Social Skills & Minecraft

Multiplayer Minecraft poses another way students can learn social skills.

Minecraft Servers can be great fun but also challenging. Children can befriend others and have really good experiences, but they can also have times where they end up fighting. How problems on a server are dealt with will depend partly on what the server norms are. Different servers have different customs. In some servers “everything goes” and people can take what they want from others, and can keep only what they can hide. In other servers areas are protected by plugins that allow players to restrict others access to their creations and chests. In other servers players are urged to just Continue reading

Ultimate Tic Tac Toe

My 12 year old and I have found another game to play together. We’re playing ultimate tic tac toe. There’s probably lots of variations on the rules out there, but the way we are playing it we have three layers of tic tac toe boards, buried within each other. It is probably easiest for me to explain the rules if I start with describing how nine-board game of tic tac toe works. Then you have two layers of tic tac toe boards. Someone draws an X or O on one of the smaller boards and where that person placed their Continue reading

My Minecraft Classes

I’ve had some people asking recently what my Minecraft classes look like. What do we do in them? What are they like? So I made a little video to explain more about them. My longer Minecraft classes (Minecraft Math and Minecraft Shakespeare) are taught with Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online. My shorter Minecraft classes (Minecraft Geography, Minecraft Grammar or Beginner Minecraft) are taught with Outschool.com.   Related posts: my experience and plans teaching with Minecraft Cobblestone Academy My son is proud of how I’m learning with Minecraft, and so am I Minecraft Math: power rails

Year End Review

The school year in Canada stretches for a few more weeks, but we’re ready for summer here. The two children I’m homeschooling are doing just our minimal amount of schoolwork for the day, and my one remaining child in school is wishing and dreaming of summer holidays. I’m thinking over the schoolwork and other projects we did this year, and wondering that never-ending question – is it enough? Did we do enough? Did we make good use of this year? This year my six year old learned to read. She learned to count, to add and subtract. Yes, she was Continue reading

My Mothers’ Day Gift to Myself

My Mothers’ Day Gift to myself is to sort my to-read pile. I’m letting myself off the hook for books I thought I would read but probably won’t. I’m committing to finishing the ones I want to finish. I’m compiling the list of other books I want to read next. I hear people talk about self-care in terms of manicures or facials, new clothing or a meal out. That’s fine. Everyone has their own tastes, but to me self-care is to tell myself that what I read is important, to value my own learning, my own thoughts and questions. What Continue reading

Truth Time: School or homeschooling?

It has been a year of transitions here. All three of my children went to school for the first time in September but only one is still registered there. My oldest returned to homeschooling after only a month at school and my youngest returned to homeschooling after Christmas. You can read about the decision to send them to school here and about bringing my oldest home here. It has been a very strange year with so many transitions. Sending the kids to school and then bringing them home again forced me to confront the serious questions about why we were Continue reading

Cobblestone Academy

Registration for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online fall 2017 classes will be starting on May 1st. I’m very excited. This next year will be my fourth year teaching with GHFO! For the last two years I’ve been using the same Minecraft server for the classes, and while I’ve added maps to the server during that time, I haven’t removed the one we started with. It’s a choatic terrain filled with all sorts of things my students have created over the time, and for me, filled with memories of all the awesome students I’ve been lucky enough to teach. Of course since we’re in Minecraft we Continue reading

My son is proud of how I’m learning with Minecraft, and so am I

Today I found myself writing an email about why I recommend people buy Minecraft for PC/Mac. The reason I recommend it is that Minecraft is a game that can grow with a person. It’s easy enough for a small child but complicated enough that even an adult can continue learning with it. My six year old can build and play on it. She greets others on my multiplayer server with the few words she knows how to type and she makes a huge effort to read what others type back to her.  My older children have been learning about mods Continue reading

William Morris and Jane Austen: Lens for Literature

I’m reading about William Morris, the 19th century designer and socialist. His company rejected the assembly line in favor of treating every creation like a work of art to be done by one person from start to finish. Morris learned old techniques and reinvented lost techniques. He hoped that as people saw the great quality products they would shun the cheaper mass-produced goods, but of course this didn’t happen and instead other companies produced cheap knock-offs of his work. I first heard of him years ago at university, when I was busy fingerweaving Metis-style sashes, which gave me at least Continue reading

images of giftedness in G. K. Chesterton

I’m on a G. K. Chesterton binge right now, reading a variety of his books. Reading the books is a refreshing exercise. I have to concentrate on it. One cannot skim his books. Each sentence has such meaning and yet each gets more meaning from the sentences around it. That seems such an obvious thing to say. but it really I can read a paragraph or two and then sit and reflect upon what it means. I keep finding within Chesteron’s works descriptions about intellectual giftedness. Since the challenge of being a gifted adult is a topic of interest to me, Continue reading