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mamamoose

Throwing in the Barton Towel--part II

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I posted on another thread and it was suggested I start my own so as not to derail that one. My son is 10 and about half way through level 5. He is dyslexic and dysgraphic, has been recommended for vision therapy for mild convergence issues. We have not followed through because he has had 30 sessions of neurofeedback, to the tune of $3500, not including gas and hotels. We live 140 miles from services. I am not opposed to VT but I am not convinced that will help.

 

Anyway, I was asked for more info. I am super frustrated by the his frustration with Barton. It. Is. So. Boring. He is super bright (IQ=138, when tested 3 years ago prior to Barton). He is extremely athletic and definitely suffers from ADHD--hyperactive, so we have that going for us too. There ARE co-morbid issues for sure, but the Barton sequence is frustrating. He wants to be able to read, and he can decode what he has learned even if its slow. But as far as reading for enjoyment, well, none of that because I have followed the rules and he hasn't been reading at all except for Barton. 

 

He loves audio books. I read as much as I have time for. But he seriously doesn't even read 3rd grade science test questions. Math word problems? No can do. Do I just need to force the issue a little? Is there a different program that might be more helpful? Vision therapy is just not an issue right now. It wouldn't help anyway because he is uncooperative to the nth degree.

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For the most recent new phonograms he has learned, has he picked them up pretty quickly and easily? Has he read words with them pretty easily? If he has, I think even if you start in AAR 2, it won’t be “that†far back, because he will already have covered a lot of things. Look at the readers and see what you think of them.

 

Consonant blends were a huge issue for my older son, and they are in AAR 1, and blends at the beginning and the end are early in AAR 2. But if he has covered some syllable division rules, you might go through it pretty quickly.

 

Other things you might do is look at his science test (for example) and see how many words he knows and how many he doesn’t (or could be expected to read with what he knows, or not). Sometimes things will be mostly sight words plus a few content words. Sometimes not. Sometimes though, teaching and explaining a few content words goes a long way. I wouldn’t do this if it would confuse him! Or if it would frustrate him.

 

I think at a certain point, it’s a bad thing to do, kids aren’t ready, it confuses them or pushes them towards not trying to sound out.... but later if they can look at the word, see the parts that fit with what they already know, understand an explanation of the parts they don’t already know — it’s fine.

 

If you read with him, you can pre-read and underline sentences he could read as you come to them, in a book that would be engaging to him otherwise. I did that a lot and my son liked it okay.

 

I don’t know what choices you are making wrt the ADHD. None of my kids have it so I don’t have personal experience. But I have heard of kids making major, major reading gains after starting medication. Not like it’s every time or anything, but enough that I have heard of it several times. Just a mention.

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First, I want to preface this by saying that I am sending sympathy and my brainstorming is simply to try and help.  One size does not fit all and there is no perfect program out there that works for everyone.  I think you are right to question the program if your son does not seem to be truly progressing.  I hope someone will have helpful suggestions.

 

O.k. lets break it down a bit.  I don't guarantee I can help at all but I am willing to try.

 

  1. How did he do on the Barton screening, before you started the program? Besides the vision issues could he have APD?
  2. Are you certain he has been internalizing the material?  As in, did you give him the post tests for each level to confirm he was internalizing the rules, not just attempting to memorize them?  (DD needed a second full run through Level 4 and then eventually a 3rd skim through to solidify what she was learning).
  3. Are you keeping the lessons really short, done daily, and at a time when he has already had some significant physical exercise?  Would it help to offer something more interesting or some sort of reward right after each lesson to keep him engaged?  
  4. If you were to switch, have you looked into something like High Noon instead of Barton?
  5. Sometimes both tutor/teacher/parent and student have developed such a strong dislike for a program that it is no longer going to work.  Sometimes it really it is better to walk away, at least temporarily.  Maybe taking a full on break from reading instruction for a few weeks while you sort this out might help both of you. 
  6. Does he have an independent way to listen to audio books?  DS did better once we got him a kindle with wireless noise cancelling headsets.  He could listen to a lot of books while walking around the house with his kindle in his pocket (his pants had really large pockets).  Gave him a lot of independence and the ability to move around without interrupting what other people were doing.
  7. Could his ADHD tendencies be making it hard to focus and internalize his lessons?  

 

On a side note, Barton IS pretty boring but once I shortened the lessons and incorporated some of the games, our lessons went a lot more smoothly.  However, DD was seeing results so she had buy in.  Even though she found Barton boring she saw changes in her ability to read and spell occur rather quickly.  She WANTED to continue Barton because it was genuinely helping her.  She could see it.  By mid-level three she got Divergent for Christmas and read it cover to cover.  Could she easily decode every word?  No, but Barton had given her the tools she needed to decode a significant number and she could figure out the rest from context.  This was mid-7th grade and she had not been reading much at all and had really poor decoding and fluency skills all the way through 5th grade.  Barton was definitely what turned things around.  Because she could see the changes and felt empowered she wanted to continue the material.  Without her buy-in it would have been MUCH harder to continue, especially if neither of us were seeing results.  Hugs and sympathy for both of you.  

 

DS is the same.  Barton was not as good a fit for him because of comorbid issues but it helped significantly anyway and he now reads independently.  He could see it was helping so he kept going for a while.  He does not pick up a novel to read for fun but he will read material to gain knowledge in areas he has interest and retains what he is reading.  The rest is audio book based.  He no longer has buy in for Barton, though.  He came to me with reasonable arguments for why he wanted to stop.  I tentatively agreed as long as he continued to improve through other means.  He feels his reading skills are good enough and frankly they are good for his needs. He reads above grade level.  He reads slowly but he reads well.  His spelling is still lacking but he has learned ways to work around that and we work on spelling through Touch Type Read Spell and other materials.  He is making progress.

 

Anyway, I don't know that I am helping at all here but hopefully Lecka and others can provide some concrete feedback you can use to help your son move forward.  Sending you hugs and best wishes through this sometimes incredibly difficult journey.

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You could also do stuff like see if he wants to read along with an audiobook with the Kindle sync thing. I wouldn’t do this with my kids, I don’t think it would be good for them.

 

But if he wanted to do it, wanted to be more independent, you could try it.

 

If you see him revert to guessing, or grow confused, then you can stop, or try to guide him to different books.

 

I think you can try different things, and if you see “oh no,†then you know “okay, outside reading is a very bad idea for us right now,†and then still — you could choose to switch to a program that also had decodable readers but introduced sounds in a different order.

 

Or you might see it’s fine and he can start picking things up that way, or even if he doesn’t, maybe he likes it and it doesn’t hurt anything.

 

The thing is that figuring out words from context is good when kids read through the word and learn to associate the patterns in the word with the sound. If they just figure out the word but don’t read through the word, it does nothing.

 

That’s all stuff I have seen with my kids, and things I look for.

 

But it’s so different between different kids.

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OneStep, my husband is an abysmal speller, and he has improved with just using spell check and seeing the words show up. Sometimes it doesn’t catch things, and sometimes he spells a word so off spell check won’t provide the correct word, but he speaks highly of it.

 

It’s enough his work emails are professional! He always spell-checks his emails and has for a few years now.

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Oh, I was going to say, he will type a phrase in google if spellcheck won’t suggest the correct word, he says that basically always works.

 

And then over time he has learned the words that come up a lot for his job, so he does other things a lot more easily.

 

Anyway — he’s improved even as an adult!

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OneStep, my husband is an abysmal speller, and he has improved with just using spell check and seeing the words show up. Sometimes it doesn’t catch things, and sometimes he spells a word so off spell check won’t provide the correct word, but he speaks highly of it.

 

It’s enough his work emails are professional! He always spell-checks his emails and has for a few years now.

LOL.  Yeah, I have a lot of poor spellers in my family.  DH is a terrible speller (and his handwriting is atrocious).  My dad was a terrible speller and his handwriting was bad, too.  DS gets poor spelling and bad handwriting from both sides of the family, poor kid.  Vision issues, too.  Lots of family members on both sides with wonky vision issues (although mine appear to be the wonkiest).  Oh, well.  Dad and DH did great in their careers.  Dad even wrote a book for military operations.  Thank goodness he had a secretary and proofreaders,  :laugh: .

 

And yeah, spell check helps.  It doesn't solve it all but as spell checkers get more sophisticated it sure does help.  DS does a lot better now that he types.

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You might want to look into DM EasyRead. https://dm-ed.com/reading-help/6-11-home/

 

My son was working through Barton 3 when I decided to try EasyRead with him. Like you, we found Barton tedious and he wanted to be able to read books like his brother. EasyRead uses trainer text images so that you only have to learn 42 sounds that are represented by cute characters like the "oak in a cloak" and the "eagle feeling reagle." It gets the kids decoding those vowel teams really quickly and then slowly extinguishes the trainer text so that they're reading plain text. You work for 10-15 minutes a day through games and books online. There are eye tracking exercises and the customer support team conduct regular phone interviews with you to help you with any issues that come up.

 

It's an expensive program, but we're making fast progress. Most families use the program for about 6 months. They offer a 10 day free trial (no cc required for the trial) so you can see if the system looks like a good fit. It starts off very easy, but it builds confidence so that their attitude towards reading changes. My ds went from reading absolutely nothing outside of his Barton lessons to reading Frog and Toad, Amelia Bedeila, and similar books with fluency for fun. The success he had with EasyRead gave him the confidence to try reading books.

 

Barton is an excellent program and I won't hesitate to return to it if I think it's necessary in the future. We just reached a point where we needed a break and what I thought would be a fun and easy way to keep up reading practice for my ds while we took a break ended up being the key for him to take off reading.

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For the most recent new phonograms he has learned, has he picked them up pretty quickly and easily? Has he read words with them pretty easily? If he has, I think even if you start in AAR 2, it won’t be “that†far back, because he will already have covered a lot of things. Look at the readers and see what you think of them.

 

Consonant blends were a huge issue for my older son, and they are in AAR 1, and blends at the beginning and the end are early in AAR 2. But if he has covered some syllable division rules, you might go through it pretty quickly.

 

Other things you might do is look at his science test (for example) and see how many words he knows and how many he doesn’t (or could be expected to read with what he knows, or not). Sometimes things will be mostly sight words plus a few content words. Sometimes not. Sometimes though, teaching and explaining a few content words goes a long way. I wouldn’t do this if it would confuse him! Or if it would frustrate him.

 

I think at a certain point, it’s a bad thing to do, kids aren’t ready, it confuses them or pushes them towards not trying to sound out.... but later if they can look at the word, see the parts that fit with what they already know, understand an explanation of the parts they don’t already know — it’s fine.

 

If you read with him, you can pre-read and underline sentences he could read as you come to them, in a book that would be engaging to him otherwise. I did that a lot and my son liked it okay.

 

I don’t know what choices you are making wrt the ADHD. None of my kids have it so I don’t have personal experience. But I have heard of kids making major, major reading gains after starting medication. Not like it’s every time or anything, but enough that I have heard of it several times. Just a mention.

We have used high noon. I can't find a happy "medium" there--it seems way below level, and no resale, and they are so expensive! He did enjoy them, so maybe we should revisit for a break this spring. 

 

He is able to learn blends and consonant teams and he does well for short periods of time. He gets really tired really easily, and maybe that's where VT would help. 

 

He also reads well in context. But...for instance, today he read "the birds sang, and sang, and sang some more," as "the birds were singing and singing." Obviously in his brain he saw sang and converted it because of the context but wasn't reading the actual words. 

 

I am terrified of medications. I just see a train wreck. I could go on and on with my personal experiences with kids who are medicated and none of it seems healthy at all. We have a friend whose daughter has adhd and she medicates upon waking and then in order to sleep. Its insanity. Its just not who we are at all.

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First, I want to preface this by saying that I am sending sympathy and my brainstorming is simply to try and help.  One size does not fit all and there is no perfect program out there that works for everyone.  I think you are right to question the program if your son does not seem to be truly progressing.  I hope someone will have helpful suggestions.

 

O.k. lets break it down a bit.  I don't guarantee I can help at all but I am willing to try.

 

  1. How did he do on the Barton screening, before you started the program? Besides the vision issues could he have APD?
  2. Are you certain he has been internalizing the material?  As in, did you give him the post tests for each level to confirm he was internalizing the rules, not just attempting to memorize them?  (DD needed a second full run through Level 4 and then eventually a 3rd skim through to solidify what she was learning).
  3. Are you keeping the lessons really short, done daily, and at a time when he has already had some significant physical exercise?  Would it help to offer something more interesting or some sort of reward right after each lesson to keep him engaged?  
  4. If you were to switch, have you looked into something like High Noon instead of Barton?
  5. Sometimes both tutor/teacher/parent and student have developed such a strong dislike for a program that it is no longer going to work.  Sometimes it really it is better to walk away, at least temporarily.  Maybe taking a full on break from reading instruction for a few weeks while you sort this out might help both of you. 
  6. Does he have an independent way to listen to audio books?  DS did better once we got him a kindle with wireless noise cancelling headsets.  He could listen to a lot of books while walking around the house with his kindle in his pocket (his pants had really large pockets).  Gave him a lot of independence and the ability to move around without interrupting what other people were doing.
  7. Could his ADHD tendencies be making it hard to focus and internalize his lessons?  

 

On a side note, Barton IS pretty boring but once I shortened the lessons and incorporated some of the games, our lessons went a lot more smoothly.  However, DD was seeing results so she had buy in.  Even though she found Barton boring she saw changes in her ability to read and spell occur rather quickly.  She WANTED to continue Barton because it was genuinely helping her.  She could see it.  By mid-level three she got Divergent for Christmas and read it cover to cover.  Could she easily decode every word?  No, but Barton had given her the tools she needed to decode a significant number and she could figure out the rest from context.  This was mid-7th grade and she had not been reading much at all and had really poor decoding and fluency skills all the way through 5th grade.  Barton was definitely what turned things around.  Because she could see the changes and felt empowered she wanted to continue the material.  Without her buy-in it would have been MUCH harder to continue, especially if neither of us were seeing results.  Hugs and sympathy for both of you.  

 

DS is the same.  Barton was not as good a fit for him because of comorbid issues but it helped significantly anyway and he now reads independently.  He could see it was helping so he kept going for a while.  He does not pick up a novel to read for fun but he will read material to gain knowledge in areas he has interest and retains what he is reading.  The rest is audio book based.  He no longer has buy in for Barton, though.  He came to me with reasonable arguments for why he wanted to stop.  I tentatively agreed as long as he continued to improve through other means.  He feels his reading skills are good enough and frankly they are good for his needs. He reads above grade level.  He reads slowly but he reads well.  His spelling is still lacking but he has learned ways to work around that and we work on spelling through Touch Type Read Spell and other materials.  He is making progress.

 

Anyway, I don't know that I am helping at all here but hopefully Lecka and others can provide some concrete feedback you can use to help your son move forward.  Sending you hugs and best wishes through this sometimes incredibly difficult journey.

Thank you for the long and detailed post. 

 

Is APD auditory processing disorder? If so, I don't have a lot of info but I don't think so. He was screened for language and auditory issues and passed with flying colors. His neuropsych didn't mention it. He is extremely good at remembering things read to him--he speaks clearly and sounds words out clearly. He does have fine motor skill problems but they are very mild--I'm sure that affects his ability to write at times. He spells relatively well considering, and much better verbally than written.

 

We did level 4 twice, just to be sure it was solidified. He passes his post tests before moving on, or we go back and review until he can. This wasn't an issue except wth 4, and he did pass but we felt it best to review before going on. He's only in 4th grade.

 

My mom is teaching Barton. she comes 3 times a week. She gives me word lists to work on the days she is gone. He is not capable of more than 20 minutes of anything school related, so that is as long as we expect.

 

He listens to audiobooks on his iPod. He has one going all the time.

 

ADHD surely comes into play. No doubt about it. I also feel like I work around that as much as possible. But that is something to reconsider.

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Skipping to the bottom.

 

I talked to another parent once whose kids improved after ADHD medication.

 

She described them getting ahead of themselves, having a hard time slowing down. Lots of careless errors. Not too much of a pattern to errors, making mistakes with things she would have said they knew well.

 

It’s not how my sons were/are. They are plodders. They have a clear, steady, maybe slow, progress. But it’s pretty linear.

 

I think this can also be from things be boring. But as kids get older they are expected to be able to focus more/longer on things that are boring, if it’s necessary and part of things being more interesting overall.

 

It’s hard to say. Finding something less boring could help, too, but that’s hard at a certain point when there is the mismatch, but kids still need to learn until they catch up to where they have a match. Or you can do more with audiobooks and not worry about it so much.

 

The thing is too, his vision problem might be minor on its own, but it might be aggravating when combined with the other thing. So improving that could get to where it’s more manageable for him, too.

 

Sometimes for CI you can find an optometrist who will do glasses instead of VT, I think. I think it’s not supposed to be as good but if VT isn’t an option maybe it’s something to consider.

 

Is he athletic with ball sports? It’s not the same as reading but if he can look at a ball coming towards his face I think that’s a good sign.

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His adhd is the hyperactive variety. Truly short periods of focus are fine, even for boring things. But he’s also a little borderline defiant—I don’t know how that would look if he didn’t have the issues he has, because truly I would be defiant at times too if I had to struggle through this part of life.

 

He has glasses for convergence. He refuses to wear them.

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My daughter has regular glasses and we have to “remind†her to wear them. She will be squinting, too!

 

It’s hard to say but I have personally known two kids who were noticeably less defiant after they started ADHD medication. I have known two other kids who were still kind-of defiant while they took ADHD medication, and I can’t compare to when they didn’t take ADHD medication. For the brother and sister I knew from their mom and it was very noticeable. Maybe not quickly but for example we went to this landscaping project with Boy Scouts and the boy was just talking back and not following directions a fair amount of the time. Two months later or so we saw them at another Boy Scouts thing and he was not doing it at all. We saw him more than that, so it’s not like I saw him on a random bad day and then a random good day, that was pretty respresentative.

 

Anyway it’s hard to say, I’m just mentioning it. I don’t know much about it besides talking to some parents. One of my kids had a lot of behavior issues so I end up talking to other parents with behavior issues about it.

 

But my son was not recommended for ADHD medication, nobody thought it would help him. But people who didn’t recommend it for my son would recommend it for other kids.

 

I used to have conversations where 3 parents would all have been recommended ADHD medication by a certain person, and think it was a blanket recommendation, and then talk to me about why the same person didn’t recommend it for me. My son basically had worse behavior issues than any of their kids, too.

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...

We did level 4 twice, just to be sure it was solidified. He passes his post tests before moving on, or we go back and review until he can. This wasn't an issue except wth 4, and he did pass but we felt it best to review before going on. He's only in 4th grade.

 

My mom is teaching Barton. she comes 3 times a week. She gives me word lists to work on the days she is gone. He is not capable of more than 20 minutes of anything school related, so that is as long as we expect..

 

I understand wanting to be certain he knows the material well before moving on, but if you’re repeating levels after he’s been able to pass the test, that might contribute to some of the frustration.  

 

How amazing that your mom comes in to tutor him with Barton! But I’m not sure exactly what you are doing with the word list she gives you. As a homeschooling mom, it would be frustrating to me to just work on off a word list someone else gave me. You say Barton is boring, but to me working off a word list sounds like the most boring part of what you’re doing! And if he’s only able to work on Barton for 20 minutes, three times a week, then that adds up to only one hour a week of tutoring. If he’s really only getting one hour of tutoring per week, then you really aren’t doing Barton the way it’s designed as their website says, “For younger students, or those with significant focusing difficulty, a tutoring session may only last 40 minutes. But a Barton student must receive at least 2 hours of one-on-one tutoring each and every week in order for it to be frequent and intense enough 'to stick.'†https://bartonreading.com/tutors/#how   

 

I took my most dyslexic son through all 10 levels. Not all my children have gone that far, but I’m glad that I got through all ten levels! I’m a better homeschool teacher because of the tutoring techniques I learned with Barton. What I’ve learned with Barton tutoring I apply now with our schoolwork even when not doing Barton. I sometimes pull out those tiles to show how words are broken down, which is open, closed, unit, vowel team, etc. We use what we learned in Barton to break down words in my son’s high school books so that the spelling of those words makes more sense. When I read through his high school papers with him, I still ask, “Does it start with a capital and end with punctuation?†and I use that question when working with my younger children who aren’t doing Barton right now.

 

I get how sometimes you may feel you need a break from Barton or want to use a different program. When I was using Barton with my son, I supplemented our Barton tutoring with other materials. My son didn’t initially pass the Barton screen, so we started with LiPS. I liked the Lindamood-Bell materials that I saw in their catalogs, so I added some workbooks from their “Seeing Stars†program. Barton’s wasn’t specifically designed for younger children, but Seeing Stars was and so it includes a little cartoon cat to introduce the most commonly used words in our language. Many of those are sight words or they use phonics rules that Barton doesn’t handle until later.  I figured that since most school children with dyslexia have school work in addition to any outside dyslexia tutoring, I could include more of that type of thing in our school day too.

 

Somewhere along the journey, we eventually did vision therapy too.  Vision therapy alone would not have solved his reading problems, and I’m glad we waited and got a second opinion. When I say I waited, I didn’t exactly wait. I did some research and found some materials that people sometimes work with in VT, and we did those at home.  (We used a workbook that supposedly trains eyes to move left to right, and he testing showed a poor visual memory so I found some quality games at a fantastic toy shop that worked on visual memory. Even the Seeing Stars program we used parts of I’d heard some do in VT, so I did all that I felt I could do on my own.) Eventually, I had the money and time and someone to watch my other children, so he started VT. He progressed quickly, faster than the therapist expected. Because of how far he was with dyslexia remediation before starting VT, I’m really not sure how much VT really helped his reading, but my son did find he was able to read for longer periods of time after VT—and his baseball batting average improved significantly that year!

 

Anyway, I just wrote a very long winded reply. I would suggest that you stick with Barton, making sure he gets at least two hours per week of tutoring.  Don't repeat levels he just covered if he's passed the post-test. Also, if after increasing the amount of Barton tutoring he's getting you still feel like you want more, I would suggest you look at something else in addition to Barton. Perhaps look at his VT report and see if there’s anything you could do to work in the areas of his shortcomings. A lot of therapies use games and other children’s activities, so I’d look to see if there are any games or children’s activities that you can use to address some of the issues apart from VT. Perhaps instead of working from word list that your mother (his Barton tutor left) you can look at teaching him some common words, apart from his Barton tutoring. Since your mother is the one doing the Barton tutoring, I’d suggest you make sure you understand how the system works so that you can use similar techniques when appropriate, but perhaps especially because you are not the one tutoring him with Barton, I can understand why you are thinking about trying something else. I suggest you stick with Barton but find something else too.     

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My daughter has regular glasses and we have to “remind†her to wear them. She will be squinting, too!

 

It’s hard to say but I have personally known two kids who were noticeably less defiant after they started ADHD medication. I have known two other kids who were still kind-of defiant while they took ADHD medication, and I can’t compare to when they didn’t take ADHD medication. For the brother and sister I knew from their mom and it was very noticeable. Maybe not quickly but for example we went to this landscaping project with Boy Scouts and the boy was just talking back and not following directions a fair amount of the time. Two months later or so we saw them at another Boy Scouts thing and he was not doing it at all. We saw him more than that, so it’s not like I saw him on a random bad day and then a random good day, that was pretty respresentative.

 

Anyway it’s hard to say, I’m just mentioning it. I don’t know much about it besides talking to some parents. One of my kids had a lot of behavior issues so I end up talking to other parents with behavior issues about it.

 

But my son was not recommended for ADHD medication, nobody thought it would help him. But people who didn’t recommend it for my son would recommend it for other kids.

 

I used to have conversations where 3 parents would all have been recommended ADHD medication by a certain person, and think it was a blanket recommendation, and then talk to me about why the same person didn’t recommend it for me. My son basically had worse behavior issues than any of their kids, too.

Two neuropsychologists, a therapist, and his ped have said adhd meds would not likely improve him with the processing issues he has.

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Twenty minutes at a time. Not in total per day. I use the word lists the same boring way Barton teaches it. And we didn't repeat any levels except level 4. He finished level 4 last spring and we jumped into level 4 this year and did it in about 8 weeks--mostly reviewing. That was actually the happiest he has been with Barton. Then came level 5. 

Edited by mamamoose

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Two neuropsychologists, a therapist, and his ped have said adhd meds would not likely improve him with the processing issues he has.

 

Do you mean that they did not recommend medications at all, or that medications don't help with processing? It would surprise me if doctors said that ADHD meds would not help someone with hyperactivity.

 

I respect that some people dislike the idea of using ADHD meds. I was like that!! I was really resistant to the idea. Each family needs to make their own decisions, of course.

 

But I will say that the meds help DS accomplish schoolwork that he was unable to before, because he couldn't stay on task. And he is much less defiant when his meds are in effect.

 

But they don't addresses his low processing speed and aren't meant to. We accommodate that in other ways.

 

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No, that part/all of his adhd was related to his processing issues. And that meds would cover. I honestly get so tired of coming here, asking questions, and every single time people want to talk meds. This is how the conversation goes:

 

Me: we aren’t medicating. His doctors and therapists don’t think it will help.

 

The Hive: but if you did medicate, it would be so much better.

 

Me: be we aren’t going to Medicare.

 

The Hive: well I know a lot of kids who were improved by medication.

 

Me: well we aren’t medicating.

 

The Hive: I have a lot of friends who did Medicate and let me tell you all the reasons you should reconsider.

 

Me: I repeat, we AND his very large medical/psych team do not think medication will be a solution.

 

The Hive: you need a second opinion.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

Edited by mamamoose
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Well I don't know anything about medication but I know a bit about dysgraphia and I know a bit about processing and I know a bit about teaching a very reluctant kid to read not using barton so I will start there. 

 

First with dysgraphia can this kiddo draw? Are the motor skills there? What is he really good at? This is before my son was really into zelda but I had my son work on tracing symbols because I had read about arrowsmith. I also got him a tracing board and had him work on tracing artwork that he liked. This over time really really really helped with the dysgraphia. Then I met a great handwriting expert and I got my son to learn Getty and Dubay. It made a huge difference and over a very long time my very reluctant son made big progress. Its hard for a kid to write well if they can't read well so focus on drawing and fine motor development while you figure out this reading thing. 

 

 So I am pretty discouraged to hear about your experience with neurofeedback. I would love more details on what they did and where you went. Pm me if you can. This is supposed to be the holy grail.  anyway can your son hyperfocus? If its extremely interesting can you get him to really focus ? Then if thats the case work there. Find topics he loves, find interests that he loves and get him reading and working on those things.  I really like the series on  youtube "Dr. Russell Barkely discusses ideas for parents of children with ADHD" The part on executive function is just profound. Watching his lectures a parent may not agree with everything but they will take something from it they can use. I also love this youtube video on essential strategies for ADHD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVl_8LTpq8Y

 

Now As far as processing and vision therapy. I need to find the study but there is some good data about video games that sweep from left to right improving reading, tracking. Mario is a good example. You are watching a character move left to right and you are making decisions about new stimuli coming up. This requires processing. Unfortunately my son isn't as into those games and I didn't read about them early enough to make that happen. For convergence there are some tricks you can do like put a sticker on the window and have him look close and then look far away. We also put my son in archery which is basically very difficult vision therapy. you can look up processing speed though. For auditory fast forword for visual you would need games like double decision on brainHQ. I have read driving video games are very good to build visual processing.

 

OK now this reading thing. I am going to stand alone and tell you I didn't teach my son reading with Barton. I didn't know about it and I am not sure that he was dislexic. I tried AAR which I sort of like. I used saxon phonics which I think has a lot of orton gillingham elements. What worked the very best. Snapwords for common occuring words. I got the pdf version and made cards and made tons of different stories with snap words. My son ate them up. It linked common words with meaning and he had a picture of it in his mind. Then I did a ton of word families and phonics patterns. I used a lot of teacher pay teacher stuff Here is one I loved Loyd the Droid. What I did was even more involved I gave all of those phonic patters a color so like any way that you spell long O I would always write the vowel group in orange ( FOLD, pony, stone, colt, OA,) and for the droid stuff I did it all in turqoise. By creating a specific color for all the ways you can SPELL THE SAME SOUND makes it link nicely in their brain.

 

long O orange

long A Grey Day

Long I White light

Long E Green Tea

Long U ( like the dipthong UUU) Blue Goo

Ow Brown Cow

OI Turqoise Droid Toy Boy

I will have to look up the rest but if you combined color with Barton you might get farther. My son loved figuring out that english only has so many sounds but they are spelled many ways. He is also a big high color Hi interest guy. I suspect the challenge with Barton is that it nails the boards down in a very methodical strategic way. Which would be great if all kids are robots but it could use a little fun and color and glitz to it. 

 

I do love the little readers from AAR and I did buy and use elements of the entire set by just adding my color coding system. Even now when my son asks how to spell a word I ask him ( what color is it?) then we think about which ways we can spell that color. 

 

In anycase good luck to you. Hopefully some of those ideas might help

Edited by exercise_guru
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Well I don't know anything about medication but I know a bit about dysgraphia and I know a bit about processing and I know a bit about teaching a very reluctant kid to read not using barton so I will start there. 

 

First with dysgraphia can this kiddo draw? Are the motor skills there? What is he really good at? This is before my son was really into zelda but I had my son work on tracing symbols because I had read about arrowsmith. I also got him a tracing board and had him work on tracing artwork that he liked. This over time really really really helped with the dysgraphia. Then I met a great handwriting expert and I got my son to learn Getty and Dubay. It made a huge difference and over a very long time my very reluctant son made big progress. Its hard for a kid to write well if they can't read well so focus on drawing and fine motor development while you figure out this reading thing. 

 

 So I am pretty discouraged to hear about your experience with neurofeedback. I would love more details on what they did and where you went. Pm me if you can. This is supposed to be the holy grail.  anyway can your son hyperfocus? If its extremely interesting can you get him to really focus ? Then if thats the case work there. Find topics he loves, find interests that he loves and get him reading and working on those things.  I really like the series on  youtube "Dr. Russell Barkely discusses ideas for parents of children with ADHD" The part on executive function is just profound. Watching his lectures a parent may not agree with everything but they will take something from it they can use.

 

Now As far as processing and vision therapy. I need to find the study but there is some good data about video games that sweep from left to right improving reading, tracking. Mario is a good example. You are watching a character move left to right and you are making decisions about new stimuli coming up. This requires processing. Unfortunately my son isn't as into those games and I didn't read about them early enough to make that happen. For convergence there are some tricks you can do like put a sticker on the window and have him look close and then look far away. We also put my son in archery which is basically very difficult vision therapy. you can look up processing speed though. For auditory fast forword for visual you would need games like double decision on brainHQ. I have read driving video games are very good to build visual processing.

 

OK now this reading thing. I am going to stand alone and tell you I didn't teach my son reading with Barton. I didn't know about it and I am not sure that he was dislexic. I tried AAR which I sort of like. I used saxon phonics which I think has a lot of orton gillingham elements. What worked the very best. Snapwords for common occuring words. I got the pdf version and made cards and made tons of different stories with snap words. My son ate them up. It linked common words with meaning and he had a picture of it in his mind. Then I did a ton of word families and phonics patterns. I used a lot of teacher pay teacher stuff Here is one I loved Loyd the Droid. What I did was even more involved I gave all of those phonic patters a color so like any way that you spell long O I would always write the vowel group in orange ( FOLD, pony, stone, colt, OA,) and for the droid stuff I did it all in turqoise. By creating a specific color for all the ways you can SPELL THE SAME SOUND makes it link nicely in their brain.

 

long O orange

long A Grey Day

Long I White light

Long E Green Tea

Long U ( like the dipthong UUU) Blue Goo

Ow Brown Cow

OI Turqoise Droid Toy Boy

I will have to look up the rest but if you combined color with Barton you might get farther. My son loved figuring out that english only has so many sounds but they are spelled many ways. He is also a big high color Hi interest guy. I suspect the challenge with Barton is that it nails the boards down in a very methodical strategic way. Which would be great if all kids are robots but it could use a little fun and color and glitz to it. 

 

I do love the little readers from AAR and I did buy and use elements of the entire set by just adding my color coding system. Even now when my son asks how to spell a word I ask him ( what color is it?) then we think about which ways we can spell that color. 

 

In anycase good luck to you. Hopefully some of those ideas might help

I actually didn't have a negative experience with neurotherapy. His processing improved from below normal to just below average. His attention improved as well. I intend to do a followup for the summer with some boosters, as he has had a growth spurt and is at the age where they recommend followup. I have a friend whose son also did neurofeedback and she didn't notice much difference but went back last summer to treat his anxiety and she said it dramatically improved.

 

He doesn't draw much and doesn't enjoy it. He is really into minecraft. We don't have any other video games, but he has played mario at his cousins and doesn't have issue with it. He also shoots archery and is probably going to win the state championship this year, along with his sister.

 

I like the color coding but he will probably flip out. He hates color, on anything.

 

I will try to find time this weekend to watch the videos you recommend.

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Well if that kiddo can shoot archery at that level I have to really question this vision therapy diagnosis especially if he keeps both of his eyes open when he shoots. my son doesn't enjoy drawing but he was willing to use the tracing board to trace My secret weapon is to convince my kid its their idea or they like it. I work a lot on attribution training ( if a child attributes their effort to the results it encourages them to stay with it) . I will be honest I use a token system. I am not sure why people are so down on reward driven behavior but I have a writing jar and if my son writes I give him 5-20 pennies and fill the jar. I traded out the pennies over time in the jar with silver so I didn't need 25 dollars of pennies. He cashed it in when he finished getty and dubay. It was like getting a certificate for finishing something hard. My son doesn't get allowance. I expect them to do chores because they live here but I do provide incentive and money rewards for hard effort in things they are not good at. For you it might be barton. For my son it was handwriting. Praise.... effort .....reward.... effort.. attribute success to effort...reward... effort that's how it has worked. Its kind of like neurofeedback. He needs to feel like he is getting something out of it short term to get the success out of it longterm.  I feel for you mom to mom because there are days I have had to steel my inner cheerleader to push the rock up the hill. There is also another Webinar I really like ( my son is your sons age) Its on a book called "He's not lazy" It was on the additude website. 

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No, that part/all of his adhd was related to his processing issues. And that meds would cover. I honestly get so tired of coming here, asking questions, and every single time people want to talk meds. This is how the conversation goes:

 

Me: we aren’t medicating. His doctors and therapists don’t think it will help.

 

The Hive: but if you did medicate, it would be so much better.

 

Me: be we aren’t going to Medicare.

 

The Hive: well I know a lot of kids who were improved by medication.

 

Me: well we aren’t medicating.

 

The Hive: I have a lot of friends who did Medicate and let me tell you all the reasons you should reconsider.

 

Me: I repeat, we AND his very large medical/psych team do not think medication will be a solution.

 

The Hive: you need a second opinion.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

I'm sorry you took my response that way. I was attempting to be sympathetic and helpful.

 

 

Edited by Storygirl
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No, that part/all of his adhd was related to his processing issues. And that meds would cover. I honestly get so tired of coming here, asking questions, and every single time people want to talk meds. This is how the conversation goes:

 

Me: we aren’t medicating. His doctors and therapists don’t think it will help.

 

The Hive: but if you did medicate, it would be so much better.

 

Me: be we aren’t going to Medicare.

 

The Hive: well I know a lot of kids who were improved by medication.

 

Me: well we aren’t medicating.

 

The Hive: I have a lot of friends who did Medicate and let me tell you all the reasons you should reconsider.

 

Me: I repeat, we AND his very large medical/psych team do not think medication will be a solution.

 

The Hive: you need a second opinion.

 

Rinse. Repeat.

You haven’t heard me say that.

 

If you feel inclined, search the boards for CBT, EF, retained reflexes, and mindfulness. You have several options to pursue for ADHD before trying meds.

 

Lastly, I would hire a tutor before stopping Barton. When my own DS was 10 yo, reading remediation was extremely difficult. Find a way to gird your loins and push through.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Thank you for the long and detailed post. 

 

Is APD auditory processing disorder? If so, I don't have a lot of info but I don't think so. He was screened for language and auditory issues and passed with flying colors. His neuropsych didn't mention it. He is extremely good at remembering things read to him--he speaks clearly and sounds words out clearly. He does have fine motor skill problems but they are very mild--I'm sure that affects his ability to write at times. He spells relatively well considering, and much better verbally than written.

 

We did level 4 twice, just to be sure it was solidified. He passes his post tests before moving on, or we go back and review until he can. This wasn't an issue except wth 4, and he did pass but we felt it best to review before going on. He's only in 4th grade.

 

My mom is teaching Barton. she comes 3 times a week. She gives me word lists to work on the days she is gone. He is not capable of more than 20 minutes of anything school related, so that is as long as we expect.

 

He listens to audiobooks on his iPod. He has one going all the time.

 

ADHD surely comes into play. No doubt about it. I also feel like I work around that as much as possible. But that is something to reconsider.

 

 

Twenty minutes at a time. Not in total per day. I use the word lists the same boring way Barton teaches it. And we didn't repeat any levels except level 4. He finished level 4 last spring and we jumped into level 4 this year and did it in about 8 weeks--mostly reviewing. That was actually the happiest he has been with Barton. Then came level 5. 

 

O.k. I'm back.  :)

 

I'm a bit confused.  I apologize.  Your mother is the one tutoring your son with Barton?  Is she feeling like he is not progressing?  How long are his tutoring sessions with her?  Have you or she tried to incorporate the games and the Spelling Success card games to solidify understanding?  Those are very interactive and I found that the kids did well when we wove those into our lessons or used them for review. 

 

Are you feeling he has not learned how to read because he is struggling to read material that is outside of what Barton lessons cover? 

 

I am also a bit confused regarding these word lists and the "boring" way Barton teaches the lists.  What lists?  The sight word lists?  Fluency lists?  Something else?  It matters which types of words your mother is having you use as to what the approach is supposed to be.  Except for the fluency lists that are supposed to be done in a very short period of time (timed readings of the fluency lists that are like maybe 2 minutes or something?), and only used if a child is struggling with fluency, there aren't supposed to be any lists.  Sight words are only worked on 3 words at a time, in a very specific, multisensory manner.  Perhaps part of your negative reaction is that all you are seeing is some long list of words instead of the actual program?

 

Is she giving you extra practice pages to use for reinforcement?  Does she have the tutor code to access the tutor support materials?  There are several extra practice pages provided plus more support materials available on the tutoring support area of the website.  I have found the extra practice pages quite useful.  Perhaps those would work better than word lists.

 

I'm not saying Barton is still what your child needs.  I am just trying to understand the actual situation you are facing and it appears to be a bit different from what I had originally envisioned.  I am hoping with various responses on this thread you can tweak out what to do next.  

 

Best wishes.

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1) What we did in similar situation: HighNoon

 

I'm not sure what level 5 Barton has, and it may be you are past what HighNoon would offer, but in somewhat similar situation a reading specialist recommended the HighNoon Intervention plus reading books program (Sound Out Chapter books and then a few others beyond that level, though mainly once past that level my son was reading regular books of interest fluently).  HighNoon seems especially well suited to High Interest/Low Reading Level situations such as an intelligent person with dyslexia.

 

The theme of some of the books was persevering despite obstacles which I think also helped to motivate persistence in the reading. 

 

2) ADHD   --   My son also tends toward hyperactivity etc.  We did many short reading sessions interspersed with active things like gardening, tree climbing, running, biking, etc.  (no medication other than that some supplements seemed to help as did avoidance of sugar, dyes, preservatives etc. -- organic was best)

 

My son's athletics interests were encouraged to be applied to the HN reading by likening it to basketball where he had to learn to drill on various elements so as to be able to put together the different parts he needed.  And we utilized his interest in  running racing, which  in doing fluency work with a stopwatch to get his reading accuracy and speed up.  "On your mark, get set, go" was often better for him than a sense of drudgery.  Writing down his own time and accuracy and then working to beat that.

 

3) There were no rules about not reading other things at same time, so when he was ready he did start reading other things while still doing some HN. I think about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the first level of the Intervention program--which only has two levels: 1 monosyllabic words; 2 polysyllabic words...  Luckily he was just barely still at the stage where things like Magic Tree House and Buddy Files and Hank the Cowdog were passably palatable, before being able to go on to Rick Riordan's the Red Pyramid as his first full length book at his level.

 

4) My son had amblyopia, for which we had a few home exercises to do, given us by an optometrist without a whole Vision Therapy program (I had done VT myself and didn't think ds would manage that), things like to follow a finger or pencil eraser as it went nearer and farther from his eyes.  HighNoon's publisher, Academic Therapy Press, also had a book with some tracking exercises which my son did some of.

 

-----------------

 

The following is basically what we used, prices may be different now.  There was also an A3 etc. set of books.  And also a Level 2 of student, teacher and workbook. The sound out chapter books were read multiple times each for fluency and speed improvement, but not immediately repeating same book so as to avoid it just getting memorized.

 

 

the HighNoonBooks.com home page.

SP-8125-8

Sound Out Chapter Books - Set Special-Discounted Pricing on the Sound Out Collection6 sets of readers A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 (1 copy of each set)(Does not include workbooks)

1

$119.95

$119.95

8266-1

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Student Book

1

$15.00

$15.00

8268-8

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Workbook

1

$8.00

$8.00

8265-3

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Teacher's Guide (336 pp.)

1

$55.00

$55.00

D

 

 

 

 

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I did want to mention that your area may have high interest low level books on sports and cars and such. That would really help him to start reading beginning readers. I am reluctant to tell you to quit barton because we have found often when we think there is no way it is going to work then two weeks later we have a big breakthrough. 

 

Think about giving it one more month. See if you can provide big incentive for him to keep going with it. Come at it fresh and encourage him. you might find the success starts to break through. 

 

About the ADHD if your mom can teach him at the best part of his day. Where he is fresh and gets the most out of it that will also make a difference. 

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O.k. I'm back.  :)

 

I'm a bit confused.  I apologize.  Your mother is the one tutoring your son with Barton?  Is she feeling like he is not progressing?  How long are his tutoring sessions with her?  Have you or she tried to incorporate the games and the Spelling Success card games to solidify understanding?  Those are very interactive and I found that the kids did well when we wove those into our lessons or used them for review. 

 

Are you feeling he has not learned how to read because he is struggling to read material that is outside of what Barton lessons cover? 

 

I am also a bit confused regarding these word lists and the "boring" way Barton teaches the lists.  What lists?  The sight word lists?  Fluency lists?  Something else?  It matters which types of words your mother is having you use as to what the approach is supposed to be.  Except for the fluency lists that are supposed to be done in a very short period of time (timed readings of the fluency lists that are like maybe 2 minutes or something?), and only used if a child is struggling with fluency, there aren't supposed to be any lists.  Sight words are only worked on 3 words at a time, in a very specific, multisensory manner.  Perhaps part of your negative reaction is that all you are seeing is some long list of words instead of the actual program?

 

Is she giving you extra practice pages to use for reinforcement?  Does she have the tutor code to access the tutor support materials?  There are several extra practice pages provided plus more support materials available on the tutoring support area of the website.  I have found the extra practice pages quite useful.  Perhaps those would work better than word lists.

 

I'm not saying Barton is still what your child needs.  I am just trying to understand the actual situation you are facing and it appears to be a bit different from what I had originally envisioned.  I am hoping with various responses on this thread you can tweak out what to do next.  

 

Best wishes.

I am generally right next to them when they are working together (my mom and my son). I have a good idea of how the program works and what is involved. Some lists are extra spelling practice, dictation, etc, and some days its the story or fluency list. I guess I have to ask--does anyone actually find this to be an interesting program? Its boring! We did just look into some games and decided to purchase one, so maybe that will make it more interesting. 

 

I guess maybe I am discouraged because I was under the assumption that after level 4, he would be able to read at least a few things outside of Barton and that's just not the case. He wants to be able to read more, and its just not happening. He is passing Barton, although doing it with frustration. 

 

We have used high noon books but its expensive and there doesn't seem to be a resale value. 

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I am generally right next to them when they are working together (my mom and my son). I have a good idea of how the program works and what is involved. Some lists are extra spelling practice, dictation, etc, and some days its the story or fluency list. I guess I have to ask--does anyone actually find this to be an interesting program? Its boring! We did just look into some games and decided to purchase one, so maybe that will make it more interesting. 

 

I guess maybe I am discouraged because I was under the assumption that after level 4, he would be able to read at least a few things outside of Barton and that's just not the case. He wants to be able to read more, and its just not happening. He is passing Barton, although doing it with frustration. 

 

We have used high noon books but its expensive and there doesn't seem to be a resale value. 

Ah, o.k.  I don't know if I can help but I will try.

 

First, I have no idea if Barton is actually helping your child or not.  I can't seem to get a good feel for this.  It is not a good fit for everyone.  If it really isn't working, if he isn't making progress, then switching to something else may absolutely be a better option.  It depends on WHY it isn't working as to what might work better.

 

Also, the program itself might still be a great program for your child with some tweaking but even if the program just needs tweaking, I have found from past experience with other material that sometimes there is too much water under the bridge and changes are implemented too late for a particular program to really work with a particular child.  They associate too many negative feelings with that program.  Also, if the parent hates the program, whether they intend it to or not, that view/attitude will bleed through and may negatively impact any forward progress the program may provide (BTDT).  Sometimes it just works better to change to something new.

 

I will say that my own attitude definitely influenced how things went.  When I embraced the material and tweaked it to work better for me and my kids and tackled the process with enthusiasm it went more smoothly for all of us but that definitely worked better with DD than DS because DS had comorbid issues that just made the process a lot harder.  It was a lot more frustrating for him to get through the lessons, starting mid-level 3.  He struggled.  He hated that he struggled.  He still learned to read with this program, though. 

 

Now I will share what worked for us.  Maybe some of this would help?  I have no idea if you have tried any of these things.  I will just toss out what seemed to help and hope that some of this might be useful.

 

FWIW, DD had an abysmal attitude when we started (that definitely changed over time because she realized she was actually learning to read and spell but she started out being a pill to try and teach).  She didn't think anything could help her read and she was tired of trying.  Her attitude was awful and that was very discouraging for me.  It also made it harder for her to learn.  I second guessed what we were doing a LOT at first.  I had to accept that she had every right to be discouraged.  She had been banging her head against the reading/spelling wall for years.  I had to stop taking it personally and I had to accept that the process would not be easy for her, no matter what we used.  She needed some encouragement.  She also could not stay focused for long periods of time.  I eventually did a sort of reset.  We took a complete break for a bit then started over but I had to shift how we approached things. 

 

  1. First, I committed myself to a positive attitude.  I smiled.  I was sympathetic.  I was upbeat without being insultingly fake.  This was much easier once the kids and I genuinely started seeing progress (if there had been no progress we would not have stuck with the program) but I had to make myself improve my attitude first.  In other words, I had to shift from plug and chug, "lets march through this and just survive", to a more "this really is a great program if we will just trust it to do the job it was created to do and we can have some fun while we do it".
  2. I made the lessons part of our daily landscape, done at a consistent time when they were really awake, had had some physical activity, and I scheduled it right before break and snack time so they had something to look forward to.  I also never scheduled it after we had had to do something else requiring a lot of seat work and a lot of effort.  Their brains were too tired at that point.  I also never pushed it off until the last thing of the day because that meant we were all really tired but some kids do better if this is the last thing of the day because they know once it is done they are done with everything and can push through to get to the end.  I know that others have had success shifting when the lessons are done.
  3. I kept the lessons short.  Usually between 20-40 minutes.  But again we were doing them daily, M-F and sometimes short sessions on Saturday.  They became part of our landscape.  I got push back at first but it became just part of the routine.
  4. I created a quiet space that was only for Barton.  It was in a separate space in a quiet room.  There was a fun seat to sit on.  There was no clutter.  Just Barton.  It helped them both get into Barton mode and to stay focused.  Once we left the room, no more Barton for the day.
  5. I bought the Spelling Success card games and read through all the extra supports for tutors to find other games we could bring into the mix to keep the kids engaged.  This was a big help.
  6. I only used fluency drills upon occasion with DS and only a couple of times with DD since they did not actually improve fluency for DD (she didn't need them).
  7. I only used the Spelling tests upon occasion and I never drilled the spelling words.  I gave them the tests cold, frequently only using the short list.  Took very little time and was simply a tool to find out if they were truly internalizing the rules, not just sort of rote memorizing them.  DS liked seeing a big A on his tests so I sometimes did the spelling tests over word types already mastered so he could get a boost of confidence (and to confirm he still had those rules internalized).
  8. I stuck to only reviewing 3 sight words at a time, but rotated back in previously mastered words once in a while to keep them fresh.  I kept it short.  I did not drill and kill.
  9. The stories were only read during the lesson since they found them boring or odd at times.  When we weren't doing lessons they were free to pick up and silently read anything they wanted once we were halfway through level 3.  I worked hard to find books that were higher interest but had easier words to decode.  For instance, Lecka (poster here on LC) had pointed out that Divergent seemed to have easier words to decode.  She was right.  Therefore we gave DD Divergent for Christmas.  She was thrilled.  She read it cover to cover.  I did not assign it.  I did not ask her to read it out loud.  She simply took it out of the wrapping and quietly sat in a corner reading for fun.  She loved it. She had reached a point that she could decode enough words with fluency that she could understand the story and figure out the other words from context.
  10. I printed out ALL the extra practice pages (from the packet and from the website) and had those in non-glare plastic sleeves in a binder, along with the spelling lists.  If we were having a tough day or I thought we just needed some practice and not a full lesson I pulled out a dry erase marker, an extra practice page and a game and we also did hangman with a word or two from the spelling lists.  Great for reinforcement and could be fun.  Being in plastic sleeves, the Extra Practice pages could be reused for review.  I also created some of my own practice pages based on the format Barton used.
  11. I worked to incorporate some fun word games during the lesson (there are suggestions for how to do this somewhere in cyberspace but I don't remember where I found them).
  12. I let DD and DS play around with the words, creating new sentences, creating new stories, getting them more engaged with the material.
  13. I acknowledged that this process is hard.  It takes time. 
  14. I tried hard not to take long breaks from the program because it was really hard to get started again and it was really frustrating to have to go back and do a lot of review.
  15. I also acknowledged that while one size does not fit all and if something isn't working maybe it is time to jump ship, sometimes nothing will be easy and what I may need to do is at least try to adapt what I already have to work with the child in front of me. 
  16. I sometimes wondered if sticking with this program was the right thing to do.  I really did.  I also knew that we had hopped all over trying to find different ways to help and NONE of those things had worked well.  We were losing time and money and the kids were getting more and more demoralized.  Therefore, I also acknowledged that there might not be a truly amazing, easy to implement, super fun and engaging program my kids would jump for joy to do and that would actually help but this program had worked for a lot of people so maybe I needed to commit to trying to tweak what I already had instead of constantly mentally fighting with myself over whether to continue.  I shifted my focus, accepted that hopping around all over probably wouldn't net us much and I mentally committed to getting through at least Level 6 with as much enthusiasm and tweaking as needed to get us there. 
  17. I also shared with them that this IS a hard process and pointed out where there was significant improvement.  I celebrated their successes.  I did not make our mental focus about areas that still needed work.  In focusing on their progress I, too, realized that they had actually come a long way and it was working, albeit slowly at times.  We made progress in fits and starts and leaps forward and sometimes a few steps back.  But we were definitely making progress and acknowledging that fact helped all of us.
  18. I never required out loud reading outside of the Barton program until after Level 5.  If they voluntarily read out loud I did not correct or step in to read it for them unless they asked or seemed to want some help.  I waited patiently for them to finish reading and smiled.  If I constantly corrected them, it made them too self-conscious and insecure. 
  19. I realized that DD was struggling with comprehension beyond her issues with decoding/fluency and tried to work on that separately.  I tried not to confuse her ability to decode with fluency and her ability to comprehend as she read or someone read to her.
  20. But again, I was actually seeing progress with both children.  That helped me stay committed, even during the really hard lessons where I felt I was going to scream.  If there had been no or only a little bit of progress I would have quit after Level 3.  We would never have made it through Level 4.  Certainly would not have even attempted the higher levels we got through.  

Not sure any of that will help you but I thought I should at least share, just in case.  Whatever you decide, whatever happens, I wish you and your son the best and hope you find a path that works.  Good luck and best wishes.

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Mama Moose

I know 10 year old boys and you sound like a very dedicated and determined mom so rather than throw out the curriculum spice it up. Use Barton for the core and build around it. What I learned from that webinar "He's not lazy" on Additude magazine is that a young boy starts to want to gain independence from his mom. You can't helicopter them once they hit 12-14 they really want independence. What the challenge is for him to gain autonomy. I use the IPAD for my son to gain autonomy. He does his work now using myscript and onenote and types and writes his answers so that I am not scribing for him. My son actually pushed hard with reading even at a young age as a feeling of autonomy. your job is to map a plan forword for him to achieve that. Maybe its time to bring in a tutor or try something new. 

 

 

Bring out the BIG GUNS- Minecraft, sport interests. What you need to do is look up Minecraft phonic readers, sport phonic readers. You need beginning readers that are HIGH HIGH interest. Usually they have a lot of sight words so hopefully Barton covered that but really you need to sparkle this reading up. you can get many of these things on interlibrary loan if your library doesn't have a good section. 

With my son we did the process above then Phonic high interest readers then early step into reading books . Then the minecraft fan fiction and the early readers for boys ( Galaxy zac, Ricky the Robot,) What you need is to lay down a path for reading so he can start to find the juice for it. Something is at his reading level if on a page there are 5 words he doesn't know so start there. Its too big of a leap to go from Barton to school questions. You need a big high interest Carrot. 

 

Search for Minecraft phonics, sports phonics, vehicle phonics whatever he is interested in. For us it was star wars phonics.  Then when he blows through those search for beginning readers. Then early chapter books. He will take off and you will find that you have the problem of finding him new books to keep up with him and that is a very good problem to have. 

 

Here was just one thing I found . Teachers pay teachers probably has a lot of stuff as well. 

https://www.parentmap.com/article/reading-habits-screen-time-minecraft

 

http://www.smartappsforkids.com/2014/07/minecraft-activities-for-learning.html

 

I have several friends who have had dyslexia and or reading challenges growing up. The common experience I hear is this  " I couldn't really read until I found XXXX and then I read every last one of them" So its not linear. With my son it just started to take off. Sadly I will tell you it was when he mastered snapwords because something up to 75% of the page in early readers is site words and then there are just nouns and verbs in there to build a story. you might find that staying with Barton and adding snapwords is all you need to do to be getting things going. Also those word lists will not have meaning if he doesn't link them to a story so try to find good stories.

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Mama Moose

I know 10 year old boys and you sound like a very dedicated and determined mom so rather than throw out the curriculum spice it up. Use Barton for the core and build around it. What I learned from that webinar "He's not lazy" on Additude magazine is that a young boy starts to want to gain independence from his mom. You can't helicopter them once they hit 12-14 they really want independence. What the challenge is for him to gain autonomy. I use the IPAD for my son to gain autonomy. He does his work now using myscript and onenote and types and writes his answers so that I am not scribing for him. My son actually pushed hard with reading even at a young age as a feeling of autonomy. your job is to map a plan forword for him to achieve that. Maybe its time to bring in a tutor or try something new. 

 

 

Bring out the BIG GUNS- Minecraft, sport interests. What you need to do is look up Minecraft phonic readers, sport phonic readers. You need beginning readers that are HIGH HIGH interest. Usually they have a lot of sight words so hopefully Barton covered that but really you need to sparkle this reading up. you can get many of these things on interlibrary loan if your library doesn't have a good section. 

With my son we did the process above then Phonic high interest readers then early step into reading books . Then the minecraft fan fiction and the early readers for boys ( Galaxy zac, Ricky the Robot,) What you need is to lay down a path for reading so he can start to find the juice for it. Something is at his reading level if on a page there are 5 words he doesn't know so start there. Its too big of a leap to go from Barton to school questions. You need a big high interest Carrot. 

 

Search for Minecraft phonics, sports phonics, vehicle phonics whatever he is interested in. For us it was star wars phonics.  Then when he blows through those search for beginning readers. Then early chapter books. He will take off and you will find that you have the problem of finding him new books to keep up with him and that is a very good problem to have. 

 

Here was just one thing I found . Teachers pay teachers probably has a lot of stuff as well. 

https://www.parentmap.com/article/reading-habits-screen-time-minecraft

 

http://www.smartappsforkids.com/2014/07/minecraft-activities-for-learning.html

 

I have several friends who have had dyslexia and or reading challenges growing up. The common experience I hear is this  " I couldn't really read until I found XXXX and then I read every last one of them" So its not linear. With my son it just started to take off. Sadly I will tell you it was when he mastered snapwords because something up to 75% of the page in early readers is site words and then there are just nouns and verbs in there to build a story. you might find that staying with Barton and adding snapwords is all you need to do to be getting things going. Also those word lists will not have meaning if he doesn't link them to a story so try to find good stories.

Good points. 

 

DS gained the basics through Barton.  He desperately needed the tools Barton gave him.  No other program we had tried had given him those tools.  But he needed independence, too, and reading was a chore, even with Barton help.  It took a lot of effort.   He didn't like putting in that kind of effort for what he saw as limited gains because it was honestly A LOT OF WORK.  He also wanted so badly to read but when you have to work really, really, really hard at something that everyone else seems to do effortlessly, and you are getting to the age where you badly want independence and separation from your parent it can be very demoralizing to be dealing with reading lessons day in and day out that you KNOW are below the level that peers are functioning, even if that knowledge is more instinctive than in your face facts. 

 

DS didn't take off with actually reading as in choosing to read, reading a lot, reading with real fluency, until he discovered something he was passionate about and needed to read it without me tied to that process.  He needed Barton to gain the basic skills but he didn't actually ENJOY and CHOOSE to read until he found things he wanted to research enough that the desire for the information superseded the effort he had to put in to do so successfully.  Once he found that passion he read a lot more and chose to do so.  In reading a lot more, his reading skills improved even more, which made it easier to read, which caused him to more readily choose to read which made it easier to read, and so on.  

 

He needed the template that an OG based program provided because he didn't have those tools in his tool box to learn to read.  Once he had that template then he needed a passion to help him push through and continue honing those tools.

 

Audio books helped, by the way.  DS already had a huge vocabulary but audio books gave him exposure to more advanced vocabulary and concepts which then made it easier for him to figure out words from context and properly decode them even if he had not yet been explicitly taught that particular decoding skill.

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Which High Noon books do you already have?

 

Given that you already have some, I'd suggest going to them now and using them to gain fluency, automaticity and speed.  Work with material that is on the easy side where the whole thing is fully decodable so that what is being worked on is the fluency etc. not the decoding.  I can't recall what the target number of words per minute is for age 10, but there are resources for finding that (or call High Noon and ask them if they can tell you on the phone) and how to subtract errors to calculate the rate. Then when it becomes easy for him to reach age 10 target or above with easy material, work up.  My ds liked having a graph of his increasing fluency to see visually that he was improving.

 

 

At the same time, maybe go to a library or bookstore and let your son find books, ideally a series, he thinks he would like to read if he could (not too hard please!  All but about 3-5 words per page should be readily readable by him).  Our local children's librarian helped us with this by finding series about dogs since my son was into dogs, for example.  And the librarian also steered us to Mag. Tree House and its non-fiction fact finders. Then you might spend short (5 minutes?  Let him ask for an additional 5 minutes only if he wants to) sessions reading the book he has chosen, sitting next to each other on couch so you can see too, or each with a copy of the same book.  Use your judgment as to how much to correct and how much to let go regarding errors.  I personally might let some "sang" versus "were singing" type errors go if the child were moving along mostly fluently and seeming to enjoy a passage.  

 

OTOH if during a timed fluency drill I would mark such an error and point it out at the end. If struggling with decoding  it, I'd give a help. If a 3 second delay, I gave the word so that reading could move on without bogging down.  Some of this is a matter of feel as between the parent-teacher and the child-student as to how much to correct and how soon and when and how.  Try to find a balance between too much correction and frustration and dislike of reading resulting, vs too many errors and learning wrong patterns and bad habits resulting.

 

Myself, I'd not wait until a "break" or vacation since it sounds like the frustration level is very high right now.  Even if he is going to be continuing with Barton, I'd do other things for a while to try to break the frustration pattern.

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Adding:  A major reason for working on fluency, automaticity, and speed (not as in special speed-reading, but normal good pace for his age), is that it is hard  to read for pleasure until there is sufficient fluency, and it is hard to become a really good reader without reading being pleasurable enough to want to do it for enjoyment so that quite a substantial quantity gets read.  Since your first post indicated that he can decode what he has read even if it is slow, I am assuming that he has not yet achieved suitable fluency and automaticity and speed yet.

 

By the top level of the High Noon sound out books there are books about things like Venice sinking, tunnels under the streets of Portland, and similar which could be of interest to a 10 year old, or alternatively about extreme sports, or slightly above that level, fiction mysteries, or books about explorers or inventors, still with graduated levels very suitable to fluency and automaticity learning.  It is not Harry Potter, true.   It is hard to make an extremely interesting book with all CVC words, or other similar basic patterns, plus a few sight words, but I think HN does it better than any others I've seen.  Even the lowest level books were relatively high interest compared to alternatives I saw, especially for a 10 year old since some are designed for older kids than that.

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With my 10 year old boy students, I do a bunch of (to me) dumb things that seem to make the work more tolerable. Really mildly fun stuff like giving them a wooden block for each word they read, and then as they read they stack the blocks up. For some reason that's just fun enough to make it okay. If it's not fun in some way they tend to shut down, and then they don't learn. They also like to get a tile or block for every word and then after a set number, they get to flick them with their fingers, like soccer, into a "goal" I make with a box or my hands. I think it's lame, but I pretend to like it! They do like it, and it makes them willing to read. Another idea is to cut up sentences and have him re-arrange - he's still reading, but somehow it's "a game." You could also cut out individual letters (or use tiles) and he has to put a word together.

 

For articles about his interests, you could try ReadWorks (grade levels 1-12) and Newsela (grade levels 2-12). Newsela seems pretty hard for my 10 year old struggling readers, but if you choose a 2nd grade article, you could highlight easy lines for him to read so you're doing the hard stuff. Newsela articles are from actual newspapers and then adapted to be different grade levels.

 

Raz-Kids is really good - my students read it on the iPad. The books are short so it's less daunting for them. Many of the books are really good! I think a license for home is about a hundred bucks.

 

 

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Raz- kids is very good I love those ideas. I think you get to build a robot when you complete a book and such. It goes clear through level Z. The version we had was like 50 books for each level on all kinds of topics. We were using it for spanish so I can't say much about using it for english.  I found a few of the high noon books at a thrift store and really liked them as well. 

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Which High Noon books do you already have?

 

Given that you already have some, I'd suggest going to them now and using them to gain fluency, automaticity and speed. Work with material that is on the easy side where the whole thing is fully decodable so that what is being worked on is the fluency etc. not the decoding. I can't recall what the target number of words per minute is for age 10, but there are resources for finding that (or call High Noon and ask them if they can tell you on the phone) and how to subtract errors to calculate the rate. Then when it becomes easy for him to reach age 10 target or above with easy material, work up. My ds liked having a graph of his increasing fluency to see visually that he was improving.

 

 

At the same time, maybe go to a library or bookstore and let your son find books, ideally a series, he thinks he would like to read if he could (not too hard please! All but about 3-5 words per page should be readily readable by him). Our local children's librarian helped us with this by finding series about dogs since my son was into dogs, for example. And the librarian also steered us to Mag. Tree House and its non-fiction fact finders. Then you might spend short (5 minutes? Let him ask for an additional 5 minutes only if he wants to) sessions reading the book he has chosen, sitting next to each other on couch so you can see too, or each with a copy of the same book. Use your judgment as to how much to correct and how much to let go regarding errors. I personally might let some "sang" versus "were singing" type errors go if the child were moving along mostly fluently and seeming to enjoy a passage.

 

OTOH if during a timed fluency drill I would mark such an error and point it out at the end. If struggling with decoding it, I'd give a help. If a 3 second delay, I gave the word so that reading could move on without bogging down. Some of this is a matter of feel as between the parent-teacher and the child-student as to how much to correct and how soon and when and how. Try to find a balance between too much correction and frustration and dislike of reading resulting, vs too many errors and learning wrong patterns and bad habits resulting.

 

Myself, I'd not wait until a "break" or vacation since it sounds like the frustration level is very high right now. Even if he is going to be continuing with Barton, I'd do other things for a while to try to break the frustration pattern.

He’s already read the high noon books we have.

 

And that’s the thing—you said all but 10 words per page should be easily readable but he hasn’t learned so many vowel teams that isn’t even possible in a book that would be of high interest to him.

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There is a lot of helpful information here, and I am going to reread later and try to internalize most of it, find some solutions, and tackle our situation over the weekend.

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He’s already read the high noon books we have.

 

And that’s the thing—you said all but 10 words per page should be easily readable but he hasn’t learned so many vowel teams that isn’t even possible in a book that would be of high interest to him.

This is what is puzzling and concerning me, making me wonder what else might be going on.  I am still unsure what is happening.

 

 Are you saying that he picks up normal books to read silently and cannot decode enough words fluently to understand what he is reading?  Or are these books leveled readers that he struggles with?  What type of books is he reading where you are seeing his struggles and is it reading aloud or reading silently?  

 

By mid-Level 5 he should be able to decode fluently a significant number of words.  He should have a ton of vowel teams under his belt and be able to figure out the others well enough to read.  I can't remember the exact percentage but by mid-Level 5 he should be able to decode with fluency the bulk of words he might come across in your average text/novel.  How advanced are the books he is trying to decode?  Is it that he cannot infer meaning from the few words left that he cannot decode?  Do you think maybe the issue is more struggling with reading comprehension and less with the decoding process?  Or is it that he is really still struggling with decoding most words?

 

For instance, as I mentioned up thread, DD could read Divergent when she was halfway through Level 3.  She picked up and started reading the Maximum Ride series during Level 4.  Level 5 opened up a ton more words she could decode with fluency.  Level 6 was harder for her but still opened up even more but honestly by Level 6 it was mainly helping her spelling, not so much her reading.  She was already reading well.  DS also started reading independently after Level 4.  He never actually moved on to Level 5.  He still stumbles on some words but he gained enough decoding and fluency skills to be able to read.

 

Every child is different and different programs are going to work better for some than others.  Barton may very well not be a good fit for your child.  The question is why.  Without knowing why it will be hard to know what might work better, if anything.  I'm still not clear on what you are seeing.  I apologize for the piles of questions.  I'm just hoping with a clearer picture people can make more helpful suggestions that actually address your particular situation. 

 

I'm sorry this is such a frustrating process.  I hope you can find a helpful path through.

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This is what is puzzling and concerning me, making me wonder what else might be going on.  I am still unsure what is happening.

 

 Are you saying that he picks up normal books to read silently and cannot decode enough words fluently to understand what he is reading?  Or are these books leveled readers that he struggles with?  What type of books is he reading where you are seeing his struggles and is it reading aloud or reading silently?  

 

By mid-Level 5 he should be able to decode fluently a significant number of words.  He should have a ton of vowel teams under his belt and be able to figure out the others well enough to read.  I can't remember the exact percentage but by mid-Level 5 he should be able to decode with fluency the bulk of words he might come across in your average text/novel.  How advanced are the books he is trying to decode?  Is it that he cannot infer meaning from the few words left that he cannot decode?  Do you think maybe the issue is more struggling with reading comprehension and less with the decoding process?  Or is it that he is really still struggling with decoding most words?

 

For instance, as I mentioned up thread, DD could read Divergent when she was halfway through Level 3.  She picked up and started reading the Maximum Ride series during Level 4.  Level 5 opened up a ton more words she could decode with fluency.  Level 6 was harder for her but still opened up even more but honestly by Level 6 it was mainly helping her spelling, not so much her reading.  She was already reading well.  DS also started reading independently after Level 4.  He never actually moved on to Level 5.  He still stumbles on some words but he gained enough decoding and fluency skills to be able to read.

 

Every child is different and different programs are going to work better for some than others.  Barton may very well not be a good fit for your child.  The question is why.  Without knowing why it will be hard to know what might work better, if anything.  I'm still not clear on what you are seeing.  I apologize for the piles of questions.  I'm just hoping with a clearer picture people can make more helpful suggestions that actually address your particular situation. 

 

I'm sorry this is such a frustrating process.  I hope you can find a helpful path through.

 

I was wondering about the bolded, as well. DD12 has very good comprehension. When she reads a book silently to herself, she is able to read at grade level, even though there are words she would have to work to decode if reading out loud. She knows what that word should be, so her brain fills it in for her, and she knows what the sentence says. 

 

When she reads out loud, her speed of reading is slower, and she stumbles over unfamiliar words.

 

(Note, she has had several years of OG remediation, but not with Barton).

 

I do also have a child with reading comprehension troubles, who does not have dyslexia and can decode, but whose oral reading is halting, because he reads word by word without grasping the meaning of the sentence as he goes. Someone at his school called this "drive by reading", because he reads the words but doesn't link understanding to them.

 

Sometimes comprehension can lag in those with dyslexia, because their brain is so consumed by the task of decoding each word that they don't link it's meaning to the words around it.

 

But there can be other reasons for comprehension issues, and it is common among children with autism and NVLD in particular, though it can have other roots as well.

 

My first thought is whether there is a comprehension issue stalling his progress.

My other thought is that Barton is not the right choice for him. Barton is not the only way to use OG to remediate dyslexia. An OG trained tutor would be able to use other techniques and would be able to work on the issues without sticking to the Barton method, which works for many but may not be the exact right approach or move at the right pace for your child.

 

Also, I don't know if this has been mentioned, but I know there are people who are not ready for Barton, because they need other help (with speech discrimination, I think, through something like LiPS) first. It may be there there is another issue like that that is holding him up. I know that others have called Susan Barton and found she is willing to speak with you personally and advise you (though this may be only for people who have purchased the levels new from her and not used? Not sure about that.)

 

But I would definitely consider whether there is a comprehension problem creating a stumbling block.

 

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I would have him work through my syllables program on the days he does not have Barton. Work through it twice And then go back to Barton. Let him use my one page sound chart when reading outside material after he works through my syllables program once, learning all the sounds and how to use the chart.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

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A) He’s already read the high noon books we have.

 

B) And that’s the thing—you said all but 10 words per page should be easily readable but he hasn’t learned so many vowel teams that isn’t even possible in a book that would be of high interest to him.

 

I'm separating my reply into more than one post.

 

 

A)

Could you be specific on: 

1) what HN books he has read (titles and the A-1 or whatever levels on the book);

2) whether he can read them aloud fluently

      meaning he can understand and picture the whole thing--is not just decoding words without sense of meaning; at a speed correct or above his age level target speed; with very few errors or stumbles or snags in the entire book.

 

In other words, slower because he is a child, than an adult could read the book, but basically the same as an adult who is a good reader could read it, with a sense of meaning and fluidity, perhaps at a point or two an adult would stumble or confuse a word, but it would be rare.  

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B)

I said all but 3-5 words, actually!

 

A few kids have a frustration tolerance high enough that they could handle 10 or more unknown words per page and still enjoy the experience, but that is unlikely for a boy who is already frustrated with reading and has some ADHD.

 

Could you clarify:

1) What are some books he would like to read, but that would be too hard, so as to give an idea of what he would like.  Maybe some people can suggest some similar books in terms of genre and subject, but that are easier to read.

2) I don't know the Barton sequence so I don't know what he can read being at level 5 of that.  I thought he would have had all the standard English vowel teams by then since it is around half way through the whole program. What has he mastered at this point? Or if easier to answer the opposite, what has he not yet mastered?

 

Here's the thing. The longer it takes him to get reading, the bigger the gap between his ability level and his interest level.  If no books of high interest to him are possible at his current ability level, you have 3 main options on that--not at all mutually exclusive: 

 

1) choose books within his ability level that are the least boring for him you can manage to find...  

This well may be HN if he cannot yet read all the types of vowel pairs.

 

2) choose the easiest book you can find that would be of some interest to him (or the easiest possible within genres of interest)... 

 

You can read first book of a series if it is short like MTH, or first chapter of a book if longer like a Birdie and Bowser book, to him so as to make the sort of situations and characters clearer to him, which could help subsequent reading.  I was told (by HN people) that I could even read a book (or chapter of book) to my son the first time through and then have him read it back to me, but my son did not want to do that.  Whisper-sync might also be a possibility that helps some kids, though this did not work at all for my own son.

 

3) work really, really hard on a reading program--like several sessions per day, 7 days per week to get him to the point where he can read (whether that is continuing with Barton, or a switch to HN or something else mentioned or discovered).    
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Consider dropping all other academic subjects except  math for several months to a year to focus on reading.  

 

Consider seeing if you can get him a concurrent IEP at your local public school (if you are in USA) to do yet more reading and writing practice with other people (we did that).  

 

Consider adding on www.talkingfingers.com Read, Write, Type program for learning typing and adding reading practice.  (My ds, now in high school, can print well enough to fill out a form or other limited use, and can cursive write his signature. We otherwise pretty much gave up on penmanship and he types instead.  In retrospect I think work on penmanship we did was pretty much a waste of time and exercise in frustration with no great benefits, unlike intensive reading practice which had great benefits.)

 

Consider any approaches you can that could make reading lesson time somewhat less drudgery, like timed reading races for my ds were, or perhaps having your son pretend to be 3 different children competing against each other, so that it is Zak, Al, and Jay struggling and making the errors, not him.  Or use yummy foods, or sitting in a swing, or up a tree, or other things you can think of to make the reading lessons as pleasurable as possible.

 

 

 

Everyone tends to be happy with and recommend the program that got their child reading.  For most people on these boards, that seems to be Barton.  For us, it was High Noon (the program, not just some of the books).  Others have mentioned other things.  They don't all have the same approach.  

 

If after 3 years your son still does not know the basic English vowel teams, and is feeling frustrated as you describe, I think it may well be that Barton is not the right program for him.  

 

My son had had reading in public school K that did not work for him, reading in private school 1st grade that did not work for him. 2nd grade in homeschool what I tried did not work, and I suspected a serious problem. 

 

At that point reading specialist explained dyslexia and steered us to HN (or if that did not work for him, her next choice for him would have been Language!).  Done intensively (but not exclusively)  (short sessions, but many each day so as to be hours total in course of day, and 7 days per week, but also changing it up not to be too boring or too much drudgery), this took him from non-reader to reading Rick Riordan books in one year.  We started HN in summer, right with its letters and letter sounds as a non-reader, ds then age 9, with only reading done that summer no other school subjects.  Continued it, along with other things added, through a school year with reduced other subjects except math.  The Rick Riordan book was read at the very end of that school year (ds was then age 10yo),  and others books of Rick Riordan and similar series during the following summer.  Mine was a year younger than yours, and we already had the mismatch between interest and ability problem. I'm sure worse for you because of the extra year.  I empathize.

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2) choose the easiest book you can find that would be of some interest to him (or the easiest possible within genres of interest)... 
 
You can read first book of a series if it is short like MTH, or first chapter of a book if longer like a Birdie and Bowser book, to him so as to make the sort of situations and characters clearer to him, which could help subsequent reading.  I was told (by HN people) that I could even read a book (or chapter of book) to my son the first time through and then have him read it back to me, but my son did not want to do that.  Whisper-sync might also be a possibility that helps some kids, though this did not work at all for my own son.
 
 

 

 

Of note, some kids can finally learn well when motivated by something that interests them.  But I've also heard that there is a risk of it apparently working temporarily, but leading to more of "stealth" dyslexia later on, if too much context and guessing is used in place of reading the words.

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B)
I said all but 3-5 words, actually!
 

 

 

3-5 words on a page not known yet, or not readily read because they fit a pattern already known so can be read with fluency even if not previously encountered, would make a book suitable at an "instructional" level, according to info given me when my ds was learning.

 

Needing help with or struggling to decode (or get the meaning of) more than that would tend to be too frustrating, and / or to make the reading too choppy to be able to comprehend it well as the flow of the material would be lost.

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Consider dropping all other academic subjects except math for several months to a year to focus on reading.

 

Consider seeing if you can get him a concurrent IEP at your local public school (if you are in USA) to do yet more reading and writing practice with other people (we did that).

 

Consider adding on www.talkingfingers.com Read, Write, Type program for learning typing and adding reading practice. (My ds, now in high school, can print well enough to fill out a form or other limited use, and can cursive write his signature. We otherwise pretty much gave up on penmanship and he types instead. In retrospect I think work on penmanship we did was pretty much a waste of time and exercise in frustration with no great benefits, unlike intensive reading practice which had great benefits.)

 

Consider any approaches you can that could make reading lesson time somewhat less drudgery, like timed reading races for my ds were, or perhaps having your son pretend to be 3 different children competing against each other, so that it is Zak, Al, and Jay struggling and making the errors, not him. Or use yummy foods, or sitting in a swing, or up a tree, or other things you can think of to make the reading lessons as pleasurable as possible.

 

 

 

Everyone tends to be happy with and recommend the program that got their child reading. For most people on these boards, that seems to be Barton. For us, it was High Noon (the program, not just some of the books). Others have mentioned other things. They don't all have the same approach.

 

If after 3 years your son still does not know the basic English vowel teams, and is feeling frustrated as you describe, I think it may well be that Barton is not the right program for him.

 

My son had had reading in public school K that did not work for him, reading in private school 1st grade that did not work for him. 2nd grade in homeschool what I tried did not work, and I suspected a serious problem.

 

At that point reading specialist explained dyslexia and steered us to HN (or if that did not work for him, her next choice for him would have been Language!). Done intensively (but not exclusively) (short sessions, but many each day so as to be hours total in course of day, and 7 days per week, but also changing it up not to be too boring or too much drudgery), this took him from non-reader to reading Rick Riordan books in one year. We started HN in summer, right with its letters and letter sounds as a non-reader, ds then age 9, with only reading done that summer no other school subjects. Continued it, along with other things added, through a school year with reduced other subjects except math. The Rick Riordan book was read at the very end of that school year (ds was then age 10yo), and others books of Rick Riordan and similar series during the following summer. Mine was a year younger than yours, and we already had the mismatch between interest and ability problem. I'm sure worse for you because of the extra year. I empathize.

Our local public school does not provide services. However, he could take a bus 70 Miles one direction . That is the public school solution for us, and the entire reason we are homeschooling.

 

He has excellent comprehension. He scores above average in testing for comprehension even when he can barely read the subject matter. I will have to look at the High Noon books series’ he has read. I can’t remembwr. Yes he reads them fluently, albeit slower than an adult. He doesn’t miss words. He reads his Barton stories fluently as well.

Edited by mamamoose

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Our local public school does not provide services. However, he could take a bus 70 Miles one direction . That is the public school solution for us, and the entire reason we are homeschooling.

 

He has excellent comprehension. He scores above average in testing for comprehension even when he can barely read the subject matter. I will have to look at the High Noon books series’ he has read. I can’t remembwr. Yes he reads them fluently, albeit slower than an adult. He doesn’t miss words. He reads his Barton stories fluently as well.

 

 

I wouldn't go for 70 miles one way trip either! Yikes!  I guess we are comparatively much less rural than you are. 

 

 

If your son's comprehension and fluency are good, then the problem seems presumptively  likely to be decoding and automaticity.

 

 

My ds was also good with comprehension, but had terrible issues with decoding--and even with things like typography confusions where different forms of the letter g (g, g) etc. caused trouble, as did too close spacing of lines, or too busy a page

 

If you can use High Noon to get him to 2nd to 4th grade level in these areas (which in my experience with a son with similar troubles IS possible), then he likely could be able to move fairly quickly (a year or less?) over to a series like Ranger's Apprentice which with archery interest might be something he'd enjoy.  

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When you say high noon program, what do you mean, exactly?

 

 

In a previous post, I gave you a copy from an invoice of the main components we used so that you would have the exact product numbers available.

 

 

I have only slow dial-up and cannot quickly find and link you direct links.  The general site is www.highnoonbooks.com  I believe.

 

 

 

SP-8125-8

Sound Out Chapter Books - Set Special-Discounted Pricing on the Sound Out Collection6 sets of readers A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 (1 copy of each set)(Does not include workbooks)

1

$119.95

$119.95

8266-1

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Student Book

1

$15.00

$15.00

8268-8

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Workbook

1

$8.00

$8.00

8265-3

High Noon Reading-Level 1-Teacher's Guide (336 pp.)

1

$55.00

$55.00

 

 

The main program with the Student, Teacher, and Workbook was more incremental than the Sound Out Books were.  For example, as best I now recall, each vowel pair would get its own lesson in the main program, but then several types would be grouped in a Sound Out Chapter Book next level.  eg. as I recall, first level of Sound Outs already had all the CVC pattern words, I cannot recall when all the vowel pair ones were introduced, but by the 6th and highest Sound Out level they were all there along with multi-syllabic words.

 

Since I think A1 was CVC, your son would not need that unless it was less expensive to get the set as a whole.  They were nice on phone, and someone could probably tell you what set fits with the level of vowel pairs he cannot yet read with easy automaticity.   

 

correction: A1 had 3 books of CVC, but also 3 books that included vowel pairs, so he might actually need that after all.  There are 6 books at each level--so less than $4 per book for the whole discounted set. Or less than $5 per each book if purchased set by set individually (6 books for $26). 

 

Let me know if you want more info.

 

 

Here's a googled current link:  

HNB: High Noon Reading-Level 1 - High Noon Books
www.highnoonbooks.com/detailHNB.tpl?eqskudatarq=S8271-8
‎
 
 Components (Sold Separately). Item No. Description. Price . QTY.8265-3. Teacher's Guide (336 pp.) $55.00. 8266-1. Student Book. $15.00. 8268-8. Workbook. $8.00. Accessories (Sold Separately). Item No. Description.
 

 

Edited by Pen

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When you say high noon program, what do you mean, exactly?

As Pen explained, there are High Noon books but there is also a High Noon reading program.  It might be more what you need.  Again, from your posts I can't really tell what is happening so I don't know that jumping to a different program will work but the High Noon program would be a different approach and since your current approach does not seem to be working, this might work better.

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