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Well Trained Mind: Thoughts From Chapter 14

This is a series of posts I am writing about The Well Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. Although the WTM has a decidedly homeschooling bent, it is an excellent reference book for any parent who is interested in taking an active role in their child’s education.

I am reading the WTM again for the second time and blogging about my thoughts chapter by chapter. I invite you to read along with me, and chime in your own thoughts in the comment section below.

Chapter 14 General Thoughts: 

I never studied formal logic in school, although I had about as close to a Classical Education as you could get in public school.  (For reflections on this please see here.)  We did do occasional logic type games such as Roses and Thorns, and a game called Johnny Oops.   My son Bruce(6.5) is attending a public school for gifted children and they are doing logic type activities as early as first grade.  There is no consistent logic program yet, but I do see logic worksheets come home from time to time. 

I’ve been asking around causally to my friends from various school experiences, and nobody I know has formally studied logic either, even friends who have graduated from prestigious law schools.  However, if you put this in context of: Did you play with toys that teach logic? such as Mastermind, Rubik’s Cubes, Stratego, Backgammon, and Battleship, then the numbers of my friends who had early experiences with logic go way up.  This has prompted me to put some of those games on Bruce’s Christmas list, as well as another game called Perplixus which he has asked Santa for.

As Afterschoolers, I’m not sure if I’ll have my kids do a formal logic curriculum or not.  I’m sure it will be a lot harder to get 7th graders to do extra work over the summer than it is now!  Both my husband and I do want our kids to learn beginning computer programing though.  Bruce has already started with Scratch and another game called Light Bot 2.0. Computer programing seems like it would teach a lot of the same skills, and have more real life applications.  But feel free to refute me!


  1. Claire H. says:

    The public school I attended growing up had a rather pathetic gifted & talented program (it was a once-per-week pull-out for maybe an hour), but they did have us do logic puzzles like the ones on the GRE & the LSAT. I never studied formal logic, however. That’s actually on my “to-do” list for 2012 as my oldest will be starting 5th grade (eek!) next August. She loves the informal logic workbooks from Critical Thinking Press, Mindware, and Dandylion.

  2. jengod says:

    In my junior high program for HG students we did study logic, but it kinda made my non-mathematical headspin. I loved doing word problems though were you have to deduce who has the can opener or whatever from a series of 24 different facts about 7 people. (That probably doesn’t make sense.) FWIW, I loved doing analogies and other logic games, and I think it was helpful for refining my thinking in many ways!

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