Author Archive: Susan Barton

Diagnosed at 14

It is never too late to close the gap, as this homeschool parent shared: 

We homeschooled our five children with ease — until we got to our fourth child. We knew Daniel was not learning like his siblings. By the time he was 8, his 6-year-old sister was reading circles around him.

When Daniel was 10, we sought professional help. But he was mistakenly identified as having an eye tracking disorder. The tracking exercises did nothing to improve his reading.

At 14, we finally had him tested by an educational psychologist who said Daniel was severely dyslexic, something we suspected, but did not comprehend. His reading score was at the 3rd grade level.

We immediately hired a tutor using the Barton System. Daniel made significant progress in a short time and grew in both his reading skills and his self-confidence.

At 16, he started his first college class and has since been dual enrolled, completing 30 college credits. With accommodations, including audio books and extended test time, he’s been very successful — averaging an A in the past 5 semesters of coursework!

At 17, he passed his written driver’s test at 85% without accommodations — a huge milestone for him!

We are so thankful for the Barton System, and we look forward to seeing his future accomplishments as he graduates high school and continues on to college.

Christine Torre
Homeschool Parent
Dawsonville, GA

Student surprise and amazement

Susan Barton loves seeing Facebook posts from teachers, like this one:

I highly recommend the Barton Reading & Spelling System. It has made the difference for so many students at our school.

A side benefit is that I, as the resource teacher, have learned so much about English reading and spelling rules, too.

The manuals are precise and explicit, so if you follow them with fidelity, your students will progress and make amazing improvements.

My highest group is just finishing Level 4. It teaches vowel teams, but my students especially loved learning the syllabication rules.

I wish everyone could have seen their surprise and amazement when they realized they did not have to guess at long words anymore — and that they could actually decode words by following rules. This level is the game changer.

I’m so grateful that Susan Barton painstakingly developed this program to provide every child an opportunity to learn to read!!!

Patricia James, Resource Teacher
St. Edward Catholic School
Little Rock, AR

He passed the state’s reading test

With the right type of instruction, even students caught late can succeed, as this parent shared: 

My son, Kyle, had trouble reading since kindergarten. He went through 5 years of elementary school staying at a kindergarten reading level. Teachers said he would not ever read, or that he would only be a sight reader.

Then one of his teachers, Emily Moss, got trained in the Barton Reading & Spelling System. She started tutoring him at the beginning of sixth grade. He just finished seventh grade, and his success is beyond words.

For the first time, he took the state standards test at the end of the year, and he passed the reading portion with a 3 — which means he met the standards. His teacher was so excited that she pulled him out of lunch to give him the news.

Imagine going from the kindergarten level to 7th grade level in just two years.

He’s able to read billboards, and he reads books by himself that he’s interested in. He’s never had that type of independence before.

I just want to thank you for the program. My hope is that all schools will have at least one teacher who has been trained in your program so they will be able to help another child like Kyle.

Tina Smith, parent
Reidsville, NC

Time to celebrate

This was posted on a homeschool Facebook page.  The parent gave me permission to share it here. 

I am celebrating tonight.

I have a child who was diagnosed as profoundly dyslexic at 9 years old. We went through 7 levels of the Barton System while I homeschooled him.

He is now in a college-prep, private high school. At the recent parent-teacher conference, his teacher was shocked to find out he is dyslexic. I did not tell the teachers in advance because I wanted to get a true measure of his capabilities.

He has excellent grades. The teacher said he even volunteers to read Macbeth aloud in class.

I almost cried! This is the same kid who made me ask our youth pastor to not call on him to read out loud … ever.

So stick with it, homeschool parents. It is so worth the years of hard work.

Allison Gentala, homeschool parent
Gilbert, AZ

Barton tutoring made all the difference for my son

If the early levels of the Barton System are hard for your child, stick with it.  This parent explains why.

Barton tutoring has made all the difference for my son. He had spent all of first grade working on 3 letter words, but he still could not consistently read them correctly.

He started Barton tutoring (three times per week) in second grade — very aware that he was just not able to learn reading and writing like the other children.

The beginning levels of Barton were very challenging for him. His tutor had to play lots of games mixed in with the lessons. He magically always seemed to win those games, which kept his self esteem high enough to keep working on the reading skills that were so difficult for him.

As he progressed, he realized this was a system of learning that made sense to him.

 

 

When he was in Level 5, he would finally read simple chapter books on his own. Somewhere between Levels 5 and 7, his fluency improved tremendously and he was reading at the speed of a typical student. Since then, his confidence has been growing steadily as he’s worked his way through the end of Level 10.

He is now 11 years old, and on his Stanford Achievement Test at the end of 5th grade, he tested as reading on a post high school level.

As a parent, I encourage other parents to make tutoring a priority, even when schedules are tight and there are other demands for our time and resources. I faced many days of my child complaining or having melt downs or stomach aches to avoid going to school or tutoring. In the end, I bribed him with screen time for every completed lesson and gifts for completing every level.

I also spent a lot of time educating teachers and advocating for accommodations to allow my son to do work orally, not read uncontrolled text in the early levels, not be taught to  read and write in Spanish, and to be allowed to type when other kids were handwriting.

In the end, it was all worth it — and I would do it over again in a heartbeat.

My son is happy and confident. Handwriting and spelling are still challenges, but he manages with typing and spellcheck.

The biggest difference is he is no longer held back by his dyslexia. He can now read and write at the level of his intelligence.

Susan, thank you a thousand times for all your dedication to kids with dyslexia.

Michelle Cudzinovic, parent
Sunnyvale, CA

I thought he would never read a menu

With the right type of tutoring, even children with severe dyslexia can succeed, as this mother shared: 

My son and daughter completed Level 10 of the Barton System a few months ago, and I want to thank you for the many ways you have helped our family.

My children were diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD right before 2nd grade. Even though we had a dyslexia diagnosis on paper from an excellent children’s hospital, our public school district claimed they were not legally obligated to recognize dyslexia as a learning problem. Therefore, they were not obligated to provide services.

So we decided to homeschool using the Barton System.

Just after he was diagnosed, I found my son sitting on the floor, staring at an open book, crying. I asked him what was wrong. He said books and words didn’t make sense to him, and he just wanted to be able to read like everyone else.

Frankly, there were times when I didn’t think he would ever read well enough to order from restaurant menus.

He now reads Sherlock Holmes books for pleasure. He can do all his high school academic reading on his own, and he competently writes his own essays with minor accommodations.

My daughter is doing equally well. She has no problem reading her high school textbooks and absolutely LOVES to read. She has now read hundreds of books of her choosing for enjoyment. She also loves creative writing and writes her high school essays with minimal support.

As parents who knew absolutely nothing about dyslexia before our children were diagnosed, the support through your website, videos, google tutor group, email and by phone has been invaluable.

I don’t know where we would be, academically or emotionally, if the Barton System did not exist.

So thank you for being an expert on dyslexia and sharing your knowledge with so many who need it.

Michelle Raine, parent
Aurora, CO

 

Nothing Had Worked

Susan loves getting emails from parents, like this one:  

When I first contacted you, we had already tried Orton Gillingham, Lindamood-Bell, a private school for dyslexic students for 2 years, vision therapy, tutoring at a Score center, and the Sound Reading program. Nothing had worked.

Truly I was at a loss when I turned to you. Thank you for the Barton System. It is the ONLY program that worked for my son. He loves his Barton tutoring sessions, and he now feels confident, creative, and gifted.

Sky has finished Level 9 of the Barton System and is doing so well in school.

He did concurrent high school and college enrollment. After the first month, he stopped using all of his accommodations (textbooks on audio, recording of lectures, and extra time on tests). He got all A’s and B’s on his college assignments, and A’s on his final exams.

He just graduated high school, in 6 months he will complete his Auto Tech Certification, and then he will continue on for a college degree in Automotive Engineering and Design.

The Barton System is fabulous, concise, flows and builds on itself, and most importantly, it works.

Thank you for creating this system and being an advocate for dyslexia.

Meri Seibert, parent
Los Angeles, CA

Alex won an essay contest

When students finish Level 10 of the Barton System, there’s no stopping them, as this mother shared.  

While I was homeschooling, I took both of my sons through all 10 levels of the Barton System.

Asher, my older son, is finishing his first year in a traditional school as a Freshman, with straight A’s.  His teachers often express amazement at how little his dyslexia is hindering him.

Alex, my younger son, found out he won an essay contest with a $150 cash prize the same day he finished Level 10.

From a boy who struggled to write more than a few sentences 3 years ago to an essay winner!

Many thanks to you and the Barton System.

Maureen Becker, parent
Redwood City, CA

People do not understand

My son Kody completed all ten levels of the Barton Reading & Spelling System. He is now a Junior in high school. He recently wrote this paper for English class. I wanted to share it with you.  

Being 17 years old and having dyslexia may not seem like a big deal. But what I’ve had to do to this point in my life may be hard for others to comprehend. For most people, when they hear of someone that has a disability, they feel bad and look down on them.

People do not understand how hardworking, motivated and determined we are.

From the beginning of elementary school to third grade, I was always behind in school and not progressing like other students in my class, no matter how hard I had worked. I was then tested for dyslexia.

Being told I have a disability by my mother was really hard to accept in the beginning; however, it may have actually been one of the best parts of my life.

I finally had an explanation as to why I wasn’t doing as well in school. Teachers finally would stop saying that I “wasn’t trying” or that I just needed to put more effort into school.

I knew that having a disability was not going to cause me to give up. I knew that I would have to work twice as hard as everyone else.

I pushed myself throughout the rest of elementary school and through middle school, trying to get on the same level as my peers. I tried many things — such as doing different reading programs (some that had helped amazingly, the Barton Reading & Spelling System, and others that did not), working with my teachers one-on-one outside of school, and spending every night doing four to five hours of homework when other kids would get their homework done in class.

The one goal I wanted to achieve by high school was to avoid standing out from everyone else. Going into high school, I was finally on the same level as the other kids in my grade.

Having known and experienced just how hard it can be to have a disability, I have insights as to what other kids are most likely dealing with. It may be peers making fun of them, being told they can’t do something just because of their disability, or teachers not understanding how they learn best.

For me, the most stressful part of class was being terrified I was going to be called on to read out loud and then being judged by my peers.

When given a writing assignment, I would sit by myself, away from everyone, so no one would be able to see my writing and laugh at me.

Being someone with a disability, I know that there are always going to be people who will never understand the journey that I, along with many others, have faced; nor what I have done to get to where I am now. I hope that sharing my story will help others understand not only the negatives of having a disability, but also to see the opportunities that are possible.

Through all the struggles I’ve faced and experienced, I have always pushed through and thrived. The biggest advice I can give to someone with a disability is not to be ashamed of it or let it label you as “abnormal” (compared to whatever “normal” may be).

In my case, I would never say, “I’m a dyslexic.” I would say, “I am a person that has dyslexia.”

A disability is one part of who you are; it’s up to you to show the world how you want to be seen.

Koby Koblitz, Barton Graduate
Onalaska, WI

The Barton System helps children so much!

I love it when tutors get this excited about their students’ success.

My students have been in Barton for about a year. Their teachers are excited by the improvement in their reading and spelling.

But I love their new feelings of self-worth and confidence.

Teachers share that my students now participate in class discussions on a variety of topics — something they did not do before.

Parents share their kids are now reading bigger books at home.

That’s why I recommend the Barton System to my friends whose children struggle with reading and spelling.

Thanks so much for creating a way to give children their confidence back.

Rosalie Sweigart
Barton tutor at a small private school
Jayess, MS

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