Minecraft!

minecraftThe game that everyone seems to love has finally arrived in our house! For some reason I’d been holding out until we could get a decent computer set up for the girls to run Minecraft on, and then it hit me that a friend of ours plays it on the PS3, and… well, we have a PS3!! So, I downloaded it.

The girls were beside themselves with excitement. We’ve had the game for three weeks now and I don’t think there has been a single day that they haven’t been dying to play it. And quite frankly, I have been stunned with how quickly they picked it up. Lauren struggled with the controls for all of a day before she got the hang of it, and they build SO fast these days.

The beauty of having it on the PS3 is that the two big girls can play it together, and we only need the one account. They take turns generating worlds, and are actually being really mindful of the other. I was surprised. Even when their friend came to play in their world, there were no issues. They ask each other before they do anything (Can I build here? Can I live in this particular building of yours? Is it okay if I add/change this), they never break something someone else has built – so courteous and respectful, which is wonderful! I actually think it’s improved their play outside of the game, because they are now more aware of the effort that other people put into things.

Anyway, I’ve given them free reign over the school holidays. They play for several hours a day, and spend a couple more watching minecraft videos on youtube (Stampey is their fav), getting ideas which they then take back into their own worlds. Lauren wanted to know a good way to build a castle, so they watched a video on that and then she went and made her own version of it. Pretty cool! The complexity of their buildings is increasing daily, as are the number of buildings they develop. Not knowing a lot about the game myself, I’ve not been able to give them any instruction and they are learning as they go. It’s wonderful.

Because I like to use their passions to help with home schooling, I’ve been kicking around some ideas for how we can use Minecraft to expand their knowledge even more. There are quite a few places online that offer lessons for homeschoolers using Minecraft, but I think because we’re using the PS3 version, and are in different times zones, that might not work so well. So this morning I broached the topic and asked how they would feel if we did some learning about different cultures and times in history, and then they could work on building villages from those times and cultures.

They thought that was an awesome idea! They are always looking for new things to build.

I suggested we start here at home, with a Maori Pa. I have heaps of resources from New Zealands history, so this is a no brainer. We have already done quite a lot of learning there and I don’t think it will take them long to learn the basics and design their own. The school term officially begins on Monday, and I’m dying to see how this plays out. Looking forward to sharing with you how it goes!

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3 thoughts on “Minecraft!

  1. Minecraft is huge in our house also and our son is doing the Minecraft Homeschool history courses and LOVING them.
    We are in Taiwan and almost all of the students are in the States, so this has meant us allowing him to alter bed times etc. so that he can play/learn with the other students – but it has been worth it.
    One humble small piece of advice – get your own account and play with your kids – don’t sit back and just watch them. Nothing beats being in the world with them, all together at the same time, also, nothing beats having them being able to teach you so many things. I love actively sharing my son’s worlds with him.

    • Don’t you worry 🙂 I’ve been playing a fair bit myself! It’s a good opportunity to explore this new thing with them, and has helped me get my head around all the learning potential the game has – which is virtually limitless. It’s an amazing thing to have access to!
      I’ve watched your sons video on youtube and enjoyed reading his posts about his experiences with minecraft homeschool. My girls are a tad younger (9 and 5) so not *quite* ready to be adjusting their sleep times just yet! lol maybe when they are a bit older.

      • Sorry – I should not have assumed! Yep, that is young – even at 13 Connor is struggling to adjust to going to bed at 3am so that he can meet his friends. We are struggling with the idea that 11am is now his new 8am to get up! But all worth it – after all, we live in a truly global world now.

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