Memoria Press Logic Review

traditional logic review

We received the Traditional Logic I Complete Set  from Memoria Press for review. In the past we have reviewed literature guides, preschool curriculum , and a Christian Latin course from Memoria Press.

As we’ve never done an upper grade logic curriculum before, this was new and exciting for us. My 7th grader, Julia, was the primary user for this, although I did sit in on most of the lessons. The program can be used as young as 7th grade, however, the author says it is best used with high school students.

There is also a Traditional Logic II Complete Set if you’d like to further the studies. It it recommended for children in at least the 8th grade.

We received the complete set which includes:

  • Student Book
  • Teacher Key (answers for the student book, quizzes, and tests)
  • Quizzes & Tests
  • DVD set

Traditional Logic is an in-depth study of the classical syllogism. I know . . . what on earth is syllogism, right? Being our first attempt at logic, we needed to familiarize ourselves with the new terms and a little history of logic.

A syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true. Originally developed by Aristotle around 350 BC, syllogistic represents the earliest branch of formal logic.

Along with a basic understanding of the Christian theory of knowledge, Traditional Logic presents:

  • the four kinds of logical statements
  • the four ways propositions can be opposed
  • the three ways which they can be equivalent
  • the seven rules for the validity of syllogisms

That’s a lot to take in. To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I have to stop here and clarify that this program, as with pretty much everything else from Memoria Press, is part of a Classical Education. Specifically, this set is part of the Classical Trivium Core Series. In stark contrast, are a strictly Charlotte Mason homeschool. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try something new and maybe, just maybe, learn something along the way.

How we used Traditional Logic

To begin with, I thought it wise to sit down and read through the included books myself and determine if this is something Julia could handle on her own. Generally, she’s a wonderfully independent student. I started with the teacher key and found it to be exactly that- a key. Nothing more, nothing less. There are no instructions or photos of the student pages, just numbers and answers.

I was pleased to find a brief “letter to the teacher” in the student book. However, there was no syllabus, only a rough timeline of how things should be done. The program is designed as a one-semester (or 15 week) course.

I decided it was best that we approach this one together.

Armed with her student book and a pencil, she and I sat down to watch the introduction on Disc 1 of the DVD set. The fact that this is part of Classical Education was immediately evident. While I wouldn’t call the lectures dry, they were definitely not a fun activity. However, we stuck it out and watched several of the lessons over a few weeks. We decided to use the student book orally, mostly because I sat right there with her watching the lectures. I don’t see a point in needless writing when answering orally is much quicker. Had I not sat with her, I would have required her to write her answers down.

Some things we liked about Traditional Logic:

  • there is virtually no prep for the teacher, other than grading the student’s work
  • the slides from the DVD are available for download if your student wants to use those as a reference or take notes
  • the number of questions for each day’s work isn’t too bad
  • both the student book and the lectures are easily understood

My bottom line? It’s not a good fit for our family. I’m sure it is for others- especially those of the Classical Education mindset. There is a lot of good information and it is presented well. I would totally recommend it to the Classical families with older students.

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