Friday, April 22, 2016

Logic Resources before the Logic Stage: Part 1

While we have been doing things differently than a strictly classical education approach in the last few years, I still like to "check in" with The Well Trained Mind to get an idea of what our goals should be close to. I started Builder Boy's 4th grade year with the goal of having him ready for the classical approach for 5th grade as laid out by TWTM. Not sure if we'll actually get there or not, but I do like the idea of introducing formal logic in 5th grade. But I didn't want to just dump it on him with no warm up, so this 4th grade year we have been having some fun with various playful logic resources to introduce him to the concepts.

I started out with Lollipop Logic. Builder Boy had already done level 1 some time ago, and it did not take him long to get through level 2. Early Bird did the level 1 book at the same time as Builder Boy went through level 2.

If you're like me you prefer to actually look through a curricula, or have an extremely detailed review of it, before purchasing. I'm also very visual which is why I include a lot of pictures in my posts. So, hopefully without breaking copyright laws, here's a look at the inside of Lollipop Logic Level 1. (Amazon does have a "look inside" option for this book, but it only shows options from the first section.) .

Lollipop Logic has seven sections with the first six sections having eight pages per section and the last having three. The sections/topics are Sequences, Relationships, Analogies, Deduction, Pattern Decoding, Inference, and Critical Analysis.

The Sequences pages are pretty straight forward and simple. The introduction part of the book has the "story" of each page to tell the student what is happening in the story to help explain what they're looking for, if needed. Even if your child has not had any previous exposure to sequencing the pictures/stories are pretty familiar and simple enough to pick up quickly.

The Relationships sections has two different types of activities. The first four are a kind of "what goes together" with (for example) a picture of a hand and then a few pictures to choose from like a shoe, glove, and flower. The second section has a box of like things and then a variety of answer options to decided if they belong in the same category or do not.

Analogies introduces the x is to X as y is to Y concept and phrase usage. I had to try several different ways of phrasing this before my kids understood what was being asked for. They also sometimes had trouble going from one to the next and expecting the second one to have the same relationship as the first ones. But it's a good brain stretcher and they eventually got there, sometimes intuiting the right answer but not being able to answer why.

Deduction was surprising to me how one child immediately got the concept and the other one struggled with it. It's a great gentle introduction to grid logic puzzles, and this section of Lollipop Logic inspired our next workbook choice, Perplxors, which I will review in Part 2.

Pattern Decoding
Pattern Decoding was ridiculously easy for kids who did kindergarten level math a while ago. But, there was a trip up point. See, the instructions say to draw a line from the answer to where it comes next. But sometimes the answer is used twice, sometimes an answer is never used. This was a problem for Early Bird, and while it was good practice for dealing with annoyances in worksheets, it was still

Inference had variety. Once had mixed up puzzle pieces and had the kid guess what the whole picture would look like. Another showed a close up of something that would ideally be familiar to a child and had them say what the whole picture was. (A little more difficult for some because it's black and white, wide tip drawings.) Others had whole pictures with pieces missing and you had to match the missing piece to the picture.
Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis is the shortest section, only three pages. It's also a big leap in difficulty, and there is even one that I could not figure out the answer to. Don't forget that you are the boss, not the curriculum, and it's okay to skip if it's not working for your child.

Overall, I think these are a great, gentle introduction to logic. The books are rates as for grades K-2. Book 2 is a little more difficult, but not by too much. (Examples in this review are from book 1.)

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I am not paid to review products and all opinions expressed are my own.

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