When the Struggle is Worthwhile

My excitement rose with the sun.  Despite the previous night’s rain—which had served to muddy many of the famed fisheries of Paradise Valley—we were headed for the clear water of DuPuy’s Spring Creek, arguably one of the finest trout waters in Western Montana.  Our guide had warned us that DuPuy’s was a more technical fishery, and some days, expert fishermen leave the creek empty-handed.  Still, … Continue reading When the Struggle is Worthwhile

On a School Day Morning

As the school year begins, I share with you a prayer I have written that may help you and your family, perhaps especially when the excitement of the new year wears off. On a School Day MorningBy Sara Osborne O God of early mornings, Drowsy children, Unwashed uniforms, Missing socks, Uneaten breakfasts, Incomplete homework, Forgotten permission slips, Late library books, Uncombed hair, And fast-brushed teeth— … Continue reading On a School Day Morning

Fighting “The Death of Words” (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #3)

By Sara Osborne[1] As a college writing instructor, I have noticed a disturbing trend in my students’ ability to choose and use words appropriately.  These same students also appear increasingly unable to comprehend critical vocabulary used in non-fiction writing. The unfortunate result of these challenges is an inability to contribute to class discussions on important ideas and the inevitable struggle with articulating a coherent response … Continue reading Fighting “The Death of Words” (Explorations in the Art of Grammar Series #3)

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

Little by Little

The stresses of the past calendar year have been numerous.  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic colliding with regular responsibilities, many of us have found ourselves somewhat disoriented. Shifting priorities, schedules, and communities have forced creative personal and professional pursuits to the bottom shelf, and we’re struggling to find a way towards normalcy—much less excellence—again.  Mental, emotional, and even physical energy is in short … Continue reading Little by Little

Waiting for the Sun

Most of us in the Midwest found ourselves hiding indoors from winter weather this week.  While we curled up beside families and fireplaces, the snow just kept falling.  City maintenance trucks rounded our neighborhood repeatedly like cars on a racetrack, but to no avail. With temperatures hovering in the single digits and teens, there was little opportunity for melting, and the snow kept us home … Continue reading Waiting for the Sun

The Power of Story in Connecting With Teens

Story is a powerful thing.  As educators, we know this to be true.  In fact, we endeavor to read as many good, true, and beautiful stories to our young students as possible during the grammar stage.  Line after line, page after page, we invite them into the stories we hope will inform their understanding for years to come.  Much of the time, we read to … Continue reading The Power of Story in Connecting With Teens

5 Ways to Survive a Family Adventure

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, families all over the world are reeling from a departure from the normal rhythms of our days.  Whether spring usually finds you happy at home or planning your next new expedition, we’re all on an adventure right now. C.S. Lewis famously wrote that “Adventures are never fun while you’re having them,”[1] and I have to agree with him … Continue reading 5 Ways to Survive a Family Adventure


Creation-ivity On Wednesday morning of our first week of pandemic-induced remote learning, stress was already running high.  In an effort to escape log-in requests and password reminders and reading instructions and device distribution and chat patrol, I slipped out our back door and descended the steps to the back yard.  I marched up the green hillside and stood with my face to the sun, welcoming … Continue reading Creation-ivity

Fun Ways to Learn at Home for FREE!

Free audio stories for children on Audible: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen Free digital downloads at the Critical Thinking Co: https://www.criticalthinking.com/special-offers 12 Museums to Tour Virtually: https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2020/03/18/these-historic-sites-attractions-are-offering-virtual-tours-during-coronavirus-pandemic/ Usborne free activity pages: https://usborne.com/things-to-do/ “Lunchdoodles” videos with author/illustrator Mo Willems: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/ Fun for animal lovers at National Geographic Kids: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com Learn about a famous artist from home: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/whats-on/we-bring-the-museum-to-you/van-gogh-at-home-for-children     Continue reading Fun Ways to Learn at Home for FREE!

Fine Art for Children

It’s far easier to wax eloquent about the goals of a classical education than to put those ideas into practice.  I find this to be especially true when it comes to art education for children.  While idyllic scenes of young children sitting quietly around great masterpieces of art and somehow magically absorbing an appreciation for all things creative sounds wonderful to me, I doubt it’s … Continue reading Fine Art for Children

My Top Five Books of 2019 (Sara Osborne)

My favorite reads from 2019 look a bit different from 2018.  One of my personal goals this past year was to read more good stories, so it naturally follows that most of my favorites were fiction novels and biographies.  I also committed to a few longer reads this year, chipping away at the pages nightly and savoring good stories over time.  This was quite rewarding … Continue reading My Top Five Books of 2019 (Sara Osborne)