STEP 2 - THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM OF EDUCATION FOR AGES 7-8, AND FOR STUDENTS OF ANY AGE WHO ARE DEVELOPING LITERACY!
WHAT IS “STEP 2”?
STEP 2 is two years of secular, religion-friendly curriculum, designed for use by two kinds of students:
- Students ages 7-8
- Students who are developing literacy.
This means that the student does do some reading, but should improve.
This step contains studies in History, Science, Study & Life Skills, and Creative Writing (which develops grammar and language skills in Step 2). We do not provide Math. The focus of step 2 studies is to develop literacy while teaching the various subjects offered.
DOES MY STUDENT NEED TO DO STEP 1 TO GET A STEPS EDUCATION?
No. Each Step covers the entirety of each subject offered, but as the student goes up through the Steps, the materials become more detailed, and challenging. Students start at the Step right for their age and literacy. They do not need to go back to an earlier level unless they find themselves truly struggling, and for a significant amount of time.
IS STEP 2 FOR HOMESCHOOLING? OR THE CLASSROOM?
STEP 2 is independent study for homeschoolers, but works best when two or more students work (and play) together.
ARE STEPS 2 COURSES BOOKS? HOW DO I GET THEM?
STEPS courses come as PDFs, online downloads. When you purchase courses on our site, they are immediately sent to the email address you give us.
HOW DOES STEP 2 WORK?
Like all STEPS studies, STEP 2 courses are broken into daily lesson plans. Each lesson plan is made up of small things to be done, in sequence. The student does each step in the lesson plan, in order. Sometimes, the course shows students art work, video, or photography – all found in sequence, in the lesson plan. And in every lesson plan, the student uses what has been taught and does things, sometimes in the form of games, but there are always activities.
Over a period of two years, the duration of Step 2 studies, students develop improved reading and literacy skills. Each student moves at their own pace in developing literacy, as in all their studies. The student moves away during this step from a teacher-intensive approach to study, and increasingly becomes able to study independently.
BUT DOES STEP 2 “TEACH” THE SUBJECTS”, OR JUST DEVELOP LITERACY?
Step 2 does both, and with creativity and a sense of thoroughness. Step 2 teaches its subjects with far more clarity and depth than most studies for this age group. Both history and science are covered with detail usually reserved for the Middle School or High School level, but using STEPS unique approach, the materials are clear, understood, and owned by the student.
Step 2 History is taught on the “time line”, in the order it occurred – FOUR TIMES during Step 2, one every semester, each time with a different emphasis. The first semester covers Big Ideas In History, such as religion, politics, economics and technology – as each one developed, in sequence. Semester 2 covers Leaders Great & Terrible, some 55 historic figures in the order they appear in and impact history. Semester 3 lays out 12 of the great civilizations in history, in the order they appeared. Semester 4 deals with the history of the arts, starting with music, then visual arts, and finally literature (as the student’s literacy will have improved to the point where he can DO this course at the end of his Step 2 studies). Every lesson plan develops the students understanding of geography, as well, as every location is located by the student on maps. And most importantly, the student is constantly required to evaluate for himself every event in history, to determine its value to the student. This demands of the student that he develops real Critical Thinking Skills, as well as making history studies relevant and timely.
Step 2 Science first covers in some detail science essentials such as observation, and categorization. Then, in order, Geology, Oceanography, Meteorology, Biology, Physics and Astronomy are each provided courses. The sequence of the presentation of sciences matches Steps 3-4, so even at a young age, the student is preparing for more advanced studies – but science here is presented with a premium of simple clarity, and hands-on exposure. The student will receive more detail in later studies, but having completed Step 2 Science, the student will have an essential understanding of science, considerably advanced compared to most students at this age.
Step 2 Creative Writing is uniquely designed to develop an understanding of the parts of language, and grammar. These courses use the parts of language (nouns, verbs, etc.) as the springboard for creative ideas and story development. The student develops an understanding of both language and of creative writing simultaneously.
Step 2 Study & Life Skills Courses develop literacy, while introducing ideas and skills essential for a young student’s survival and well-being. The very first course, one of our most successful, develops study skills, along with the ability to organize, make and carry out plans. This is followed by a course that deals with nothing but fair trade with others. Then, two courses deal with ways the student can maintain his own health, and assist those around him in this regard. There is a course that covers things it is not a good idea to try at this age, another course of activities one should try. Finally, the last two courses focus on ways the student can prepare for the more advanced and complex studies to follow. Invaluable courses!
Step 2 Reading & Spelling Programs help accomplish the central objective of Step 2 – improved literacy. They are simple. The Reading Program revolves around the student’s interests, and helps him select the reading he’ll do rather than enforce specific reading. Spelling is entirely worked around the student’s own work the previous week. Words he used but misspelled are placed on a list, and this is used to develop his work in spelling, the following week. In this way (with a bit more detail), the student is learning to spell words he wants to use.
Step 2 Electives include a Basic Exercise P.E. course, Animation studies (for students who already draw well and love to draw), and two Creative Writing/History electives, each worked around a holiday.
CAN I PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL COURSES TO FILL NEEDS IN MY CHILD’S EDUCATION?
Yes. Each STEPS course is a free-standing, independent study. We provide courses in history, science, creative writing, literature studies, civics, educational basics like reading and spelling, current events, and the arts.
CAN I PURCHASE A FULL SEMESTER OF STUDIES IN STEPS ALL AT ONCE, OR A YEAR'S WORTH OF A CERTAIN SUBJECT?
Yes, as “bundles” on our site. Bundles are the least expensive way to purchase STEPS courses.
HOW QUICKLY COULD I START USING STEPS 2?
Start now. You can start STEPS at any time of the year, 24/7/365. Everything you need is pretty much included in the courses you will download, for STEP 1
HOW MUCH DO I, THE TEACHER OR PARENT, NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EACH SUBJECT IN ORDER TO USE STEPS? HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO DO?
You (teacher/tutor/parent) do not need any expertise in subjects your student is studying, using STEPS. Not as a teacher, or in the subjects being taught. You do not need a degree, or experience as a teacher. Each course does the “teaching”. Just follow the lesson plans, and keep your eyes open for fun opportunities related to whatever the student is studying now. The course does the teaching – YOU, the teacher, “deliver” the course, one action at a time, lesson plan by lesson plan.
HOW QUICKLY CAN I MOVE MY STUDENT UP STEPS?
A student can move up at any time he has the literacy skills and maturity for the next level. The student does not need to “complete” a lower level of curriculum to move up. The student just needs to be able to successfully do the next higher level of curriculum as far as difficulty and literacy. With STEPS, a student is never “behind” or “ahead” – each student moves at the pace they’re comfortable with, every step in every lesson plan, every course, and every level.
SUCCESS STORIES ABOUT STEP 1 STUDIES!
My name is Alex Person and I am 9 years old. I have many lessons, but my favorite lessons are your history and science courses. I don’t just learn in them, I have a fun time doing the dos. I just did my history lesson on Da Vinci. I looked at modern tanks and how Da Vinci designed the earlier types. I also enjoyed studying change by burning paper and heating rocks in the oven. I think you explain all of the words very well in understand the words. For example, I can explain what categorization is, much better because of that section. The do’s help me learn how categorization helps scientists design machines. I would be surprised if your courses could get any better.
I hope your courses can help me in my dream to become an engineer. It’s very nice being a homeschooler. I study math through an online curriculum and when I don’t understand an idea, I can click on explain to read more about it. I’m also in a math class that meets once a week where I study pre-algebra with four other students. I like the teacher’s explanations and she has helped me understand math better. For example, the teacher has helped me to understand the least common multiple. As you know, I’m 9 years old and this class is for 14 year old students. Because I’m a homeschooler, I can advance through subjects much faster than public school students.
Thank you for being kind enough to make these great courses! Sincerely, A.P., 9 year-old Homeschool Student
I've been using this along with Step 2 History – Leaders Great & terrible 1, with my 2nd grader for 2-3 months now. We love this curriculum because it's easy to understand, straight forward, age-appropriate and easy to use. All these without using a dumbed down text. My son's able to narrate and answer comprehension questions from me once he reads the lesson. He also likes the thought-provoking questions from the author, links to videos/pictures, simple hands-on activities and the ball-stick drawing. It makes the history lesson fun and painless.
Before STEPS we used literature-based approach in studying history. However, I found myself, even after the read aloud session, to sometimes have to re-explain the story or certain concept to my son because literature is ..ahem ... wordy. Plus, the books are often too detailed that the big picture is sometimes missed by the student.
With STEPS, between the reading and activities/questions, student (well, my son) grasps the story and concepts easily by themselves and with high retention. Talking about painless and effective learning here. My son was able to answer the test questions without even a review and he can relate what he learns in history when he encounters something in real life.
My son told me that he would like to continue with STEPS for his third grade. D. D., Homeschool Mom
This course is terrific, my 8 yr old insisted on doing the second lesson immediately after finishing the first! The content is aimed at encouraging students to think deeper about their choices and their options. This is done simply, but VERY effectively. The message is easy to understand, but thought provoking and offers the student the means to be able to really comprehend the material. These are true Life Skills, I think they could even be used with older children with great results. – by J.D. Homeschool Mom
I just wanted to give a "shout out" for the Step 2 Reading Program. I have a 9-year-old who is/was not a confident reader and has read at an emergent reading level for years. I began the elementary reading program with him less than a month ago, and what a difference it has made!
The program is so simple, but the results have been astounding. All of it has helped to build my son's confidence and fluency. Just this week, my son picked up two books on his own and read them for pleasure. This has NEVER happened before. Because of his reading level, I had started my son in the Step 2 program, but I am sure that if I continue using the reading program, my son will quickly move into the lower school materials.
I just wanted to share because I am so excited! M.L., Homeschool Mom
Step 2 - The answer to the problem of education for ages 7-8, and for students of any age who are developing literacy!