Academic confession #2: I am not a logical thinker by nature, therefore I tend to run from logic problems and study. There's probably a logical fallacy to disprove the above statement, but I couldn't tell you what it is.
Thanks to the encouragement of a friend years ago, we began with The Critical Thinking Company materials. I use these books as "fillers", having the elementary-age kids go through them when they've completed other math assignments or need a little something to do. They think they're a fun challenge.
The first book I'll take out is Building Thinking Skills. I find that doing the little exercises (for example, figuring out which shape doesn't belong in the sequence) helps my young children to stop and analyze something before diving in and offering an opinion or a quick answer before having thought it through.
Mathematical Reasoning Through Verbal Analysis is usually next, but not until we've done a level or two of Building Thinking Skills. The emphasis in this book is on solving mathematical problems and I like to have an intro to thinking skills before introducing the math series.
Last year I purchased Revenge of the Logic Spiders for our then-fifth-grade son, who was immediately drawn to the fact that it is a computer game. He enjoyed the format and was challenged to think through each of the 116 multiple choice questions because ultimately, he needed to escape the hungry spiders and the only way to do so was to answer all of those logic problems. I love being sneaky like that :)
We move into more formal logic study around seventh grade with an introduction to logical fallacies. Its hard to find a more fun and un-intimidating start than Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn's The Fallacy Detective.
My boys have learned to recognize bad reasoning, and I love it when they point out bad logic they hear or read in the news or *ahem* as used by their mother. The Thinking Toolbox follows The Fallacy Detective, presenting 35 lessons to help build reasoning skills. I probably need to read that one.
We have moved into a more formal study of logic in 8th grade using Martin Cothran's text entitled Traditional Logic I. From the Memoria Press website: "Along with a basic understanding of the Christian theory of knowledge, the text presents the four kinds of logical statements, the four ways propositions can be opposed, the three ways in which they can be equivalent, and the seven rules for the validity of syllogisms." Got that? No, neither did I :) Probably need to crack that one open, too. I'm telling you, my boys just eat this stuff up.
Traditional Logic II necessarily follows Traditional Logic I, and this is, so the boys tell me, where it gets fun. All I know is, I can rarely win a friendly argument anymore, and these guys are so well-equipped to argue the tenets of their faith in a way that is logic and impenetrable. I only wish I could have been so well-equipped as I was faced with those who wanted to shake my faith when I was in high school and college.
You will want the DVDs for Traditional Logic I and II.
Our study of logic led us to use Martin Cothran's book on rhetoric entitled, Classical Rhetoric With Aristotle. Our oldest finished it last month and ate it up; he wants to study constitutional law and we are very happy with the foundation he has received in logic and rhetoric because of Mr. Cothran's materials. You can read more about Classical Rhetoric With Aristotle on the Memoria Press website.
Please hop on over to Cheryl's blog and see what she has to say about studying logic in their home. We've got some differences and similarities on this Marvelous Monday!