If you’re familiar with Classical education and homeschooling, you probably know that Logic is one of the recommended courses that should be covered. What’s a little more difficult to decide is the resources that you should use to teach the subject!
Thankfully, Classical Academic Press has the subject well in hand with their resources. They offer a variety of programs that teach the art of logic including The Discovery of Deduction, which introduces the concept of Formal Logic.
I received this product for free. While I was compensated for my time spent using the program and writing this article, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Classical Academic Press
Classical Academic Press believes that a Classical education is attainable and that it should be interesting. Their motto is “Classical subjects creatively taught” and they strive to meet that standard with all their products.
They offer the standard programs you would expect in a company focused on Classical education - Latin, Logic, and Rhetoric. They also provide a solid grammar program, a wonderful writing series, and foreign language curriculum. We’ve used and loved plenty of their resources through the years and haven’t been disappointed by any of them.
Logic with Classical Academic Press
While I loved the idea of a Classical education when I first learned what it was, I’ll admit I was completely intimidated by the idea of tackling some of the subjects (I certainly didn’t know what Rhetoric or the Progymnasmata were!). Thankfully, I found resources and programs to help me - and I’ve been learning just as much as my daughter!
Logic was one of those subjects that I found intimidating to teach. After all, with an average public school education, I’d never learned anything about it! But, even with that public school education, I’m still learning and Logic has become one of my favorite subjects (thanks in no small part to Classical Academic Press).
Classical Academic Press offers a few logic courses:
The Art of Argument - an introduction to informal fallacies (and a great way to dip your toes into the Logic pool!).
The Discovery of Deduction - an introduction to formal logic.
The Argument Builder - teaches students to build their own compelling and persuasive arguments.
Everyday Debate & Discussion - a guide to Socratic conversation, informal discussion, and formal debate.
After completing The Art of Argument you are free to choose whichever text you’d like to tackle next (Classical Academic Press does offer some guidelines on their FAQ page.)
Related: The Art of Argument (my review!)
The Discovery of Deduction
The Discovery of Deduction focuses on introducing Formal Logic.
I hear you asking - what is formal logic? Well, let me tell you…
A study of formal logic teaches you how an argument is put together—the form or structure of an argument. You and your students will focus on deductive reasoning skills. You’ll learn how to look at the basic structure of an argument as either valid or invalid. Socrates is your guide through the program, with interesting dialogues you can read with your students (my daughter’s favorite part of the program).
The Discovery of Deduction (for students 8th grade and higher) includes a student worktext (reading and assignments are completed in the same book) and a teacher’s edition. The teacher’s edition is a copy of the student text with answers and explanations for the student work. You can also purchase a packet for assessments, quizzes, and extra practice sheets. Note: Classical Academic Press recommends that your students complete The Art of Argument before beginning The Discovery of Deduction.
The text is divided into four units (with a total of nine chapters):
Propositions and their Relationships
Terms and Definitions
Each chapter is divided into lessons (38 lessons altogether). As far as scheduling, you could plan one or two chapters per week and finish within a school year. Classical Academic Press also offers a detailed 32-week schedule (click the ‘support’ tab on The Discovery of Deduction product page).
Each lesson begins with a “Points to Remember” section that provides a quick overview of the lesson. Following that, will be the lesson material which your students can read independently or you can read aloud (and discuss as you read). Throughout the lessons, you’ll be learning about the structure of solid arguments through Socratic dialogue (with plenty of examples so you and your kids will learn to recognize valid and invalid arguments easily). When you've finished reading and discussing the lesson material, there are written exercises to complete. These are divided into sections (and different lessons will have slightly different sections):
Define – students will write definitions for some of the lesson vocabulary and terminology
Explain – students are asked to describe certain aspects of the lesson in their own words
Practice/Find/Perform/Create – students will practice the elements of structuring proper arguments
Deduction in Action – students will apply their knowledge to real arguments and examples
Each lesson follows the same basic structure. The written exercises vary from one lesson to another – always focused on applying the lesson material to structured examples that teach students how to form proper arguments.
At the completion of this program, students will understand and recognize solid, well-structured arguments.
While I know that it is entirely possible to teach logic to your kids, maybe you want someone else to take over the teaching - Classical Academic Press and their online program, Scholé Academy, can take care of teaching formal logic.
But I do want to encourage you - logic isn’t just for smarty-pants Classical education families. There’s no need to be intimidated! While I love elements of Classical education we are a decidedly average homeschool family -- if we can tackle logic (and like it!) you can too.
How we’re using The Discovery of Deduction
We use The Discovery of Deduction as part of our morning meeting loop. Since we don’t need to work on a lesson every single day (we’ve opted to take a year to complete the book), we work on a section once or twice a week, as it comes up in our morning loop - reading aloud and discussing the questions.
My daughter doesn’t work independently - we work on this program together as we both find the reading and discussion more interesting that way. Older teens could certainly work more independently - reading the lesson material and completing the exercises - but the real value of the program is in the discussion, an important part of the program.
Do you teach logic in your homeschool?
Are you teaching logic (or learning logic!) with your kids? I’d love to hear how it’s going and what you’re using. Leave me a comment and share what’s happening!