Walking and Talking: A Resolution

A few months ago, I reviewed a book by Philip and Carol Zaleski entitled The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings1, which details the lives of four members of the famous group.  While numerous aspects of the book make it an interesting read, I was most struck by the Zaleskis’ attention to the depth of friendship that contributed to the creative and intellectual productivity … Continue reading Walking and Talking: A Resolution

Literature and Life: Wise Words from Mole

Two large bookstores with rooms and levels sprawling upwards and outwards pulled us in like magnets to metal on a recent trip to Oxford.  I’d like to say it was just my children begging for purchases, but my husband and I were equally enchanted.  My eyes and fingertips skimmed the covers of countless classics.  After all, we were walking the streets of literary history; Narnia, … Continue reading Literature and Life: Wise Words from Mole

Getting Ready:  Resources for Reflection as the School Year Approaches

For several years, when summer’s heat begins to die down and back-to-school preparations begin, I’ve sat my children down in front of the captivating documentary On the Way to School.[1]  With popcorn bowls in hand, we watch together as a family, and then my older children write a page or two of personal reflection.  While there may be some murmuring over having a writing assignment … Continue reading Getting Ready:  Resources for Reflection as the School Year Approaches

Storing Up Treasures in the Grammar Stage

I’ve been reflecting recently on the essential work of storing up language in children.  I don’t mean merely learning individual phonics sounds or word families or even isolated vocabulary words.  No, this important exposure to words is deeper than that.  In her book, Proust and the Squid, author Maryanne Wolf highlights the significance of a child’s exposure to the language of ideas at a young … Continue reading Storing Up Treasures in the Grammar Stage

A Few More Thoughts on Classical Pedagogy: A Response to Ian Mosley and Joshua Gibbs

In response to Ian Mosely’s recent blog post, I agree that with older students, question-asking and roundtable discussion are indispensable methods for learning and important preparation for what lies ahead.  As a college writing instructor, I often lament the inability (or disinterest) of students to participate in discussion of the main ideas and key questions of a text.  They simply want me to disseminate the … Continue reading A Few More Thoughts on Classical Pedagogy: A Response to Ian Mosley and Joshua Gibbs

My Top 5 Books of 2018 (Sara Osborne)

It’s an interesting practice to think through favorite reads from any given year. The list almost reads like a series of signposts marking key lessons learned, challenges conquered, or adventures undertaken. 2018 has been another year of learning for me, and my list of favorite reads testifies to that. I started off in January with Rethinking School—a book largely focused on meeting the needs of … Continue reading My Top 5 Books of 2018 (Sara Osborne)

Engaging Young Readers: Building a Healthy Diet of Good Books

Few things create anticipation and excitement in my youngest child quite like a monthly book order. In his pre-school mind, the opportunity to choose a book from the flyer is the highest form of reward.  He lights up at the sight of the order form, carefully combs it over through numerous viewings, carries it around with him for days, and then asks with increasing urgency when … Continue reading Engaging Young Readers: Building a Healthy Diet of Good Books