HSLDA Online Academy | Logic & Critical Thinking

Logic & Critical Thinking

Master Teacher:  Benjamin Guido

Ben Guido, High School Classroom Teacher for Logic & Critical ThinkingMaster Teacher

Benjamin Guido

PhD Candidate, Baylor University
BA, Patrick Henry College

Benjamin Guido began life in Connecticut. He was homeschooled through adolescence and then studied classical liberal arts at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Virginia. He went on to study philosophy at Baylor University in Texas, where he is currently finishing a dissertation in ethics and philosophy of language on the topic of lying and verbal deception.

While studying at PHC, Benjamin realized his limitless love for teaching and learning. He has taught logic at the college level for several years, and continues to study theory and methodology to improve his teaching. His wife Stephanie, an Academy Classroom Teacher for the last two years, helped him develop this course specifically for the Academy’s high school students.

Beyond academics, Benjamin enjoys myriad activities, but chief among them are distance running, playing and teaching piano, tabletop gaming, literature and film, and becoming a handyman around the home. Benjamin enjoys engaging his five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son in everything he pursues, including logic and language.

Classroom Teacher:  Noelle Stillman

Noelle Stillman, High School Classroom Teacher for BiologyClassroom Teacher

Noelle Stillman

BS, Florida International University

Noelle Stillman earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University in Miami in 1999, and practiced in hospital and outpatient settings for several years, eventually specializing in orthopedics and hand therapy. In addition to her Occupational Therapy degree and licensure, Noelle earned Certification as a Birth Doula in 2006, Certification as a Health Coach in 2015, and holds a Certificate of German Language Studies from the Collegium Palatinum in Heidelberg, Germany.

Besides homeschooling her own children, Noelle has been teaching high school classes at a large homeschool co-op for 12 years, and has taught multiple subjects including natural sciences, critical thinking, philosophy, history, literature, and foreign languages. She has also taught science classes at a homeschool hybrid school, taught biology and marine biology classes from her home, and tutored college biology. She is also a published author, and enjoys writing articles for homeschool publications about such topics as learning style and intelligence.

Noelle loves teaching high school students, and enjoys challenging them to think for themselves, to understand why they believe what they believe, and to defend it intelligently and articulately. She is passionate about the Lord and discovering his “fingerprints” which are so evident in creation, and she loves igniting in her students that same passion for learning and for finding the Creator in all things. She hopes to equip students to leave her class better prepared to defend their beliefs in a hostile world, and to shine as bright lights in the darkness!

Noelle has been married to her best friend since 1995, and is a homeschooling mother to their 8 children. She and her family live on a farm in Florida, and raise many types of animals, including horses, Angus beef cows, dairy goats, pigs, turkeys, chickens, peacocks, cats, dogs, a guinea pig, and a rabbit! In her spare time, Noelle enjoys reading, writing, sewing, running, music, camping, and being outdoors with her family. She and her family are active in their church, and lead worship together as a family.

Noelle has been teaching with the Academy since 2017.

Classroom Teacher:  Nathan Mueller

Nathan Mueller, High School Classroom Teacher for Logic & Critical ThinkingClassroom Teacher

Nathan Mueller

PhD candidate, Baylor University
MA, Biola University
BA, Creighton, University

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Nathan Mueller moved to the US in 1997. After graduating from high school in Columbus, Nebraska, Nathan went on to study philosophy at Creighton University (Omaha, NE), where he graduated magna cum laude. From there Nathan moved out to Los Angeles and began work on his Masters of Arts in Philosophy of Religion & Ethics from Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology (La Mirada, CA). He completed this degree magna cum laude. Nathan is currently a graduate student at Baylor University (Waco, TX), pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy. He primarily works on issues including the nature of faith, reason, and rationality, as well as the structure of social institutions and their impacts on belief formation. He also entertains active research interests in the philosophy of education, Christian higher education, and the vocation of Christian scholars.

While an undergraduate at Creighton, Nathan worked to support himself through college by teaching and coaching competitive swimming. This continued well into his time in Southern California. His coaching experience affirmed both Nathan’s deep-seated love for teaching and his conviction that the Lord was leading him to continue studying philosophy in service of the Kingdom.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Nathan enjoys cycling, running (both trail and road), building furniture, reading and discussing film and literature, and cultivating his green thumb. He loves spending time with his wife Leilani Mueller (who teaches English for HSLDA Online Academy) and two children Felicity and Gabriel.

Duration: One-semester course offered in both fall and spring (16 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 0.5 credits.
Suggested Grade Level: 10th grade level and up.
Early Registration Tuition (ends 6/12): $325 $350 for HSLDA Members/$375 $400 for non-members. 

Description: In Logic & Critical Thinking, students learn how to use and interpret language to reason well. They study logic as the science of thinking, as something found in God’s nature, and which guides all areas of human inquiry. This course will aid students in preparation for the SAT or ACT.
Watch a short intoduction from Course Developer Benjamin Guido
Watch a sample clip of an Academy live class session.

Sign up for Logic & Critical Thinking and other courses

Logic & Critical Thinking  — Live Online Class Session Schedule
August 27, 2018 - December 14, 2018

January 7, 2019 - April 26, 2019

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Fall - Section is Open
Spring - Section is Open

Tuesdays, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern

Mr. Ben Guido

Section 2
Fall - Section is Open
Spring - Section is Open

Mondays, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Noelle Stillman

Section 3
Fall - Section is Open
Spring - Section is Open

Wednesdays, 9:00-10:30 a.m. Eastern

Mr. Nathan Mueller

Additional class times will be added as they become available for registration. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Logic & Critical Thinking

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  • What topics will I learn about in Logic & Critical Thinking?

    As a one-semester high school course, Logic & Critical Thinking focuses on helping students become familiar with the key facets of sound reasoning. The course involves weekly readings, recorded lectures, and homework exercises; monthly exams, and culminates with a short capstone paper.

    Before discussing the topics covered, many students and parents will appreciate a brief introduction to logic and critical thinking.

    Logic is part reading comprehension and part math, but more practical and more fun, (unless you’re already a math lover).

    Similar to how we solve math equations, we analyze arguments using logic to determine whether the given information leads to a good conclusion. 

    We need critical thinking skills to help us interpret information we read in the news or hear in our daily conversations. Critical thinking helps us find the logic amidst rhetoric, biases, vagueness, and other fallacies that can obscure or hamper reasoning.

    Almost half the course is spent on aspects of critical thinking such as

    • thinking and communicating clearly
    • separating rhetoric from logic
    • spotting various type of fallacious reasoning.

    Alongside, these aspects, students study aspects of logic such as

    • understanding the flow of arguments
    • recognizing argument forms
    • categorical (Aristotelian) logic with Venn diagrams
    • and truth-functional logic with an introduction to truth tables and formal argument proofs (the fun math side).

    Throughout this process, we will read and discuss short Christian readings on logic. We approach logic as an important structure within God’s creation. Logic enables reasoning which helps us understand, and function well within, the world.

    God’s word makes clear that He interacts with us as thinking beings. So thinking well is especially important for Christians.

    Content Disclaimer: Please note, we will spend time in class analyzing controversial topics and real-world debates. We do not shy away from these topics, since it is important for students to learn how to interpret ideas they will hear on the news and in everyday conversations. However, we do our best to address all topics from a student-friendly and biblical perspective. 


  • How much homework is in Logic & Critical Thinking?

    We estimate that the course workload will take 5-10 hours per week.

    During a typical week in this course, students will complete the following coursework:

    • 60–90 minutes of live class instruction
    • 2-3 video lectures (~15 – 30 minutes per lecture)
    • Reading assignments (~20 – 25 pages per week)
    • McGraw Hill Connect homework assignments (~3-6 problems per homework assignment)
    • Puzzle
    • Quiz

    Throughout the year, students will also complete the following tasks:

    • BAT (Basic Argument Transcript) assignment every few weeks (Year total: 8)
    • Exam every few weeks (Year total: 5)
    • Capstone Paper
    • Cumulative final exam
  • Am I ready to take Logic & Critical Thinking

    While there are no special prerequisites for this course, having certain skills and abilities will reduce the stress and workload of this course considerably.

    Logic is a mix between mathematics and reading comprehension—it uses the same skills. So, the more comfortable students are with these two subjects, the more ready they are to succeed. If students struggle with both math and reading comprehension, then they will need to be prepared to spend more time and energy working to master and apply the skills being taught. However, Logic & Critical Thinking is especially useful for students who struggle with reading comprehension or with thinking analytically, and it can do wonders for many students’ SAT or ACT prep for this reason.

    Though the course is designed for students in the 10th grade level and up, the textbook is a college-level text. However, it is an especially straightforward and clear textbook, and should be very readable for most students. Additionally, a basic understanding of sentence grammar (e.g., recognition of subjects, predicates, conjunctions) will go a long way in making aspects of this course more accessible from the start, though students can usually pick up some of this along the way.

    This course involves very little writing, but it does involve consistent homework exercises, which are indispensable. Students with already-developed analytic skills will probably spend 5-7 hours a week, all told (including lectures and live sessions); some students may need to spend closer to 10 hours a week to do well.

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in Logic & Critical Thinking?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed Logic & Critical Thinking class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts. 

  • What is the tuition for Logic & Critical Thinking?

    Please visit our tuition and discounts page for a full summary about course costs.

    HSLDA members save $50 on yearlong high school courses!