Friday, March 9, 2012

The Art of Argument


Classical Academic Press sent me The Art of Argument for review.  I chose to use this with my 13 year old.

Let me just say that I wasn’t real sure about teaching my child how to argue.  This book is really about logic and teaching your child to be better able to reason with clarity, relevance and purpose at a time when he has a penchant for the "why" and "how".  This will teach your child how to form an argument for or against something.  The Art of Argument is the first in a series.  It teaches children how to sharpen critical thinking skills while evaluating the arguments of others.

This will teach your children formal logic as well as informal logic.
Formal logic is the study of the types reasoning processes that depend primarily on the form or structure of the argument to determine its validity. Formal logic is like math in this regard; if you add two to two, you should always get the answer 4. Similarly, if you posit that, “All men are mortal,” and that, “Socrates is a man,” the conclusion, that “Socrates is a mortal,” should be something of a no-brainer. Formal logic is thus like math in that it is primarily about understanding these sorts of black-and-white, no shades of grey, binary system, types of reasoning. Also like math, formal logic generally tends to deal with deductive reasoning.
Informal logic is the study of everyday types of reasoning. It’s the logic of the give-and-take, shades of grey that is the real-world marketplace of ideas. It also, by extension, tends to give more focus to inductive reasoning, the scientific method and to the boundary areas where logic tends to segue into rhetoric.                                                                                            ~taken from FAQ’s

The student workbook ($21.95) aims at the practical application of the informal fallacies through an analysis of current social, commercial and political issues, which are discussed and evaluated. This practical application should insure that students continue to evaluate arguments, detect fallacies and reason well long after the course is completed.  I happen to know a few people that don’t reason very well.  I see how it affects many parts of their lives.  I want my children to be able to reason well. This workbook engages students by using a variety of written and oral activities, including a skit. Check out a sample of the workbook.
The teacher guide ($24.95) includes
  • Keys for all the exercises in the student book
  • An extensive set of quiz and test masters
  • Keys for those quiz and test masters
See this sample of the teacher guide

They also offer a DVD set as a teaching help for $54.95.
See this sample video
You can also bundle and buy the entire set for $88.95.


There are 2 more levels available.

I enjoy how this curriculum is not overwhelming and it really is fun.  You can interact and it opens up the door to many conversations with teens. (Which often don’t like communicating.)  This is set to be able to use a lot quicker than we are.  We are stretching it out over a year.  It is working out wonderfully.

I have reviewed for Classical Academic Press before, their customer service has always been superb along with their high quality products.
Latin For Children

To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to share my honest opinion.

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