Welcome! My name is Pennie Burke, and I have been homeschooling my four children for 14 years and teaching for over 20 years. While homeschooling my children, I have learned a lot about different learning styles and struggles.
When my daughter was four, she started to stutter (1st sign) for no apparent reason, she was fine one day (no stuttering), and the next day she couldn't even finish a sentence. She began therapy for this, and it seemed to correct the problem. Then at the beginning of 6th grade, my daughter struggled to answer questions after reading a story. When I checked her work, the answers had absolutely nothing to do with the questions asked. Now that she was in 6th grade, she wanted to be independent and insisted on doing her schoolwork independently. I told her we needed to work together because there would be much reading across all middle school subjects, and it might be hard to keep up. I requested that she read it out loud to me. To my surprise, when she did, I could not understand what she was saying (2nd sign). Her words were clear, but they came out slow and choppy. She had extremely poor fluency (3rd sign). However, she never confused letter sounds. I told her that I would read it and she could tell me the answers. She had no problem answering the questions about the story. So her comprehension, when being read to, was great! (4th sign)
I was confused because she always had a book in her hand. She loved to read and still does.
Dyslexia popped into my head. My understanding of dyslexia was that the child would reverse letters or numbers, and words moved around on the page. My daughter did not have this problem.
When the school tested her for dyslexia, they found that my daughter was moderately severely dyslexic. I was in shock and a little bit in denial. The school made it clear that I was on my own. They were not willing to help. Even if we enrolled her in school, they would not provide remediation to a middle schooler. I was desperate for answers!
After learning of my daughter's dyslexia, I quickly realized that one of my sons was dealing with dyslexia as well. He enjoyed reading, but I noticed he typically chose the same books and the books were at a lower reading level. He would complain and whine about doing school work that involved reading. Hiring a tutor for one child is expensive, but two or more of my children were not in our budget.
Luckily, through much research, I came across Susan Barton's program for spelling and reading. Her program teaches you (the parent) how to teach your child! This program is expensive; however, far less costly than hiring a tutor for several children. I was so confused and in shock by the dyslexia diagnosis that I reached out to Susan Barton, the program creator, for guidance and reassurance that this was, in fact, my daughter's problem. Susan was gracious enough to review my daughter's report from the school. After Susan reviewed the report, she confirmed my daughter was dyslexic.
Once I understood the Barton Reading and Spelling program concept, I began using it for all four of my children. This program has been a game-changer for me as a homeschooling mom and LIFE CHANGING for all four children! So much so, I have chosen to become an Advanced Certified Barton Tutor to help educate and tutor other struggling spellers and readers.
My degree is in aeronautics, but my passion is in education! I am excited about making a difference in the lives of those struggling with spelling and reading, and I am confident that with my training, experience, and knowledge of the Susan Barton program, I can do just that.
We are also well researched and experienced in ADHD, ODD, dyslexia, and anxiety. Here at Burke Transformation Academy, our goal is to transform lives. We achieve this goal by building relationships with our students and their families and using games, laughter, and understanding to help the student to build confidence in their spelling and reading.