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Teaching the Logic Stage — Classical Education (VIDEO)

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Susanna Jarrett

In this video, classical education expert and author of The Well-Trained Mind Susan Wise Bauer shares best practices for teaching logic stage students. She offers practical advice for how parents can engage their curious (and sometimes feisty) 4th-6th graders. 

(Scroll Below for an Overview of the Video)

How do We Teach Logic Stage Students?

While a grammar stage student holds a deep emotional need for sameness and repetition, a logic stage student craves the ability to recognize patterns and find exceptions to those patterns. They are older now. They have more knowledge and experience of the world. So they can begin to evaluate, analyze, and discuss things, rather than merely recall information. 

For example, in literature class, rather than asking logic stage kids what happened in a story, you can begin to ask them why they think it happened. A grammar student may look at you blankly if you ask them “why” a character behaved in a certain way. They don’t have enough life experience to analyze the situation. However, a logic stage student has enough experience of the world to develop their own interpretation of the character’s actions. Typically, they will enjoy this challenge! 

Strengths and Weaknesses of Logic Stage Students 

One of the great challenges of this stage is that students may become bored with repetition, even while they still need it. They are transitioning from memorizing raw information to analyzing and interpreting that information. So, you can keep using repetition where needed, but it should no longer be the primary method of instruction. 

A logic student’s strength is that they want to engage with you. It is at this time that you can begin to dialogue with your student as they learn content. Challenge them to discover things by recognizing patterns, rather than simply feeding them raw information. Pose tough questions and facilitate discussions. 

The Logic Stage, Subject By Subject: 

  • Logic: learn to evaluate the validity of arguments
  • Literature: begin to ask questions about characters, plots, and techniques
  • Spelling: increase the application of rules to written work 
  • Grammar: diagram and outline  
  • Writing: outline and use outlines for compositions
  • Mathematics: move towards abstraction (pre-algebra and algebra) 

For more advice on optimizing your instruction for your logic stage students, check out The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. Or, check out the Well-Trained Mind Forums where you can chat with other parents and seek advice for education during this challenging but rewarding stage of education.

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