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 instill in their children a Sacramental Worldview - to see the world with the eyes of Christ, to speak with the language of his Body, the Church, and to walk as his faithful disciple in the world so that students may know, love, and serve the Holy Trinity in this world and receive the gift of eternal blessedness.
This mission is supported by the Four Pillars of Catholic Education, rooted in the medieval Cathedral school model, the time-honored approach to classical Christian education: Sacred Worship, Sacred Wisdom, Sacred Music, and Sacred Art. The classical seven liberal arts of the Trivium and Quadrivium all fall within these pillars, as well as Theology, the Queen of the Sciences, and Philosophy, her handmaid.
We aim to assist in the cultivation of a sacramental worldview through offering a curriculum and community that helps 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 goals of 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. 2023-24 Offerings
Saint Thomas More Academy is pleased to offer a two-morning-a-week homeschool enrichment program for students aged 2 -8, and a one-day-a-week full day program for upper elementary and middle school students.. 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.
THE FOUR SACREDS
How do we set out to form young people in a sacramental worldview that will sustain their faith and serve them throughout life?
How do we bring the wisdom of the spiritual, liturgical, and pastoral traditions of English Christianity to bear on education today?
Our heritage in the Ordinariate gives Saint Thomas More Academy a unique emphasis particularly well-suited to meet the needs of students today. Our curriculum stands upon four pillars that support a child's formation of a sacramental worldview. Our Bishop, Steven J. Lopes, defines this worldview as "a view of God, Man, and the right ordering of things so that the world itself and all its wonders is understood as the Burning Bush of God’s revelation."
Primacy is given to the daily celebration of the liturgical life of the Church since the first education of the soul is conducted not by programs but by the Word of God and sacramental grace. This is accomplished through the daily celebration of Holy Mass, the source and summit of the life of the Church, and in the daily offering of the Divine Office.
Michaelmas & Candlemas Terms, A.D. 2022-23
Distinctive Curricular Elements
Ages 2 -3
Tues. & Thurs.
Saint Thomas More Academy offers a Preschool class for siblings of older students Preschool will focus on explorative play, engaging students in the development of virtue as well as fine motor, art, and foundational academic skills. The Preschool division seeks to spark the imagination by inviting children to encounter Truth, Goodness, and Beauty through quality children's stories, nursery rhymes, scripture and saint stories, and investigation of the natural world. Additionally, the developing literacy, spatial, and mathematic skills of each student will be cultivated through s Montessori-style one-on-one and small group approach. This approach to phonemic awareness, letter recognition, color, sequence, counting, and pattern allows students to explore and develop in an encouraging and supportive environment that makes learning at each child's pace fun and rewarding. While this curriculum can stand on its own, it is encouraged that parents thread these studies throughout their week, primarily reading aloud to your child from the selections provided. Suggested at-home continuations of studies may be offered to parents by tutors (i.e., musical selections for listening or backyard nature study activities).
Ages 4 - 5
Tues. & Thurs.
Pre-Primary students will begin each day in the classroom with Circle Time, connecting the months, days, natural seasons, liturgical seasons, and lives of the saints. They will learn and commit to memory nursery rhymes, hymns, and prayers, and will be invited to encounter the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in poetry and time-honored classic children's stories. Tuesdays in the Pre-Primary division will include collaborative play and outside games, as well as Montessori-based one-on-one and small group instruction in literacy and math skills. This Montessori approach allows each child to explore and develop these critical foundational academic skills in an encouraging environment at their own pace, building a strong base for an enquiring and joyful learner. Thursdays invite Pre-Primary students into exploration of creation and fine art through nature study. Students will also engage in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based exploration of prayer, the scriptures, and the Church aimed to introduce children to the Trinity in a reverent but hands-on fashion. While student work in Pre-Primary can stand on its own, it is encouraged that parents thread these studies throughout their week, primarily reading aloud to your child from the selections provided. Suggested at-home continuations of studies may be offered to parents by tutors (i.e., musical selections for listening or backyard nature study activities).
Ages 6 - 7
Tues. & Thurs.
The curriculum for all Primary Division students will include Stories, Reading, Writing, Nature Study, Latin, and Scripture on Tuesdays and Art, Choir, Handicrafts, Geography, and Nature Study on Thursdays. Reading lessons will range based on the students in the class, and will include phonics reinforcement and student read-alouds of storybooks at their level. Latin will be taught using elements from the Song School Latin curriculum, emphasizing early language connections through song, play, and stories. Saint Thomas More Academy strives to give each primary student the best place to start and depends upon active parental involvement for the child to progress. It is encouraged that parents thread these studies throughout their week at home, primarily by reading aloud to your child from the selections provided. Students will require at-home instruction daily in addition to weekly lessons at Academy which are intended to reinforce progress made at home. Suggested at-home continuations of in-academy studies may be offered to parents by tutors (i.e., musical selections for listening or backyard nature study activities).
A - Ages 8-10
B - Ages 11-13
8:30 - 3
At the Junior levels, Saint Thomas More Academy is pleased to offer a full day curriculum on Tuesdays consisting of Literature, Composition, Grammar, Catholic Culture, History, Art, Art History, Choir, and Geography. Fr. Tipton will teach students Catholic Culture as well as introductory Virtues for elementary students and introductory Logic & Philosophy for middle grades students. Literature studies will seek to emphasize the unique contributions of the English Patrimonial tradition. Grammar and Composition courses will help students build and reflect on classical foundational skills for communication. History will be taught by emphasizing its purpose - preparing students to live out the role in God’s story He has chosen for them. Saint Thomas More follows a four-year history cycle, with the 23-24 year covering the Renaissance and Reformation. Art History will correspond to the time periods covered in History lessons, and will expose students to Truth and Beauty accessible in sacred and secular art. Geography will aim to give students a sense of place in the cosmos, engaging students in the study of geography as well as the hands-on practice of mapmaking. The distinctive criteria for eligibility for the Junior Level is reading fluency, manuscript or cursive handwriting skills prepared for in-class writing exercises, and an intellectual and moral maturity ready to take on more directed study in specific disciplines. The level of development of these skills and maturity will determine a student’s placement in the A or B level within the Junior Division, in addition to age. This curriculum is designed to supplement home instruction, but will include assignments throughout the week between lessons, which will vary by course. Literature, Grammar & Composition, and History will have weekly home assignments designed to take at least one additional day a week at home to complete. Other courses' home assignments will be limited and are designed to be enriching for the whole family. For example, students will be encouraged to hang a print of the artwork studied in their home for admiration and reflection throughout the week, and similarly may be asked to listen to recordings of some of the music studied in choir throughout the week.