About Saint Thomas More Academy
Saint Thomas More Academy is an apostolate of the parish of Saint Aelred Catholic Church. Saint Thomas More’s mission is to support parents in the Athens-area who wish to educate their children.
Specifically, Saint Thomas More Academy aims to help parents:
form their children spiritually through regular instruction in the Catholic Faith and participation in prayer and Mass according to the prescribed forms of Saint Aelred Catholic Church;
immerse their children in the excellence of the Catholic academic tradition; and
imbue in their children a love for the historic Anglican patrimony choral tradition as well as the great artistic treasures of the Church.
Saint Thomas More Academy is the only homeschool enrichment program in the Athens, GA area that is an apostolate of a Roman Catholic Parish. As such, our educational program is uniquely centered on the virtues and on the liturgy. Immersion into the life of the Church, which is immersion into the life of Christ, is at the core of our school. Studies of all other disciplines are hinged on this study and on submission to the life of Christ, who is the true center of education of the whole person.
The Patronage of
Saint Thomas More
"I die the King's good servant, but God's first."
Saint Thomas More was classically educated and highly accomplished by nearly every standard of his time. Most importantly, he was a champion for the Catholic Faith throughout his life, witnessing to Christ finally as a martyr when called to choose between the State and Our Lord's Church. Intellectually, he propagated Catholic Humanism as a response to the errors of the Protestant Reformation. His patronage is critical today to a school that aims to train children in the Catholic classical tradition unadulterated by the Secular Humanism which often claims to be modern "classical education." He is also a powerful intercessor in our efforts to place the ultimate emphasis of education on sanctification.
"[Saint Thomas More] is, for us, the Road Back. For our countrymen, I mean, for southerners ... He is the man to pray to for the conversion of the south. One of the stumbling blocks to the Southerner (or the American) who is drawn to the Church is that he sees not the Church of More, not the English Church which is his spiritual home ..."
- Walker Percy
A.D. 2021-22 Offerings
Saint Thomas More Academy is pleased to offer a two-day homeschool enrichment program for students aged 3 - 18. This program will feature elective offerings as well as an integrated academic program. Please see our Prospectus and Curriculum Overviews for details on course offerings by division
Tuesdays (Preschool and Primary) & Thursdays (Omnes)
DIVISION OF STUDENTS
Ages 3 - 4
Students ready to learn to read and write (Age 5+)
Level A: Students with developing reading and handwriting skills, ready to apply them
across various disciplines (Age 7+)
Level B: Students fluent in reading and adept at handwriting, ready to apply these skills across the same disciplines (Age 10+)
Students with the intellectual and moral maturity to begin formal lessons in theology and philosophy, in addition to other disciplines (Age 12+)
Michaelmas & Candlemas Terms, A.D. 2021-22
Distinctive Curricular Elements
The day at Saint Thomas More Academy will be sanctified by the recitation of Morning Prayer in the church to begin the day, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Noon, as well as the Minor Offices in some classrooms. This rootedness in the liturgy of the Church, particularly in the Anglican Patrimonial vernacular language and spiritual heritage, will shape the whole of the day at Saint Thomas More Academy, and will provide the basis for scripture study and faith formation.
All study at Saint Thomas More Academy will be infused with the Catholic Faith. Understanding our Faith and the ideas that shaped Western civilization allows our students to deepen their beliefs and expand their understanding of the world. Additionally, Saint Thomas More will utilize the Disciple of Christ Education in Virtue program developed by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. This program will integrate virtue education throughout the day at Saint Thomas More Academy, as well as provide a structure for student evaluation across disciplines. While this does not require any specific curricular obligations on the parents’ part, parents who are interested in the Sisters’ articulations of the virtues and their adaptations appropriate to different age levels may choose to purchase copies of the Virtue Charts and Educator’s Guides through Saint Thomas More Academy for their at-home use.
Saint Thomas More Academy holds as integral to its daily community life one of the oldest academic traditions in Catholicism: the singing school - schola cantorum. The venerable tradition of the schola cantorum attributes its origins and patronage to St. Gregory the Great. Saint Thomas More will strive to cultivate this ancient tradition along with the patrimony of the celebrated Anglican choral tradition. In order for any schola cantorum to sing the Lord’s praises capably, the choristers must learn vocal technique and sight singing as well as music theory and history.
Saint Thomas More Academy will begin teaching music foundations in Preschool, and will begin choral work with our Primary, Junior, and Intermediate Divisions. Each division will practice the skills mentioned above as appropriate to its level, utilizing the Royal School of Church Music’s Voice for Life curriculum.
As the Academy Choir develops, hymns and chants will be sung at daily Mass and prayer will be chanted. As singing permeates the day, the text of sacred song penetrates the hearts and minds of students. Daily life at Saint Thomas More Academy will foster a life of harmony with one another by being in tune with the heart of the Lord.