Review of Memoria Press Traditional Logic I

By the end of April my ninth grade daughter was ready for a break from her English curriculum. All year long, she had been pressing forward at double speed and was tiring of the format. I realized her motivation was flagging and was delighted to have an opportunity to review curriculum from Memoria Press. A little research on their website told me what I needed to know—Traditional Logic I counts towards English credit since it addresses the use of language. My daughter agreed to try it out in lieu of the remainder of her English curriculum. We were both happy!

What is Included

The Traditional Logic I Complete Set has everything my daughter needs to learn introductory logic.

Instructional DVDs bring an expert teacher into our home to explain every topic addressed in the course. The Student Text includes short lessons which introduce the material. A Student Workbook outlines daily lessons that tell my daughter exactly which pages to read from the text and provide many opportunities for review and practice. The Quizzes and Tests book has perforated pages, making it easy to pull out the appropriate quiz to evaluate how well my daughter is learning the material. A Teacher Key includes the full Student Workbook with all of the answers filled in as well as the Quizzes and Tests answer key. The only thing lacking is guidance for how many points each quiz question should be worth when assigning a grade.

The video below gives a great overview of the course and how it is distinct from other logic programs.

How We Use the Curriculum

Lessons are set up for a five-day schedule:

  • Watch the video (optional, Day 1)
  • Complete daily work—reading & exercises (Days 1-4)
  • Go over the answers with Mom (Day 4 or 5)
  • Take the quiz (Day 5)

My daughter is completing the lessons at an accelerated pace; most weeks she does two lessons, which is the fastest rate I would recommend. Compared to the English curriculum she used previously, Traditional Logic I requires a reasonable amount of work.

I appreciate how easy it is to administer this course. High school students simply follow the instructions to complete the entire course on their own.

Although my daughter grades much of her own work in other courses, it is helpful to go over the answers together for this one. She reads each answer aloud as I double check it with the score key. In doing so, she thoroughly engages with the material one more time using a different learning modality. We are sure to catch any errors she made on her first pass through the material, and we can discuss any discrepancies. Afterwards, she is well prepared for the chapter quiz.

Video Instruction

Before we received the curriculum, my daughter asked, “Do I have to watch the DVDs?” She insisted that she could learn the material just as well without viewing them. The description on the website indicated she may be right, so we compromised—she promised to watch at least three videos so we could fully review the program.

Reluctantly, she inserted the first DVD into our player and sat down to watch the Introduction, which you can view below. The first five minutes of the video address the teacher. I wish I had previewed the intro video first and only required my daughter to watch the lesson portion.

Although my daughter thought the video did not help her much, I am glad we watched it since it helped us make a plan for covering key material in a shorter period of time. She and I agreed to follow the author’s recommendation and allow her to skip chapters one through three for the time being, since they cover theoretical concepts. We both knew she would enjoy digging right into the practical logic covered in the remainder of the book.

I wish I could tell you that her excitement for watching the video lessons grew. She breathed a sigh of relief after watching her third video—the last one I required. She complained that the slides the instructor uses are unattractive and that the videos are completely unnecessary. In her words:

“It’s covering the exact same stuff that would be covered in chapter, which is boring. It’s either read the chapter or watch the video. I don’t think you would have to do both because doing both is just very repetitive.”

Her twelve-year-old sister is not taking the course but viewed one of the videos. She was pleased that she could easily understand the concepts presented. Her perpective—

“It was cool! I like it—it helps me understand things at a deeper level.”

Perhaps she will enjoy studying logic in the future.

Even though the videos are not my older daughter’s cup of tea, they demonstrate what classroom lectures are like. The slides she found unappealing clearly present the concepts and could serve as a guide for note-taking. I agree that the video lessons are nonessential, but following along while my daughter watched helped me keep up with what she was learning, which can be very helpful when grading her work.

When deciding whether to purchase the DVDs, keep in mind your child’s learning style and your budget. If your student enjoys videos, and purchasing them fits your budget, go ahead and grab them. If your child learns well by simply reading, feel free to skip the videos.

Her Overall Impression

This is my daughter’s first time reviewing a homeschool product with me, so I was curious what her reaction would be. You may have noticed that she is very opinionated and freely expresses her thoughts.

What she likes:

  • Traditional Logic is “definitely more interesting than” her previous English curriculum.
  • “It’s fun to learn about logic.”
  • The concepts she is learning will be beneficial to her in the future.

Her complaints:

  • The videos did not appeal to her.
  • “At the end of the section on propositions, there [were] three pages of review—then you didn’t even use them in the test or anything. It took a longer time to complete than other work and was not on the test, so I don’t see why I needed to review it.”

Halfway through the curriculum, it is time for a much needed summer break. In the fall, she may complete the remainder of the course, perhaps even progressing to Traditional Logic II.

Is my daughter interested in completing other Memoria Press courses? “Maybe—I think it’s a good format.”

My Take-Away

This is not my first time using curriculum from Memoria Press. I tried out Prima Latina unsuccessfully with my oldest (now graduated) during her elementary years. Based on our early experience, I have shied away from Memoria Press material ever since. In retrospect, I realize that the curriculum did not fit her learning style, and she was probably not developmentally ready for it. Though I was an inexperienced homeschool mom, I made the wise decision to set it aside and explore other options.

Every child is unique, and even close siblings may learn in different ways. The perfect curriculum for one child may completely frustrate another. And, of course, the publisher whose material was challenging to use with a younger child may be a great fit for an older student.

I am glad I gave Memoria Press another shot with my fourteen year old daughter. We are having a great experience using their Traditional Logic curriculum. Knowing how much she is enjoying the course, I look forward to using other Memoria Press courses in the future.

Click here to read more crew reviews of Traditional Logic and other curriculum from Memoria Press.