Wednesday, May 18, 2016

{Review} Traditional Logic I - Memoria Press

Does the idea of including logic in your high school student's courses fill you with trepidation? Honestly, I thought it would be easily managed for us since I had taken logic classes and went through as close to a classical education as a public school can provide. This was until I finally looked for a logic curriculum to use. Oh goodness! 

I wanted Amber to have the best foundation possible to train her mind, but my experience in modern logic and informal logic was not going to make it quite so easy for us to study traditional formal logic. Thankfully, we were given the chance to review the Traditional Logic I Complete Set from Memoria Press, our favorite classical curriculum publisher.

Unexpected Homeschool: Review of Memoria Press - Traditional Logic I

Why Traditional Logic

As the introductory lesson teaches, Traditional Logic is "the science of right thinking."  This is the highly systematic methodology used by Aristotle and the middle age learned church men, not the discussion of informal fallacies. While modern logic is based in math and is the type of logic course I took in college for my computer science degree, traditional logic is closer to human language.

Traditional logic trains the mind to respect truth and assumes a Christian view of truth.

Traditional Logic I Set

This is a Classical Christian curriculum geared toward homeschool students, but also is well suited for private schools. Although the course is designed with high school age students in mind, some 7th and 8th grade students will still be able to successfully navigate the lessons. The lessons should take roughly one semester (15 weeks) to complete according to the provided schedule. Best of all, it was written for teachers without a background in traditional formal logic (ding, ding, ding... that's me!).

Included in the Traditional Logic I set
  • Student Book - Consumable lesson text with questions.
  • Teacher Key - Includes the answers to questions in the student book as well as quizzes and tests.
  • Quizzes and Tests - Consumable and intended for a single student use.
  • Instructional DVDs - Presentation of each lesson from the student book.
Unexpected Homeschool: Review of Memoria Press - Traditional Logic I
Watching her first video lesson in her media / playroom
The student book has an introduction lesson and then fourteen chapters of lessons that follow. Each chapter / lesson is broken into easy to digest sections with a predictable four day schedule for each chapter. Day 1 the student reads all of the lesson material & watches the lesson presentation on DVD, then is asked to re-read a portion of the lesson closely to answer a small set of exercises. Days 2 through 4 the student re-reads a listed section of the material and again completes the exercises.

The types of exercises cycles through comprehension questions, thinking questions, definitions, true & false statements, and review exercises. A minimal amount of space is provided in the student book for answering the questions, so the student will either need to write small or use a supplemental sheet of paper.

Quizzes for use at the end of each chapter and a final course exam are provided in the Quizzes and Tests book. These pages are perforated for easy removal or the student may choose to work straight from the Quiz book, since the solutions are given only in the Teacher Key.

Unexpected Homeschool: Review of Memoria Press - Traditional Logic I
Daily lessons are manageable sizes

Our Thoughts

Amber is just now finishing up her eighth grade year, but has already started high school level work in most subjects. This summer she will move completely into rhetoric stage work and will need a solid foundation in traditional logic. This review of Traditional Logic I came at the optimal time for us.

In all honestly I had been eying this curriculum for a while, but was somewhat concerned over my ability to successfully guide Amber through traditional logic. I wasn't even sure she would be the most cooperative, because she loved informal logic and her early exposure to modern logic. However, I had nothing to fear. Much to my delight, even with flares in her dysautonomia, Amber was able to mostly keep up the suggested schedule and work four days a week on Traditional Logic.

Amber was eager to start the curriculum as soon as it arrived and I think that was greatly due to the set including DVD lessons. She has really taken a liking to DVD lessons lately for topics that require a little extra explanation. Amber says the DVD instructor in Traditional Logic explains the topics extremely well and that she would be a little lost in the lessons without the DVD. She does feel the presenter seems somewhat uncomfortable talking to the camera, but he still does a wonderful job.

Unexpected Homeschool: Review of Memoria Press - Traditional Logic I
The quizzes are reasonable and representative of the lesson.
(Yes, weeks later and the LEGOs are still everywhere - there's actually more)
These logic lessons all make Amber think carefully before completing the exercises. We quickly found this is not one of the subjects that can be done on the go or in doctors' waiting rooms. Still, Amber says the chapters are broken up well and provide just enough challenge without becoming tedious or frustrating. However, she agrees it is not a subject that would work well if you were trying to complete multiple days worth of assignments at one time.

Our only minor issue with the curriculum is more with the print layout of the student book. It is seemingly meant to be a consumable work text, however next to no space is provided to answer the definitions, and comprehension & thinking questions unless you squeeze it in the blank space between the lines. Neither Amber or I would be able to write legibly on a good day in the space provided. Amber automatically began answering those questions on a separate sheet of paper and turning them in to me for checking along with her book where she completed the other types of exercises. It would be easier to grade and keep track of work if it was all in one location - either the book or supplemental pages.

Unexpected Homeschool: Review of Memoria Press - Traditional Logic I
Assignment answer sheets for the questions without space in the book
We also chose to have Amber work the quizzes for each chapter in the Quiz book instead of tearing out the pages so as to keep them all in once place for future reference. We are not normally test / quiz people, but went ahead and tried these out. Amber says they are of appropriate difficulty and there were not any surprise questions on them. If you complete the work for each chapter diligently, there isn't even any need to study for the quiz.

We have been entirely pleased with Traditional Logic I from Memoria Press and feel it is the best possible solution to provide Amber with a solid foundation in traditional formal logic.

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1 comment:

  1. I am so glad it was a good fit for Amber.
    Blessings, Dawn