Those of you that have been following our homeschool journey over the years know that our family does not stick to one strict method of homeschooling. In being more eclectic in our approach, I love to get to know what companies can be depended upon as we reach into Classical Education, Charlotte Mason, and other styles. We recently received a review copy of Traditional Logic I Complete Set from Memoria Press. I was thrilled as Memoria Press is one of those companies that you can depend on in the Classical Education circles.
What We Received:
As the name suggests, we received a complete set of the Traditional Logic I set. This includes student workbook, the quizzes & tests book, the teacher answer key, and the instructional DVDs. Everything is literally included to allow the parent that knows absolutely nothing about Traditional Logic to provide a course of excellence to their child.
Traditional Logic I is marketed for students in grades 7-12 with an emphasis on mature 7th and 8th grade students. I would wholeheartedly agree. Unless your child is truly advanced in their studies and also mature in how they handle their schoolwork, I would recommend reserving this course for the high school years.
The course is designed to span a semester in length, which would lend one to be able to use it for a half credit in high school. The 15 weeks in a semester could be filled in covering the Introductory Chapter, the 13 individual chapters, plus a week to study and take the final exam. The main focus of this course is on Traditional Logic with an emphasis on Formal Logic as opposed to Informal Logic.
How is it used:
This course could truly be done with the student working independently, with the parent joining the child with directed discussion around the content of each chapter, or be used in a group setting such as a homeschool co-op. There is a video that contains all of the instruction for the new material being presented. This is watched and then followed by daily assignments that span the week. Although the chapter is not long based on a count of pages, there is a lot of content that is best consumed in more bite sized morsels. The student is therefore directed to read certain sections of the chapter before proceeding with their daily assignment. The assignments are a series of questions that help the student to fully digest the content of the lesson. There are 4 days worth of exercises per chapter, which we covered on Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, my daughter was asked to review the chapter and then take the chapter quiz.
I have always felt strongly that logic and critical thinking are subjects that all students should be required to take. Being able to understand the proper structure of an argument, its fallacies, and how it defends truth are essential to so many other areas of our life; not the least of which is even our faith. So much of the basis of Apologetics is founded and supported by formal logic. Depending on the career that your child wishes to pursue, instruction in formal logic could begin carrying even more weight. For example, our oldest daughter is pursuing a career in the area of law. I am so thankful that we incorporated the study of logic into her high school curriculum.
A challenge in our society today is the belief that in order for education to be of high value it must entertain. We unfortunately we see the same challenge being posed to the church and worship experiences. Traditional Logic I as presented by Memoria Press has an incredible ability to impart great knowledge in its core subject. However, it is not designed to entertain. It is designed to instruct. This is not just the presentation of formal logic, but also logic formally presented. The serious minded student should be able to proceed through this course without difficulty and will gain great benefit from doing so.
I loved the fact that everything that my daughter needed to really study formal logic was included. As a parent that does not have a great deal of confidence in this area, I can not emphasize enough the value of the instructional DVDs. These are recordings of the author himself teaching the content of the course. What’s more – all of the powerpoint slides seen in the DVD segments are available for print out straight from the DVDs. This was a great benefit in printing them before watching and using them to take notes on.
In concluding, I highly recommend Traditional Logic: Introduction to Formal Logic from Memoria Press for those that are interested in a serious minded course to master the foundational principles of the subject.