NOTE: Not all courses are offered each summer. Please see Summer Course Schedules.

Critical Thinking

Teenagers are often overwhelmed with abstract thoughts that seem to lead them nowhere but to confusion itself. Although students in this age group are growing in their ability to craft abstract thoughts, they lack the experience to transform them into practical applications. With God’s grace, Standards of Excellence focuses on students in the age range of 11 – 18 in the quest to help train them to become strong students as well as take intangible concepts and create skills for useful reasoning.


Standards of Excellence has developed a course in “Critical Thinking” to help. The focus of this course is the development of competence in critical thinking, informal Logic, verbal logic, and figural logic.


The amalgamation of the skills developed though our course will bolster your teen’s confidence and give him or her important tools for a successful academic experience. Miss Viv will meld the course textbooks’ content with fun and games that will help your teen explore and cement important thinking, communication and comprehension skills.


Building Thinking Skills® curriculum provides highly effective verbal and nonverbal reasoning activities to improve students' vocabulary, reading, writing, math, logic, and figural-spatial skills, as well as their visual and auditory processing. This exceptional skill set provides a solid foundation for academic excellence and success on any assessment test.


 The activities are sequenced developmentally. Each skill (for example, classifying) is presented first in the semi-concrete figural-spatial form and then in the abstract verbal form. Students learn to analyze relationships between objects, between words, and between objects and words as they:


Observe, recognize, and describe characteristics.

Distinguish similarities and differences.

Identify and complete sequences, classifications, and analogies.


These processes help students develop superior thinking and communication skills that lead to deeper content learning in all subjects. The “Building Thinking Skills” text helps students to grasp analysis, discernment, and fallacious reasoning prevalent within the world today. We will use the Level 3 "Verbal Logic" and "Figural Logic" curriculum from


 Fallacy Detective® curriculum introduces students to the study of Informal Logic and demonstrate how people use misinformation to manipulate you to agree with a particular view.


 What is a fallacy? A fallacy is an error in logic – a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking.  A few examples of fallacies:


 “A cloud is 90% water. A watermelon is 90% water. Therefore, since a plane can fly through a cloud, a plane can fly through a watermelon.”

“This new book, The Fallacy Detective, must do a good job teaching logic. It has been on the bestseller list for months.”


The Bluedorn brothers – both home schooled themselves – wrote this book to meet the needs of Christian parents who want a do-able text for introducing logic and critical thinking to their children.


Fun to use – not dry like a math textbook.

Easy to use – not intimidating, starts students with skills they can use right away.

Each lesson has exercises to practice discerning fallacies!

Covers logical fallacies and propaganda techniques. The text is divided into thirty-eight lessons - the most common fallacies and propaganda techniques. It explains how students can spot fallacies, and gives exercises to stretch student abilities for detecting fallacies.

Geared for ages twelve and older – it is wise to use The Fallacy Detective before advancing onto more difficult logic programs.


Additionally, students will work on logic puzzles, brain teasers, Sudoku, and other critical thinking activities.



Summer- Semester Course:
Registration: $10     Materials: $40     Tuition: $525

Summer Programs

The NEW PSAT Preparation course offered by Standards of Excellence is a comprehensive course designed to prepare your student for the Redesigned PSAT Test. The course focuses on building a foundation for the SAT through preliminary material in all identical areas except complexity of questions in addition to sections that test Trigonometry, higher level math with imaginary numbers, the number of Science/ social studies passages with infographics in addition to the essay.

In our PSAT course, we focus on building a strong foundation in all areas of math – especially real-life math problems, as well as vocabulary and roots in addition to the Evidence-based Critical Reading, and Evidence Based Writing sections. We only offer our PSAT course during the summer program since the official PSAT / NMSQT test is in October. You may take the PSAT as a middle schooler, freshman and sophomore, but only the student's junior year score counts towards the NMSQT.

Standards of Excellence does not administer the test; we just present the course materials and practice tests (3).



Study Skills Intensive

Study Skills Intensive is designed to help students approach their education seriously and to achieve laudable personal goals! We teach them time-tested skills fundamental to attaining success and create the momentum for them towards rapid and elevated academic advancement. Students will be inspired to apply their talents, instructed as to how get the most out of every learning opportunity, and shown how to retain information so as to integrate it into future endeavors.


Through Standards of Excellence, Viv Lynn has been teaching and tutoring students over 30 years; she can spark a passion to learn and create a readiness to achieve. She has formulated this new course for 7th-11th graders to spur them to the self-directed education process.


  • What: 10-hour course that teaches vital lessons to prepare students for High School / College

  • When: Monday, August 9th – Thursday, August 12th from 9 am-11:30 am

  • Where: ONLINE (Register at

  • Cost: $ 225 / Student

  • Materials: We provide text, Day Planner and notebook. Grab a pencil and be ready to learn!

  • Course Content: 

    • Owning your Education! Goal-setting / Creating a Vision

    • Unlocking your Genius / Learning style

    • How to Succeed at High School / College

    • Time Management / Prioritizing/ Procrastination

    • Paraphrasing

    • Using Symbols / Note-taking (3 powerful styles: GRAB, Outline, Cornell)

    • Increasing Your Memory

    • Reading and Studying Most Effectively

    • Test Taking

Summer Academic Development