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We are starting our seventh year with STAA. First, the reason we use STAA is because of Divine Providence. Our family had been considering home education for quite a while when in the mail we received information regarding STAA, to this day we do not know how they got our name. We have been very pleased with their program and

counseling. There are five children in our family. Six years ago when we started I was pregnant with our fourth child with a son in 3rd and a daughter in 1st. Our son has special need issues and was the main reason we pulled children out of parochial school. These past six years have allowed us to adapt our children's educational needs to individual challenges. Our oldest son (age 14) is planning on attending the Legionaries of Christ Apostolic summer program in New Hampshire in just a couple of weeks. He wouldn't be doing this without the extra time we have had together these past years of home schooling. The STAA curriculum and counselors helped us adapt materials to [our son's] ADHD needs and my teaching "quirks". As a result we were able to meet Mike's emotional challenges and adapt academically so that now he is becoming a very faith-filled young man who is now more mature academically and is ready to meet the academic challenge! . (All without medication!) Our second oldest a daughter, [age 12] is a highly motivated and independent learner who likes the challenge of school and the fact that it is set up to do on her own when mom is busy. The third child is a boy age 9 and is not as independent as his sister but more independent than his older brother. Through annual evaluations STAA helped me to meet his particular needs also. This was my first child that I taught to read by myself, yes, he is reading at his own pace (a little slower than the older two but picking up speed every day.) Our fourth child is a 5-year-old girl. I have not done any formal work with her and am totally amazed at how much she has picked up just by being in the same room as the rest of us when we're "schooling". She is very anxious to get started doing "formal" school shortly. Our fifth child is a 2 year old boy who is adored by the whole family and is just absorbing everything we do. STAA has helped us through a special challenge. During the 2000-2001 school year the oldest in sixth grade developed a rare illness called Sydenham's Chorea. He had a strep throat infection where his antibodies to the strep bacteria not only attacked the bacteria but his nervous system also. He had uncontrolled movement in this arms, legs, hands , feet and tongue, making it virtually impossible to do school work and other things (writing, tying shoes, and eating, etc.). This was an ongoing condition from Sept to Mar or so with the symptoms roller coastering (good and bad) days until March. We were told that he would have had to have been pulled out of "regular school" and were thrilled to home school through this. STAA helped us adapt to his most special needs at this time by being available for counseling with suggestions on how to adapt. For example, we got a tape recorder to do school on the days he could talk and they had suggestions on games to play to keep his mind going when he couldn't hold a book still to read. Overall we have been extremely pleased with how the curriculum and counselors at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy have been a great fit for us. These past six years have been a time of much spiritual growth and all of us are thankful for the huge role STAA has played in our lives. It has helped me to be able to bounce ideas off of them when school is challenging or I am feeling overwhelmed and lack self-confidence. Thank you for everything. We are looking forward to our seventh year.

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