Doing Connect the Thoughts has been a Godsend for my daughter.  I'm finally seeing my daughter 'owning' her education.  CTT has saved our homeschool - and our mother/daughter relationship!  - S.R.


Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Connect The Thoughts™ educational program. If you have questions that are not answered here, you may send your questions directly to our founder: click here .

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

1st Step is what we used to call our Starter and Elementary Program.  Starter is for ages 5-6, and for students who are preliterate.  Elementary is for students ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy.   We also provide Lower School for ages 9-10 , and Upper School is for ages 11-adult.

The only "overlap" recommended would happen if a student was not able to read well enough to do the courses for their age group, in which case they might start at the next lower level, or if the student reads too well for their level, at which point the student might start at the next higher level.

Wherever a student starts (excluding Connect The Thoughts Upper School), the student does as much of that level as is needed for them to solidly gain the abilities at that level in terms of both subject matter and literacy. The next level up will generally cover some of the same ideas, but will also cover new ideas, and will provide far more information and detail to established ideas, as well as elevated challenges to the student's reading and thinking.

Let me provide you a few examples.

Let's say your 8 year-old Elementary child does Elementary curricula for about 1 year (two semesters), and then executes the Reading Test for Lower School successfully at that time. Rather than do the second year of Elementary, what I would suggest at that time is moving your student up to Lower School, the next level up. (The same thing would apply to the extraordinary 7 year-old who could pass that same test after a year of Elementary.) Upper School would be too hard. Staying at Elementary when ready for a move up would bore the student.

Let's say, as is the case with a friend, an Elementary student reads well enough but finds the writing exercises too challenging. It was suggested that the student do Starter, but instead of being read to, that they read aloud to the parent to develop reading skills. It's a bit of a half-way measure to get the student up to speed on thinking and running their own education, and the student will move up to Elementary, I would think and hope, quickly. This is an "unusual solution" intended to remedy a situation for a student a little betwixt and between.

The idea is to place the student initially where they can pretty easily win but are still challenged, and then move them up as their skills and perception allow and testing demonstrates, and not as the amount of material on each level dictates (except Upper School).

Placement of a student is ultimately not a function of age. It is rather more about literacy, which is why sample lessons are provided on our site for every course, and reading tests made of sample lessons from each level. The student should start where their literacy permits.

Please note - there is no reading test for Starter (ages 5-6), as this level is for preliterate students.  A 5-6 year old who does read can do these levels, though, as described in the courses, and be allowed to read extensively.

To use our Elementary (ages 7--8, and for student developing literacy) free Reading Test, composed of lessons from this level, to determine if this is the right level for your student, click here.

To use our free Lower School Reading Test (usually ages 9-10), made of sample lesson plans from the level, to determine if this is the right level forr your student, click here.

To use our free Upper School Reading Test (usually ages 11-adult), made up of sample lesson plans from Upper School, to determine if this is the right level for your student, click here.

As a rule, I would not ask a child to skip an entire level as you'd be setting them up for likely loses. It would be a bit like skipping, say, elementary school and going straight to Jr. High (or Middle School). Most students would not survive such a maneuver well. Each level is constructed to help prepare the student for the next level up.

     Steven Horwich
     Connect The Thoughts


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