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
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
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
It is amazing how quickly students improve once they get the right type of tutoring, as this parent shared:
As a toddler, Zach had delayed speech and trouble learning letters and words at a pace similar to his peers. After being screened by his public school in Kindergarten, he received reading intervention during his school day.
After school, he went through vision therapy and auditory therapy from first to third grade. At the end of those therapies, his eye doctor shared that Zach showed great improvements in all categories — except dyslexia.
At the time, we did not understand dyslexia and assumed Zach simply had difficulty transposing letters and numbers. Yet the school’s continuing reading intervention did not close the gap.
As a result, in fourth grade, Zach hit a wall and behavior issues emerged including frustration, anger — and avoidance of anything related to school or structured learning.
So we homeschooled Zach during fifth grade, but it did not help. He had the same behavior issues and the same academic challenges.
At our wit’s end, we finally got an IEE last October, which diagnosed Zach with dyslexia.
So Zach started working with Brook Euler, a local Certified Barton Tutor. Zach has almost finished Level 6, and he is now having great success in anything school related.
He started sixth grade in public school this past August. This first marking period, he received straight A’s and shows all the signs of having potential for great success in his future endeavors.
We don’t understand the Barton Reading & Spelling System, but it has been the key to unlocking Zach’s ability to accurately read and spell written words, and therefore, to comprehend what he reads.
For Zach, his improvement has been amazingly swift. He is now able to realize his full potential, and most importantly, he knows it.
Bob and Susan Kline, parents
Camp Hill, PA
Once dyslexia is identified, and a child gets the right type of help, they can finally reach their potential — as this parent shared:
Susan, I had to share my daughter’s story with you and tell you how much of a life saver you and your programs are.
Prior to starting Kindergarten, we had no idea that McKenna had any issues. She seemed so bright, well-spoken and when I’d read to her at night, she’d take the book and read it back to me, or so I thought.
Once school started, however, it was a different story. I was contacted by her Kindergarten teacher telling me that she was sending McKenna for some extra testing and that she thought McKenna needed therapy for fine motor skills. The Guidance Counselor called me and told me that she didn’t even bother finishing the oral testing because McKenna was just too smart for it and didn’t even understand why McKenna had been sent for it. I figured McKenna was behind due to not going to preschool, being a lefty, and being younger than the other students.
But her struggles continued. We’d work on homework forever, she could never remember her spelling words even though we were constantly showing her flash cards, and forget about the concept of “sounding out words.”
We hired a school teacher as a tutor, and McKenna stayed after school several days a week.
In second grade, McKenna came home and announced that she had enrolled herself in extended day reading classes, and that I’d need to drop her off early twice a week for extra reading help. Despite all that, we’d still work until 9:00 pm on homework. Yet she’d only bring home C’s and D’s — after all that extra work.
I requested a parent teacher conference after EVERY report card, trying to figure out what was going on. All I was told was that I needed to make her read more, read more, read more. I cried after every single report card. They didn’t understand my concern since she was not failing, and she seemed to always “pull it up” by the end of the school year. They had NO idea how hard she was working, just to “pull it up.”
She was doing well in math until she got to third grade when it all became word problems with gigantic words like parallelogram.
In third grade, we added extra days with the tutor to prepare for the dreaded state testing. Based on that one test, they determine if a child is retained or promoted. McKenna was so terrified and had horrible anxiety. The night before the test, this third grader asked me if this test was going to affect her college applications. Then came the dreaded news that she did not pass.
When I gave her the results at home, she immediately ran to her room and locked the door. All I could do from the other side was tell this poor crying child that she was wrong to say that she “is stupid.”
She hated reading, so when she came home telling me about a book that she liked (James and The Giant Peach) I ran right to the book store to buy her a copy. She decided that since she had to attend summer school due to failing the test, that this was the book she was going to read. When she came home from summer school and threw the book away, I was confused. She told me that when the teacher walked by and saw her reading it, the teacher loudly announced, “You know you can’t read that book, so why are you pretending?”
I couldn’t take anymore and decided to research on my own instead of trusting the teachers. I also started discussing things with her pediatrician, which got the ball rolling with some of the testing. After months of testing, we were told she had ADHD with a visual processing disorder. Not really understanding what that meant, I took her to an eye specialist. Everything was normal, of course.
It wasn’t until I found your website and watched your videos and read all the parent accounts that I understood. I was blown away!!! I felt like the stories were being told by me.
I decided to have McKenna tested for dyslexia and reached out to you for testing centers. We found someone to perform the test, and I prepared myself and McKenna as much as possible for the outcome. I was so worried that I was wrong about her having dyslexia and would have to start over. Yet she fit all the descriptions so perfectly, and it felt amazing to be able to put a name on this problem that I’d been trying for years to describe to all her teachers.
I even asked McKenna if she’d be upset if she was diagnosed as dyslexic. Her answer broke my heart. She told me that she would be upset if she did NOT have dyslexia because that would mean she was just stupid.
Her diagnosis came back as dyslexia. We had an answer. Now we needed a plan. Back to your website I headed.
I ordered the first part of the Barton Reading System while also beginning to work with the school on getting interventions into place. That took almost an entire school year, and they did not offer any sort of remedial help that would actually help with teaching a dyslexic how to read. I was so frustrated, but I knew what to expect from my research.
I simply let every teacher know that some of her regular homework would NOT be done because I was substituting that time to tutor McKenna with the Barton Reading System.
Fast forward a couple of years. McKenna has gone from being retained in 3rd grade and hating school, to straight A honor roll in all advanced classes.
And in her 7th grade year, she received an invitation to participate in the Duke University TIP program (Talent Indentification Program) due to some of her high test scores.
McKenna took the ACT in February and got amazing test results. Not only was she awarded by Duke at the state level, but she received an invitation to go to Duke University to receive recognition on the national level.
The irony is that the portion of the ACT that she scored highest at the national level was the reading portion!!!!!! McKenna scored higher than 90% of high school students who took the test and she was only in 7th grade.
I couldn’t be prouder of my little dyslexic wonder kid. She has embraced her dyslexia and is her own greatest advocate at school. I let her direct her IEP meetings for the most part and only offer help when I need clarification.
I cannot thank you enough. I heard your story about your nephew and loved your determination to help him. I can tell you that I understand the desperation you must have felt. I was so lost and desperate until I found BrightSolutions.US. Once I began researching on that site, I couldn’t stop talking to people about it.
I used to cry and tell my husband that school and homework was destroying my relationship with my daughter. I just knew that she hated me because I kept pushing. I simply did not understand what was wrong. I was the mom who told her she wasn’t trying hard enough and that she needed to read more — because that’s what the teachers were telling me.
You’ve helped me help my daughter, and that is such a precious gift. She absolutely knows now that she isn’t “stupid.”
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Christina Vitali, parent
New Port Richey, FL
Parents often discover dyslexia late in their first child. But they catch it earlier in their next child, and early intervention makes such a difference — as this parent shares:
Nate is one of those rare dyslexics who has never had to “prove” his dyslexia through failure. While his older sister was going through the evaluation process, and I was busy reading everything I could get my hands on about dyslexia, I realized my younger son, Nate, had many of the early warning signs you discuss in your videos.
So when I started tutoring my daughter using the Barton System (in the spring of her second grade year), I also started tutoring Nate, who was 5 1/2 at the time and not yet in kindergarten.
Because of your program, from the time he entered elementary school, Nate has always read above grade level.
He has never had to be pulled out from class to go to a “special reading group,” he does not require accommodations, and his teachers consistently remark on his self-confidence and leadership qualities within the classroom setting.
When I meet with our school principal and other teachers to discuss dyslexia, I am proud to be able to point to both of my children as examples of what appropriate intervention can achieve.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to learn how to tutor my own kids, on our own schedule, for a fraction of the cost of private tutoring for two children.
I am proud that I taught my children to read, and I continue to use the skills I learned when we read together.
Happy Valley, OR
This parent got Barton tutoring for her son in kindergarten — and it quickly healed his emotional scars.
Susan, I heard you speak about dyslexia in Appleton when my son was 5.
At the beginning of kindergarten, he was already saying that he hated himself because he was stupid — because he couldn’t read like the other kids. I was shocked to hear him say it with such strong emotion at that young age.
He’s now had a year of Barton tutoring at the Dyslexia Reading Connection Center.
If only if you could have been a fly on the wall at his last parent-teacher conference. He’s starting to read and is proud of what he’s accomplishing. He’s happy, confident, and a leader in his Montessori classroom.
And best of all, he WANTS to learn. That spark was not extinguished.
We are amazed and so deeply grateful for his progress.
Things are going really well, and I believe he’s going to continue having the school experience every child so deserves — where they feel safe and accepted, even if they learn differently.
And I’m so grateful to you for dedicating your life to dyslexia awareness and education.
I love it when schools spend a year doing a pilot program using the Barton System – because I know the results will be great. And next year, the school will expand the program, as this teacher shared:
Susan, with your help and guidance through our first year using the Barton Reading & Spelling System, we have had students soar with growth.
We have seen discouraged, defeated parents turn into encouraged and hopeful parents. Students beam when they feel and see how much they have accomplished over the year.
For instance, a 4th grader started the year reading at a 2.9 grade level. After seven months of doing the Barton System, she is now reading at a 5.1 grade level.
We want to thank you so much. We will be forever grateful to you and your program.
And it’s only the beginning!
Valena Taber, Education Coordinator
South Columbia Family School
Most children with dyslexia LOVE reading books — once they can read easily and accurately, as this mother shares.
My 13 year old daughter is severely dyslexic. She is getting one-on-one tutoring from a Certified Barton tutor and is near the end of Level 6.
My daughter now loves to read. She carries around books to read. She reads during breaks at school. She reads before she goes to sleep. She begs us to buy books for her, and she is so happy to be reading.
She even volunteers to read out loud at school from 7th grade textbooks and other materials — and she’s good at it.
She finally understands the amazing world of printed words, and it is a dream come true for us.
The Barton System and her tutor have been such a blessing to our family.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Claudia Vierra Allen, parent
El Sobrante, CA
The reading skills of children with dyslexia will greatly improve when they get the right type of instruction, as this parent shares:
I am a homeschooling mother of six, and I have been tutoring my ten-year-old fourth grader Aidan for two years now using your program. We are currently on Level 6, Lesson 12.
Last month, my children and I met with our Florida Certified Home School Evaluator. She is both a Florida teacher and home schooling mom as well. She has been evaluating Aidan and my other children over the past three years for our annual evaluation due to the county.
She was so amazed with Aidan’s progress. She asked him to read from her testing materials, and he read and comprehended all questions asked of him for grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. She believed he could probably have continued reading through eighth grade and above as well!
As I sat listening to him, I was brought to tears.
When we started two years ago, Aidan was the one in tears, and I was at a loss of how to approach his needs.
Aidan is now able to read all assigned book report books for his Seton Home Study School Curriculum, and he is independently reading all instructions and lessons in his workbooks on his own
I must admit that when I read the reviews on your website and ordered my first level of materials, I was skeptical. Now that I have taught the Barton System and have seen my son excel using your system, I have been recommending it to other home schooling mothers who have children with dyslexia.
You have truly created a program that works! I guess the best way to describe my overall experience is that I feel like my child was deaf or blind and can now hear or see.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mary Beth Cyr