Did you know dyslexia may affect as much as 20% of the population? This reading disability is commonly identified during childhood and can significantly impact how a child learns to read and spell.

However, the Barton Reading and Spelling System provide rigorous instruction in spelling, reading comprehension, phonics, and more, so your child can achieve academic success.

But what is Barton Reading and Spelling all about? What sets this program apart from the competition? This article answers all your questions and more, so be sure to keep reading.

At a Glance

Barton Reading and Spelling uses Orton-Gillingham’s methods to assist with reading instruction. It is intended to help children with dyslexia but can help all students become better readers and spellers.

Primary Focus

Barton reading is a “multisensory” program that relies on all five senses to help children connect between sounds and words. The best results focus on one-on-one instruction, with a maximum of three students for every instructor.

This program is different than most because of its strong focus on spelling. It also extends lessons beyond reading basics, helping students improve vocabulary skills. Advanced studies focus on Latin roots and Greek combining forms.

Barton’s goal is to remove any guesswork associated with reading and spelling by having students learn basic conventions through a multisensory approach and practice them with real and nonsense words.

How Does Barton Reading and Spelling Work?

Students are screened before starting the program. This ensures they possess the basic skills required to succeed with Barton. The program consists of ten levels, and each student follows a series of lesson plans. A typical lesson lasts for roughly an hour. Color-coded letter tiles assist students with connecting sounds to letters.

Every lesson is broken into several steps, with activities changing every five minutes. After each level is complete, instructors assess students to track progress. Unless they’ve successfully mastered what they’ve been taught, they remain at the present level to ensure the material is retained in long-term memory.

Remember that all ten levels can take anywhere from two to four years. This isn’t a quick fix for reading and spelling difficulties.

At Home Use

While some parents find Barton easy to use, others may struggle. This is commonly due to difficulty tailoring the program to meet the specified needs of their children. For parents who find their child is struggling, it’s best to consult a professional for advice and suggestions. You may decide to hire an expert Barton tutor.

Parents who use Barton at home should inform their child’s teacher unless they’re homeschooling. You want their teacher to know how the program’s working for your child’s spelling and reading instruction, especially since different programs (one used at school and one used at home) may be confusing for a child.

If your child struggles with reading, you may want a full evaluation to understand what’s challenging.

Placement and Screening Tests

Barton offers a three-part student screening placement before children begin the reading program. If you’re looking for a child to start Barton’s program, they must pass Part C of the screening tests.

This part of the test focuses on auditory discrimination, sequencing, and memory. Children need these skills for Orton-Gillingham-based programs.

Components of Barton Reading and Spelling

Barton Reading and Spelling tackles a wide variety of subject matter, ensuring each child learns to their full potential. Here’s a brief explanation of what you can expect the program to cover.

Phonemic Awareness

Barton Level 1 focuses solely on phonemic awareness. This step is critical for dyslexic children learning to read.

Children with dyslexia need explicit training in phonemic awareness. They require intensive work with phonemic awareness, and Barton Reading and Spelling offers this crucial dyslexia reading skill.

Multisensory Approach

Barton Reading and Spelling System focus on touch and say (tactile), along with visual and auditory senses. Wooden tiles or an iPad app are used as part of the learning experience.

The students touch and say aloud what’s under the letter cards. They then blend sounds to make words, sliding their fingers beneath the letters.

Use of Nonsense Words

Barton relies on nonsense words to remove components of visual memory. They’re used in an instructional way of assessing mastery of content in virtually every lesson. There are occasions where nonsense words aren’t used, however.

Practicing Fluency

Barton integrates fluency pages in the student book. On Barton’s website, you can find these pages on the tutor support page. If you purchase Barton, you have automatic access to these pages, so long as you have a username and password.

Learning Sight Words

Barton introduces sight words during Level 3. They come after the foundation work is completed. The object is for the student to focus on the words they struggle with. It’s more common for children with dyslexia to struggle with spelling sight words more than struggling to read them, and Barton tackles this challenging area.

Spelling Skills

Barton’s 3rd level has seven spelling rules in place. Of the seven rules, one is known as the FLOSS rule. This rule informs the student that a word with one vowel must double its last letter, provided the word ends in f, l, s, or z.

Level 3 also introduces unit syllables. Among these units are -ing, -ang, -unk, -onk, and so forth. When you teach these syllables as units, children can more easily understand that these vowels come together to make unusual sounds when combined with -ng and -nk.

Level 3 also teaches closed syllables. Level 4 teaches open syllables and so on. There are ten levels in all, each identifying critical components of our language. Each level builds on the concepts before making mastery of the previous level crucial to the success of the next.

Confusion With B and D

Students with dyslexia often confuse the letter “b” with “d.” The Barton System addresses it in Level 2 of the program. Students must check every “tricky” letter every time they read it. This works to eliminate any guessing.

Syntax and Grammar

Level 2 and up addresses syntax and grammar. Barton’s program is intensive and covers a variety of elements, each essential for learning to spell and read. This part of Barton stands apart from competitive programs and covers topics in considerable depth.

Is Barton Reading and Spelling Right for Your Child?

If your child has dyslexia, Barton Reading and Spelling might be the best course for them. Remember to discuss the program with your child’s teacher so they understand what you’re teaching them at home to avoid confusing your child. If you’ve yet to receive a formal evaluation but suspect your child has dyslexia, an assessment can help you fine-tune the best program to fit their needs.

READ Learning Center can help your child achieve academic success. Each child learns uniquely, and we strive to provide an individualized, tailored approach to your child’s education. Contact us today to see how we can help.