But we persisted with All About Spelling getting through Level 6 of 7 and in reading even though it was slow and El learned to just fill in blanks where she didn't know words with something that made sense.
El has had a lot of trouble reading....
At 5 we started How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson. This was the book that we closed at lesson 55 with my son and he 'took off' so I thought it perfect. So at 7 when we'd attempted the book 2 more times going back over lessons again and again...El and I stopped mostly in tears and not nearly at the 2nd grade level she was supposed to be after completing it.
Next for El came The Ordinary Parents' Guide the Teaching Reading. Very highly recommended. It was a lot like 100 Easy Lessons: phonics based with sight words, controlled vocabulary but this one was supposed to get her to a 4th grade reading level. It also had fun games and some writing/spelling so I was happy to incorporate a more integrated approach. We tried this one for 2 years, backtracking when it got hard and repeating and repeating till we finished but not without a lot of tears and sweat and again, not really at 4th grade reading level.
Finally when El was 13, last summer first I read this fiction book that was from the perspectives of a grown man with dyslexia and his girlfriend who was helping him learn to read/write. I must have highlighted half the book and later read the passages to El. She kept saying..."yes, that's what it's like...". So we proceeded to order about every book on dyslexia that library had on hand from preschool books on up. El read a lot of them. I skimmed and read the teacher ones. Too many things lined up and we didn't need expensive tests or a school psychologist to tell us.
At the same time, I had heard about Barton for the third time in three months and decided that just might be God indicating I needed to look at the very expensive curriculum (b/c that's what I'd found when I looked at it two years earlier). It' is expensive comparatively in time and money: $300+ per level unless you get it used for about $250 a level on ebay. So that's a consideration...it's 10 levels so doing the math it's like a year of private school. BUT we had some extra money from my folks so we decided to use it.
And it's exactly what she needed. (Actually is really working with my 11 year old who is a little hearing impaired as well b/c it makes him slow down and really hear sounds.) El was MOTIVATED!!! We completed Levels 1-2 in a month or less even with summer activities running throughout. They are shorter...only 5ish lessons each. Levels 3 and 4 are 11 and 14 lessons each respectively and 4 is rather difficult but we've just finished up. Her posttests are nearly perfect. This is working. It's so very concrete sequential and very explicit. You need to follow it to the letter and watch the teacher videos. It takes a lot of time but IT'S WORKING amazingly and it's working in her everyday writing. That's never happened before. She could get the spelling words when we studied but couldn't put them into practice. Best of all, now she has really good tools for taking apart words and making good guesses. And her brother, who is about 4 lessons behind her, is doing well too. It's teaching that kid to slow down and listen! I think what works most is that Barton builds. They have enough practice that kids master the concepts but they are constantly adding to their mastery while they learn new things. This is just the best, most effective way for El to learn. She can't do the random methods. She need practice. (Probably why Saxon Math works so well for her too.)
So there it is...so far a magic bean for growing spelling and reading confidence...and the attitude is at least half of everything. I love it. I'm learning too!