STEP 4 - THE ANSWER TO CREATIVE WRITING STUDIES FOR AGES 11- ADULT!
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. 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 4 FOR HOMESCHOOLING? OR THE CLASSROOM?
Step 3 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 4 CREATIVE WRITING 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 three-five years, the duration of Step 4 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 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 Creative Writing is a full 3-5 year program in writing, consisting of five courses. 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.)
The strict no-critique approach taken to Creative Writing (and hopefully to every STEPS study) encourages the student to create in a stress-free environment. Writing is a deeply personal experience, and until professional, critique can be highly destructive of a student’s attempts…or interest, in writing. We saw one student, in a semester, go from an unwillingness to write, to apologizing for only having completed the first 200 pages of a novel at the end of the semester! (As if he had anything to apologize for!)
Working Creative Writing, the student will improve vocabulary, literacy and language skills, self-expression, some Critical Thinking, and other skills. IF the Step 4 student feels the need to work on his ability to invent ideas, they should do Step 3-4 Creative Writing 2, after doing Creative Writing 1. If the student does not feel that need, they should SKIP Creative Writing 2 after completing Creative Writing 1, and go directly to Creative Writing 3.
And we provide a series of Creative Writing electives! STEPS has selected many of your favorite holidays and built a course around each one! New Year’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, St. Patrick’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!
Finally, Creative Writing is the one area where we offer a Master’s Program – seven huge courses dealing with specific areas of expertise in writing, to be done by students who have completed Step 3-4 Creative Writing 5, and who are very serious about becoming writers. Each course focuses in on one area where a writer can make a living, and each course takes as much as two years to fully complete. We have Master’s Courses in Screenwriting; TV Writing; Playwriting; Poetry & Lyric Writing; Novels and Short Story Writing; Marketing & P.R. writing, and Creative NonFiction (the authoring of journalism, text books, grants, etc.). The author has worked in every one of these areas as a professional.
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 HISTORY 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 CREATIVE WRITING STUDIES!
My kids are currently on Creative Writing 2, which though they could skip it per the course guidelines, they ABSOLUTELY did not want to miss. The assignments are inspiring and the spark of imagination is endless. This course has nurtured the creativity of both a child who already loved to write but needed some channeling, and a child who was hesitant to explore his creativity. They have both enthusiastically burst forth with a newfound love for the far reaches of their minds, and thus have expanded the scope of their world. This "freeing" has wonderfully infected their ways of thinking about issues and subjects in all areas of their lives..and for this I thank you! A.S., Homeschool Mom
This was an excellent beginning Creative Writing course! My son loved it. By the end of the course, he had woven all the short writing exercises into a very clever short story that entertained the entire family. Awesome! K. B., Homeschool Mom
I am grateful for this product. After much trial and error we have found a program that actually encourages her to write. I knew she had it in her, but I did not know how to bring it out. Right away, this course has coaxed her thoughts onto paper in small reasonable bits which are now naturally growing. She can do this! She now says she would like to be a writer! I have found myself entertained and impressed with her writing now. Before, I could not get her to write much of anything and her self-confidence was very low in this area. I am delighted that we have found this resource. I only wish I had started her sooner and not wasted my time and money on less effective programs that underestimate the individual's contribution to their own learning environment. If you are considering a different course from STEPS, you will not be disappointed. I have bought at least a dozen. I have read through them and I am really impressed. He gives the student ownership and pride in their learning. I highly recommend his courses. T. S., Homeschool Parent
Creative Writing 1 - Start Writing helped my 9 yo son immensely. He started the curriculum unable to organize his thoughts or put his thoughts on paper. By the time he completed Start Writing, he was able to write creative stories. More importantly, he now enjoys putting his thoughts into words, both oral and written. A. B., Homeschool Parent
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
(Father's Day History/Creative Writing) Wow, this is certainly not a wimpy Father's Day product intended for little kids! My two girls' father has been in jail most of their lives (I'm the grandmother, not his wife) and this product will help them to understand what a real father is and does. The questions will help them to identify the "real" fathers in their lives (my husband and their uncle). Now for those of you who have more normal situations, this course will be a celebration of what fathers do for us and help your children become aware of all we need to grateful for. All that, plus writing and a little history thrown in. A great product to use this summer. L B., Homeschool Parent
Just wanted to say thanks once again! My DS14 = was just in his bedroom doing his creative writing and all I could hear were chuckles. It's so exciting to see him enjoying learning! I never thought I'd ever see this. He wrote a 1400 word essay the other day because he just didn't want to stop! A.R., Homeschool Mom
This review was written by my 9 year old daughter about the Creative Writing I course by STEPS....
"My review of the STEPS Creative Writing 1 course is ... I loved it. It is my favorite subject. I will say that I used to beg not to write but now I beg to do it! I think that the STEPS Creative Writing I is a great Creative Writing Course. This course has made me start to write a book and the best part is no one can tell me I am wrong. Plus it has helped me with my spelling a lot because I don't want people to see what I've written and it all be spelled wrong."
I didn't mention this in my earlier review, because I forgot, but my daughter is right that her spelling has improved tremendously after taking this course and others by STEPS. I can't explain it but it really has. She even shows an interest in spelling now and before she just didn't care. I think the fact that the "teacher" is not supposed to really critique their work gives the children freedom to express themselves. I do mention when a word is misspelled or that a comma might be needed and so on but I try to limit that because I want them to write and to enjoy writing. She definitely does NOW.
My 14 yo son wrote the following review of the Creative Writing I Course by STEPS...
"I took the Creative Writing 1 course in STEPS and I’ll admit at first I thought it was just another stupid course my mom found on the internet, and through the first few lessons I did it in a sarcastic way with minimal effort. I did come to enjoy writing more and more as I went through the course. I am a 14 year old freshmen who loves to read and write, and the course was really too easy for me, but it was good for me to get to practice my writing on different scenarios that the course had.
As I progressed through the course I began to write entire pages and more when only 50 words were required. I’m now on Creative Writing 3 and am enjoying my writing even more still. I would recommend the writing course to anyone who loves to read and write as much as I do."
I have 2 children, a boy 14 and a girl 9. We used STEPS Creative Writing 1 recently and they both enjoyed it. My 9 yo especially loved it and her writing has improved tremendously. She is actually writing for a change and with a smile on her face! She loves it. My 14 year old's writing has really grown through this course. I've been truly amazed. Thank you for a great course! S. W., Homeschool Mom