Between the Grammar years and the Rhetoric years are the pivotal middle school (6th, 7th & 8th) or Logic/Dialectic stage of the Heritage School classical education. As was true of the twelve-year-old Jesus who conversed with his elders in Jerusalem, this young adult stage manifests growing interest in and understanding of the world of ideas.
One of the key courses in these years is the study of logic. The Logic course provides our eighth grade students with the tools for discerning good thinking and in recognizing errors in arguments—their own as well as others’—and is a skill they take into the rest of their school subjects as well as into high school and college.
The study of logic gives young adults the skills which are vital
for science [where they must develop and test hypotheses and determine validity of results];
for math [where they must ascertain the important from the extraneous information in word problems and where they must break down complicated problems into more approachable equations];
for Bible, ethics, and apologetics [where in their hermeneutical approach they must examine the parts as well as the wholeness and rationality of Scripture passages];
for Latin and Spanish [where they observe and must master the order and structure of languages unlike their own];
for history and government [where they examine the rhetoric of famous men and women as well as the consequences of events and ideas];
for literature [where they learn to do close reading of excellent authors’ works and discover these authors’ themes and vision, analyzing how they effectively convey their ideas].
The Logic stage focuses on assisting students who are emerging from the Grammar years with the wonder of learning about our complex world and the information they have acquired into individuals who can begin to grasp with better understanding how the parts fit into a larger scheme or whole. The Logic years equip the students with additional tools in persuasion, debating ideas, evaluation of ideas, research skills, as well as appreciation of and growing skill in fine arts—and more—as they mature into young adults and move toward the Rhetoric stage [9-12th grade].