Friday, March 9, 2012

Positive Argument is an Art!


I was first introduced to Classical Academic Press last year when we reviewed Latin Alive! on the Crew -- and I really liked what I saw!  {You can read my review of Latin Alive! here} When we were given the opportunity to review The Art of Argument:  An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies, (the new and expanded edition), I jumped at the chance.


When I took the GRE, I blew the logic portion away!  It was right up my alley and I loved that part of the test.  I had taken only one Logic class in college and from the very first day I knew I had found a great fit.  I also knew that I wanted to make sure that my children recognized the arguments in their everyday life for what they truly were.

Now peek into my house 20 + years later and you'll find that arguments occur on a daily basis -- and these aren't necessarily the types of arguments that I was thinking about in the days of my Logic classes! I hear arguments where both sides have solid reasoning to back them up AND I hear arguments just for the sake of arguing.  {I mean, seriously, why does it matter who sits where at the table EVERY NIGHT?  And who really cares how big a slug can get if it's eating dog food?  YUCK!} At first I thought maybe it was just a "boy thing" -- to argue with the wall if no one else will listen -- but the girls have proven that being strong-willed and hard-headed runs in the family!

So here's what I've decided:  if they're going to argue, they might as well do it right!  This is where The Art of Argument makes for a prime addition to our school day.  The very first thing that The Art of Argument teaches is HOW to FIGHT FAIR!  Whew!  What a breath of fresh air! No longer necessary to argue just for the sake of arguing, my children are learning to think critically about all that they see, hear, say and do.

Did you know that there are 28 Fallacies that assault you and try to sway your opinion of things daily?  A workbook format textbook for middle school students and older (we're using it with 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th at my house), The Art of Argument divides the 28 fallacies into three categories -- relevance, presumption and clarity.  Each of these 28 fallacies (such as Snob Appeal, False Cause or Equivocation)  is explained in easy-to-understand language and then humorous pictures are used to illustrate the point.  In our home, we have best utilized the curriculum by studying the worktext together and then watching the corresponding video segment.  The videos have students and teachers discussing the fallacies in greater detail.

As a result of The Art of Argument, my children are beginning to look at the world around them in a different light and they are beginning to notice when they are not thinking logically in a given situation.  They are recognizing what they call the "tricks" of advertisers through print media and sound.  Most importantly, they are beginning to ASK QUESTIONS and FORM OPINIONS based on fact!

And then there are the infinite number of commercials trying to entice my children into buying things that promise much more than they provide . . . hmmm, sounds like some politicians, too!  This world is not always the easiest place to live.  I KNOW that introducing my kids to informal fallacies NOW will help them develop solid beliefs and know how to defend those beliefs for the long haul.  Preparing them for the future is the most important thing I do and The Art of Argument is helping me do just that.

The Art of Argument Bundle is available from Classical Academic Press for $88.95 and includes the Teacher's Edition ($24.95), the Student Text ($24.95) and the complete DVD set (5 DVDs $54.95).


~~I was given the opportunity to use and review The Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you. You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of   The Art of Argument HERE.~~ Pin It Now!

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