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I've been following your blog for a few years now, and I wonder if you could help me.  Recently I've recently decided to homeschool my daughter, who will be twelve soon, and was excited at the prospect of having some sort of logic textbook that she and I could delve into together.  You wouldn't happen to have a title handy, would you?  I am far from being an expert, so she and I will be at almost the same level.


More power to you.  We began home-schooling one of our own daughters at the same age.  Though I have no logic textbook to suggest for that level, I think twelve may be a little early for a logic textbook anyway.  Our approach was to have our daughter keep a logical fallacies notebook.  We emphasized the fallacies of distraction, which are challenging enough for an early middle schooler.  The formal fallacies can probably wait for a year or two.

Each day our daughter had to come up with at least one fallacy.  It might come from any written or spoken source, including literature, newspapers, and conversations, but it had to be unintentional – contrived fallacies like the examples in logic textbooks weren’t allowed.  Each time she found a fallacy, she had to record it, classify it, explain how it went wrong, and indicate where she had read or heard it.

As you might guess, she became quite adept at recognizing some kinds of fallacy.  These she would pounce upon with glee.  Other kinds were more difficult to spot, but by the end of the year, with just a few hints, she had found at least a few examples of even the hard ones.  She took it as a challenge.

Since I love to encourage home schoolers, may I throw in another suggestion?  As one English author said, “writing maketh an exact man” – so consider giving your daughter a daily brief writing assignment too!

Make each writing assignment different.  Give each one a twist.  Something like this:  Tell which you think better, asparagus or broccoli, and justify your answer.    Vividly describe what it might be like to be a fish, without using adverbs or adjectives.  Rewrite this week’s newspaper weather forecast, in the style of Edgar Allen Poe.  Compose directions from our house to the grocery store, making sure they could be followed even by someone who didn’t know the neighborhood.  Solve the following simple puzzle, then explain how you worked out the answer.  A wicked witch has turned you into a toad.  Describe how you could get our attention and explain what has happened, bearing in mind that we don’t know who you are and don’t normally let toads in the house.

Just a thought.  I hope you both have fun!