Marvelous Monday – Logic

My family does not “classically” educate.  That is, we do not use the Classical Education method.  Personally, I think we’re pretty classic, in our own eclectic way.
  I know that those who do prefer the Classical Education model, consider Logic as a separate and distinct subject.  I’m pretty sure you can read more about that in Kendra’s post today.  So what is logic?
     Logic:  The science of the formal principles of reasoning
     One of my goals for my children is for them to be able to think things through on their own.  I want them to have the mental skills necessary to make wise decisions, and to defend their beliefs and decisions to others.  Personally, I think that is best taught by discussion with your children concerning the big and little issues of life.  Obviously, I also want them firmly grounded in Scripture, with a heart for the Lord,  so that their decisions and choices will glorify God.  However, I have used a few tools in my home to help my children to develop the mental muscles necessary for reasoning and decision making.

     The Critical Thinking Company has a wide variety of products available to help.  I do not care for their full line of products, but I have been very impressed with a couple of series from this publisher.
     Building Thinking Skills is a series that we have used and enjoyed.  These thick, beefy reproducible workbooks are a great investment.  Permission is granted for you to make copies for “single classroom use”, making the purchase of a single copy usable by your entire family.  Levels are available for the Pre-K crowd through high school.  The upper levels are especially helpful for students who will be taking various college placement exams.
     This series helps your child develop his verbal and non-verbal reas
oning skills through a variety of exercises.  They are also very beneficial for children with auditory and visual processing difficulties.  Of greatest benefit in my home, has been the fact that the exercises move gradually from a more or less concrete concept to a more abstract concept.  The exercises vary and build skills in the areas of describing things, figural and verbal similarities, figural and verbal sequencing, figural and verbal classifications, analogies and more.  For a full description of this series read what the publisher has to say.

     The lower level books will require that you have a few manipulatives on hand.  Many of you will have these already to compliment your math programs.  You’ll need:  Pattern Blocks, Interlocking Cubes  and Attribute Blocks.  These are well worth their purchase price.  They’ll outlast your own children, so you can pass them along to the the grandchildren!  My kids have spent hours playing with these outside of school time, too. 
     I’ve also liked Critical Thinking’s  lower level Mathematical Rea
soning books.  The books are very helpful in developing problem solving skills.  I haven’t felt the need to use these beyond the mid-elementary years, but if you have a child who is struggling in his problem solving skills, or perhaps just likes this sort of mental work out, I’d continue with the higher level books as well.  As with the Thinking Skills series, these are reproducible for use with your entire family.

Architecto is a product that we have just started using, and it’s a hit!  My boys love to build stuff, and this is a perfect combination of fun and education!  The set consists of just eighteen solid blocks in various geometrical shapes.  Your child works his way through the book, building ever more complex structures, developing spatial logic, analysis and a wee bit of geometry to boot.  Architecto will also help manual dexterity and fine motor skills.  This is a bit of an investment, but the blocks are solid plastic and quite sturdy, and the wire bound books’ pages are plastic coated.  I’m counting on this set being used by the grandkids!  Architecto is for ages 4 – adult!  (Please note that the Architecto set includes the Architecto book only.  The other books will need to be purchased separately.)
     There are three books available for your student to work through, each utilizing the same set of eighteen blocks.  Each book is increasingly difficult.
     Equilibrio is the first book.  There are 60 structures to be built, each a bit more difficult than the last.  This book improves manual dexterity and perspective, and will require increasing degrees of diligence to complete.  Equilibrio is for ages 4 and up.
     Architecto will continue increasing manual dexterity, while it increases imagination and spatial reasoning.  There are 50 structures to be built from this book, using the 2-D diagrams to build 3-D structures.  For ages 7 and up.
     Clicko, for ages 8 and up, takes the difficulty up a notch, but the fun continues.  Each page depicts the view of the structure to be built as if from the vie
w finder of a camera.  The shape and number of blocks to be used are noted at the bottom of the page.  As the book progresses and the structures become increasingly complex, the book may offer additional camera views to assist in the building. 
     Best value for those wishing to purchase the entire set can be found through my favorite homeschool supplier.

These resources are all good, but they don’t replace your importance in helping your children to develop their thinking and reasoning abilities.  Talk things through with your children when they are small.  Discuss the choices they have made and why some were good and others not.  As they get older, these conversations will be more in depth.  Allow your children to listen in while you and your husband discuss pending decisions for your own family.  When they make mistakes in life, be available to search the Scriptures with them and talk about what might have been a better path for them to have taken. 
Be sure to check out Kendra’s Marvelous Monday – Logic post.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

Be Sociable, Share!

9 comments to Marvelous Monday – Logic

  • I am loving this but I have a few questions.I have homeschooled my oldest child for 13 years and used a beka I am really ready to switch .my younger kids our b11,b6,g5,andg5mo.I was wondering at what age you would start the easy grammer books would it be possable to change my 11 year over to easy grammer he will be in 6th grade this year or do they require being used from 3rd grade on because they build upon one another?could he switch at the 8th grade level?

          I also wondered how you start out teaching your children to read?do you use phonics?my oldest learnt to read because he loves books and loves to read,my second child did not resd until he was 9 now he loves to read but we used a phonics program with him called the letter my 5 and 6 year olds are still not reading and are not interested either I am using learn to read in 100 easy lesson I am not enjoying it at all nor are they HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!! any suggestion would be appriciated.

          I have always tried to recreate the class room in my home I really new no other way this has been eye opening for me and I hope life changing because none of us have been enjoying school .

  • Timberdoodle is my favorite supplier as well, with Singnlearn as a close second. Have a blessed week……….I’m off to school (my children)!

  • @lucy t –   Head back to the English/Grammar post  and read there.  You do not have to start the Easy Grammar and/or Daily Grams books from the beginning.  We didn’t.  If you’ve had children using ABeka grammar, I’d just switch to the corresponding grade level.  I do NOT recommend formal grammar study for the youngers.  Again, read my English/Grammar post.

    Yes, I do teach reading with phonics.  I LOVE AlphaPhonics, but Kendra and I will be coveing phonics in our Marvelous Monday posts soon.

  • Hi Cheryl.
    I’ve been reading PaP for a long time now and was so excited when she started these marvelous monday posts! And even more excited now being introduced to your blog. 🙂 Firstly because my mothers name was Cheryl 😉 And secondly because I too enjoy using the methods of Charlotte Mason. Thanks for your insight. 🙂 I do have a question for you if I may ask. On the subject of history. Do you study history as a family for all years or just the youngers? Do you assign reading according to the history period OR do you just allow them to choose thier own independent reading?

    My children are ages 7, 6, 3, 2 and 5mo. So far my kids have been studying with me but I see that my DD (soon to be 8) is ready for more independent study to be introduced gradually and I’m trying to see what this looks like in other peoples CM homeschools. 🙂 Thanks for your input and time. 🙂


  • @thirdtimemomma – Vicki – How nice to “meet” you!  I’m always glad to have someone find me from Kendra’s blog.   Until the high school years, we studied the same historical time period together.  I do assign the books that I want my children to read for each time period.  That enabled me to keep things simple for the younger one, while ramping things up for the older  Your children are all very young, and I would think that covering history through reading aloud would be your best option for right now.

    For the record, I do not consider myself a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.  Obviously, we LOVE her living books approach to learning for almost all subjects, but that is where she and I part company.  We are quite eclectic in our homeschool approach, embracing many different methods and pulling them together for the best fit for our family.  That’s one of the best parts about homeschooling!

  • I will definatly have to check out Architecto for my oldest boy. It sounds like something he would love. He just turned 6 and he can make almost any lego creation that he sees. Sounds like a great thing for him. Thanks for the recommendation.


  • I just realized you haven’t shown up on my Bloglines for a couple of weeks!

    I kept thinking you were busy and not posting but then I thought to check… glad I did.

  • @BrendaKayN – Yep.  I gave up on Bloglines a few weeks ago.  I was finding that they weren’t picking up many of the blogs that I like to read, and I noticed that my own posts were frequently being missed as well.  Google Reader seems to be much more efficient.

  • Cheryl,
    Thanks for answering my question. 🙂 I love your Marvelous Mondays. 🙂