St. Monica Academy: The Best of Both Worlds

Joseph Freymann, pictured here together with his sons.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “91 percent of homeschooled students had parents who said that a concern about the environment of other schools was an important reason for homeschooling their child.”

With so many anti-bullying campaigns at the forefront of the media, perhaps the thought had even crossed your mind. Before taking the commitment to changing your entire way of life, make sure you’ve exhausted all of your options.

St. Monica Academy is a non-traditional educational institution in Pasadena that offers the best of both worlds: the security of home schooling and the practical education of a regular school.

Founded in 2001 by a group of parents who understood the merits of home schooling but wanted a regular school environment for their kids, St. Monica uses Roman Catholic traditions, solid classical methods and materials “to form the minds, hearts, and characters of students through the development of the intellectual, moral, and theological virtues.”

One of those character builders is Joseph Freymann, a six year veteran. A bit of a multi-tasker, Freymann, admits to teaching four courses- Medieval History, Latin 2, Pre-Calculus, and Physics.

“[We were] started by a bunch of parents, many of whom were actually homeschooling their kids and decided that for various reasons they wanted to send the kids to a normal school. It really started small,” began Freymann.

From its humble beginnings as a school for 24 kids, St. Monica is now second home to 235 kids through grades 1 to 12. It was in 2002 when the school started accepting enrollees for their freshman year.

With an average of 18 students per class, Freymann explained that, “the kids feel like they’re getting more attention from the teacher and they also like the fact that they get to know each other well.”

Students here are still taught using the Socratic method. In fact, its methods are so effective that in 2013, out of all the Catholic high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, St. Monica Academy earned the highest mean SAT scores on all three sections of the test.

Freymann’s own kids who are enrolled at St. Monica expressed how it was different from other schools in a positive light.

He told Pasadena Now “I remember I was driving them [his sons] home one day and I didn’t ask them how the day went or anything like that but one of them just said on his own initiative, ‘This school is way better than our other school!'”

“That made my day because I felt so good that my wife and I had made the right decision, and the kids don’t lie about stuff like that,” Freymann beamed.

This year, St. Monica Academy was one of 71 schools across the country to receive the honor of being named as a School of Excellence from the Catholic Education Honor Roll.

“I’m proud of the school and what it’s achieved in a short time,” Freymann said adding that “It’s almost like a little family.”

And this family is always looking for new members.

St Monica Academy is located at 301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena. For admissions information, please call (626) 229-0351 or visit



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