Introduction to the Program
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is an independent home school program, established in 1995. We are dedicated to the Catholic formation and education of children by the persons granted the grace and commission to do so by Our Heavenly Father – the child’s own parents. To that end we offer a twelve year Catholic liberal arts curriculum for the home schooling family.
From Pre-1st to Grade 12 the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy classical home school curriculum is designed as one graceful whole, with a unit study flavor, that easily adapts to many grade levels learning at the same kitchen table. We encourage a relaxed teaching style, tuned to the natural developmental phases of the child's intellect. We help you teach your child to learn, resulting in a competent, confident child with a life-long enthusiasm for learning, ready for college, work, or family life – whatever his or her calling may be.
The Academy takes its name from the greatest philosopher, the Angelic Doctor of the Church. St. Thomas established the highest standards in the Catholic liberal arts. The magnificent works of St. Thomas, standing above the efforts of all others, unites faith and reason, revelation and philosophy, the Biblical and classical traditions.
Our program gently prepares the child to learn from the great books and understand the great ideas essential to that same work of integrating faith with reason. A classical presentation of English and Latin grammar and the arts and sciences equips the student with the tools of learning; a cyclical study of the grand eras of western civilization – Greek, Roman, Old World and New – guides the student (and the teaching parent!) through the historical and literary masterpieces that for centuries have inspired students to noble academic effort.
Our classical liberal arts curriculum is an independent study program crafted for the home schooling family, not a classroom program adapted for the home schooling market. Our curriculum does not depend on the availability of a Catholic library nor does it presume a liberal arts education on the part of the parent. Indeed, there is no prior home schooling experience required. Our advisory staff of veteran homeschoolers will personally guide you to and through a variety of texts and materials, according to your student’s needs and interests.
Further, our advisors help organize all of your students into a single historical era--and science subject, too--so that each child is contributing to and benefiting from his siblings’ instruction and insight. St. Thomas Aquinas Academy encourages the family to work together as much as possible, promoting deeper learning and lively, meaningful discussion between parent and child, brother and sister.
While many of our materials do have unit quizzes, we promote a variety of methods for your child to use to demonstrate mastery of a subject that are much more fun, much more effective than a standard quizzing format. Oral presentations, discussions and hands-on projects are as important to our classical curriculum as written work and unit testing.
A year with St. Thomas Aquinas Academy begins with an informal student skills assessment you administer in your home that identifies each child’s basic learning style, and academic strengths and weaknesses to focus on through the year. After evaluating your students’ skills, an advisor works with you over the phone to personalize our curriculum for your family.
The books and resources to obtain and how to use them are detailed for the family, grade by grade. Materials recommended are suitable to the home school; both the student and the teaching-parent will find them easy to use. In our publications we direct you to the most expedient and reasonably priced providers we can find. An "online bookstore" run in affiliation with Amazon.com is also available on our website for your ordering convenience.
Many texts have unit quizzes, and answer keys, too. Where texts do not include their own pace and plan of study, we have added weekly course plans or pacing information to make teaching the texts in your home clear and accomplishable. Our parent guides, course outlines, and periodic newsletters also suggest a variety of alternative means for gaining and demonstrating mastery of academic skills and subject material.
Enrolled high school students also have access to our unique graded online quizzing system that complements our STAA Study Guides. STAA Study Guides are weekly course plans that guide high school students through explorations of the classics, designed to develop critical thinking skills and effective study skills, layer by layer, all along the way.
As an alternative to the usual one-size-fits-all lesson plans, we guide you through yearly goal setting, and then help you establish a pace and flow to your schooling suited to your family’s lifestyle.
We continue to work with you throughout the year. Academic advisors are available by appointment and through our website. All are experienced homeschoolers and subscribe to the ideas and methods found in such books as Dorothy and Raymond Moore’s Home Grown Kids and The Successful Homeschool Handbook and Laura Berquist’s Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum.
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy offers an option for earning report cards, transcripts, and high school diplomas based on a semester reporting system. Step-by-step forms and guidelines for goal setting, lesson planning, and tracking student progress are included in our materials. Our record keeping is designed to be thorough without being burdensome. Student course of study, attendance, and academic progress are well documented, building your student a strong, effective academic portfolio designed to meet the expectations of institutions he or she may attend in the future.
We encourage you to explore the pages on the "Program Information" bar to learn more about St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's methodologies and services. The pages discuss:
- The Welcome Packet
- Assessment Evaluation
- The Program Packet
- Our Course Plans
- Curriculum Planning
- Ordering Books
- Grading Student Work
- Semester Reporting
- Continuing Support
- Grammar School Courses
- High School Courses
- Enrollment Fees and Application Process
We also offer telephone consultations to discuss your questions about enrollment. The consultations are free of charge to families in the U.S. and Canada and can be arranged by following the Telephone Consultation link or calling 209.863.8400 x 100.
So, if you’re looking for a different sort of home school program, one that offers quality Catholic, classical liberal arts education, real flexibility, and experienced, personal assistance, come join us!
- Academic Placement and Advisory Services
- Grammar School Courses
- High School Courses
- Annual Enrollment
Artwork: St. Thomas Aquinas, by Fra Angelico. Tempera on wood, 1340-45; Collezione Vittorio Cini, Venice.