Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.
In a world of catch phrases, social media memes, personal attacks, and news reporting that often has significant political leanings, it is important that we teach our children good logic and reasoning skills. This is something we had been working on with our children, especially the teens. So I was grateful to check out the book, The Fallacy Detective by Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn.
The Fallacy Detective has 38 lessons that help students understand logical fallacies. The lessons are short, each one being just a couple pages of reading and then a short worksheet to practice the skill. It took us about ten to fifteen minutes to complete a lesson.
How Did We Use the Book?
This book could be used independently by a teen and self-checked or checked by the parent (answers are in the back of the book). However, we wanted to make this book more of a place to start the discussion in our family.
Therefore, we did the lessons together as a family. I would read the lesson aloud and then we would go through the questions together. Each of my teens would give the answer they thought was correct, we would read the answer from the back of the book, and then we would discuss it as a family.
Several times we did lessons while were traveling. We were in the car a lot this summer for summer camp, vacations, etc and I wanted to use that time wisely. Another benefit of doing them in the car was that my younger children were hearing the lesson and discussion. I do not think the younger children are old enough to fully understand but I think it is good for them to start hearing the information.
What is a Logical Fallacy?
You may be wondering what I mean by logical fallacy. One example was Ad Hominem Attacks, which is where people attack the person with the opinion instead of the opinion itself. They gave examples of how this might look, and even explained that questioning someone’s honesty because of a history of lying was different than discrediting someone’s opinion because of their character.
Once they explained it and gave several examples. Then they followed it up with 13 1-2 sentence examples and had students determine if those examples displayed bad reasoning.
When you have finished all thirty-eight lessons, there are instructions for playing a game using the different fallacies. I think that will be a fun way to reinforce what we have learned.
Overall, we have been enjoying this book. I love that we were able to use it in a laid back family style approach. I feel that understanding logical fallacies is a very important life skill and I would recommend this book for any middle or high school students. ( A bit of a bonus is that the book was written by two homeschoolers and is a great example of a homeschooling success story.)
We plan to continue using the book by doing one or two lessons a week together until we have completed all thirty-eight lessons.
You can check out other reviews of the Fallacy Detective by clicking on the graphic below. Members of the Review Crew also reviewed another book by Hans and Nathaniel Bluedorn: Archer and Zowie. You can see those reviews by clicking on the graphic as well.