• Picture shows a small Minecraft village.
    homeschooling,  minecraft,  politics

    Political Studies through Minecraft

    I have reopened my Minecraft server in light of the Covid-19 restrictions and the need to have extra online social activities for children. I host events a couple of times a week on Minecraft and Zoom, and the children play on the server whenever they want in between those events. One question came up recently that introduced some very fun questions about political studies. Some children asked if they could have special areas on the server where they set the rules. A child demonstrated what he meant with a list of rules and the punishments he wanted to enforce. Was this allowed, he asked? So I’ve been thinking about that…

  • Multiplayer Minecraft poses another way students can learn social skills.

    Social Skills & Minecraft

    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 be nice and get along. My server is one of…

  • minecraft

    Cobblestone Academy

    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 can always just teleport over to the edge of what’s built and start building something new, no one needs to explore the choas unless they want to explore it. Each year as my classes end I tell…

  • homeschooling,  minecraft

    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 and config files. They’ve learned about json commands and the…

  • mathematics,  minecraft

    More fun, easy ways to do math with Minecraft

      The other day on Minecraft my children and I were exploring how to build tunnels quicker. One way of doing this is to use the fill command. Often using fill or clone we can look at the two opposite corners of the rectangular prism we are planning on filling or cloning, and record the coordinates. In building a tunnel we can only look at the coordinates of what will be the entrance to the tunnel, and then we have to imagine how far back we want the tunnel to go and figure out which coordinate we need to change (x, y or z) to make the tunnel. In the…