Our homeschooling journey has brought us into the high school years of Algebra, Chemistry, World History, foreign languages, and yes – elective credit hours. Like many families, we try to obtain some kind of balance in allowing these electives to be fun, driven by our child’s passions, and also enriching. We are not fans of fluff electives just to fill in the grid toward graduation credits. Our latest discovery in this area is The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic that is published by Classical Academic Press.
The Discovery of Deduction is a formal logic course that is geared toward high school level students and can also be utilized by eighth graders. It is written to the student in a way that is easily understandable to them while still teaching them the appropriate vocabulary associated with formal logic. The course begins with an introduction to what is formal logic and how it is different from informal logic as well as the different types of reasoning in logical arguments. A history of logic is provided next. These elements make up Unit I of the course. Unit II focusses on Propositions and their Relationships. Unit III’s emphasis is on Categorical Syllogisms. A section on Terms and Definitions in Disputes and Disagreements is presented as the concluding unit in the curriculum. The soft-cover student text also contains five appendices that provide illustrations and forms that help the students better understand the concepts presented in the various sections of the book. The Student Workbook/Text is 324 pages in length and retails for $26.95.
There is a accompanying Teacher’s Edition for this course. The Teacher’s Edition contains copies of the pages in the student text with the answers to the questions presented to the students filled in. Contained in the student text are dialogue questions that require a greater amount of discussion or longer written responses. These lengthier responses and the key elements to look for are contained in an additional section in the back of the Teacher’s Edition. The Teacher’s Edition is 349 pages in length and retails for $29.95.
When our materials arrived for this review, I was somewhat nervous about getting started since I have had no instruction in formal logic myself. Our 16 year old daughter who was going to be using these materials as part of our review had taken a Critical Thinking / Logic class last year at our homeschool group and was somewhat familiar with the concepts that would be presented in greater depth. In most of her subjects she is very self-directed, so we decided that we would actually do the logic lessons together. We got to spend some quality time together learning more in an area that interests her and I got to benefit from learning a bit about formal logic.
We began by referring to the Suggested Schedule that can be found on the Classical Academic Press website. You can find it by clicking here. If the student were to adhere to this schedule, the course could be completed in a single semester with the student completing sections in the curriculum 5 days each week. We generally were able to do 3 to 4 sections per week during the 4 weeks that we were reviewing this curriculum. Generally, my daughter and I took turns reading the pages in the text out loud. She would then take a few minutes to work through the assigned exercises for the day while I made us some tea. We would then get back together to discuss the responses she came up with to the questions and share the dialogue activity together. Our time in studying formal logic came to be something we looked forward to in sharing her journey in learning in a way that we do not do as often as we both would like.
Our experience with Classical Academic Press’ The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic has been a very positive one. It is definitely not a fluff elective, but one that is stretching our daughter’s thinking and even something she is incorporating into her writing assignments as she writes persuasive essays or papers that are on more controversial subjects. This is a review product that we will definitely be continuing to use in building another block in educational foundation.
I would like to note that the suggested schedule for this course shows time allotted for chapter quizzes. The publisher does note a the top of the suggested schedule that quizzes are not included with the texts and are also not available at this time from them. I did not take the time to create formal quizzes on the content of each chapter. If you felt it was necessary for your child to have tests or quizzes for this course, you would need to construct these yourself.
You can also click here to see a full sample chapter from this resource for further consideration. Don’t miss out on what others are saying in their reviews of this curriculum. Click on the button below to see what other crew members are saying.