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.  In the guides, students will find the weekly (and often daily) lesson plans for their content-based courses: composition, religion, history, literature, economics, government, fine arts, and science.  Each individual course in the STAA Study Guide is also available as a standalone course booklet so the set of courses the student is studying can be uniquely personalized.  For instance, there are two versions of each semester set of courses: 1) The STAA Study Guide with the usual science course included at the end of the guide and 2) the STAA Study Guide without science bound into it so an individual science course booklet can be purchased or students can follow along with an outside source, such as a homeschool co-op.

The STAA Study Guides are designed to be placed in the hands of the students, allowing them to take notes in the guides and mark off course activities as they work through the semester. Each course plan week of each course starts with the shaded lesson plan area where the directions for what to read and how to organize the week are provided.  Next, the student will find the directions for any assignments for the week: written assignments or other activities, scheduled discussions with teaching-parents, and a weekly reading comprehension quiz.  Study tool sections to help prepare for the quizzes and scheduled discussions follow the assignments section.  After completing the readings and other study activities offline, students are directed to take any notes they have written in their study guides with them as they log on to the STAA Student Zone and complete the online quizzes.  Scores for offline and online assignments can be recorded in the gradebook in the back of the study guide to help teaching-parents see at a glance which assignments have been completed.  Quarter grades are easily determined by a little bit of multiplication and addition applied to the list of completed percentage scores recorded in the gradebook.  All of these features -- and more! -- are detailed in a collection of online slideshows found on the STAA Student Zone that we refer to as the High School Orientation (formerly a booklet, that has now been expanded into a series of online slideshows).

Following are preview versions of three semesters of three different courses: Church History IIIB, U.S. Hist & Geogr IB, and Greek Literature IB.  CHURCH HISTORY IIIB and U.S. HIST & GEOGR IB are both found in the U.S. Studies I, B Track semester study guide or in standalone subject booklets (Church History IIIB • Catholic Apologetics B and U.S. Hist & Geogr I and II • B Track).  GREEK LITERATURE IB is found in the Greek Studies I, B Track semester study guide or in a standalone subject booklet (Greek Literature I and II • B Track).  In general, the U.S. Studies, B Track cycle is most appropriate for students in Grades 8, 9, or 10.  The Greek Studies, B Track cycle is typically scheduled for Grade 10 as it does require at least one previous year of high school level courses with St. Thomas Aquinas Academy and prior completion of the AMERICAN LITERATURE (AL1-B) course.  These three sample courses have been selected in order to share with you a sense of the variety of features in the study guides: Some courses include more content in the study tool sections (the Terms to Know, Reflection Topics, and Study Questions) in order to better guide students through readings of varying types.  Study guide courses driven by textbooks direct students to the specific resources in the textbooks while study guide courses that explore classical and religious writings include more resources in the study guides themselves to help students in their encounters with the Great Books.

 

 

Semester study guides are purchased separately by the family following the planning appointment with the advisor.  » 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 www.staahomeschool.com/enroll today to submit your enrollment application
and order your child’s assessment packet.
 


 

 

 

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.

 

Substitutions, Supplements, and Swaps

Program Services

I am wondering what is your policy on substitutions and supplements to your philosophy and religion texts. I don't dislike what you have chosen, I just have...

Grade 4 - Cycle E: Greek History & Astronomy

Grammar School

Typical course of study for Grade 4.  Appropriate for Grades 4 - 8. The following lists our core recommendations for students in Grade 4. You will not be...

Grade 3 - Cycle D: Ancient History & Anatomy

Grammar School

Typical course of study for Grade 3.  Appropriate for Grades 2 - 5. The following lists our core recommendations for students in Grade 3. You will not be...

Grade 10: Greek Studies, B Track

High School

Typical course list for Grade 10. Appropriate for Grades 9 – 12 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 Old Testament I Greek History I Greek Literature...

Grade 9: U.S. Studies, B Track

High School

Typical course list for Grade 9.  Appropriate for Grades 8 – 11. SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 Church History III U.S. Hist & Geogr I American...

Grade 11: Roman Studies, A Track

High School

Typical course list for Grade 11. Appropriate for Grades 11 – 12. SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 Church History I Roman History I Roman Literature...

We have all enjoyed the way STAA ties the courses together for the whole family.

Alyse M.

California

Thanks for all you do on your end to help make our homeschooling academically, intellectually, spiritually, and morally enriching!!

Denise

Michigan

My advisor helps me to understand what needs to be done and how to make it really fun for the kids. What I really like are the tips she gives me for dealing with the little ones while trying to school the older ones.

Amber

Texas

This is our first year homeschooling. STAA and [our advisor] have made this a very easy transition. We have had a great year!

Gwen H.

Kansas

I really don't know what I would do without your kindness, and very helpful advice. You are a blessing to our family.

Pat

Idaho

The assessment testing was quick and easy to do, so I didn't expect much valuable feedback. Boy was I wrong!!! It was like my advisor had met my kids and spent hours/days with them.

Mary Ellen

Maryland

We have been so very happy with our first year with STAA! Thank you for walking me through it and for all the fantastic resources and materials we are using. There is not one we don't like!

Elizabeth

California

Our family so enjoyed our wonderful relationship with STAA as our [son] worked his way through high school. It was a wonderful and outstanding experience for him and we continue to suggest your program to all those who are looking for an excellent homeschool experience.

Debra S.

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.

Alisa from Indiana

mother of 9th grade daughter and several STAA graduates

The academy works as a team to accomplish for your family specific ideas or needs for education, but more importantly, what each individual in your family needs, even Mom.

Anne

Illinois

God bless you for the job you are doing -- the peace you have helped us find as a family is priceless!

Cerita

Texas

We can’t imagine going without these wonderful, enhanced lesson plans! Thank you!

On the STAA Study Guides

Anonymous

I especially appreciate the advice and wise counsel I receive from the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy staff during our phone appointments and their understanding of my children's needs.

Stephen T.

Illinois

It is a thrill to receive the delightfully arranged weekly guidelines from STAA that keep us on track but allow for flexibility.

Dee Dee C.

Florida

I can honestly say that our children have blossomed into well rounded individuals because of your program.

Diane B.

California