Category Archives: Meeting Legal Requirements

Learning Data Collection and Graphing by Playing Games

Pile of gamesMy son came up with a great idea! With my help, we’re going to collected data as we play every board and card game that we own. Over the next 17 days, we will play one game per day and then fill in our data chart with information about our gaming preferences. What we like about the game. What we don’t. What our favorites are.

Then we will collect our data and make a pie chart (or two).

 

 

Here’s our Game Plan: (no pun intended!)

1. Gather up all of our board and card games.

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2.  Make a chart where we can collect data about what we like, what we don’t like and how we rate the game.

Game Data Spreadsheet

3. When our game challenge is done, we will enter our data into a free pie chart creator to display our results. The Pie Chart will look something like this at the end of our study.

Example Pie Chart
Pie Chart Creator

Besides learning how to collect data and formulate that into a study, we will be working through numbers, reading, strategizing and thinking skills as we play. We will be expanding our minds and having fun at the same time.

Won’t you join us in the game challenge? Pull out those dusty games and have fun. Record your results and then jump over to the discussion forums to share your data.

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What My Kids Are Learning While Playing Minecraft

Forward to this article: I wrote this article on my personal blog back in 2012. It has by far been the most popular blog post on my personal site. I thought it might be beneficial to some to share it here. I’ve learned since I wrote this article that everything in this post can be applied to just about every video game, tv show, movie, pop culture and everything in between. It just requires for the parent or guardian to step out of what they’ve been told about visual media and watch what is actually going on with the individual child.

~ Michelle Conaway

What My Kids Are Learning While Playing Minecraft 

by Michelle Conaway (Originally published on July 17, 2012)

Who would have ever thought I would have been okay with my kids making a full time job out of playing a video game? I sure never thought I would get there. But I have. My boys spend most of their waking hours on a computer game called Minecraft.

Over the years, after I decided to homeschool, I found myself migrating more towards a philosophy of life called Unschooling. Yes, we pulled out the text books and “educational” websites at the beginning of our homeschooling journey, but my kids got bored with it. I saw them resisting the work I was providing for them and not retaining much of what I was teaching. They would even pretend to be sleeping in the mornings, trying to avoid my “school” work.

For the last couple of years, I’ve let go of doing anything that looked schoolish. Of course, if they want to do worksheets, they are welcome to explore that, but gone are the days that I force them to sit and do anything. Instead, I’ve started asking them what they would like to do and let them do it. What I’ve observed as they play video games, watch cartoons, make their own cartoons on Zimmertwins and read Garfield books is a huge improvement in their reading, math, vocabulary and social skills. In essence, I’ve fully embraced the unschooling philosophy that everyone learns differently and learns best when given the opportunity to pursue things that they enjoy doing. I know I always have. Why would that be different for my kids?

In March we were introduced to the computer game called Minecraft. My boys took to it like nobody’s business! This game is so much fun and the fun and depth with which they play never ends. You can create worlds from scratch, build your own towns, tools, weapons and avatars. You can play on multi servers where you plan communities with other people playing the game. I have observed my kids developing many new skills playing Minecraft and wanted to write about them here.


Problem Solving Skills

When you spawn in Minecraft you are in the middle of nowhere with only trees, caves and animals roaming around. If you are playing in survival mode, you will also see creepers, skeletons, zombies, spiders or enderman that will attack you starting at sundown. You must try to survive by cutting down trees and building yourself some type of primitive shelter to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night. You also have a hunger bar and if you don’t find food, you will die.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not. You must come up with a statagy for surviving that first night and be quick about it lest you die at the hands of the monsters in the dark or a hungry belly. I have seen the kids come up with elaborate plans for surviving that first night. They’ve learned to hunt for food, build shelter, mine coal for torches and make tools from natural resources all within the span of a 10 minute Minecraft “day”.

After that, they have to think quickly about how to continue to survive and build up a world in which they can live more easily. They plan gardens, set up farms with pigs, cows and chickens, build crafting tables and furnaces. They figure out how deep they must mine in a cave to find diamonds, gold and other precious metals. They must learn which weapons or tools work best for hunting, defending themselves against monsters and mining. The stakes get higher the more you survive. If you die you are at risk of losing all of the accumulated materials you have collected in your inventory.

Minecraft provides a continuous arena in which to flex those problem solving muscles and continue down the path to further development in the game.

Research Skills

The boys have learned how to research by playing Minecraft. When they want to learn a new trick or how to build an intricate lighting system for a mansion they have built they head to WikiHow, Youtube and other internet sources. There they find tutorials on how to build elaborate systems for their cities- how to run recessed lighting, how to build irrigation systems, how to plant and maintain gardens and how to build extravagant things like showers for the bathrooms or fireplaces for the living rooms. They have learned to bookmark their favorite tutorial sites, share them with friends, and even explain to others how to do certain things. They are even considering doing their own tutorial videos for youtube.

Communication Skills

The boys have learned to communicate very well playing Minecraft. They have met friends through our Shine with Unschooling group and also through the Unschooling Gamers Yahoo Group and Facebook Group. Through these groups they have learned to set up and use Skype. It’s not uncommon to have several kids from all over the world playing Minecraft on our family server while skyping with each other.

They are learning to work together to gather food for the community, build stores to sell armor, weapons and food, build amusement parks and engineer new cities. They are learning to maneuver through different personality types and problem solve disputes between the players. They are learning to respect the wishes of others and communicate their own wishes and come to agreements on what is going to happen within the world.

If they don’t learn to communicate well on Minecraft, the game doesn’t go as well. Working with others on the Multiplayer servers is key to building and maintaining a world that works for everyone. Kind of like real life, huh?

Typing Skills

With no keyboard or formal typing lessons, the boys have become very fast keyboarders. There is a chat section on Minecraft which has motivated them to learn to type faster and more accurately.

Cameron told me the other day that he is so glad I didn’t force him to do the typing program I tried to get him to do. Through his love of working on the computer he has gotten to be a master typist.

Spelling Skills

Spelling has improved immensely for the boys as they learn to navigate through the internet and chat with friends on Minecraft. It is essential that they are able to communicate with their friends on the chat section of Minecraft or in forums where they are trying to get answers to their questions. This has motivated them to learn to spell well so that they are understood by their friends.

Vocabulary

I have seen the boys vocabulary expand a lot as they learn new words through friends or on the internet in articles they are reading about Minecraft. Many times they use words that me and their Dad are amazed by. Their new vocabulary spills out into their every day conversations. I can’t imagine that my forced vocabulary lists would have yielded boys who use language as well as they do.

Science

Both Cameron and Caleb have asked to go to the library to get books about diamonds, obsidian, gold, silver and other gemstones. They have learned a lot about the layers of the earth. They have learned about all types of stone, wood, gemstones, caves and mining. Their love of Minecraft has peeked their interest in all sorts of geological study.

They have also become interested in Bioms. There are deserts, jungles, forests and oceans on Minecraft. Many different creatures live within the different biomes and the kids have loved learning about them all and often jump over to the internet to explore one biome or another.

Creativity

I have seen a surge of creativity in the boys since they started playing Minecraft. Cameron’s love of drawing has expanded to drawing worlds of Minecraft scenery. Caleb has come up with stories about Minecraft characters. They have learned to invent tools and other things that help them problem solve in their game. Caleb and I even built a real stone pickax out of sticks and stones at the family farm recently.

I see them being more creative about problem solving in real life as well. They are more likely now to work out a problem for themselves, rather than ask me for a solution. They seem to be getting more creative in everything they do.

Math and Spacial Reasoning Skills

In order to build a structure that is functional as well as visually pleasing, you must develop math and spacial reasoning skills. I have seen the boys figure out in their heads how many blocks will be necessary for a foundation – doubling, tripling and even quadrupling that number in their heads and then apply that to a building in Minecraft. I have witnessed them taking an idea in their minds and building complete cities with recessed lighting and fountains and statues and stores using spacial reasoning and math skills. They are figuring it out on their own without any “formal” training in engineering. It really is remarkable to see some of the things they’re building. I also have Minecraft installed on my computer and haven’t had near the success that these kids do. Obviously, spacial reasoning and I don’t get along very well.


If you’re worried that your child is playing too many video games or that they seem to spend a lifetime on Minecraft, just know and trust that they ARE learning. Play the game yourself to get an idea of the difficulties that must be endured just to survive much less build elaborate cities. Talk to your kids and listen to what they are doing and how they are figuring out HOW to do it.

They ARE learning from these games. Many times it’s obvious that they are gaining valuable skills and sometimes it looks just like play. Gaming is truly an amazing way to explore the world if we can just let go of our preconceived ideas about it and let our children (and ourselves) thrive at it.

If you have questions or would like to discuss this post, please visit our forums community here.

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ASK A VETERAN, May 2015

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Periodically, Sue Patterson takes questions that come in through the Texas Unschoolers’ website or Facebook group. Do you have something you want to ask? Contact us and we’ll get some answers in an upcoming issue of Ask A Veteran. We’ll leave your name anonymous. If you have a question, most likely there are others with questions just like yours.

Q: How will my unschooler learn to read if I don’t use a curriculum?

A. “Curriculum/Curricula” is an interesting concept to me. When we think about it, it’s a method to REPLACE real life experiences. Schools use a curriculum because they can’t take a kid to a variety of historical landmarks or go to the fabric store to buy materials for curtains or wait while the yeast rises for a rainy afternoon of bread-making. Curricula is the pale substitute for Real Life. It’s ok, they have to use it. They have to get in their 170 days of attendance…
…but I digress. You asked about reading.

Children learn to read in the same way that they’ve learned to talk and to walk. They experience it incrementally and then when they’ve had enough exposure to have a foundation, they can read. So what can you do to up the exposure factor and ultimately the foundation-building?

Create a literate house. Read together. Read little things, big things. Have a family story time together where you all snuggle in together.
Help them notice when the words have caused you to do something – road signs, building signs, directions for games.
Make reading a fun happy activity. No drudgery. No judgement. The more you wrap up reading in joy, the less obstacles you create. (Because you can TRULY create obstacles if you nag and teach-teach-teach!)
Here’s a graphic I used at one of my talks at the TexUns Conference. See if it sparks your imagination!

How do Unschoolers Learn Read

Q: I’m uncomfortable with the word “unschooling.” It seems so… confrontational. Do you think it will ever morph into something easier for the rest of the world to handle?

A. No, not really. And we need the term to help us connect and communicate. “Life living,” or “Delight Driven,” or any of the other many terms people try to use simply don’t convey the whole picture. Everyone is Living Life, sure some more fully than others, but I know some kids that go to school and their families really plug them into the community and help them with following their interests. But they go to school. And we don’t. And therein lies the difference.

When we choose an alternative to GOING TO SCHOOL, that’s a big enough deal that I don’t think any term you try to placate people with is going to work. People that feel “unschooling” is too confrontational simply want you to get back in line where you belong.

The term “unschooling,” for those who don’t know, harkens back to the old 7Up commercial from the 1960’s. A fabulous Caribbean man talked about going a separate way from the other colas: Becoming The UnCola. John Holt took that idea and ran with it… school being the cola-approach and homeschoolers choosing the fresher better uncola alternative. Hence the name, Unschoolers.

But even after saying all of this, if you’re still uncomfortable, don’t use the word. No one will care if you do or don’t. You can simply call what you do homeschooling, or “individualizing the kids’ learning,” or “trying out a variety of things.” You’ll only need the term when you’re communicating with other homeschoolers or looking for information online about how to learn without all the trappings of school. But there are no Unschooling Police saying you’re a traitor. No one cares. Everyone wants you to do what works for you, what brings your family more joy and a happier life.

Sue PattersonSue Patterson, wife and mother of three grown unschoolers, lives in Pflugerville, just north of Austin. She has been an active homeschooling advocate at the local, state and national level for nearly two decades. Her newly released book, Homeschooled Teens, is available now!
Sue is the Managing Editor of The Homeschooler Post – an online parenting journal focusing on learning for home educators. She manages the Unschooling Mom2Mom Facebook group, blogs at her website, speaks at various conferences around the country and works as a Life Coach and Unschooling Mentor.

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Video Recap of the 2015 TexUns Conference, by Sue Patterson

Sue Patterson took the time to recap our days at the Texas Unschoolers Conference held in April 2015. Here is what Sue had to say about the conference each day.

For information about the 2016 TexUns Conference, please visit this link.

DAY 1 – CONFERENCE RECAP

  • See Sue’s article about how Unschoolers meet the Texas Homeschool Laws here.
  • Read more about Peter Gray at his Column entitled, Freedom to Learn, at Psychology Today.

 

DAY 2 – CONFERENCE RECAP

  • Find out more about Sue’s book, Homeschooled Teens, here.

 

DAY 3 – CONFERENCE RECAP

  • Find out more about the movie, Class Dismissed, here..
  • Find more from Christina Wester, with Radiant Living and Learning, here.
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Meeting the Texas Homeschool Law Requirements, by Sue Patterson

Sometimes unschoolers worry about meeting the legal requirements for homeschooling. In the state of Texas, thanks to the Leeper decision, homeschoolers are considered private schools. What this means is that your local public school has no jurisdiction over what you do.

If you recently removed your child from the school system, it’s possible you were confronted with school officials who didn’t really understand this aspect of the law. You do NOT have to provide a list of curricula you plan to use, or any other piece of information about the learning that will be taking place in your homeschool. It’s none of their business. While saying that to them may create more of a headache for you, I’d suggest that even if they do say inaccurate or uninformed comments, just smile, nod, and say, “where do I sign to wrap this up?”

The other piece of the Texas law sometimes makes unschoolers hesitate. Texas reqires that homeschoolers learn about reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and good citizenship. While you do not have to allot certain times for these topics, as the parent, you’ll want to be sure they cross your child’s path. But this can be done casually and informally. That’s often the way learning happens best anyway! Some quick examples of ways to learn these topics without textbooks:

Reading UM2M copyReading

 

UM2M Math copyMath

 

UM2m Grammar spelling copyGrammar-Spelling

 

 

 

 


Here are some helpful facts to know about the laws in Texas:

  • School age in Texas: 6-17
  • “Curriculum” consists of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, good citizenship
  • Local school districts have no jurisdiction over homeschools (since they are legally
    considered private schools.)
  • No prior approval is required for your curriculum.
  • No one is likely to ask to see your homeschooling records, but it is a good idea to maintain some sort of account of your children’s work. (scrapbooks, flyers from museums, blog posts, a simple notebook with weekly entries, a portfolio of their work)
  • Standardized tests are not required for Texas homeschool students.
  • You are not required to follow the schedule and calendar that the local public schools use.
  • If your children have never attended public schools, you do not need to register with anyone, and you do not need to notify any governmental agency that you are homeschooling.
  • Compulsory Attendance – 170 days – Only applies to public schools
  • Know your curfew laws – individual city ordinances

We also invite you to listen to Sue Patterson’s talk from the Texas Unschoolers Conference about Homeschooling Laws in Texas here.

Sue PattersonSue Patterson, wife and mother of three grown unschoolers, lives in Pflugerville, just north of Austin. She has been an active homeschooling advocate at the local, state and national level for nearly two decades. Her newly released book, Homeschooled Teens, is available now!
Sue is the Managing Editor of The Homeschooler Post – an online quarterly parenting journal focusing on learning for home educators. She manages the Unschooling Mom2Mom Facebook group, blogs at Lifelong Learning, speaks at various conferences around the country, works as a Life Coach and Unschooling Mentor. Find out more at SuePatterson.com.

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Ask A Veteran – December 2014

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Periodically, Sue Patterson takes questions that come in through the Texas Unschoolers’ website or Facebook group. Do you have something you want to ask? Contact us and we’ll get Sue to answer. We’ll leave your name anonymous. If you have a question, most likely there are others with questions just like yours.

Questions From December 2014

Q. Hi y’all. I am STRONGLY considering transitioning to unschooling. We were fairly structured in our approach, then we moved to structure only for math and some of my ds12 english lessons. Presently, I have stopped all but math.
A. You’re stopping all your lesson plans except math? Why not math? It’s everywhere! I could be wrong, but maybe your own math insecurities are getting in the way?

Let’s look at where kids can learn more about math in every day life:
Double a recipe.

Use measuring cups and spoons.

Notice shapes and patterns in architecture.

Measure how far you can jump.

Divide up the pizza, cake, cookies among everyone eating.

Use a stopwatch to see how fast you can run… for how long?

Play with the computer to create a graph of your progress…at anything!

Create something with fabric, learn to sew from a pattern.

Create probability games – heads or tails? Then move to more options and what’s the chance?

How many cans of paint will it take to paint the bedroom?

What are interest rates at the bank?

What are the interest rates on credit cards?

Show them your electric bill. Does the company share graphs about useage?

What time should you put the pizza into the oven if you want it to be ready when the movie is over?

Comparison shop for cars – look at gas mileage, odometers, age of cars, depreciation costs.
Weigh the fruit at the grocery store.

Learn how to figure out price comparisons by looking at the cost/weight.

Figure out the tip for the waiter.

How much gas will it take to fill the tank?

How many miles did the car get on that tank of gas?

What’s the distance on a map to someone’s house?

How long does it take to get to your friend’s house?

Learn the Roman numerals on a clock. Is the Roman numeral for 4 correct?

Make change at the local convenience store.

Save money for a video game or pricey toy.

Look at a bus route, figure the cost and time to get across town.

Look at a calendar. How many weeks until their birthday?

How many days until their favorite holiday? Is it quicker to count in weeks?

Earn money and keep track of it.

Practice rounding to the nearest dollar.

Play card games.

Play dice games.

Play board games.

Play computer games.

Play with phone apps.

Measure for a new rug.

Measure if the couch can move to a different wall.

Measure pictures for a frame.

Figure out the tax on your purchase.

Read construction plans to build something…start small, get bigger!

Help them sell something on Ebay they don’t want anymore.

Give them money to purchase something they could sell on Ebay and see if they can turn a profit.

How long will it take the dogs to go through all the dog food?

How much did the bag cost? Divide it up – how much does it cost to feed the dogs everyday?

Check out great books about math concepts and ideas.

Count all the coins in the Change Jar (start one if you haven’t already!)

Order The Homescholer PDFs and read all of Pam Sorooshian’s columns, What About Math?
Work on a jigsaw puzzle with the family.

Notice the change in the sunrise and sunset times throughout the year. Did the Farmers’ Almanac get it right?

Count your heartbeats. How many per minute? What about breaths?

Math is really all around us. And if you’re not sure how to do something, GOOGLE it! Show your kids how to do that too. Go to the TexUns Facebook page and let’s see what other math ideas we can recognize from everyday activites.

Q.  “When I ask what THEY would like to do, I seem to get no good answer. My dd16 likes to draw and will soon be volunteering for a theater. My ds12 *was* interested in weapons, Magformers and Minecraft but he doesn’t seem interested in pursuing any of these.”

A. Time to stop asking that question then, right?

Instead, spend some time focusing on what they DO, what they talk about, what they enjoy. OBSERVE them for a while. From there, take your lifetime of experience (that they don’t have) and think about what you could do to offer something in those arenas of interest. It could be something in the community, something online, a memory from your own history. You could talk to them about planning a trip or creating something new in your home.

Don’t rely on them to come up with it. You are the Family Tour Guide – it’s time to do some research about what’s available that you can share with them. Think about creating memories WITH them. What would you do if your long lost friend showed up and wanted to see your town – where would you take her? What do you wish you had been able to do when you were a child? Share that with your children and see if they have any of those same interests.

Create a home environment where they know they can explore, experiment, fail and try again. Remove the pressure and the judgement. Maybe they’re experiencing a dormant winter period in their lives right now. Comfort, soothe, and nurture. You can’t rush these things, and yet seasons, in nature and in life, continue to roll on. Who knows what Spring will bring?! 😉
Q. I have been doing a lot of reading about unschooling and it seems as if everyone else’s child is neck deep in projects they are excited about. What is wrong with our family?
A. Oh dear! I doubt there’s anything wrong with your family! Parents always worry. There’s a reason we have so many cliches about making comparisons though.

Comparison Meme

For instance:
“Comparison is the death of joy.” (Mark Twain)

“Compare and Despair”

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

 

Sure, some kids find their niche early on, while others appear to dabble for years. Part of the joy of unschooling is knowing that your children can progress at whatever speed is right for them. They don’t have to excel at something because the same-age kid beside them is good at that particular thing.

Trust that they’re exploring and discovering and right where they need to be. Continue to expose them to a variety of things – through activities at home, adventures in the community, and even simple conversations with them. Interests change over time. Allow theirs to morph without feeling judged. Comparing them to other people brings obstacles into your relationship with them and doubts into their thoughts about themselves.

Focus on the joy, not the fear.

 

 

Sue PattersonSue Patterson, wife and mother of three grown unschoolers, lives in Pflugerville, just north of Austin. She has been an active homeschooling advocate at the local, state and national level for nearly two decades. Her newly released book, Homeschooled Teens, is available now!
Sue is the Managing Editor of The Homeschooler Post – an online quarterly parenting journal focusing on learning for home educators. She manages the Unschooling Mom2Mom Facebook group, blogs at Lifelong Learning, speaks at various conferences around the country, works as a Life Coach and Unschooling Mentor. Find out more at SuePatterson.com.

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Minecraft – Learning The 3 R’s

MinecraftThe first full version of Minecraft was released in November 2011 and since then has taken the world by storm. In less than two years, this game has grown by leaps and bounds. Currently, Minecraft has upwards of thirty three million users and is growing at a rate of about 17, 000 new ones every day. Chances are, if you have a child, he’s been exposed to Minecraft. (Update: Minecraft is currently nearing it’s fourth year and has over 100,000,000 users)

Despite the popularity of the game, many parents express concern over the amount of time and energy their children spend on Minecraft. Much like the parents of old, who were appalled at the youthful fascination with Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Rock and Roll, they are resisting the hold that Minecraft has on their kids, to no avail. Minecraft is changing the way kids interact in the world, how they learn and how they communicate. Minecraft is a springboard for a change that wants to happen. Like a tidal wave, there’s no holding it back.

With that in mind, perhaps we can investigate what the attraction is and how Minecraft might actually be the tool that your child needs to learn and grow in these ever changing times.

Many of us are so concerned with our child “learning” something that we lose sight of what they already know and are building upon through play. I have observed my own children and countless other children (myself included) as they play Minecraft and have come to the conclusion that the spectrum of learning opportunities is vast. Let’s start with the basics – the 3 R’s, something we all want our children to be proficient in.

If you ask a kid whether they would rather play Minecraft or study in their reading, writing or math book, what do you think the answer would be?

I think we all know what the answer would be. And maybe they are onto something.


 

READING Minecraft reading

 

 

 

I’ve watched my two boys excel at reading playing Minecraft. How can this be?

It’s simple. They’ve found a useful reason to learn to read or to extend their reading skills. It makes sense to them. The motivation to read emanates from their desire to advance in the game.

Websites like WikiHow and various blogs possess valuable information on how to build structures, make tools, set up servers, fight monsters and more. If reading words is the only thing standing in the way of a child getting that information, he will learn to read and do it quickly, perhaps with a little help from Mom or Dad.

The multiplayer worlds are a huge part of the Minecraft experience. On multiplayer servers kids communicate, often through chats. In order to keep in the conversation, they must know how to read. Again, they are motivated. There’s no forcing or coercing to read. They just do it.

As a result of playing Minecraft, my sons have gotten interested in a variety of topics such as biomes, survival, primitive tools and gemstones. We’ve made many trips to the library to find books on these topics. With the reading skills they’ve gleaned playing Minecraft, they are super readers and inspired to read books about the real things in life that correspond with their game.

 

Minecraft writing

WRITING

 

 

 

My boys never liked journaling or prompted writing. I tried it with them. They weren’t having any part of it. But Minecraft has awakened their inner artists, inspiring them to draw pictures and write stories about their experiences in Minecraft. . They’ve used online animation programs to create Minecraft stories and shared them with online communities. Spelling has improved immensely because they want to express themselves so that their stories are understood. As time has passed and confidence in their writing skills has increased, they aren’t as resistant to writing anymore. Their writing skills have flowed into all aspects of writing including using email, Facebook , writing letters, blogging and making homemade books.

Multiplayer servers rely heavily on the chat section. And believe me, the kids want to communicate. Their writing skills improve on these chat sessions because they have the desire to be heard and to express themselves. The way they do that is through the written word. Minecraft provides lots of practice and practice, as they say, makes perfect.

 

Minecraft MathMATH

 

 

 

One of the greatest adventures in Minecraft is building. In order to build elaborate cities and structures, you can’t help but be exposed to math concepts. I’ve witnessed kids figuring out how many blocks it would take to build a massive building, doubling, tripling and even quadrupling that number in their heads and going on to build a visually pleasing, symmetrical building. I’ve never used flash cards with my youngest but the other day he found a set of multiplication cards and asked me to call them out to him. He got every one of them correct – without ever doing worksheets or working from a textbook. He’s built so many things in Minecraft that he’s taught himself.

I’ve seen kids figure out how many minutes they have until “night time”, average the amount of food needed to go on a mining adventure, divide supplies evenly among players and estimate an area needed to build a city. The math concepts are all around them and they can’t help but learn them if they want to be successful at their game.


 

Kids are ready for the changes that are taking place in the world. Whether they realize they are learning or not is beside the point. They are learning. And they’re enjoying it while they do.

We as parents have the opportunity to connect with our kids, play Minecraft with them and look at their game as something more than just a game. Watch for the three R’s while they play. Notice what skills they are acquiring. Listen to them talk about what they are doing there. And relax, knowing that their desire to play is much more than play. It’s learning in the making.

Please join us to discuss this blog post in our Alternative Living and Learning Community here.


 

This article was written by Michelle Conaway and published in The Homeschooler Magazine in the Winter 2013 issue. Subscribe to other great articles from the Homeschooler Magazine here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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