Classically, Faithfully, Homeschooling 5 Boys

Why I Will Always Teach Logic & Rhetoric

Why I will Always Teach Logic & Rhetoric

We have always been classical homeschoolers so teaching Logic and Rhetoric to my boys is priority in our home. You are probably wondering why I make these subjects a  priority instead of just possibly “making time” for them, so I will try to explain why we do this.

Logic

Teaching Logic starts at the Logic or dialectic stage in the classical Trivium, which typically starts around 7th to 8th grade, depending on the maturity level of your child, or when you think they may be ready. At this stage, their mind has developed to the ability of analyzing information, questioning things, critical thinking skills, evaluations and drawing conclusions. If you have followed the classical method since elementary, they have a foundation of memory work or “pegs” which provide a framework of knowledge that allow them to do these things logically and critically.

Why Teach Logic?

Well, it is no secret that our teens like to argue. Right? Can I get an amen? Logic is the study of rules of reasoning. It teaches you how to examine an argument, how to discern truth from fallacies, and gives you the ability to reason. So if our teens are going to argue with us regardless, why not do it with reason?

What is Logic Useful For? 

Logic is useful in understanding the sciences, it is useful to discern the truth and it is also useful in the development of the brain. Logic is foundational to every science as it provides the means to getting at the truth of propositions and arguments. It trains them to think through the validity of arguments and to weigh the value of evidence. Logic also trains the brain to think, which I am sure we can all agree, is a much-needed skill.

Rhetoric

The teaching of rhetoric typically starts around 9th or 10th grade and comes after Formal Logic. At this stage, our kids have pretty much stopped arguing and just want to express themselves. Teaching Rhetoric gives them the skills to say what is on their mind, clearly and convincingly. Through skill and practice, by using things like curriculum, debate clubs, speech clubs, speaking clearly becomes a success instead of an accident.

In the rhetoric stage, they will use their skills and a combination of all their learning to write research papers, make presentations, prepare debates as well as many other useful areas. Debate clubs and classes are a great way to prepare your teen in this skill. My son took debate last year and the changes in him were amazing

Resources for Logic & Rhetoric

Classical Academic Press

Memoria Press

The Critical Thinking Company

Prufrock Press

So I figure if my kids are going to argue with me, the least I can do is give them to tools to argue effectively. By teaching them Logic and Rhetoric, I am giving them tools that will last them a lifetime. They will carry these skills into college and into the workforce. They will be able to debate effectively in college discussions and lectures, have valid and meaningful discussions in the workforce, all in a way that will gain them respect and understanding. I don’t see how we can go wrong with teaching these subjects.

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Things I will Always Teach

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