STEP 3 - THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM OF EDUCATION FOR AGES 9-10!
WHAT IS “STEP 3”?
STEP 3 is two years of secular, religion-friendly curriculum, designed for use by students ages 9-10, who read reasonably well.
This step contains studies in History, Science, Study & Life Skills, Creative Writing, Reading, Spelling, and electives such as Music Theory, Music History, Acting, Animation, Literature Guides, Current Events, and Civics. We do not provide Math. The focus of Step 3 studies is to develop literacy while teaching the various subjects offered.
DOES MY STUDENT NEED TO DO STEP 1 OR 2 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 3 FOR HOMESCHOOLING? OR THE CLASSROOM?
Step 3 is independent study for homeschoolers, but it has been used with success in the classroom.
ARE STEPS 3 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 3 WORK?
Like all STEPS studies, Step 3 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, there are always activities.
Over a period of two years, the duration of Step 3 studies, students develop improved reading and literacy skills. Each student moves at their own pace in developing literacy, as in all their studies. By the end of Step 3, a student should be ready for almost entirely self-directed independent study, and they should have developed a solid grasp of the essentials of the subjects studied in Step 3.
HOW WELL DOES STEP 3 “TEACH” THE SUBJECTS”?
Step 3 is a ladder to Step 4, a 4-5 year program where extremely detailed and thorough studies take place. Step 4 requires literacy, hence the existence of Step 3. That said, Step 3 educates, and does it with materials more complex and thorough than most High School students study today. Using STEPS unique approach, Step 3 materials are advanced but clear, easily understood and readily owned by the student.
Step 3 History is taught on the “time line”, in the order history occurred. It is global history, rather than history focused on one nation. Step 3 History uses The Story Of Mankind, the first Newberry Prize winning book, as a source. (The book is included in the courses.) This time-honored book provides a baseline for some of Step 3 History, but the courses take learning much farther than the book alone could ever accomplish. There are sixteen Step 3 History Courses, intended to be completed in roughly two years of study.
Step 3 History studies start with “Pre-History”, which covers religious and scientific concepts (without bias) of how the universe, the world, and mankind came to be. The following History course begins a study of ancient civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, Phoenicia, The Greeks and Romans, India, China, etc., up to today’s powerhouses.
Step 3 History courses explore the history of civilizations, alongside their accomplishments and cultures, all in context to the time line. So politics, economics, religion, philosophy, geography, language, science and the arts all play a part in every course. By the time the student completes Step 3 History, they should have a good idea of where in history we got most of the ideas we live with today, why and how those ideas came to be, and their consequences.
And most importantly, the history 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 3 Science starts with Science Basics, defining the overall subject of science, a step very often skipped in other studies. What is Science, and why should we know about it? Covered. The basic tools of science are explored in the first course, including the concepts of measurement, categorization, and the Scientific Method. The student tests every idea, hands-on. These are each lab sciences, using commonly-found articles. Following Science courses cover Earth sciences – Geology, Oceanography and Meteorology, and then Biology, Human health, Physics and Astronomy, with a smattering of Chemistry - providing the student a thorough overview, and preparing him for the far more rigorous studies in Step 4, of these same subjects. Five Step 3 Science courses allow for two years of study.
Step 3-4 Creative Writing is a full 3-5 year program in writing. The student may start it while doing Step 3, or start in Step 4. Either way, the five courses thoroughly cover all the concepts a writer needs to understand in order to do professional work. The student is asked to write increasingly longer, complex works, based on new techniques and information, and on his own ideas, until he is creating lengthy works of well-written self-expression. The goal is the building of professional writers who know how to write, and who have something worthwhile to say. This was the first program authored in STEPS, and it was tested in a classroom with 50 Middle School-High School students, for two years, with great success. This program, like all of STEPS, was authored by an often-produced, Emmy and Dramalogue Award-winning writer, (who had over 20,000 hours teaching time, had taught in the U.S.C. Professional Writing Program for two years, and has spent over 30,000 hours authoring this curriculum.)
Step 3 Study & Life Skills Courses are the foundation of a working education. At this level, the Student does Information – Right Or Wrong, our best-selling course, and the first Study course for Step 3-4. This course helps the student understand and spot truth, lies, or opinions when encountered in studies, or in life. It’s followed in Step 3 by How To Do Research, which provides powerful, modern ideas and tools that will benefit all the student’s efforts and studies. There is also our best-selling Step 3-4 Manner’s Course, which helps the student define what good behavior is toward himself, and toward others. These can be life-defining courses that open the door to success in all the student’s areas of interest! For students doing all of STEPS, they are the required beginning of their education.
Step 3 Reading & Spelling Programs help accomplish one central objective of in STEPS curriculum– improved literacy. 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. These are advanced tools, but similar in many ways to the same tools used in Step 2.
Step 3 Electives include:
We offer a Basic Exercise P.E. course, which can be done one student at a time, as well as a great Baseball Course, if you have 6 or more students.
Step 3-4 offers 10 Current Events courses, which use a unique approach we call “guided research”. In each course, a modern global issue (such as current wars, global poverty and hunger, energy or environmental concerns…) is fully defined. Then, guided through the research, the student discovers what is happening with that issue today. This keeps each Current Events course current. Finally, the student decides on an appropriate course of action to remedy the problem, based on his own understanding.
Step 3-4 All-Purpose Civics uses guided research again, allowing the student to do a full Civics study for any selected country, state or province, or city. We also offer step 3-4 courses focused on the American Constitution, and another on the American Bill Of Rights.
CREATIVE WRITING/HISTORY HOLIDAY ELECTIVES:
We selected many of your favorite holidays and built a course around each one! New Year’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, St. Patricks’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, even Your Birthday! Each of these courses starts with a full explanation of the history of that holiday or observance. The history section is fun, and often surprising. Then, the student is guided step-by-step through the authoring of two short stories for the holiday, acquiring more Creative Writing skills and understandings! For our Valentine’s Day course, we even added some guided assistance to write some poetry!
There are many art electives for Step 3-4, including:
- Animation (for students who already draw well and love to draw).
- Music Theory (which teaches the student to read music, play a keyboard, understand music, and finally compose his own music).
- Music History courses, comprehensive and thrilling in scope, every major composer’s life and work is covered, with hundreds of links to watch/listen to their masterpieces.
- Step 3 Acting, a year of study, two courses that open the door to this exciting art, even for homeschooling students. (The student needs at least one other student to work with).
- Literature Guides are provided for nine books, at the Step 3 level. These are fantastically thorough, creative studies of famed authors and books, detailing the period of history when the book was written (for context), the author’s life, the reception of the book itself, elements of literature defined and investigated, and of course, the book – always included in the materials. Some of the lit guides for Step 3: Short Works by Edgar Allen Poe; Short Works by Mark Twain; Scary Stories by Washington Irving; H.G. Wells The Time Machine; and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
- Reading Programs. There are three. The “standard” Reading Program”, and Reading Programs specializing in Science Fiction, and in Fantasy. Great fun for readers discovering literature!
CAN I PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL COURSES TO FILL NEEDS IN MY CHILD’S EDUCATION?
Yes. Each STEPS course is a free-standing, independent study.
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 3?
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 3. (Some courses require films or outside books, which are carefully explained, with links provided detailing where to find them.)
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. The course does the teaching.
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, every level.
SUCCESS STORIES ABOUT STEP 3 STUDIES!
As a Home Schooling parent, I think it is critical that my girls know how to get information for themselves. They need to learn 'How to learn' and that is amply covered in this course.
"Research" breaks down into manageable chunks of learning, the information that the children need to be able to make astute enquiries of their own.
This information is written at the right level for the age group and was understood by my girls, even though it was perfectly suited to stretch them and make them think.
Step 3 How to do Research offer the students an understanding of the resources that can be used to "Research" (get more information) and indeed goes further by offering ways and means of utilizing those resources! Homeschool Mom and Professional Educator, in Australia
I've been homeschooling my son, B., (3rd Grade) since kindergarten. We live in South Florida and the public schools...and most of the private schools, for that matter...are just terrible. It doesn't help that he HATES school — always has. And I've tried everything. I have an entire room full of abandoned curricula at this point! He draws and writes from the moment he wakes up until he passes out in bed at night, but if I give him an assignment to draw or write something he is instantaneously disinterested!
I was so grateful that you had some free courses to try because there was not very much info on your curriculum yet when hunting around for reviews, etc. I was gun-shy to spend a lot of money — again — without knowing if it would be a good fit. He's been using xxxxx and enjoying it, but I've noticed he wasn't actually learning anything, but instead becoming a fantastic multiple-choice guesser (I'm pretty good at that myself thanks to the public school system!). So when he successfully completed the "How to Do STEPS" course without too much complaint I was willing to open my checkbook. And I'm so glad I did! We have been doing all the recommended courses for his age and everyday he seems to enjoy it a bit more. But even more important, he is becoming more independent in his studies and learning how to think for himself! It is truly the perfect curriculum for an artistic/creative type! The animation course, although recommended for older kids, is right up his alley. I hope you don't mind me mentioning it, but B is a finalist this year in the Google4Doodle contest. We are really excited because he won a trip to New York next week for the ceremony and to see his doodle on display at the Whitney Museum, and even more importantly will have the opportunity to meet Jim Davis (Garfield creator) and Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) which is a dream come true for a future cartoonist/animator!
So....THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for such a great curriculum! It accomplishes everything I hoped for in a curriculum. I homeschool because I want my children to be "think outside the box" people and your curriculum is a perfect match! V, Homeschool Mom
My 13yo almost 14yo son has done only 2 lessons in this curriculum and we are already seeing signs of success! I can hardly wait to see the difference in him by the time the course is over. Kristine B.
My daughter has always had an interest in writing but never had the confidence that her stories could be as good as the ones she reads. In Creative Writing 1, she regained her confidence. She realized how simple it actually is to express her ideas and how many ideas she has. She sailed into Creative Writing 2 with her regained confidence and enthusiasm. When an exercise calls for at least 10 sentences, she writes 3 pages. Each day she creates a brand new story that is extremely interesting, unique and well-written. She is clearly realizing her ability as a writer and is greatly enjoying the process.
I would recommend these courses for all children and also adults who would like to become better writers. Thank you for this invaluable gift!" A.B., Homeschool Mom
Step 3 - The answer to the problem of education for ages 9-10!