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Barton - Stuck on Comparing Words

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Hi all! We've been stuck on this procedure for a little over a week of sessions. I've read the tips and it basically says to just slow down and break the words apart. I feel like I'm doing this and yet we're not making progress. Does anyone has suggestions of what we can try? I pulled out the FIS sound pictures today even, hoping that is comfort with those and doing the same activity would help. No dice. I feel like I'm talking way too much again, and things always go south when it gets wordy. Thanks in advance for any help, we are going to try for a couple more days and then take a break.


I'll add too, that during this he'll grab tiles and make a full word for fun. Yet, the isolating and finding what is "different" just has him guessing every time. We've gone over what same and different mean separately to be sure he understands what those terms mean, but 9/10 he'll tell me that the two that are the same are different. I won't rush him at all, but it's hard to trust the process (this is a recurring theme with me haha) that he *has* to master this to be able to continue.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/21/2020 at 4:57 PM, Lecka said:

(Whispers) I don’t think a week is a long time.  Probably not what you want to hear!  I think give it longer before thinking it’s really stuck.  

As long as it’s a pleasant time!  I don’t mean if he is getting frustrated.


Sorry I’ve been away from this, my husband is getting a new job out of town and we’ve put a lot on the back burner and took a mini vacation before he leaves.

It’s not pleasant, I can see him shutting down. 
I wonder if there is some way we can practice this in a different way?

I think it’s something like 8 or 9 times trying to get through the same procedure. I liken it to the fact that if he were being tutored 2 times a week that would be a month of exposure to the same topic kwim? Is it typical to spend months on a procedure? 

I guess I just don’t know what to do in the meantime. It’s hard when he has been reading CVC for a long time. So we are treading water when I feel like he could at least be reading some Bob books. I know he’s not supposed to be doing anything with letters right now though. 

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On 10/21/2020 at 8:10 PM, PeterPan said:

Sometimes kids magically know things after a break. It's like when your computer acts funny and needs to reboot. 

Go to a pumpkin patch, run around in a corn maze, whatever, and see how it goes when you come back.

We’ve done that by accident, and gone to the mountains for a few days before my husband leaves for a new job. Maybe on Monday when we get back to it, it’ll be better. 😊

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It can just take time.  I don’t think it’s been long enough to think it’s not working.

My kids have been in speech therapy.  It’s par for the course to spend months going over the same things, sometimes.  It’s not unusual.

There’s a point to wonder if it’s not working — but I don’t think yet.

A lot of patience is needed, and there’s just no way to know how long things will take.


This might be slower, but other things later might be faster.

Bob Books are hard and take a lot of skills.  They “should” be easy, but “shoulds” don’t get anywhere.  

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I missed he’s getting frustrated — yeah that’s not good!  

Could you have him copy you instead of come up with the answer himself?  

Is there any chance he needs speech therapy?

You can look for ideas to practice the same skill — sometimes you can look on Pinterest if you know the name of the skill.

There are also books you might be able to get from the library with activity ideas.  

There are books with “phonemic awareness” in the title.  

Also I realize you have mentioned nothing along these lines — but there are kids who start retaining after they start ADHD medication.  It is something that exists.  It’s not the case with my kids, but it is definitely something that happens and I don’t think it’s too uncommon (bc ADHD isn’t too uncommon and it is on the common side for kids to have dyslexia and ADHD both).  

If there’s any way to back off but still provide exposure that can be good.  If you do every other question (if not more) he gets to see a correct model.  This “can” (not always but “can”) be an advantage of small groups because kids aren’t always on the spot and they have more chances to observe what they are supposed to be doing.  It’s something that can be good to keep in mind and bring in, I think, just by providing more examples or playing a game where you do x when you take a turn and the adult also does it (a common way to work this stuff in). 


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My son had a lot of trouble with that one too. What I did (I have no idea if this was "correct", it's just what felt right and worked for us) was to move on. I always circled back to this procedure regularly, for a bit of practice and exposure, but didn't labor over it too much. At the end of the book, we took a short break, then back through the book again - moving quickly where he was proficient, slowing down where he still needed work. Somewhere in there, he finally got it.

Was it maturity, the break, the review, what? I've no idea. I just know that simply skipping things (not too much, mainly when there just seems to be a glitch in one area) and coming round to them again has worked for us multiple times, with both dd and ds, and I felt comfortable doing it with this.

Oh, also, we spent several months on that first Level with ds, and he didn't "get" that procedure till the second time through, so, yes, it can take months. 

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Lecka is right, a week isn't really that long.

Have you tried just giving him 2 sounds like, "/p/  /p/" and ask if those are same or different?   Then say, "/s/,  /m/, same or different?"   Make a game out of it, creating success.  This will give you let you know if he understands same/different.

I believe Barton's videos demonstrate how to correct this.  See Barton correction tips at the end of the disk.                               

Then work on comparing only 2 sounds in a word.   /u/  /p/

                                                                                   /a/  /p/     Making them very different and exaggerating the different sound to help him identify it and to be successful.   Keep the lesson short and light.    Maybe come back to this 2 sound comparison later in the day, going for success.   Do this for several days and if he is really understanding it, move on to 3 sounds, exaggerating the different one again initially. Again, repeat this short game later in the day for a few days.    Just an idea, hope this helps...

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