Thinking Animated Thoughts

A cool thing I realized halfway through today’s NFB homeschool animation workshop:  We are currently starting a unit on Five Senses in science and this week’s sense is VISION… what more perfect timing could you ask for when going on an animation field trip???

(I certainly didn’t plan it this way when I booked the workshop back in September!)

Reading The Well-Trained Mind (WTM) has helped me really understand Naomi’s learning way better.  Walking home from the workshop, I talked to her about the connection between animation and vision.  I asked, “what sense do we use to enjoy animation?”

She said, “our hands?”  Of course:  we’d just been at a hands-on workshop!  Of course that’s the “sense” she associates most closely with it – TODAY. 

And without the “logic-stage” ability to connect the dots, the disjoint between a) knowing an animation has 24 frames per second (she was the only kid in the workshop who knew the answer!), b) making the animation, and c) connecting all of that with the visual mechanism of how we see the animation… well, those are huge leaps.

The logic stage, says the Well-Trained Mind, and Charlotte Mason apparently also identifies a similar stage from 6 to about 9, is about accumulation of fact.  It doesn’t all come together until later.

When teaching, I’ve noticed I tend to skip the “obvious” stuff.  I am pathologically opposed to stating the obvious.  I’ve never told her that when we see, that’s called “sight” or “vision,” because what dummy wouldn’t know that?  Well, apparently a “grammar-stage” dummy who really, really needs facts.

That doesn’t mean kids this age are incapable of higher understanding.  Just, both CM and WTM seem to suggest, we shouldn’t demand it.  Or be surprised when the kids don’t deliver if they simply don’t have enough facts to draw the connections that we may feel are obvious.

Sorry if this is all super-basic to people with a background in education.  To me, fascinating and very helpful.

Meanwhile, back on the animation thing:  we’ll continue talking about vision and eyes and all the terminology related to it (I tend to skip terminology; it’s tedious!), and on Sunday, we’re planning to use our skills and a variety of household objects (think Dollarama dinosaurs!!!), and integrate our animation skills with what we’re learning in parsha to make a “ten makkos” animation that should be tons of fun – stay tuned!


  1. Ah, the tedium of terminology. Just remember, it is only tedious to YOU. They do not know all the terms, and to them it's opening up a door, allowing them the language to express their learning.

    Without the language of a discipline, the discipline can never be fully comprehended.

    (Or so I tell my chemistry students, who complain at my fastidiousness with respect to the language!)


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