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Song of the Angels, Bouguereau

From your returned completed assessments, your advisor sketches out remarks about each child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and basic learning styles and makes recommendations for starting points in subject areas.  These remarks and recommendations are included in your student's Academic Packet, which is emailed to you as soon as your advisor puts the finishing touches to it.  The Academic Packet suggests which courses and books to use, why to use them, how to use them, and how often and how long to use them. 

During the annual Course of Study Planning appointment, your advisor will review each of your student's assessment results with you, and then work with you to personalize recommendations to your family, then to each of your students. The advisor will assist you in:

  • moving skill levels up or down per subject;
  • organizing the whole family into the same or complementary science, history and religion cycles;
  • combining students into the same or compatible texts as much as is possible;
  • finding central focuses for each of the students in each of the subjects according to their academic needs and styles; and
  • identifying alternative choices and their suitability for your homeschooling in this year.

Plans Tailored to the Student

Your academic advisor will put together a personalized Academic Packet for each of your enrolled students.  Every packet is unique, with a personalized set of courses selected for each student.  The course selections are made from among St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's course catalog, which are listed in the Grammar School and High School sections of our website.  The selections respond to the student's academic strengths and weaknesses, each subject being drawn from the skill level or STAA cycle that is appropriate for that child.  The courses are not selected solely on age or grade level.

Academic Packets include the skills assessment evaluation, overview of courses, book ordering information, course notes, course pacing, any needed weekly lesson plans for grammar school students, any needed weekly lesson plan outlines to complement the daily plans found in the STAA Study Guides, and a Course Registration form.  Following are descriptions of the various sections found in the Academic Packet:


Advisor Evaluation of Student’s Assessment

The Academic Packet begins with the advisor's comments about the student's strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles.


Overview of Courses with Advisor’s Comments

In this section are the course recommendations for the student along with short introductory comments about the courses and remarks from the advisor about personalizing the plan.  This section, along with the evaluation comments, is important to print out, read closely, annotate, and have on hand for your annual Course of Study Planning appointment.


Book Order Worksheet

With books arranged by supplier, this worksheet lists only the books mentioned in the Academic Packet. ISBNs, order numbers, and estimated prices are detailed so you can even take the worksheet to your favorite supplier, book exchange, or home school conference.  Ordering materials for your child's courses is a snap!


Course and Book Notes

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy has developed weekly reading or lesson pacing plans for texts that do not have their own lesson plans.  This is usually the case for courses that explore classical readings or are not primarily textbook driven, courses such as Religion, History, Literature, Fine Arts, Science, Economics, and Government.  

The Course and Book Notes section tells the teaching-parent what he or she needs to know about each course before starting the school year.  Organized in a course-by-course format, in this section you will find:

  • General teaching and "getting started" notes
  • Notes and ordering information about key books and optional resources associated with the course
  • Descriptions, publisher information, edition information, and the like about the books in the course
  • How to schedule and pace the course during the school week and school year
  • Weekly lesson plans for grammar school courses that do not already have them in the teacher’s resources
  • Weekly lesson plan outlines to complement the detailed daily plans found in the STAA Study Guides (applies to some junior high courses and the majority of high school courses)
  • Course notes, teaching notes, pacing recommendations, text information, and/or comments about optional supplements for courses such as math and Languages Study
  • A list of what to submit in semester reporting packets if your student is enrolled in the Report Card/Transcript Option


Week-By-Week Planner

The Academic Packet includes scheduling suggestions and reading or lesson pacing information arranged in a week-by-week format for teaching-parents to slide into a binder and use as a checklist.

The week-by-week planner makes lesson planning at the beginning of each school week a simple 10- to 20-minute process of checking the suggested weekly pace for the course against your family's general class period routine.  Does it have handy checkboxes and places to record grades?  Yes!  (Don't we all just love filling in a box with a big, dark X that screams, "We did it!"?)  Mark off and mark up the lesson plans as you go; record assignment or weekly grades if you need to for reporting to other sources.  


Course Registration Form

Submit this form after the annual Course of Study Planning appointment with your advisor to confirm the courses your child will be studying.  The form includes space to register for academic courses the student will study that are home-generated or taken through a co-op.  A few course swaps and substitutions are always welcome!

Your advisor will review the Course Registration form, add or remove courses from the Academic Packet as indicated by you, and email you a finalized version of the Academic Packet.  You may then print your child's Academic Packet or follow the link to our printer's website to order a special printing of all your Academic Packets for the school year bound into a single, softcover book.  The book of Academic Packets is printed on-demand when you order it from the printer's website.  The price of the book will be between $19.95 and $39.95 plus shipping depending on how many students you have enrolled (and the printer regularly offers discounts on the price and shipping!).   

Each student's personalized packet ranges in length from 80 to 150 pages.  We recommend printing the Academic Packets on three-hole punched paper and sliding them right into a sturdy three-ring binder if you choose to print them yourself.


Sample Academic Packets

A few generic Academic Packets are included in this online collection.  These packets were prepared using a fictional student so absent are all assessment evaluation remarks, special comments, or additional suggestions from an advisor.  

Academic Packets are intended for teaching-parents to use to organize courses, learn about the books to purchase, create a class period schedule, pace the school year, and track completion of assignments (with checkmarks or percentage grades, as preferred by the parent). 



High School Study Guides

Detailed study, reading, and assignment information for high school students is included in the STAA Study Guides.  Each high school student will need a semester study guide for each semester of the school year.  The front of each study guide includes a semester planner section for students to use to organize their extracurricular activities.  The planner is followed by an excerpt of the "High School Orientation" booklet which includes time management tips, high school planning tips, directions for how to use the study guides, information about the online reading comprehension quizzes, writing assignment format information, and more.  After the "High School Orientation" booklet excerpt, students will find the weekly (and often daily) lesson plans for each of their content-based courses.  The preview below shows the lesson plans that are bound into the STAA Study Guide for the first semester of the U.S. Studies, B Track cycle (the cycle most appropriate for students in Grades 8, 9, or 10): 

  • Weekly Plan for Composition I, B Track
  • STAA Study Guide for Church History III, B Track
  • STAA Study Guide for U.S. Hist & Geogr I, B Track
  • STAA Study Guide for American Literature, B Track
  • STAA Study Guide for Earth Science, B Track


Semester study guides are purchased separately by the family following the planning appointment with the advisor.  >> Click here to learn more about STAA Study Guides. >> 




Ready for your own Academic Packet?

These annual skill evaluation and course recommendation packets are designed for each student after completing St. Thomas Aquinas Academy’s assessment. They detail how your child fared on the skills assessment, a personalized course list for that child with an eye for aligning all of your enrolled students in their historical and science cycles that school year, the books and materials for the courses, what you need to know about ordering books and starting the courses, how to schedule the courses in your school week, and what to accomplish each week in the courses. 


Go to today to submit your enrollment application
and order your child’s assessment packet.


We look forward to designing your child's Academic Packet!






Still have questions?

We'd love to hear from you!     CALL 209.863.8400