On Rearranging My Classroom (Mundane Meditations Series)

I’ve found that life presents a series of bizarre paradoxes. One of the more profound of these paradoxes is the desire of everyone to fit in. We all want to belong to something, to feel at home in it—whether it’s a family, a group of friends, a club. But simultaneously, we each like to conceive of ourselves as unique, not like anyone else. We want … Continue reading On Rearranging My Classroom (Mundane Meditations Series)

The Death of Words, the Old Testament, and the Great Books (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #2)

In the previous post in this series, I considered how vocabulary and prior content knowledge could perhaps play a significant role in reading comprehension and understanding. In the final paragraph I wrote: Unfortunately, fewer and fewer students are taught the languages in which the Great Books are written, and not many more are taught the vocabulary they will encounter even in translations of these Great … Continue reading The Death of Words, the Old Testament, and the Great Books (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #2)

Words in Context (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #1)

I was reading an article earlier this spring[1] that talked about literacy and the importance of content knowledge and vocabulary for understanding. The article revisited a 1988 published study by Recht and Leslie, oftentimes referred to as “the baseball experiment.” In short, the article, and the study by Recht and Leslie, addressed how after reading a passage about a half-inning of baseball, “good readers” who … Continue reading Words in Context (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #1)

An Update from The Classical Thistle

Hello friends! It’s been a while since we have posted articles on here, especially with any frequency, and we wanted to reach out and give you an update. We apologize for the long silence, but we backed off for some good reasons. Why the limited content for two years? COVID-19 had a significant impact on us personally, forcing us into a heavier administrative load at … Continue reading An Update from The Classical Thistle

Forty Days of Faithful Waiting (An Ash Wednesday Reflection)

At the 2012 ETS Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Stephen Dempster of Crandall University presented a paper entitled “Resurrection on the Third Day in Accordance with the Scriptures.” As suggested by the title, Dempster set out to explain what Paul may have been thinking when he said that Christ’s resurrection on the third day was “in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3).  Dempster ultimately concluded … Continue reading Forty Days of Faithful Waiting (An Ash Wednesday Reflection)

How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water?

How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water? I stand silently near the corner of a third-floor foyer, staring aimlessly out the window. It’s early in the week, only Tuesday, but already my heart is heavy, my mind is overworked, and my body is wearied—I’m fatigued in spirit. I’m praying for peace, for some semblance of sanity in the chaos that is a … Continue reading How Do You Plant a Student by Streams of Water?

Four Questions for Reading the Great Books

One of the foundational aspects of classical Christian education is our commitment to reading the Great Books. But many students, despite an increasing number of them growing up in classical Christian schools, find the jump from what they read in the earlier grades to the Great Books themselves to be a difficult and daunting task. How do we help them take this next step in … Continue reading Four Questions for Reading the Great Books

Can Virtue Be Taught?

“My days were spent in close attention, that I might more speedily master the language; and I may boast that I improved more rapidly than the Arabian, who understood very little and conversed in broken accents, whilst I comprehended and could imitate almost every word that was spoken. “While I improved in speech, I also learned the science of letters as it was taught to … Continue reading Can Virtue Be Taught?

My Top Five Books of 2019 (Kyle Rapinchuk)

As usual, my reading plan looks very little like my actual reading list. Circumstances come along, questions get raised in class, I learn about new books being released, and I discover old treasures I had previously overlooked, and I inevitably start reading books not on my list, while relegating those on the list further down, to be read another day, and alas, another year. But … Continue reading My Top Five Books of 2019 (Kyle Rapinchuk)

The Promised King Has Come

Merry Christmas from The Classical Thistle! We pray that you will enjoy this season with your family and friends and remember that God has become flesh and that our Savior will come again. I wanted to share with you a Christmas poem that I performed for our church’s Christmas Eve services. The goal of the poem is to put the Christmas story in a whole … Continue reading The Promised King Has Come

Illumination and The Mechanical Arts (St. Bonaventure, On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology, Part 7) 

Illumination and The Mechanical Arts (St. Bonaventure, On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology, Part 7)  Sections 11-14 In section 11, Bonaventure moves on from sense knowledge to show how divine wisdom likewise illumines the mechanical arts. Bonaventure compares the mechanical arts to sense knowledge because both deal with the generation and incarnation of the Word, the pattern of human life, and the union … Continue reading Illumination and The Mechanical Arts (St. Bonaventure, On the Reduction of the Arts to Theology, Part 7)