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)

Re-Visioning Our Writing

By Christine Norvell, Guest Author I confess. I have asked students to make revisions to their essays. In fact, I may have casually said, “You just have some light revision work,” or “This needs heavy revision.” It sounds flippant to my ears now. Trite. But those comments all beg the same question—what does it really mean to revise our writing? One of my former students … Continue reading Re-Visioning Our Writing

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)

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

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

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

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?

Perseverance Will Have Its Reward

After several busy weeks filled with end-of-summer travel, my husband and I hit the track yesterday for our first jog in a while—and it was hard! I’ve been a runner for about twenty years now.  Those two decades have seen me train for long-distances races, jog slowly with a double stroller, break PR’s, and nurse numerous injuries.  My running has changed with seasons of life … Continue reading Perseverance Will Have Its Reward

Are you an “Essential Worker”?

The first I heard of the potential of someone carrying around a letter from their employer stating that they are “Essential” to the operation of their organization, I thought to myself, “Well, aren’t they special?” Over the past number of weeks, due to COVID-19, companies and organizations have sought to justify their operation (and potential existence) as being “Essential” to the operation of society. From … Continue reading Are you an “Essential Worker”?


By Nathan Carr With an unobstructed view to Joy, let us go back to the first school tradition of the Christian Church—the monastery.  How did the first attempt at formal Christian education enlist its students into the great “story being told?”  Among the monastic schoolmasters of the 4th century—abbots and abbesses—one in particular gives profound insight into the formation of several abbeys throughout Egypt:  St. … Continue reading Pachomius

Teaching as a Spiritual Discipline

By Ian Mosley, Instructor of Latin, School of the Ozarks When I was a fairly new-minted Christian, I was introduced to the concept of spiritual disciplines by the writers Dallas Willard and Richard Foster. Particularly Foster’s Celebration of Discipline helped me enter imaginatively into the role that practices and habit play in spiritual formation. In a culture like ours that values spontaneity and authenticity, it … Continue reading Teaching as a Spiritual Discipline