Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Susan Barton

For those of you who are new to teaching your Dyslexic children or who have not heard of Susan Barton, I encourage you to take the time out and listen to her many videos. I found them to be personally an incredible amount of reliable information and understanding for what I was going through. I often cried with tears of joy afterwards, just knowing that things that I had gone through as a child was something that others had faced too. I also left quite shocked with facts that I thought everyone thought. For example, I see most things in a 3D sense of view. When I turned to my husband and asked, "If I said, 'An apple falling from a tree.' Do you see it actually falling from a tree?"
His reply was simply, "No" and that it would be hard for him to consciously make that image in his mind. I was really shocked by that.

Didn't everybody think and see things in their mind like I did? Doesn't everybody's stories jump into movie-action for them? And well, that is mostly true for all of Dyslexics from minimum to extreme, I was shocked that I was different in that sense.

We have set out and purchased the Barton's System, which is an Orton Gillingham based education, that encourages the student in Phonemic Awareness. Reading abilities are strengthened and taught in a very different way compared to just learning their phonetics...which can be very helpful for Dyslexic's.

When we started our Homeschooling and had no idea about Dyslexia, we started our Language Arts with Sing Spell Read and Write. This is an excellent Curriculum that I still use today coupled with many others for richness.  However, with Dyslexic learning often times, it is their auditory input that makes it harder for them to become a fluent reader. They tend to rely more on image and I know this to be true for me and our family. I will often mix up similar looking words while doing our Reading Aloud Time, because I have relied on image rather than reading through phonetics and have very poor phonemic awareness. Phonics based teaching will not help on its own. I have noticed this to be true with our children. They get phonics when we are doing the sounds. When we start to blend they kind of get it (even with repeated practice on each sound and slowly blending a consonant with a vowel etc.) But then try and do a Consonant, Vowel, Consonant (or CVC word) they don't want to sound-out, they resort back to image memory. They struggle and don't want to go that route in the neurological sense. ***Disclaimer, I don't know how many times I have had to use the spell check, just in this paragraph alone!**

Just a note though: On Susan Barton's website, if you are planning to use her system you should first do the Teacher or Tutor Test and the Student Test. The actual tests do not take a long time. But you do need patience to get through her videos. I would not recommend skipping any instructional videos if they are required. They have been very fruitful for us and I am so glad we did not skip over these things due to impatience, which was easily encountered! P.S. I almost failed the Tutor Test, so don't feel bad if you do, she gives other options for those of you that might struggle with the test.

So, this has been our first week using the Barton System and it has been awesome. I can not stress enough the use of her video's. Please watch them carefully and do the instructions just as she intended them. That way the student and you have full confidence going in. Also, practice the sounds she does on your own. Using Sing Spell Read and Write gave me a great advantage to the part in her videos about how to pronounce letters properly, but I still messed up. So practice them as intended.

Once I was set up it was easy. Everything came in the box and so that made it very helpful. The blocks do not have any letters just colours. I have to tell you this actually works. I can feel my brain working in different areas....it will be different for you too if you area also Dyslexic like I am. I will keep you updated on how we are doing using the System.

If you need any information or just want to hear her videos explaining what Dyslexia is and the signs associated with it etc. You can take a look on her website at: http://www.dys-add.com/

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