Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is the Barton program a good choice?
A: The Barton Reading & System is designed with intense remediation and teaches the student reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and written expression at the sentence level. At the end of level 4, he will learn how to compose paragraphs and essays.
Q: Does a student need a diagnosis of dyslexia before starting the Barton System?
A: No. But you should suspect dyslexia.
It should be extremely hard for the student to master their weekly spelling list from school; he probably cannot retain his spelling words from one week to the next; and his spelling should be inconsistent when writing sentences and stories.
Also, although the student can read, he is probably slow and inaccurate. And when he comes to a word he does not recognize; he cannot easily sound it out — despite years of phonics instruction.
Those are classic warning signs of dyslexia. Dyslexia is the most common reason a child with at least average intelligence will struggle with spelling, reading, or writing. Dyslexia affects 20% of people in the United States, some mildly, others severely. 1 out of every 5 students has dyslexia.
Q: At what age can a child start the program?
A: 5 years old.
Q: Can adults be tutored?
A: Absolutely! This program was designed to teach both children and adults of all ages. It's never too late to start!
Q: Will it hurt people who are struggling for some other reason to go through the Barton System?
A: No, as long as the student meets all of these requirements:
1. At least 5 years old.
2. Can speak and comprehend spoken English (this is not an ESOL program).
3. IQ is above 70.
4. Can pass the 10-minute Barton Student Screening.
This system is not appropriate for a student who has been diagnosed with a receptive or expressive language disorder.
Q: Will the Barton System cure dyslexia?
A: No. The use of the Barton Reading & Spelling System can prevent (or fix) the reading, spelling, and writing failure caused by dyslexia. There is no “cure." Our students are taught to read and spell in ways that makes sense to them — logical ways that require very little memorization. With this training, they can succeed in school and in life – and they can put their gifts to good use.
People with dyslexia do have talents and gifts in one or more of these areas:
Art of all types – painting, sculpting, weaving, graphic arts, etc.
Music – both vocal and instrumental.
Spatial skills – they can visualize in three-dimensions, and tend to think in pictures rather than words.
Machines – they tend to be very skills at working with, designing, or fixing, machines – copiers, cars, computers, farm equipment, etc.
Athletics – many of our highest-paid athletes and coaches are poor readers and spellers.
Imagination – their minds are busy and constantly creating things.
Creative Thinking – they naturally think “outside the box.” They often find patterns or “see” solutions that no one else notices.
Curiosity – they love to know “why” things work – or don’t work.
Intuition – their intuition is right more often than wrong.
Q: How many levels are in the Barton Reading and Spelling System?
A: There are 10 levels in all.
Q: How long will it take to complete all 10 levels?
A: It takes anywhere from 18-36 months to complete the entire program. Depending on how frequently the student tutors and how quickly he masters each skill will also contribute to those factors.
Q: Does a student always have to start at Level 1?
A: Yes. Most students need to start at Level 1 – no matter how old they are.
The level numbers refer to the teaching sequence, not grade level. Nothing in level 1 will offend an older student. They must master the material in Level 1 before moving on to Level 2.
That’s because research proves that what’s stopping them from mastering reading is their lack of phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate each sound in a word – in your head, without letters.
In fact, research shows there are seven essential phonemic awareness skills a student must have before letters will start to make sense. All seven of those skills are in Level 1.
Students learn to read and spell – by sounding out – right in Level 1.
If a student has had recent and intense tutoring with a different Orton-Gillingham-based system, or a Lindamood-Bell program, and that student can pass the 10-minute Student Screening, then the post-test can be used as a placement test to determine exactly where the student should start.
Q: Do you offer regular reading tutoring?
A: YES! Tutoring services are offered to families interested in using the Barton System or for those interested in receiving regular reading tutoring. Ms. Rivello is a certified teacher and reading specialist with extensive knowledge and training in reading remediation.
Q: How is this program different than regular tutoring or tutoring offered through my child's school?
A: If a child is successful is passing the Student Screening, he will be eligible for acceptance into the program. Unlike traditional tutoring, this program requires prior preparation and planning before each child's individual session. These sessions are always one on one. Ms. Rivello closely monitors data, grades, and progress throughout each level, which can take up to three years to successfully complete.
This type of planning and specialized instruction is not offered in the public school setting nor is it offered with most private tutors. Ms. Rivello will also work with your child's school to ensure proper accommodations are being met through IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) as mandated by federal law.
Progress reports are sent home every trimester to track and monitor your child's progress through the school year.
Q: How often should my child be tutored?
A: Once a week is not enough. Do not start the Barton System if you can only attend tutoring once a week. You must provide at least 2 hours of one-on-one tutoring each and every week for your child. A tutoring session should not last for more than an hour. So, that means you must commit to at least two tutoring sessions a week.
Q: How long does a lesson take?
A: A Barton student must receive at least 2 hours of one-on-one tutoring each and every week in order for it to be frequent and intense enough “to stick.”
Some students can complete an entire lesson in a one-hour session. Others can only complete half the lesson in an hour. A student must master the new skill taught in that lesson, and be able to apply to both reading and spelling, easily and with about 95% accuracy, before moving on to the next lesson. There is a post test at the end of each level.
How long that takes depends upon the student. You cannot rush a student with dyslexia. If you move on before the student has mastered a new skill, the student will eventually hit a wall.
Q: At the end of the program, where can I except my child to be in terms of grade level equivalent?
A: After completion of all 10 levels, your child will be working on a mid-year, 9th grade reading level.
Q: How can I monitor my child's progress?
A: At the end of each level, a post test is given to see if the student is ready to move on to the next level or continue with more remediation with the current level.
Ms. Rivello will provide you with a brief review of what was taught during each session. If more remediation is needed, extra practice will be given to work on outside of tutoring. A private student file will be kept for anecdotal notes, progress monitoring, and to evaluate performance. Your file is available to you at any time.
You will receive Progress Reports 3 times during the school year. These reports are designed for the individual student and provides valuable feedback, allows for evidence-based planning, and directs curriculum decision making, Our goal is to improve students’ educational experiences while closing their learning achievement gap.
Q: Can the spelling tests in this program be used in place of the spelling tests given at school?
A: Spelling tests are given during each lesson, starting in level 2, and may be substituted for school spelling tests with permission granted by the student's classroom teacher.
Q: When are tutoring sessions offered?
A: Sessions are held Monday-Friday from 2:30pm-6:30pm and are offered to homeschool students Monday-Thursday from 9am-12pm. Each session is 1 hour and a minimum of 2 sessions (2 hours) per week is strongly recommended. Morning hours are available during the summer for all students.
We are closed for one week during Spring Break, one week during Thanksgiving break, and the first week of Winter Break. We are also closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.
Q: Is financial assistance available to help pay for tutoring?
A: If your public school child is in grades 3-5 and scored a Level 1 or Level 2 on the ELA FSA, he/she qualifies to receive a $500 reading scholarship from Step Up For Students. This will provide you with 8 FREE tutoring sessions! Please visit the Scholarships tab to learn more and apply today.
Q: I am interested! How do I get started?
A: The first step is to schedule a FREE 30 minute consultation to see if this program is right for your child. You can do this by clicking on the Schedule tab. You will be required to create a user ID and password when signing in. You can choose which day and time you'd like when booking your appointment. You can expect to receive a confirmation email of your scheduled session and a phone call at least 24 hours prior to your meeting, if any additional information is needed.
During the consultation, your child will be given a 10 minute Barton Student Screening. The screening will determine if this program will meet your child's specific needs. The rest of the time will be spent discussing the program in more detail and answering any of your questions. You may wish to bring your child's IEP or 504 plan to review as well.
If your child is successful in passing the screening, you will receive a Tutoring Agreement to sign and your monthly sessions will be scheduled for you.