hour  a day, 5 days a week on Barton. We don't take summers off. Lately we've moved to 30 minutes or so and about 4 days a week (though the goal is always 5 but stuff keeps happening). We haven't done any RAN/RAS work, but she was evaluated by a vision therapist when we began looking into her reading difficulties. They told me she wasn't dyslexic, so I've not got a lot of faith in much of what they said after that. We've moved to a new area and it might be time to look for someone. She's not extremely slow, just slow enough that you notice that she's working a little harder at it than most people her age would be.

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1 hour ago, zarabellesmom said:

she was evaluated by a vision therapist when we began looking into her reading difficulties. They told me she wasn't dyslexic, so I've not got a lot of faith in much of what they said after that.

LOL Yeah, just shaking my head here. We had a developmental optometrist (otherwise good) say something similarly stupid. But yes, if you set aside the comments that are outside their area of expertise, they're still qualified to say whether the dc has convergence issues, etc. It might be worth updating with a fresh optometrist. You don't want a physical problem to be making it harder. How was her processing speed?

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0  Here's a link on my RAN/RAS files. Print, pop in page protectors, and just drill till reading them aloud gets easy and fluid. Very little time, might get you some change. You read them aloud and can rotate the page, reading vertically, horizontally, diagonally, whatever, to get more trials with same page. You can make your own pages with numbers or whatever you want. After they get more fluent reading rapidly, you can switch to reading with a metronome at 54bpm to target EF. 

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5 hours ago, PeterPan said:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0  Here's a link on my RAN/RAS files. Print, pop in page protectors, and just drill till reading them aloud gets easy and fluid. Very little time, might get you some change. You read them aloud and can rotate the page, reading vertically, horizontally, diagonally, whatever, to get more trials with same page. You can make your own pages with numbers or whatever you want. After they get more fluent reading rapidly, you can switch to reading with a metronome at 54bpm to target EF.

Her processing speed was her lowest score on her testing (30th percentile). That was 3 years ago. I'm curious how it looks now. I'm sure that her being on ADHD medication now, would improve things. I'll check out your files. Thanks!  

 

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So I can tell you that the low processing speed does *not* have to cause slow reading. That can be the dyslexia, the RAN/RAS, developmental vision issues (tracking, etc.), whatever. Yeah, I don't have numbers on the effect of the meds on processing speed but my dd says the same thing, that they help.

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