Traditional Logic – Memoria Press {Curriculum Review}

We are pretty eclectic – in both curriculum and methods. I take from Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, etc to fit what we need. One of the things I like about the Classical method is the inclusion of the study of Logic. I already knew that I loved Memoria Press so I was interested in giving their Traditional Logic I Complete Set a try.

What Is Traditional Logic?

Traditional Logic I - Memoria Press | Busy Homeschool Days

Traditional Logic I from Memoria Press is a one semester course, approximately 15 weeks. Depending on the student, it could be done in less time – leaving more time for the more difficult Traditional Logic II. Since I know nothing about the study of logic, I will use the book to explain it’s approach:

…discusses traditional logic rather than modern logic. Traditional logic is the study of the classical syllogism; modern logic is the study, primarily, of the calculus of propositions… this book studies formal rather than informal logic. This can be seen most easily by the absence of a discussion of informal fallacies (although we do treat formal fallacies). {A Note to the Teacher, Student Text}

We were given the entire set for review. This includes the Student Text, Teacher Key, Quizzes & Tests, and DVD.

Traditional Logic I can be done with students as young as 7th grade, but is best recommended for high school students. The paperback Student Text is comprised of an Introduction, 13 chapters, and a final review chapter. The chapters are separated into three units: Simple Apprehension (Term), Judgement (Proposition), and Deductive Inference (Syllogism).

Each chapter is 4-5 pages of reading {broken down into multiple sections} followed by 5 days of exercises. The book suggests you read the entire chapter fairly quickly the first day followed by a more in-depth reading broken down over four days. After the in-depth reading, there are exercise questions to help you fully understand the material.

The DVDs have an instructional video for each chapter taught by Martin Cothran, the author of Traditional Logic. The DVDs also include .pdf files of all the slides used in the instructional videos.

Each chapter also has a quiz available in the Quizzes & Tests booklet (chapters 6 & 7 are combined) and a Final Exam is also available. All the answers to the chapter exercises and the quizzes & tests are in the Teacher Key.

Examples of the Student Text, Quizzes & Tests, and Teacher Key are available on the Memoria Press website.

How Did We Use Traditional Logic?

I started off assigning the book as directed to Bug. I asked him to watch the DVD lesson and then read the chapter quickly followed by a more in-depth study of the chapter. I soon realized that Bug was not ready for this level of logic. Just telling to pull out the logic made his eyes glaze over. I attempted to explain to him what it said {after reading it myself} and it just wasn’t working for him.

So I decided I would use it for the purpose of review. I’m always up for learning new things, and since I know very little about logic, it seemed a good choice of subject matter!

I started off where I asked Bug to start – watch the video and read the chapter. I found that watching the video for the chapter followed by a quick read and an in depth read was more than I needed. So I watched the video – taking notes as I went. Then I read the sections for the day and answered the questions.

The reading covered what was taught in the videos but gave additional examples and information. The exercises following the reading was a great review and check of understanding. I allowed myself to do the questions ‘open book’ as it’s about getting the information not memorizing it the first time through. I then checked my answers using the Teacher’s Key to make sure I understood the lesson.

I didn’t take any quizzes or tests as I don’t feel the need to grade myself on my understanding. I did look over them though and found that they did a good job of checking for understanding – which is what I want a test to do! They are perfect for a student who is using the video, student text and exercise questions to work independently and the parent/teacher needs to check for understanding.

What Did I Think of Traditional Logic?

I’ve already said that Bug had a hard time with Traditional Logic I. This wouldn’t be the case for all middle school students – but Bug was just not ready for it.

For myself, and for any high school student who is working independently and able to learn from video and text, I can see this being a great curriculum for teaching logic. It’s simple in it’s approach yet thorough in its coverage. The examples allowed me to clearly understand the concepts and the exercises gave me the right amount of practice/review without being too much.

The text is just that – text. There are some diagrams, but no pictures and all the print is in black with some blue for emphasis. This style works well for students who learn well from reading. The DVD lessons add in some of the visual aspect, but they are mostly instruction from the teacher with some slides for emphasis.

I’m not sure if the student text is designed to be consumable, but if it is the area available for answering the questions is too small. Even as an adult, I needed to do my work on a separate piece of paper. {The few questions I had Bug do there was no way he could fit his answers in the space provided!} Some of the exercises needed to be done using the printed text though and I ended up copying the text and then doing the work so that I could keep all my answers together.

I plan on continuing to use this program myself and will pull it out again when Bug is older and more ready for the information.

The TOS Review Crew reviewed not just Traditional Logic I but also Greek Myths and Astronomy. Go check out what they thought about those other curricula!

 Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

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