Fallacy Detectives

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Our family tried something new this fall. One morning per week, we joined other families in our local home education association for co-op classes.

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Somehow I was crazy enough to volunteer as teacher! A dozen students registered for the Logic course I suggested. Mostly young men!

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We gathered for an hour each week in the attic of a church building. [My dear son, Christian, was attempting to hide under the table in this last pic.]

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My informal course description:

A *new* class option is being offered for 7th & 8th graders during the 11:00 hour. I will lead a Logic class based upon The Fallacy Detective written by Nathaniel Bluedorn & Hans Bluedorn. Students will learn to spot common errors in reasoning. Authored by Christian homeschool graduates, this book was designed for students ages 12 and up. The Fallacy Detective is loaded with applicable cartoons, including Dilbert, Calvin & Hobbes, and Peanuts. We’ll use many of these illustrations to facilitate our discussion.

I purchased The Fallacy Detective this summer with plans for Christian to read the book independently. Plans change, of course! At first, Drama was the only class being offered for the 11:00 time slot. While Rebecca was enthusiastic about the Drama class, Christian’s reaction was less than positive. To alleviate the panic on his face (and likely that of other young men in the same age group), I found myself stepping forward in an uncharacteristic manner.

These 12 weeks undoubtedly stretched me. I enjoyed the course material, which was mostly humorous and mind-stimulating. I enjoyed seeing many students grasp knowledge and apply that knowledge enthusiastically. There were some things I did NOT enjoy, but I won’t detail those issues here. If you’ve ever been blessed with the presence of a group of 7th-8th grade young men, I think you’ll understand 🙂

If you are comparably insane, and you volunteer to teach logic to a group of young people, please contact me. I am willing to share my experience and improve your learning curve. Since most of the students in my class didn’t have access to the book, I literally taught the material. I created definition pages for all 28 fallacies and propaganda techniques. Each week I pinned the relevant definition and example pages to a bulletin board. I’m willing to share that Word document with you also—if you’re interested.

Whether you teach this book or simply assign it to your child, I highly recommend it. As the authors suggest, I would not teach it to students younger than 12. Although my children (with 18 months age between them) learn most subjects together, I consider logic (like math) best taught at their separate levels.

11.18.10
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2 thoughts on “Fallacy Detectives

  1. Kristine says:

    I enjoyed reading this to Holly when she was in middle school; I’m looking forward to reading it to my 12 yods soon, haha. I admire you taking on this class; and I’m sure the boys and their parents greatly appreciated this option. Very good book!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I think I’ll fwd this blog entry to one of the gals in our co-op who teaches a “nonelective elective” each year (LOL)… This year it was Economics. Perhaps next year it’ll be Logic!

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