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Review: The Art of Argument

Would you like to teach your middle schooler or high schooler how to argue effectively? They already know how to argue well, but they don’t necessarily know how to argue for what’s good and right and in a way that will actually benefit them or others. Two of the Hip Homeschool Moms team members received The Art of Argument for free in exchange for writing an honest review of this curriculum and telling how they liked it and how they used it in their own homeschools. I think you’ll find that The Art of Argument can truly help our students learn to argue in a positive way and for positive results. Keep reading to learn more.

Heidi’s Info

We are using The Art of Argument with our 9th grade daughter. Both my husband and I were thrilled with the premise behind this program! Teaching children to think critically not only to be more aware of the arguments presented to them, but to allow them to better formulate solid arguments for themselves is a really important life skill to have.

The Art of Argument

What We Love About The Art of Argument:

  1. There are multiple schedule options laid out for you to choose from – (anywhere from 9-22 weeks and 2-5 classes per week).
  2. Each of the informal fallacies is defined and then broken down with multiple examples.  The array of mediums used to teach each fallacy range from the straight up definition, to “skits” between Socrates and Nate that ask questions and give real answers pertaining to the fallacy and how to spot it, to photo examples of the fallacies, to an optional DVD which includes discussions about each fallacy.
  3. The optional DVD is a must-purchase in our opinion! Getting the chance to watch the teacher and students discuss each fallacy from talking about examples given in the book to giving more examples and helping the student learn to identify the fallacy in real life is an invaluable resource.

How We Are using The Art of Argument in Our Homeschool:

  1. We have found that each day takes anywhere from 1-2 hours between the book reading, book work, and watching the video. Thus we have chosen to stretch the program out over an entire year. We have done this by taking the Option 4 Schedule, which is for 2 classes per week (44 days), and doing just one day a week for most of our 40 week year.
  2. After my daughter tried to do this program on her own, we felt it was best that we do it together instead.  The book can be wordy and it is easy to get lost in all the new terminology.  Having an adult going through it with her allows for questions and conversations to be had right away instead of allowing for frustration and confusion to set in.  Also, throughout the book there are skits between Socrates and a boy named Nate, which are so much more meaningful and entertaining when each person is reading for one of the characters.
  3. Given that there are a lot of definitions to become familiar with, we made flashcards for easy review of the fallacies.  On each card is not only the given definition, but an example that our daughter has chosen that makes sense to her when thinking about that specific fallacy.  This makes for easy review.
  4. This program makes for a perfect high school elective–which is how we are choosing to use it in our homeschool.

“The Art of Argument is designed to teach the argumentative adolescent how to reason with clarity, relevance, and purpose. The mastery of informal logic (the logical fallacies) is a foundational subject by which other subjects are evaluated, assessed, and learned.”

Carlie’s Info

The Art of Argument Program by Classical Academic Press has been a phenomenal addition to our daughter’s 8th grade homeschool year. For us, this was the perfect time for our 12-year-old daughter to learn how to direct her arguing in a logical, methodical, and intelligent matter. She is a lover of learning (and talking), so the information she was presented with really satisfied all sides of her personality! This curriculum includes: The Art of Argument Student Book, The Art of Argument Teacher’s Edition, and The Art of Argument 5-disc DVD Set.


3 Reasons You Should Buy the Art of Argument Program

It is Thorough This great resource covers the 28 informal fallacies teaching them through 6 chapters within 3 units. The beginning of the book takes the student on a detailed journey of what logic is (formal vs. informal), critical thinking, a bit on logic and propaganda, and how you can make an argument without starting one. So even if your child has never studied a day of logic in her life, this book will teach her, in a very relatable way, what logic is before she begins to study the chapters. The Use of Multiple Approaches The curriculum is great for any type of learner as it uses reading, writing, discussions, DVD’s, illustrations, and even a humorous skit! There are plenty of different opportunities for our child(ren) to be engaged through the different activities used to apply what they’ve learned. Our daughter enjoyed every single aspect of the student text, as well as all the different reinforcements used to drive the information home. It’s Just Plain Fun! Our daughter and I had an absolute blast with this curriculum! We really loved the use of modern day culture throughout the text. Our daughter’s favorite part was using what she had learned to analyze different advertisements. It really didn’t stop for her when she was done with her lessons. Each time we get in the car to drive somewhere, she is always analyzing billboards, magazine ads, and even commercials. If you are looking for a way to introduce your middle-school student to informal logic, Classical Academic Press’ the Art of Argument is the way to go!

Carlie Kercheval

Carlie Kercheval is a happily married stay-at-home homeschoolin’ momma. She and her college sweetheart (Go WSU Cougs!) have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?, Fulfilling Your Vows, and Managing Your Blessings. She is also the co-author of the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible studies. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere with a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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  1. Our two high schoolers will be using this course this year. I was glad to hear how your kids and homeschool liked this program. I also appreciate the suggestion that I read it along with my kids to help with any frustrations that come up due to vocabulary/understanding new terms. Thanks for such a great review!

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