Skip to product information
1 of 2

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

Independent Study with Online Support

This self-paced, independent study option is available for students in Grades 8 through 12 who wish to study one or more St. Thomas Aquinas Academy courses with some online support.  With the STAA Study Guides leading the way through the books and materials, students may complete their selected courses at their desired pace.  For instance, a two-quarter semester course may be compressed into a single quarter or taken at a slower pace, extending a semester course over three or four quarters.

  • Registration Consultation: Begin the studies by meeting with an STAA advisor to register for up to six courses at a time.  When the first courses are completed, additional courses may be activated.
  • Available Courses: The entire catalog of courses directed by STAA Study Guides is available under the "Independent Study with Online Support" option.  Courses may be selected from any cycle and any study guide.
  • On-Going Advisor Support: Advisor support is provided through the STAA Student Zone Q&A Forums.  Each course has a dedicated forum for students to ask questions as often as needed throughout the school year.  Teaching-parents are also given access to a teaching-parent Q&A forum.  Parents and students may join the weekly Q&A "Zoom-style" sessions available to STAA students to ask questions about navigating the student website, using the study guides, and more.
  • Weekly, Graded Quizzes: Students receive regular feedback about their studies through the weekly, online quizzes.  The quizzes encourage stronger reading comprehension, retention of key concepts, note-taking skills, and improved detailwork when speaking and writing about the source materials.
  • Discounts on Live Classes:  Independent Study students who are interested in joining any of the live classes are eligible to register for the live classes at the discounted "STAA Student" rate.


How much does the Independent Study with Online Support option cost?

The Independent Study with Online Support option is available for $35 per month, per student, with a $35 activation fee to cover the initial advisor consultation to help select your student's courses.  To get started, follow this link to activate the month-to-month subscription:  


The month-to-month option allows you to cancel at any time after the first month.  The system will email you seven days before each monthly charge so you may change your payment information to cancel as needed. 

Most students will need longer than one month as each course is designed to take 2 eight-school-week quarters to complete (that is one semester, roughly 75 hours of coursework).  There are also orientation activities to help students grow familiar with the STAA Student Zone, STAA Study Guides, and course materials before formally starting their studies.

What can we expect after activating the month-to-month subscription?

Once the month-to-month subscription for the Independent Study with Online Support option is activated, a high school advisor will email you within one to three business days to help schedule your initial consultation about course selection.  Prior to the consultation, you will need to complete a brief questionnaire about your student and a Student Online Behavior Agreement form with your student.

During the consultation, your high school advisor will help you select the initial one to six courses, confirm your contact information, and show you around the STAA Student Zone a bit.  After the consultation, your advisor will email you a packet that includes overviews of the selected courses, the books/materials ordering details, and links to order the STAA Study Guides.  Your student will then be free to start the online orientation activities on the STAA Student Zone at a time of your choosing.  The formal studies for the courses may start as soon as the books and STAA Study Guides arrive at your home or at a time that fits your academic calendar (please note that the STAA Student Zone is closed each year from July 15 to 31; all online access to resources, forums, and quizzes is suspended during this time).

When should we activate my student's Independent Study with Online Support subscription?

We recommend activating your student's subscription at least one month before you would like him or her to begin the courses.  That four-week window gives you time to complete the course selection consultation, order books and study guides, start your student on a leisurely exploration of the orientation activities, and then begin the academic weeks of the courses on a day of your choosing once the books and study guides are delivered to your home.  

How often may students and parents post questions on the Q&A Forums?

We hope to see you on the forums often!  There are "no spamming" policies in place, but students and parents may post on the Q&A forums as frequently as needed.  Advisors are available to help on the forums until about 3:00 P.M. (Pacific Time) on weekdays.  Advisor support is not available during holidays, holy days, and academic calendar breaks (such as Fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Spring break, and Easter break).  Also, the entire STAA Student Zone website is shut down for maintenance and resetting July 15 through 31 of each year; the site and advisor support are not available during the last two weeks of July.  Also, the live Q&A sessions that students and/or parents may join to ask their high school advisor questions by phone or "Zoom-style" web conference are available twice most academic weeks.

May we submit writing assignments for grading?

Assignment grading is available to students registered for a "live class with advisor grading option."  Students and parents may ask questions about assignments, but the only graded activities included in the Independent Study with Online Support option are the online, weekly quizzes.

Are students in the same household allowed to share accounts?

Account sharing is not allowed in any form.  Each student account is for one student.  Each teaching-parent account is for one set of homeschooling parents: the student's parents.  If someone besides the individual on file for the account accesses the account, the account will be terminated and deleted to protect student and parent privacy as well as the safety of all on the STAA Student Zone.  Students and parents will be asked to agree to this policy when they sign the "Student Behavior Policy" prior to accessing the website for the first time.

Will St. Thomas Aquinas Academy issue a transcript or diploma after my student completes the courses?

No, the Independent Study with Online Support option does not include any sort of transcript or certificate as it is an option for independent homeschoolers who wish to add one or more St. Thomas Aquinas Academy courses to their student's educational plan.  Students who are looking for a complete homeschool program are invited to enroll as an STAA student with Transcript Option.

Is there a skills assessment to help determine the courses that are right for my students?

No, the Independent Study with Online Support option does not include a skills assessment, but we do have a skills assessment that is used for placement when students enroll in the complete homeschool program.  The skills assessment, advisor support meetings, a transcript option, and more are included as part of full enrollment.  The Independent Study with Online Support option is for the very independent homeschoolers out there who prefer to personalize their own plans but also like the idea of someone to reach out to when course questions arise.  The full program uses the skills assessment as the starting point for personalized plans crafted by our experienced homeschool advisors.

The Independent Study with Online Support option begins with a simple questionnaire and 30-minute advisor consultation so we can help you select and register your student for courses that fit his educational plan.  The questionnaire will ask about your homeschool goals, high school courses that have already been completed, which math your student is currently studying, how much formal writing instruction has been completed to date, and which books are great examples of your student's academic reading level.  This basic information will help the high school advisor recommend courses during the registration consultation and point out which STAA Study Guides line up with your plan.

Are the STAA Study Guides and books and materials included?

The STAA Study Guides and all course books and materials are purchased separately by you, the student's parents, through our recommended suppliers or your favorite suppliers.  After the registration consultation, the high school advisor will email you an Academic Packet that includes the overview of courses you selected for your student as well as ordering information for the STAA Study Guides and course books and materials.  The STAA Study Guides are ordered through this online shop; for most other books and materials we refer you to and

Is a refund available if my student finishes the course in less time than planned?

The Independent Study with Online Support option is a month-to-month subscription that gives you control and flexibility and can be canceled any time after the first month in order to avoid unnecessary charges.  The month-to-month subscription fee and advisor consultation fee are non-refundable.  You may cancel your student's monthly charge at any time to ensure no additional monthly fees are charged to your account.  For instance, you may cancel the monthly subscription as soon as your student completes the courses, even if he completes them at an accelerated rate.  Or, the most typical, cancel the monthly subscription as soon as your school year is complete to avoid charges over the summer.  

My student registered for six courses in the first semester and is now ready to move on to his second-semester courses.  Do we have to pay for another advisor consultation to activate the second-semester courses?

Trading out completed courses for new courses is easy.  Parents will find the online request form to close completed courses and add new courses to their student's active registration on the Teaching-Parent Resource page on the STAA Student Zone.  You may pay for a meeting with your advisor to make the changes while on the phone together and discuss new options, but the online request form is fast and efficient and does not have a consultation fee.

Did you think of a question that is not covered on this page?  We offer a variety of homeschooling support options, from the full advisor-supported and personalized enrollment with transcript and diploma options, to live classes with or without graded writing assignments, to this self-paced Independent Study with Advisor Support option.  Send us a note if you would like to discuss the options to find the ones that best serve your homeschool – look below for the "Chat" feature or use the Contact email form.

Materials & STAA Study Guide

Teaching-parents are responsible for purchasing the books and materials and STAA Study Guides for the courses through their favorite suppliers or the suppliers suggested by St. Thomas Aquinas Academy.

Online versions of the study guides are available to teaching-parents and students to view on the STAA Student Zone website (login required). Students can use the online study guides while waiting for the printed and bound versions to arrive when study guides are lost or ordered late.

Cancellation Policy

The Independent Study with Online Support option is a month-to-month subscription that gives you control and flexibility and can be canceled any time after the first month in order to avoid unnecessary charges.  The month-to-month subscription fee and advisor consultation fee are non-refundable.  You may cancel your student's monthly charge at any time to ensure no additional monthly fees are charged to your account.

Schedule a Free Consultation!

Ready to learn more about STAA's live classes? Follow the link below to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation meeting with our high school advisor.

EmailSpeak with an Advisor