Traditional Logic I Complete Set, published by Memoria Press, is a formal traditional logic course written for 7th grade and up. It doesn’t cover the more commonly taught informal logic (informal fallacies), but instead teaches the system of logic taught and studied by the ancient Greeks and later by medieval Christians in their pursuit of truth.
The course includes four components:
- The Student Book is the heart of the program. It includes 14 chapters with teaching material and daily exercises.
- The Quizzes and Tests Book provides a quiz for each chapter and a final exam.
- The Teacher Key includes answers for the lessons, quizzes, and tests.
- The instructional DVDs feature the author, Martin Cothran teaching each lesson.
This is a pretty tough course. It focuses on vocabulary and abstract concepts. Surprisingly Emily has really enjoyed it and it’s often the first subject she completes each day. The introduction and each of the 14 chapters begin with 5-6 pages of text in which the topic for the chapter is taught. The text is followed by exercises for 4 days plus a review exercises. The Quizzes and Test book includes a test for each chapter.
The text requires students to think very abstractly about concepts. For example, in the first chapter, the student learns the difference between sensing a chair, holding the mental image of a chair in his mind, and understanding the concept of a chair, even when one is not physically present. Then he reads about the difference between simple apprehension and judgment (affirming something about the chair).
We really liked that the lessons were short. Emily often did more than one lesson in a day. Once she had read the chapter, the lessons often took only a few minutes to complete. (That’s probably one reason she liked this course so well!) Each lesson explains the topic well and provides sufficient examples. Although the concepts are abstract, the student is required to learn the definitions and to apply the knowledge in the daily exercises enough times to ensure that it sticks. There is sufficient review from week to week to make sure the student retains the material from earlier chapters.
The recommended grade level for this course is 7th grade and up, but my personal opinion is that it is better suited for high school students. I think that Emily would have been in over her head if she had attempted it in 7th grade! Now that she’s older, she is finding the study of logic quite interesting and is enjoying the challenge.
The only component we didn’t enjoy was the DVD. Most of the content from the DVD lessons was the same as that found in the text, down to the same examples, so Emily didn’t feel that the video lesson helped her. The teacher/author also discussed and answered a few of the actual lesson questions, giving the viewer a head start on the question sets. While many students benefit from having a teacher or video lesson, Emily prefers to read the text and teach herself. She found the presentation style a bit dull as well. If your child benefits from hearing a lesson explained, the DVD set might be useful for you, but we decided that, for us, the course was just fine without it.
Read more about this program and several other Memoria Press products by visiting the Crew Blog below.