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If is to be; it's up to me to do it! Review by Holly Cameron

By Don McCabe

If it is to be, it's up to me to do it! is the impressive name of this remedial reading/spelling program. It certainly leaves no doubt in your mind as to what will be the outcome of the program will! The subtitle of this book is called Helping Anyone (Children/parents/neighbors/relatives/friends) Overcome Reading/Spelling Problems.

This is a tutorial to help you help your student. It is written for the older learner or adult who wants to learn to read and/or spell better. The beginning pages give instruction on how to teach the lessons, including what to say often to your student, and things you should never say to your student. These pages were written for you to tutor an adult or older child, but the words are wise, and any parent would do well to listen to them!

The program itself is very scripted and easy-to-use. The first few lessons are extremely scripted, so that you learn the steps. Then as the lessons go on, it is assumed that you will use the same steps with every word list. The steps are easy to follow. Immediate self-correction is key! The word is read, a sentence is given to reinforce the word, and the student writes the word. Immediately after the word is written, the student self corrects it by you giving him the correct spelling. Then they cover up the corrected word and write it one more time to reinforce the correct spelling.

The binder includes the student pages, which have, at the beginning, the sentences written out for the student, so he simply provides the needed word. As the course goes on, you are given the choice as to whether to add a sentence or not. Sometimes the student could just write the word, but you are encouraged by lesson 60 to make up a sentence to go with the word, and then continue in the same format as previously taught. The whole course is based on word families, similar to Sequential Spelling, but is written to an older audience.

Throughout the course, there are positive affirmations for the student to read, and for you to say to the student. This is a very thorough course, and would definitely help any struggling reader to improve, despite his age! Dr. McCabe obviously cares for his students, it's very evident as you read all the positive affirmations he encourages us to use. In a nutshell, this is a very complete remedial reading/spelling program for any age group.

-- Product Review by: Holly Cameron, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine