Kimberly started tutoring her son with the Barton Reading & Spelling System in September 2013, while he was a second grader at his local Fairfax County public school. Although his Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) showed him reading at grade level, she had a strong suspicion that something was amiss.
After he was identified as dyslexic through an all-day screening process by a seasoned certified academic language therapist, she learned that she could remediate his dyslexia on her own. As someone who has always loved reading, spelling and grammar, she was excited to learn this highly regarded, Orton-Gillingham based approach to these subjects.
By the time he completed Level 4 in August 2014, he was reading for pleasure, without prompting. He also showed remarkable improvements in spelling. This was particularly gratifying as poor spelling is one of the key warning signs of dyslexia.
In fact, she chose to homeschool her son starting in 2014, as it was clear from several meetings with his teacher and principal, that there was virtually no chance that the school would acknowledge and accommodate his dyslexia. Because he wasn’t failing, the school had nothing to offer, even though it was a regular exercise in frustration for him.
The Barton system, which thoroughly covers reading, spelling, basic grammar, and prosody, now serves as the cornerstone of his language arts curriculum.
Since each student’s dyslexia varies across a continuum of severity, Kimberly customizes the speed of each twice-weekly tutoring session so that her students are left with a real sense of accomplishment and mastery. These new rules for reading and spelling are presented in a fun and engaging manner.
Creating new connections in a dyslexic’s student’s brain is hard work and requires a minimum of two hours of instruction time each week. Kimberly is steadfast in guiding and supporting her students through each level of the Barton system.
Susan Barton, who still administers the exam herself to insure the competency of tutors, certified her in Levels 1-3 in July 2015, Levels 4-6 on March 18, 2018 (achieving the Advanced certification level) and Levels 7-10 on December 9, 2019 – achieving the Masters certification level.
Kimberly became a Certified Dyslexia Advocate on December 31, 2018.