Minecraft…all the kids (and a lot of adults too) are LOVING Minecraft! If you haven’t heard of it…you can check it out at Minecraft.net. Basically the game has you use different types of blocks to build things. It is also a game of survival from zombies and creepers. (These are not as bad as they sound…see picture below.)
Well, one of the newest fads is educating with Minecraft. Homeschoolers are loving the fact they can use a game their kids love to also bring in some learning! There are three different places offering Minecraft learning that homeschoolers would be interested in ~ we have participated in classes with all three…and here are my thoughts. These are NOT in preferential order, but in order of when they started offering public classes.
The first one that started it all was Minecraft Homeschool.
- History classes and now branching off with Creative Writing classes.
- The most economically priced classes normally costing either $10 or $16 for 5 week classes.
- No scheduled class meeting times.
- These classes focus on the students working together to build what they are covering in class.
- Quizzes and classes are graded.
- Emails are used to communicate with server owners. A lot of information is also posted on their Facebook page.
The second on that came along shortly thereafter was Skrafty (When You Rise Up).
- Offers a safe place for kids to play WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE SIGNED UP FOR CLASSES. However, this is also unique in that it has so much to offer that it easily becomes confusing and overwhelming for the kids.
- Offers Science, History and Language Arts classes.
- Has a “Chore Chart” system ($2.99/month per family) that provides the parent with a code they can give their kids once their chores are completed. This code gives them access to the “Chore Treasure Cave”. [Our family has not participated in this as yet.]
- Decently priced classes. $32 for 6 weeks of a graded class.$16 for a 15-week self-paced class. Basically prices range…
- Scheduled meeting times for graded classes. Also offers “self-paced” classes with no scheduled meeting times nor grading.
- Because they offer a FREE playing server for those who are not in classes, they have a “rank-up” option you can purchase ($8/month) that will allow your kids to fly and have a pet, etc.
- A Christian server where you will find prayer and “religious” items on the server.
- A Facebook group is mostly used for communication, although emails work well too.
The third is the newest one which is pretty much just getting started: Homeschool With Minecraft.
- Offers classes that correspond to the Magic Tree House and American Girl books. Also offers History classes.
- A bit overly priced at $20 for the first student and $15 for each additional student in the same class for 4 week classes.
- Weekly scheduled class times of one-hour per week where the students get together to show off what they have built as well as spending time building together.
- Offers no grading but does give out “Certificates of Completion” when the class is finished.
- Offers both Christian and Secular options within classes where that would be necessary.
- Emails are used to communicate with server owners.
Here is a little sample from each server:
All of these servers use videos (kid friendly) along with additional items for learning. Some have items you need to purchase or get from the library (if particular books are involved). All of the servers use Team Speak for conversations among the students. All have “protection” involved for knowing what students are saying on Team Speak as well as what things are done on their servers. None of them allow inappropriate talk or behavior. (Normally students are given a couple chances – parents are notified – before they are permanently removed.)
If you are wondering what the “scary things” folks talk about are…here are some pictures. As you can see…they aren’t what we normally think of as “scary things” and are not a big deal within the game.
Do I have a FAVORITE site? Not necessarily as each offers their own “specialties”.
** If you are looking for a safe place for your kids to play without participating in classes – SKrafty is the only one who offers that option.
** If you are looking for a place for your kids to participate in more of a group setting, you would be most interested in Minecraft Homeschool.
** If you are looking for more of a “personal touch” then Homeshool with Minecraft would be your best option.
All of these offer a wonderful, safe place for kids to play and enjoy and learn with Minecraft. I commend ALL THREE owners for the work they have put in to the servers they are offering to others.
One question that is seen a lot…can we have one Minecraft account, or do we need more than one? That depends. If you don’t care if your kids play under the same account with the same name working on the same things then one account will be enough. However, if you want your kids to have separate access to playing so they can build their own items, you will need more than one account. Additionally, you can play Minecraft ON ANY COMPUTER once you have purchased the account as you have purchased an account, not the program.
Now…go…play…and HAVE FUN LEARNING!
Have a wonderfully blessed day!