STEP 3 & 4 - THE ANSWER TO CIVICS STUDIES FOR AGES 9-ADULT!
WHAT IS “STEP 3-4”?
STEP 3 is studies for ages 9-10, who read well. STEP 4 is studies for ages 11-adult. Courses that are listed as “3-4” can be used by either group.
DOES MY STUDENT NEED TO DO EARLIER “STEPS” 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 OR 4 FOR HOMESCHOOLING? OR THE CLASSROOM?
Steps 3 and 4 is independent study for homeschoolers, but it has been used with success in the classroom.
ARE STEPS 4 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 3-4 CIVICS WORK?
Like all STEPS studies, Step 4 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 years, 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 4, a student should have developed excellent critical thinking skills, a huge vocabulary, a profound ability to communicate, and an exceptional grasp for this age of history, science and related subjects. Additionally, the student will be facile at self-motivated, unassisted study – a skill that will serve the student well as they step into life.
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. These courses include studies in Current Wars, Racism, Terrorism, Energy Issues, Environmental issues, Endangered Species, Emerging 3rd World Countries, Human Rights Abuses, Religious Intolerance, and Global Poverty & Hunger.
These unique courses develop numerous crucial skills and understandings. They develop the student’s ability to do successful research, a skill that will serve the student in all his studies, and in life. They develop a global perspective, a sense of a world filled with humanity, interrelated to some extent, and interdependent. They develop a connected sense of the times we live in. These courses develop literacy and vocabulary. And perhaps most importantly, they develop Critical Thinking Skills.
Civics is generally a required subject in most municipalities. In the United States, at some point in one’s schooling, studies are done covering the State one lives in, and of the country. STEPS has these requirements covered, and then some.
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. This is the course to use to discover the history, the politics, the economics and industry, the beliefs, the geography, the culture and the overall “civics” of your city, your province or state. All-Purpose Civics is exactly what its title claims it to be - it is built to teach about any selected political unit – from a township up to the largest of nations.
We also offer step 3-4 courses focused on the American Constitution and individual rights as defined in that great document, and another on the American Bill Of Rights.
And of course, there is the MASSIVE Step 4 History 7 course – American Civics, An Owner’s Manual, a full semester or more of intensive, in depth study into the American system, history, politics and culture. Perhaps the most important of all STEPS courses!
These courses work with every lesson plan to develop vocabulary and literacy, an understanding of history, and they place a premium on the development of Critical Thinking Skills.
HOW WELL DOES STEP 3 AND 4 “TEACH” THE SUBJECTS”?
Very. Step 3 is serious education, and Step 4 is all about an in-depth study of the subjects offered, a detailed education in every offered subject. Each subject starts with the most basic ideas in that subject – usually a definition of the subject itself. Info builds on info, and becomes increasingly detailed. But the unique approach taken in STEPS allows students to understand the most complex information the first time they’re exposed to it. Step 4 is the longest, most important of STEPS levels. It is the Step that prepares the student to triumph in life.
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 STEP 3-4 CIVICS OR CURRENT EVENTS ALL AT ONCE, OR A YEAR'S WORTH OF A CERTAIN SUBJECT?
Current Events courses can be purchased in bundles of three to four courses. Bundles are the least expensive way to secure numerous STEPS courses. Civics courses are generally only available separately.
HOW QUICKLY COULD I START USING STEPS 3 OR 4?
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 3-4 CURRENT EVENTS!
(Current Events - Human Rights Abuses) This was a very interesting course that really got my son thinking about human rights. He really enjoyed it. Sherri W
(Current Events - Wars) Another critical thinking program from CTT! This curriculum addresses a subject many people, young and old, don't understand. It discusses the history and technology of weapons used in war, includes research, geography, vocabulary (CTT excels in including all of these areas in their curriculum in a way that is not intimidating, yet is challenging enough for students in a range of ages and abilities), questions that get you thinking outside the box, and a test at the end for those who want to see how well they retained the knowledge. This is not a memorization program and you will need daily access to the Internet. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand our present day world situations. Kristine B.
(Current Events - Religious Intolerance) Just wanted to put in a hurray for CTT's Religious Tolerance Upper School course. My son is really enjoying the material and the process of thinking about and discussing tolerance and religious differences. He's a reluctant writer, and some of the assignments have really challenged him (thanks!). He's produced some decent work that really illustrates deepening of thought. It's been a great complement to his religious ed program at our Unitarian Universalist church this year but could be used without any previous background in world religions, since some exploration in this area is included in the study.
The last section on the United Nations' declaration regarding religious and tolerance has stretched his thoughts, critical thinking, and vocabulary. It's been by far the most difficult writing of this course, and I'm delighted to see him thinking and working so hard. I'm looking forward to exploring more in the Connect the Thoughts "World Problems" series.; Sarah M.
(Current Events - Terrorism) Began Terrorism this morning, Steven, and the first lesson took us two hours due to the conversations we had about it. No surprise there for us, your curriculum has always been our favorite!! C.L.J., Homeschool Mom of 5