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middle school logic curriculum


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Hi all!

Second year homeschooler here looking for curriculum advice from those with much more experience¬†ūüėÄ

I need a Logic curriculum for my 7th grade son. We haven't done any logic work so far. What have you used that you liked for your kids?

My son really likes to point out "loopholes" in directions that I give him and statements that I make so I feel like he might really enjoy this topic if its presented in a engaging way. When my friends overhear him, they like to say "He's an engineer in the making!"¬†ūüėÜ

And maybe I'm completely wrong that logic is what I'm looking for! Thoughts?

TIA!

Jessica

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JMO, but my suggestion for a middle schooler who hasn't had any or much exposure to formal logic or critical thinking -- save Fallacy Detective or Art of Argument for 8th grade, and use 7th grade to run through the 3 books of the Blast off with Logic series: 

Logic Countdown (gr. 3-5)
Logic Liftoff (gr. 4-6)
Orbiting with Logic (gr. 5-8)

Yes, I would do all 3 levels with a 7th grader, as they do build on one another, and if he's not had any exposure to logic/critical thinking, then start at a level that will give him early success, go through it at a quick pace, and get all the foundation needed for then having success with the third book in the series.

And, do some "grid" logic puzzles -- Perplexors series is good; you might start with a book at the "A" level, and then move up, as he starts "getting it" -- no need to complete an entire book, if he's ready to move on to a more.

You might also check out some of the Critical Thinking Press books -- perhaps something like The Basics of Critical Thinking would be a good starting point.

Edited by Lori D.
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Well, I had a different experience than Lori -- I just don't like the Blastoff books. I forget the specifics, but there were some things that seemed imprecise/poorly worded to me.  Many people I respect recommend them, though, and Lori has tons of experience teaching & I weight her recommendations heavily. 

I'd suggest looking at the samples of the Blastoff series and the Fallacy Detective.  Here's a link to Amazon's page for Logic Countdown, which has the "Look Inside" feature; here is a link to Amazon's page for Fallacy Detective and to the publisher's page, which has a sample lesson to download.  If the child reads fluently at grade-level, can find logical flaws in verbal arguments and has an engineering mindset, I'd think he's a good candidate for Fallacy Detective.

(I try to purchase the books through Rainbow Resource -- which is where Lori linked to above -- but sometimes find Amazon's "Look Inside" indispensable when I'm deciding among resources.) 

Edited by serendipitous journey
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1 hour ago, serendipitous journey said:

Well, I had a different experience than Lori -- I just don't like the Blastoff books. I forget the specifics, but there were some things that seemed imprecise/poorly worded to me...


Good point -- not all materials click for all people. I like the Logic Blastoff series because they have you work with a number of different aspects of logic and critical thinking, while Fallacy Detective focuses solely on fallacies. But if Logic Blastoff is not a good fit,¬†you can find other resources that cover that range/variety that Logic Blastoff does.¬†ūüėÉ

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12 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Good point -- not all materials click for all people. I like the Logic Blastoff series because they have you work with a number of different aspects of logic and critical thinking, while Fallacy Detective focuses solely on fallacies. But if Logic Blastoff is not a good fit,¬†you can find other resources that cover that range/variety that Logic Blastoff does.¬†ūüėÉ

Great points. 

A resource I like for other logic stuff is the Mathematics Enhancement Program, which is free.  It takes a bit of poking around to sort it out, but here is the main entry page.  If you scroll down to "Secondary/Key Stage 3" and click on Year7, you'll find resources for a logic module (the first module in Year 7).  You'd want the practice book and to look over/use some of the teacher materials; if you want a password for the password-protected files, e-mail them or PM me and I can send it to you. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried a few with my older ones, and my younger ones will go straight to Art of Argument, then Argument Builder. If they want to go farther we'll continue the CAP series but otherwise I'll drop it after that. The puzzle ones are fun for 5th-6th, but they grew tired of them past that. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've done some of the Blast Off books as summer work.  My puzzle loving mathy boys liked them all right but my daughter thought they were the worst thing we've ever done.

I had her and her same age brother (6th grade) look at Fallacy Detective and they both were interested.  So we are trying that this summer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have used and like most of the above choices, but my analytical thinker really liked James Madison Critical Thinking Course from The Critical Thinking Company.  If I remember, we started it in 7th grade and finished up in 8th.  Good stuff!

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  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, kiwik said:

Are there any secular logic curricula?

My past searches have turned up nothing that is comparable to the non-secular Fallacy Detective and Art of Argument.

One complicating factor is that there is no comprehensive, agreed upon set of fallacies. One text that I found for logic is "Nonsense" by Robert Gula. It is an approachable book with concise discussions of many fallacies. However, there are no practice exercises ofp any kind. If you are interested I could easily imagine turning each chapter into a few hours of study by trolling the internet for additional resources to solidify the concepts. You may decide that exposure is sufficient.

The end of the Nonsense book touches on the topic of Symbolic Logic. I found a good text online for Symbolic Logic that had some exercises and answers (but not solutions) that we dabbled in when I taught Patty Paper Geometry. I remembered studying symbolic Logic in middle school, and then it being useful when I was doing computer coding later in a college class.

Lastly, if your student is interested you could also look at some basic philosophical arguments as an extension of the logic study. I really like the discussion points in the book Philosophy for Kids. We often read these at dinner so dh could join in. Each short chapter introduces a philosopher, gives an example of their position and then leaves you with a few discussion points. (Beware, the second book is a very different format and I didn't find it useful at all)

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/4/2020 at 3:30 PM, mymommy1 said:

Is it helpful for kids to do Fallacy Detectives and Art of Argument?  Is it repetitive?

 

My oldest did Art of Argument in 7th but I felt like I didn't teach it as well as I would have liked (it was in a strange co-op situation) so I had her repeat Art of Argument in 8th online with Schole Academy. She followed it up with Discovery of Deduction in 9th and it has been a great sequence for her. 

After our first experience with AoA, I decided to have ds do Fallacy Detective in 7th as a precursor to AoA in 8th. I think it is a good introduction to the material-- which I think is challenging for this age. 

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