Category Archives: Grammar

Puzzles, Patterns, & Repetition: A Grammar-Based Approach to Speaking

My first-born son was a late talker. Children much younger than he were speaking in sentences much longer than his while my husband and I were getting excited when he said “Pop!” as the speech therapist brought out the bubble machine. The parenting journey for late-talking children can be tricky, since sometimes it’s autism and […]

How to Argue

How To Argue

When I worked in public policy many years ago, one of my jobs was to take long policy papers from think tanks and reduce them down to one or two pages for state lawmakers. I also wrote the scripts for a popular radio show called “Point/Counterpoint” on a very large network in which two people […]

Through A Glass Wine-Darkly

Through a Glass Wine-Darkly

Have you heard the one about the color blue? The story goes that the Greeks had no word for the color. In Homer, things traditionally thought of as blue—the sea, the sky—go by gloomy words like “brazen” or “wine-dark.” Trivial as it may seem, this is the fact that launched a thousand speculative ships towards […]

Archaic On Purpose: A Defense Of The King James Bible

Archaic on Purpose

It is an interesting irony that, at a time when so many Christians have abandoned the King James Bible, a prominent atheist should come forth to praise it. In celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011, the famed unbeliever Christopher Hitchens paid it gushing homage in Vanity Fair magazine, […]

How Grammar Can Save Your Life

I’m not a Latin teacher; I’m a doctor. I didn’t learn Latin growing up, other than maybe the conjugation of amo, but I’m learning it now as I teach my children. I have heard many times about the benefits of Latin—not only how it helps to build vocabulary knowledge, but how it helps you to […]

How to Teach Phonics (And How Not To)

In the Summer 2014 Classical Teacher, I wrote an extensive article exploring the question, “What is the Classical Approach to Phonics?” The contention of that article was that there are two basic approaches to phonics in the classical education world: the traditional method and the Spalding method. The Spalding method is based on the book The Writing Road to Reading (WRTR), […]

How to Conduct a Recitation and Why

Why Recite?  Forget matching, multiple choice, or fill-in the blanks. If you want a child to really know–truly own–a body of information, Recitation is the only way to go. Previously the sole method of testing, Recitation requires mastery of a subject like no other testing mechanism can. With nowhere to hide and no opportunity for […]

The War Against Grammar


I have taught classics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1973. During these years, I have noticed a decline in the verbal skills of my students. It is embodied in the difficulties that they have in reading comprehension and English composition, as well as in the fact that few are capable of studying a foreign language successfully. […]

Why Should Christians Read the Pagan Classics? – Reason 4: Education

Why should christians read the pagan classics?

REASON #4: Education A classical education focuses on the study of the classical languages, Latin and Greek, and on the study of the classical civilization of Greece and Rome.  But why is the word classical reserved only for the languages of the Greeks and Romans and only for their civilization?  What really is so special […]

The Shadow of God


    The REAL Reason Our Educational Elites Don’t Like Grammar In Leo Tolstoy’s great Christian novel Anna Karenina, an after-dinner conversation turns to the subject of which European nation is more civilized—the English, the French, or the German. Karnenin, Anna’s husband, asserts that that civilization is most influential which is the most “truly educated.” […]

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