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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: 

 

  1. 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;

  2. immerse their children in the excellence of the Catholic academic tradition; and

  3. 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 Offerings

In the Aquinas and Ascension Terms, Saint Thomas More Academy will offer a two-day program for Preschool and Primary (K-1) students, and a one-day program for Junior and Intermediate students (Grades 2-8). This one-day program will feature elective offerings, with the hope of expansion in the 2021-2022 school year to a two-day offering with a comprehensive academic program. 

DIVISION OF STUDENTS

Preschool  -  Ages 2 - 4

Primary  -  Grades K - 1

Junior  -  Grades 2 - 5

Intermediate  -  Grades 6-8

DAILY SCHEDULE

Tuesdays (Preschool and Primary) & Thursdays (Omnes)

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Curriculum Overview

Aquinas and Ascension Terms, A.D. 2021

Distinctive Curricular Elements

Faith Formation

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 (see the Reading Lists, pg. 10). 

 

As our 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.

Schola Cantorum

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. The Academy Choir, consisting of Junior and Intermediate students (as well as capable Primary students), will work toward chanting at Morning Prayer and singing at Mass. Generally, choristers will be assigned listening homework which consists of listening to recordings of the music they are studying. 

Art History and Foundations

Art education at Saint Thomas More in the Aquinas and Ascension Terms will consist of art history and appreciation as well as drawing. The history and appreciation lessons will draw from the deep well of the Catholic artistic tradition, with pieces selected following the liturgical calendar. Historical context will help students place the work within the life of the Church, and the appreciation emphasis will be on how various works convey the Truth and Beauty of the Triune God. Some study will also be made of secular art, with a focus on landscape and study of creation and the incarnate world, emphasizing how artists have conveyed God’s beauty and captured elements of his perfection. Following in the tradition of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Jacques Maritain, students will study how art with secular subject matter can point toward the divine.

 

In the Aquinas and Ascension Terms’ study of drawing, students will practice the foundational skills using graphite and charcoal. Students will explore line, shape, value, form, and light through observation. Emphasis will be placed on “seeing” through taught observation. The aim of lessons will be learning how to observe and study surroundings and practicing the articulation of such through drawing.

Preschool

Tuesdays &

Thursdays

Ages 2 - 4

The daily schedule for all Preschool students at Saint Thomas More Academy will include nursery rhymes, scripture stories, nature study, story time, and a daily snack. On Tuesdays, study will also include letters and sequence, pattern, and counting. On Thursdays, study will also include art and music. All study will be focused first around the liturgical season, then by the natural seasons. The aim of this course for early learners is exposure to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and immersion in the story of Christ through the eyes of the Church. 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 in-academy studies may be offered to parents by tutors (i.e., musical selections for listening or backyard nature study activities).

Primary

Tuesdays &

Thursdays

Grades K - 1

The curriculum for all Primary Division students will include stories, reading, writing, nature study, cartography, and scripture on Tuesdays and art, choir, handicrafts, physical education, and poetry/recitation on Thursdays. Lessons will be adapted from English Lessons Through Literature, Level I by Kathy Jo Devore. This comprehensive series includes a thorough instruction in grammar, composition, and handwriting, all of which are directly connected to the classic literature being studied. Students are not placed into the Primary Division by age or grade but rather by experience and mastery of skill in consultation with parents. 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. While students will receive a holistic curriculum exclusively through class time, it is possible and even encouraged that parents thread these studies throughout their week at home, primarily by reading aloud to your child from the selections provided. 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).

Junior & Intermediate

Thursdays

Grades 2-5 & 6-8 

At the Junior and Intermediate levels, Saint Thomas More Academy is pleased to offer a curriculum of art, choir, gardening and nature study, and literature and poetry. This curriculum is designed to exclusively supplement the curricula parents have chosen for home instruction for their children. Outside-of-class work will be limited and is designed to be enriching for the whole family. For example, students may be encouraged to hang a print of the artwork studied at Academy in their home for admiration and reflection throughout the week and similarly will be asked to listen to recordings of some of the music studied in choir between lessons. The largest outside-of-class expectation will be reading the selected work of fiction for book study, though weekly selections will be small so as to accommodate the at-home reading requirements of students. The book selected for study at Saint Thomas More is designed to be both pleasurable and an opportunity to study in the English Patrimonial tradition and will seek not to overlap with at-home literature studies or overburden students’ other academic work. The distinctive criterium for eligibility for the Junior Level is reading fluency, rather than age or grade-level. 

An apostolate of 

Saint Aelred Catholic Church

Contact Us

Address

4951 Macon Highway

Bishop, GA 30621