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Susan Barton:
Barton Reading and Spelling System
Foundation In Sounds
Passion, Persistence...
Success Stories

As the mother of a child struggling with reading, it was wonderful to find a programme that was child-centred and engaging. The programme successfully targeting specific weaknesses in the foundational skills needed for my child to progress but did so in such a way that she enjoyed learning and was motivated. I was able to see my daughter's clear development through the content, structure and sequence of the programme. As a Lecturer in Education, I will use this high quality product with Trainee Teachers to help them develop their understanding of the processes of learning to read for dyslexic and all learners. The service from this company was warm, genuine and it is clear that they care about the impact of their product and their customers. Highly recommended for anyone working with struggling readers!

Thank you again, so much!


~ Dr Jennifer Milne

Lecturer Education (Teaching and Research)

PGCE English Lead

School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law.

Department of Education

University of Dundee, Scotland

Thank you! I just want to say what powerful and necessary learning FIS has provided for my students. Barton certified, I have utilized FIS as required, pre-Barton instruction. The resulting learning has shown (through my careful documentation of performance accuracy) to support and magnify the learning scope of Barton skills. Thank you for developing such an outstanding instructional program, as well as for your support as an instructor.

~ Susanne Hannigan

 Literacy Links of Louisville

FIS Staff,

I’m a Barton Tutor and first met with my new student, Ivan, in Sept. 2022.  He didn’t pass the screening and we started with FIS.  I’d never used it before but this  little guy was struggling on many levels.  We worked through your material several times, slowly working from 2 sounds to 3 sounds with word pictures, to tiles and pictures, to finally, all tiles and successfully completing FIS in April 2023! Along the way, I called several times with questions and your support was great!

Thank you for your help, your excellent customer service and curriculum.  I’d recommend it to anyone and am thankful that because of Ivan, I’ve learned something new too!



Barbi Holub

~ Barbi Holub

 Robbins, Iowa


Hi Lisa!


I just wanted you to know...the student I tutored did AMAZING with your program!  It was exactly what he needed and now can successfully identify and correctly make all of the phonemes in Foundation in Sounds.  Thank you so much!! He has never been able to do this after an entire year of Kindergarten and a few months in first grade.  He has also successfully completed the first two lessons in Barton Level 1 with ease and confidence....thanks to you and your husband!  I cannot say enough positive things!!  It was fun, super easy to use, and totally engaging!!!  THANK YOU!!!


~ Lisa Planas
Auburn, California

Hi Rick and Lisa,


I walked into the house the other day to find Weston curled up in a chair reading and that made my heart so happy! He is working through Farmer Boy by Laura Ingles Wilder. I am grateful for all the help and guidance you have provided to get us where we are. I pray for blessings on you and your family as you continue to help kids become confident readers.


~ Tracey,

Del Norte, CO


Hello Rick and Lisa:

A 7 year old boy I have been tutoring through FIS volunteered to sound out and spell his dads’ name, all on his own today. His mom very clearly stated this was completely his own doing and his parents did not even ask him to do this. :) We are in Lesson 10 of the program. His mom just texted me near tears and sent me the picture of Daniel using wooden letters writing the name. Wow!

Once again, thank you for your work and the effectiveness of FIS.


~ Virginia Dobel,

San Fransisco, CA

Barton Tutor

Did I ever tell you that the Foundations in Sounds was an absolute God-send? My student noticed how much improved her ability was with Barton Level 1 after doing Foundation in Sounds. I *love* using those things like the 'Sounds Stoplight' to help now to slow things down when we need it.

~ Marion Entz-Harris   

Omaha, NE

Barton Tutor

I have told everyone I know about your program, I'm hoping our Special Education dept. starts using it in the county. My daughter is 7 and her difficulties have taken a toll on her self-confidence. We are seeing that start to come back and it is because of the progress she made after doing Foundations in Sounds. Her phonological awareness improved so much that it brought her diagnostic score to "on grade level". She was at Pre-K level prior to. I also know that there is no way we could have done Barton Level 1 without doing this first. I'm glad I let you know, because it has really changed her life! And mine! :) 

~ Rebecca Devono

Bridgeport, West Virginia



This is Adrian. (Photo Not Included) He has just finished Foundation In Sounds today! When I first met Adrian, every time someone mentioned the word reading, he would just put his head down because he was so very bad at it.
Today when the tutor went to pick Adrian up from class, the teacher said that he was very happy for Adrian to go tutor, because he was starting to see a great improvement in Adrian’s work!!!!


~ Melody Morris   

Nairobi, Kenya

School Administrator

Prior to starting my private Barton Reading and Spelling tutoring business, I worked for a local tutoring center who also provided a system to prepare kids who were unable to pass Part C of the Barton screening.

Your system far surpasses any system I have previously used. Experience has shown me that children learn better and faster when the teaching methods are engaging and fun. The Foundation in Sounds system achieves this by making the multisensory process, of learning phonemic awareness, not only doable but enjoyable.


I have very enthusiastic students who are making wonderful progress as a result, both in their abilities and in their confidence levels.


~ Cindy Deagen    

Pleasanton, CA

Learning Center Owner

I tutor my son using the Barton System. But my daughter could not pass the student screening.


As I began using Foundation in Sounds with my daughter, I noticed it is formatted like the Barton System, which helped me feel comfortable using it.


Liz is doing very well in Foundation in Sounds. It is really helping her pronounce sounds properly. She was working on /th/ and she said, “That sounds funny,” because she always used to say /s/.


I am thrilled that I can help her pronounce things correctly because she now knows how to use her mouth and lips properly.


~ Jennifer 

Colorado Springs, CO

We purchased the Foundation in Sound program this past summer. We have started tutoring students with the Barton Reading and Spelling system. Foundation in Sounds was a wonderful discovery to fill the gap for students not able to pass part C of the Barton student screening. We are loving your program as much as we love Barton. Thank you for providing this product and matching it up with the keywords and colors of the Barton System.

~ Tonya Zierden   

Fergus Falls, MN

School Principal

Thank you for creating this wonderful system that I, as a Barton tutor, can easily implement for my students who do not pass Part C of the Barton screening. Recently, a new adult student missed six and failed Part C. After taking him through Foundation in Sounds, three times a week doing one lesson per session, he passed the Barton Screening. This was so very exciting!


Foundation in Sounds is a Godsend for Barton tutors and students. It saves the student precious time spent searching for a different type of specialized tutor and assists the Barton tutor to easily prepare a new student, who lacks phonemic discrimination, memory, and sequencing skills, to begin Barton. It is a blessing, and I am thrilled to have it as part of my tutoring toolkit.

~ Kristi Davis    

Wilmington, DE

Barton Tutor Certified at the Masters Level

My daughter Heidi started Foundation in Sounds when she was 8 years old and in the second grade. At that point, she did not know any of her letters or sounds.


She had been in a traditional public school up to this point. I started online/homeschooling her and began the Foundation in Sounds Program with Rick and Lisa Weaver.


We worked on the Foundation in Sounds program before we did any other schooling every day. It is very easy to follow and the results are amazing!!!


We progressed very easily into the Barton Reading & Spelling System. We are currently on Level 6, Lesson 3. She now loves reading to her younger cousin, the dogs, and her horses.


I highly recommend Rick and Lisa Weaver. They are extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you and your child.


~ Jane Frusetta    

Ellicott, CO

Learning Coach

I received a message from a friend that they were sending a referral my way for my dyslexia tutoring business. Shortly thereafter, I had the pleasure of meeting this 4th-grade boy who, unfortunately, could not read - literally - at all. He was a part of the special education classroom at his school and he was not really getting the help he needed to progress. Mom felt they were just sort of hosting him and pushing him along without taking steps to truly teach or help him.


At our first meeting, I could quickly see that this boy - well, this shell of a boy really - was emotionally defeated. I ached for him as he muddled through the screening with great timidity. More often than not, he would reply "I don't know - I don't understand" to each question...Not surprisingly, it was determined he was not ready for the Barton program. This was the first time I would have to turn away a student - and it was hard! You see, I needed the pre-program (Foundation in Sounds) but unfortunately, I did not own it at the time and didn't have the funds readily available to purchase it.


I had to let the mother know I could not help her son - which is a phrase that (as most of my family and friends can testify) never exits my mouth with ease! Her response was..."Everyone keeps telling me that! All I want to do is get help for my son but everyone says they can't help him. I don't know what to do! I am out of options and don't know where to turn!"...I told her I would do everything I could to help her son. I held a garage sale to raise some money but fell a bit short of the total - which, consequently, was quickly remediated by my sisters-in-law (Tammie and Ellen) who donated the rest! (thanks from the very bottom of my heart)


Our sessions together have been a remarkable experience...I was scared - literally petrified - I would fail him and ironically, I think he was feeling he would fail me too...We would get through the really tough times by (no joke) running around the kitchen table tossing a ball back and forth to work off any and all frustrations. This happened when I could see his defeat - the hair-pulling times when his face would turn bright red and his eyes would fill with tears and he would grab his head and thrash it backward and say "Ahhhh, I can't do this!" I knew I had to make him laugh...and what better way to do it than to see me run around a kitchen! Then we would hit the lesson again...Fast forward one year later, and this boy - this once timid and defeated shell of a boy - is now READING! He is far from being at grade level BUT the transformation has been remarkable. His trek of forward progress has steadily grown and the end goal - well, it doesn't seem as quite out of reach as it once felt. He has made it to Level 3/Lesson 4 in the program. It is amazing he can read words AND spell them but what is even more amazing is the transformation of his spirit and how he carries himself with greater confidence. He is blossoming at his very core. His confidence, his spirit, every bit of him is just pouring with hope. He inspires me. He is my hero!


~ Barb 

Cape Coral, Florida

I just want you to know that my first Foundation in Sounds graduate (a woman in her 50s) just started Barton today. Three years ago, when she first tried Barton, she could not even remember the 2 sounds by the time the Touch-and-say came along. Today we finished 1-1/2 lessons in 45 minutes!! Thank you for enabling me to help her!


~ Janet Bell    


Professional Tutor

By the way, in case you weren't aware, if students cannot pass section C of the Barton student screening, Foundation in Sound is something you could use before moving into Barton. Easier to implement than LiPS and is designed specifically so it could easily be paired with Barton. Materials can be used over and over with multiple students with only the student workbook (for your use) needed for each student so there really isn't much cost involved past the initial purchase price.

I had not used it until this year. I unexpectedly started tutoring my nephew and he could not pass section C of Barton. I have LiPS but I decided to take a leap of faith and try Foundations in Sound. Sooooooo much easier to implement and he is doing really well with it! Unless a student is really needing the intensity of LiPS I plan to just switch over to FiS for anyone who can't pass Section C. We haven't finished it, yet so maybe my opinion will change but so far I really, really like this program.


McAllen, TX

Our son was 4 years old when he started Foundation in Sounds. He learned his sounds, and once he turned 5, he was able to start the Barton program. There is no way we would be even close to where we are in his reading education without this program.


The Foundation in Sounds is truly a blessing.

~ Bobbie 

Colorado Springs, CO

Prior to starting my private Barton Reading and Spelling tutoring business, I worked for a local tutoring center which also provided a system to prepare kids who were unable to pass Part C of the Barton screening.

Your system far surpasses any system I have previously used. Experience has shown me that children learn better and faster when the teaching methods are engaging and fun. The Foundation in Sounds system achieves this by making the multisensory process of learning phonemic awareness, not only doable but enjoyable.
I have very enthusiastic students who are making wonderful progress as a result, both in their abilities and in their confidence levels.

Today, I have another new student who will be starting the Foundation in Sounds program.  It's such a relief to provide parents the hope they deserve for their students who need the Barton program and currently do not pass Part C.  Just as important, it provides students a fun and effective way to receive proper intervention in developing the strong auditory pre-reading skills necessary to begin their successful journey with reading and spelling.  As you can tell, I am truly a fan! 

~ Cindy Deagen   


Professional Tutor

I wanted to tell you how happy I am with the results I have been achieving with my students at Harman Elementary School. I am tutoring two children one on one after school twice a week. Cora, a first-grader, started at the beginning with Book One and I had to stop and purchase the Foundations in Sound program to help her internalize blending. She is such a visual learner that it took the "stoplight" chart with the green-yellow-red circles to help her understand how to blend from beginning to middle to ending sound.

~ Karen   

Kettering, Ohio

I just wanted to thank you for a great program. Kenneth is ready for lesson 12 and is really enjoying doing Foundation In Sounds. I have loved teaching it. He has made major improvements and I have no doubt that he will easily pass the Barton entry test now. His attitudes have improved and he is always excited when class time comes around.

~ Rhonda Reinford    

Fort Pierce, FL

Learning Coach

I've used and love this curriculum. Everyone I've used it with passes the screening with flying colors. I highly recommend it to parents of kids who can't pass the Barton screening. We've purchased 3 for our church program and 5 for our school now.


Bloomfield, CO

For the past few weeks, we have been using Foundation In Sounds with two children in Atlanta who did not pass Part C of the screening. So far they're making great progress! It's also a very user-friendly program.

~ Dite Bray    

Atlanta, GA

Co-Director of Ladder Learning Services LLC

I wanted to share with you another success story after using your program with a new student in conjunction with the Forbrain headset. As you can see from the attachment, the student was able to complete the program in a little over one month. This student also had challenges with hearing and producing the /th/ sound as it was not a sound used in his native language. He also exhibited no auditory awareness for vowel sounds. Using both systems, which incorporated visual, kinetic, and auditory support, allowed the student to learn at a faster pace. This student is 5 years old and now entering kindergarten with solid auditory awareness for the basic sounds within the English language. I now have faith he will experience even more success as he begins school. Thanks again for creating this very fun and effective program!

~ Cindy   

Pleasanton, California

LiPS is especially hard with children who are not already solid with their sound to symbol correspondence, since LiPs relies on using the letters. It also relies on remembering lots of labels (family names). It covers all of the letters in the alphabet as well as a variety of vowel sounds and digraphs. The foundation in Sounds program, on the other hand, is very much simplified with the express focus of preparing the student to successfully pass Task C of the Barton Student Screener and move into the Barton Program successfully. To this end, it only teaches the sounds included in Task C, and limits the vowels to the 5 short vowel sounds. It does not use the alphabet letters, but rather relies on photo cards that use the keywords for each sound from the Barton Reading & Spelling Program. I have found it most helpful for the most phonological-memory-challenged of my students.

~ Rachel Abramovitz   

Rachel's Reading Rescue

Cupertino, CA

I'm also LiPS trained. I used it exclusively until I purchased Foundation in Sounds in August.


We are seeing tremendous success in our reading center with Foundation in Sounds. 70% of the students who come to us cannot pass part C of the Student screening for Barton. That is a lot of students who need LiPS. This put a huge burden on me to provide the service. Now with Foundations, all the tutors at the center can be trained to provide this service. It's been a huge blessing.


I've used Foundation in Sounds with students from 2nd grade through 11th grade. No one has any issue with the program. Most students can complete it in about 6 weeks As of now, I'm not going back to LiPS. LiPS has too much to remember as far as labels are concerned. I also had to create my own sound sequences. I typically did not introduce the symbols to my students while using LiPS. My main goal was auditory discrimination.


Foundation in Sounds is HIGHLY effective. I have several side-by-side comparisons of before and after Barton Student Screenings. Students always pass the 2nd screening with flying colors. It is very easy to implement. I can't say enough good things about the program.


~Jennifer Lynn 

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