Semester study guides for Grades 8+.This is an optional course path for students in Grade 8 that wish to take some high school courses or students in Grade 9 that need a lighter plan for the year to make room for remediation and labs in core areas such as writing, grammar, or math.  Your academic advisor will help place your student in the appropriate labs as well as work through the various course options with you.
 
The daily lesson plans, study tools, and detailed assignment information are available to the student in the high school semester study guides.  The semester study guides that accompany this set of course recommendations are the Semester 1: European Studies I, B Track and Semester 2: European Studies II, B Track guides.  Ignore any other guide suggestions in the book list.
 
The recommended science for this year is Science Literacy I and II, the first semester of Physical Science stretched over the entire school year, or both semesters of Physical Science.
 
KEY COURSES:  Students in high school study six, full-time academic courses each semester; these are called their "Key Courses."  After completing the annual skills assessment, the Academic Packet prepared by your planning advisor will include personalized recommendations for math, English Mechanics, languages, electives, and tips to help narrow down the course options for each semester.
 
SEMESTER 1
  • Key Course 1: Composition I w/English Mechanics (using Medieval History-based Writing Lessons instead of U.S. History-based Writing Lessons)
  • Key Course 2: Math
  • Key Course 3: Church History IIB
  • Key Course 4: European History IB
  • Key Course 5: American Literature
  • Key Course 6: Science Literacy I or Physical Science I
  • Electives: Old World Art, Languages (Latin, German, French, Italian, or Spanish), Physical Education, community-based fine arts
SEMESTER 2
  • Key Course 1: Composition II w/English Mechanics
  • Key Course 2: Math
  • Key Course 3: Classical Music Appreciation
  • Key Course 4: European History IIB
  • Key Course 5: Shakespeare or Economics
  • Key Course 6: Science Literacy II or Physical Science II
  • Electives: Languages (Latin, German, French, Italian, or Spanish), Physical Education, community-based fine arts
 

LANGUAGE ARTS

Composition I (CM1-B) [Semester 1]

Semester 1, Key Course 1: Use Medieval History-based Writing Lessons instead of U.S. History-based Writing Lessons.
  • Semester 1: U.S. Studies IB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons (2019, 2nd Edition) set: Teacher's Manual and Student Book, Lori Verstegen
  • Jensen’s Grammar (Textbook, Tests and Answers), Frode Jensen
  • Jensen's Punctuation: A Complete Guide to All Your Punctuation Needs, Frode Jensen
  • General Punctuation Rules Reference (GPR), St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons Teacher & Student Set, Lori Verstegen
  • Optional: Fall Live Class: Composition IB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

High School Penmanship [Semester 1 and 2]

Part of Key Course 1
  • Self-Instruction in Handwriting [or other formal, daily cursive penmanship practice], Zaner-Bloser
 

Composition II (CM2-B) [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 1: Continue the first semester composition studies.
  • Semester 2: U.S. Studies IIB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons (2019, 2nd Edition) set: Teacher's Manual and Student Book, Lori Verstegen
  • Jensen’s Grammar (Textbook, Tests and Answers), Frode Jensen
  • Jensen's Punctuation: A Complete Guide to All Your Punctuation Needs, Frode Jensen
  • General Punctuation Rules Reference (GPR), St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons Teacher & Student Set, Lori Verstegen
  • Optional: Spring Live Class: Composition IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

MATHEMATICS

Thumbnail example of the packet of recommendations prepared for each student by the planning advisor.

Pre-Algebra (Sxn) [Semester 1 and 2]

Semester 1 and 2, Key Course 2. Math placement determined through the skills assessment and discussion with teaching-parent. St. Thomas Aquinas Academy regularly uses Saxon, Jacobs Algebra, Jacobs Geometry, and Math U See. VideoText, Teaching Textbook, and community college courses are also accepted.
  • Saxon Algebra 1/2 Homeschool Kit, 3rd Edition, John Saxon
 

RELIGION

Church History IIB (CH2-B) [Semester 1]

Semester 1, Key Course 3
  • Semester 1: European Studies IB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • The History of the Church: Student Text, Complete Edition, Peter V. Armenio (The Didache Series)
  • The Quiet Light: A Novel About Thomas Aquinas, Louis de Wohl
  • One-Minute Aquinas, Kevin Vost
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Fall Live Class: Church History IIA or IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

ECONOMICS

Economics (ECO-A) [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 5: Shakespeare or Economics
  • Semester 2: Roman Studies IIA Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Survival Math Skills, Fred Pyrczak
  • Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? 6th or 7th Edition, Richard J. Maybury
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II
  • Quadragesimo Anno, Pope Pius XI
  • Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII
  • Optional: Spring Live Class: Economics, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

SOCIAL STUDIES / WORLD HISTORY

European History I (EH1-B) [Semester 1]

Semester 1, Key Course 4
  • Semester 1: European Studies IB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Christ the King, Lord of History: A Catholic World History from Ancient to Modern Times, Anne Carroll
  • Rand McNally Historical Atlas of the World, 6th Edition, Rand McNally
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Fall Live Class: European History IB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

European History II (EH2-B) [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 4
  • Semester 2: European Studies IIB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Christ the King, Lord of History: A Catholic World History from Ancient to Modern Times, Anne Carroll
  • Rand McNally Historical Atlas of the World, 6th Edition, Rand McNally
  • A Man for All Seasons, Robert Bolt (Director: Fred Zinnemann)
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Spring Live Class: European History IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

LITERATURE

American Literature (AL1-B) [Semester 1]

Semester 1, Key Course 5.  Younger students are encouraged to swap The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for the Progeny Press Study Guide for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (not actually an American novel) or Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • Semester 1: U.S. Studies IB Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Teaching the Classics DVD and Workbook, Adam Andrews and Missy Andrews
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (The Ignatius Critical Editions), Mark Twain, edited by Mary R. Reichardt.
  • DOWNLOAD: Exploded Story Chart, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Index Cards, 4" x 6",
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Fall Live Class: American Literature, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

Shakespeare (EL1-B) [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 5: Shakespeare or Economics.
  • Semester 2: European Studies IIA Study Guide, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Hamlet (Cliffs Complete), William Shakespeare, Terri Mategrano
  • Teaching the Classics DVD and Workbook, Adam Andrews and Missy Andrews
  • William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1996), Director: Kenneth Branagh
  • Macbeth (Cliffs Complete), Shakespeare, Christopher L. Morrow
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Cliffs Complete), William Shakespeare, Diana Sweeney
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Spring Live Class: Shakespeare, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

FINE ARTS

Old World Art (App&Prac) [Semester 1]

  • Ever Ancient, Ever New/Level 1 (Text), Bethany Pedersen
  • Ever Ancient, Ever New/Level 1: ART Pad, Bethany Pedersen & AnneMarie Johnson
 

Classical Music Apprec [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 3
  • Music Appreciation I, Patrick Fata
  • Music Appreciation 1 2-Disc Audio CD, Patrick Fata
 

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

science study guide

Science Literacy I (SL1-B)

Semester 1, Key Course 6: Choose Physical Science I or Science Literacy I.
  • STAA Study Guide: Science Literacy IB and IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Developing Critical Thinking through Science, Book 2, Paul Eggen and June Main
  • Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, 4th Edition,
  • FORM: Science Activity Equipment Chart worksheet, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • FORM: Student Summary of Science Activity worksheet, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

Science Literacy II (SL2-B)

Semester 2, Key Course 6: Continue the first semester science course.
  • STAA Study Guide: Science Literacy IB and IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Developing Critical Thinking through Science, Book 2, Paul Eggen and June Main
  • Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, 4th Edition,
  • FORM: Science Activity Equipment Chart worksheet, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • FORM: Student Summary of Science Activity worksheet, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

science study guide

Physical Science I (PS1-B) [Semester 1]

Semester 1, Key Course 6: Choose Physical Science I or Science Literacy I.
  • STAA Study Guide: Physical Science IB and IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Exploring Creation with Physical Science 3rd Edition Set, Vicki Dincher
  • Painless Earth Science (2nd Edition), Edward J. Denecke Jr.
  • Colored Pencils (Prismacolor 24 Color Pencil Set recommended),
  • Plastic Folder/Report Cover with prongs for 3-hole punched paper,
  • DOWNLOAD: Science Lab Reports, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Fall Live Class: Physical Science IB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

Physical Science II (PS2-B) [Semester 2]

Semester 2, Key Course 6: Continue the first semester science course.
  • STAA Study Guide: Physical Science IB and IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Exploring Creation with Physical Science 3rd Edition Set, Vicki Dincher
  • Colored Pencils (Prismacolor 24 Color Pencil Set recommended),
  • Plastic Folder/Report Cover with prongs for 3-hole punched paper,
  • DOWNLOAD: Science Lab Reports, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • STAA Student Zone, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Spring Live Class: Physical Science IIB, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Thumbnail example of the packet of recommendations prepared for each student by the planning advisor.

Language Study [Semester 2]

  • Gradebook for Language Study, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical Education (PHE-B) [Semester 1 and 2]

  • Gradebook for Physical Education, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Optional: Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul, Kevin Vost, Psy D.
 

 

 

What questions can we answer for you?

We would love to hear from you!  Please reach out with your questions by phone or email, schedule a courtesy telephone consultation with an advisor, or submit an enrollment application if you are ready to start planning for the upcoming school year.

 

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California

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Colorado

Since I am writing, I will also sing more praises of the Greek Studies plan. [My daughter] moaned over the timed-essay and then did very well. So easy to implement with the choose one reflection topic from each subject and then get ready, get set, go! Apparently the school also gave suggestions for the process essay in "Format Writing." Thank you! For a mom of many this is real time saver.

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mother of 9th grade daughter and several STAA graduates

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Illinois

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Texas

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On the STAA Study Guides

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Illinois

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