"Song of the Angels" – William-Adolphe Bouguereau

The Welcome Packet

Once St. Thomas Aquinas Academy receives the enrollment application and fees, a Welcome Packet that includes a student skills assessment for each of your students will be sent to your home. This is a set of informal tests addressing reading, grammar, composition, and math, and we advise you to take two or three mornings at your kitchen table at an easy pace to complete them.

In addition to the assessments our Welcome Packet includes:

  • An invitation to establish a private e-mail portal to exchange e-mails, documents, and other information with your academic advisor and STAA support team throughout the year
  • Teaching-parent access to the Member Support Site
  • A membership brochure from Home School Legal Defense Association for your review (STAA families receive a discount on HSLDA membership)

Assessment Evaluation

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is not a one-size-fits-all program. Your academic advisor reviews the assessments, looking for academic strengths and weaknesses and learning styles in order to place each of your students in appropriate levels and types of materials. The assessment process can take as little as three weeks if the assessments are completed and returned within the week you receive them. The later in the homeschool high season (April to August), the longer it can take. The sooner you return the assessments to the academy, the sooner your advisor can start setting up your personalized course of study.
 

The Academic Packet

When your completed assessments are received, 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 on 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;
  • help find central focuses for each of the students in each of the subjects according to their academic needs and styles; and
  • making recommendations and comments on alternative choices.  

For more about personalizing the course recommendations, visit Personalizing the Course of Study and Substitutions, Supplements, and Swaps.

» View sample Academic Packets »

 

Ordering Books

After the phone appointment with your advisor, you will be ready to order your books. In the Academic Packets we list the easiest to use source for each book or program, its price and order code. Books can take two to eight weeks to arrive, depending on the time of year and—voila!—you are ready to school, with confidence and competence--or at the least with a firm starting point, a clear set of goals and a friend to help you along the way!

Books can cost as little as $250 for one child and as much as the moon, depending on your family’s interests and income. We recommend a beginning budget of $350 per student for the smaller family, and less per student for the larger family.  While many of the high school materials are used for multiple years and are non-consumable, a budget of $350 to $600 per student is typical.  (Some math and foreign language programs are as much as $200 per level; while those are not the only options, you can imagine how electing to use those programs will drive your annual per high school student cost of materials up quite a bit).

Enrolled families are strongly advised to wait to order books until after the course of study planning appointment to ensure the purchase of appropriate levels and editions. This is especially important since St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is not a one-size-fits-all program. Your advisor will help tailor the program to meet your family's specific academic needs, not just assign a grade level and ISBN numbers to match. It will be worth the wait!

The main books for each grade level are listed on our website. Please feel free to click through to the book suppliers and preview their descriptions of the materials. Too, you might watch for a homeschool conference in your area; many of the recommended books are mainstream homeschooling material, easily available and widely used, and are displayed at most larger homeschool conventions.

Suppliers listed in most Academic Packets:

  • Rainbow Resource Center
  • Seton Books
  • Our Lady of Victory
  • Math U See
  • Amazon

Do keep in mind that the summer and early fall months are "crunch" time for homeschool and book suppliers so the earlier you get started on your ordering the more likely you will have all of your books ready for the beginning of the school year. We would encourage our families who are anxious to get started to pick up The Paideia Program: An Educational Syllabus by Mortimer Adler and order, buy, or borrow from the library some of the books on Mr. Adler's lists. Spend time reading aloud to and/or with your children, discussing the stories, virtues the characters may or may not be displaying, and drawing pictures of the characters and action.

Continuing Support

We do not just send you packets, speak with you once, and leave you by your lonesome for the rest of the year. General questions may be posted on our Member Support Site forums at any time.  Private, simple questions may be sent to your advisor and support team through our web/email contact system.  When responding to your questions will require longer than ten minutes or will require your advisor’s familiarity with your family and course of study, you will be invited to schedule a support appointment so your advisor can speak to you at length regarding your concerns. Remember, we want to hear from our families. Your homeschooling success is important to us!

Learn more...

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.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About High School

High School

This is a collection of questions specifically about high school, transcripts, diplomas, and the optional grading and guidance services.  Email or call our...

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment Services

Included here are common questions about the program.  Questions specifically about high school can be found on the Questions About High School page.  Please...

Come join us for the new year!

Enrollment Application

2022-2023 Enrollment  Applications are accepted from January 15th through November 30th.  The 2022-2023 school year begins 7/1/2022 and ends 6/30/2023. ...

Pointers for College-Bound Homeschoolers

High School

"What should we do to prepare our children for college?" Here are some pointers for the college-bound homeschooler: Explore University Requirements...

Live Online High School Courses

High School

Additional Support for Students in Grades 8 through 12 {loadmoduleid 228}

Our Mission

Enrollment Services

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is an independent home school program, established in 1995. We are dedicated to the Catholic formation and education of children...

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