View Full Version : minecraft homeschool?

02-28-2014, 11:48 PM
Does anyone else have a child doing minecraft homeschool? My boys are doing it and I am not loving it right now. Maybe my boys are just inefficient but the tasks that are listed as taking 2 hours have taken my boys over 5 hours and they did not even complete them. My youngest spent over 2 hours throwing a fit about doing the quiz. I admit I don't like minecraft anyway but this was supposed to be something fun for them that was also educational. At this point I have an 8 year old who is crying because he didn't complete his first weeks work (his house isn't built and his farm isn't complete) and we had to skip a good bit of our other work to fit this in. Not impressed

03-02-2014, 01:46 PM
My 10-year-old daughter is in Castles and Cannons Lite and she loves it. We did the holiday class, too. This session has been a lot more work than the holiday class was, but she is still enjoying it. I'm sorry it hasn't been a good fit for your kiddos. We kind of dropped most of our other planned lessons last week when I saw how much work there would be for MCHS and that was fine for us, but I know not everyone can/wants to do that.

03-02-2014, 02:56 PM
I looked into it a while back when it was posted here on different thread but...
1. We didnt have the PC version... they play on their iPad/iPods. So DD would have been a total newb in that manner.
2. We have enough "work" and stuff that keeps DD very busy as it is
3. They play for fun..... and I didn't want to mess that up

I might revisit it for something during the summer tho. I have heard a lot of positive thing about it.

03-02-2014, 10:53 PM
My oldest (12) is doing Castles and Cannons lite as well, he did alright but I don't think he completed everything. He did fine on his out of game work but may not have completed all of his in game work or the lab. He had a rough time finding some one to work with building the village or something, I didn't totally follow. I know it took 5 hours of just game work which isn't going to work for us. My youngest (8) is doing 7 wonders lite and didn't get even half of the in game work done in over 8 hours of play. Part of that is him, he spent 4 hours just meandering around in the game and then he lost his house before he managed to complete building it (this is something he has an issue with, I have no idea why). He failed the quiz completely. It can't go down like this again next week. I don't have weeks for them to just take off and do nothing but minecraft so it either needs to take roughly the amount of time the course told me it would take or they are just going to fail. I feel like time estimates should not be up if it actually takes more than double or triple that amount of time to get the work done. I'm not a super strict home schooler or anything (and that may be why my kids can't manage their time better though they are both SN and we are CM homeschoolers) but we have taken a ton of time off this year already and I need my oldest to get done.

03-02-2014, 11:21 PM
Thanks for this feedback, Iris. I've been thinking about letting ds do this over the summer, but I'm feeling unsure.

03-03-2014, 05:36 PM
My kids liked it but lost interest very quickly. I watched the videos with them and thought they were good. I don't think it took them more than a few hours but they only completed the first few weeks. I think they prefer to save Minecraft for fun only, but that a motivated child could get a lot out of it.

03-03-2014, 08:37 PM
How interactive is it? Do they get to have a sense of connection with the other kids?

I'm reading this thread with great interest because I've wondered about doing this. But my impression too was that my children would want this on top of their normal minecraft time, and I wasn't sure I want them doing extra computer stuff. The one thing that was tempting me was the thought of them having to work with other kids on something.

03-04-2014, 12:43 AM
After they do their "outside of game" stuff (which is required before they start their in game stuff and I appreciate that) they do interact with the other kids. Some of the builds are cooperative or at least they can be. Honestly I think that slows the whole thing way down though, they wind up spending more time goofing around than actually managing the builds. So far this week my oldest has completed his out of game work all in one day, didn't take him too long at all. My youngest got his reading and videos done but hasn't done the quiz yet so we'll see how that goes. After the quiz they are allowed into the game to do their in game build. This week I am limiting their game time, if they can't complete their build in the time I allow (the suggested time frame is 2hours, I think I will allow 4 but give more if they are finished with everything else and need/want it) then that is just too bad. I hate to have to be this way but this thing can't take over our lives. As I've said I'm not actually a minecraft fan, I find it rather irritating. I only went for this because I thought it would be a fun thing for them to do and might help them learn in a different way/things I haven't really be able to teach them. Unless things turn around we won't do it again.

03-04-2014, 11:04 PM
My daughter (age 10) is an experienced Minecraft player. I signed her up for the 1 week Holiday server in December, and she loved it. Part of her enjoyment was based on the fact that several local children were assigned to the same server she was on, and they would arrange to meet up and work together on-line.

I am not surprised your 8 year old is having trouble. During the holiday server period they were actually discussing whether or not they would continue to allow players under the age of 9. Reading fluency, ability to navigate and shape the world using commands, and a grasp of the rules were all issues for younger users. I know my 7 years old twins, (who desperately wanted to sign up as well) could not have handled the tasks on the Holiday Server, never mind the full classes. It may be that the class really is too hard.

We plan to sign up for the next go-round of Ancient Mayans. Does anybody have experience with this class in particular?

03-04-2014, 11:37 PM
My older son (10) is taking the Ancient Maya class right now and he really likes it. We have not found the assignments too taxing, and thus far he has had good experiences interacting with most of the other players he has encountered. It is serving in place of his other, usual, "Minecraft time," but he does not seem to mind.

03-05-2014, 12:31 AM
Well his reading abilities should not hold him back, he reads at a 7th grade level. However his ability to focus and task manage is immature (he did just turn 8 but he has some issues even beyond that). He also has little experience playing minecraft on PC, he had been using it on X-box and tablet. We purchased it for PC ahead of time and let him play some to get used to the format but I am sure the change is not improving things for him. This week he did his reading and watched his videos but is still refusing to take his quiz so he can't even get on the game yet. His defiance issues are not helping him.

03-05-2014, 12:32 AM
I am glad he is having a good experience. Is your son taking the lite version, or the advanced? I think we will go for light the first time around so she has a set budget for resources. Time limits are essential with this class.

03-05-2014, 10:42 AM
It took me a long time to realize that just because a kid has the intellectual skills for a certain course or project does not mean he's actually ready to enjoy or succeed in it. I mean, it took me three kids to figure it out!

03-05-2014, 10:52 AM
It was great for my girls 11 and 12 and they were able to finish everything that was asked of them. Joseph, 13, was a little bored by it and lost interest. I think his minecrafting abilities are beyond what they were asking him to do. He wanted more redstone.

03-05-2014, 01:05 PM
They are taking lite. I knew my oldest would be stressed by the concept of being graded, he has anxiety and though we have explored several treatment options none so far have really worked. If he knows his tests count for a grade he loses it thoroughly. Sometimes he loses it just doing worksheets. He doesn't mind if I grade his work, I don't count. However if I point out that he made a mistake he can have a meltdown.

I did ask the boys before I signed them up. They were super excited about the idea but of course I have no idea what they were picturing (I don't know exactly what I was picturing). They probably imagined they would just play minecraft for a few hours every day or something. Like I said my oldest seems to like it but he enjoys watching videos for school. My youngest really prefers being read to and needs a good bit of hands on work.

03-06-2014, 06:34 PM
I would say that 8 is on the verge of too young to really enjoy it. My 10 and 12 do it, they love it. It's actually the "reward" for finishing the rest of their work. They have done 7 wonders, castles and are now on vikings. They actually have learned more than they would have learned with just me (none of like history/social studies). So I'm loving it.

They are coming up with some science and writing MCHS as well for next year!

03-06-2014, 06:55 PM
My children, both age 9, like it. They completed the intro lite class. They played more than the 2 hours/week recommended - but they w/h been playing MC anyway. There were short videos to watch and no quizzes. I do not think they learned much but they enjoyed it. It was my intention to take the topic they were learning and provide supplemental info to increase the learning...but I didn't do it.

Now they are in the lite Master Chef writing class. There was a lot of reading the first week. There is a weekly quiz. My children like this class too.

I think my children are slightly addicted to Minecraft :(. I signed them up for MCHS figuring if they are going to play more than I like, at least they will be learning something. (even if that something is just following directions and having a deadline!) They still prefer to create their own 'stuff'. We may take a break from MCHS when the chef class is over.

03-06-2014, 09:05 PM
My oldest (the 12 year old) is enjoying the class but I don't think he actually gets the game play portion. He spent over 5 hours on it and hasn't completed the assignment. He built a blacksmith and didn't claim it, his excuse being that he built it too close (or maybe within) somebody's larger claim. I just have no idea and to be honest don't really care. What I do care about is the fact that he wasted 5 hours playing minecraft without completing the assignment. All he does all day is talk about how he needs to get to his "history" AKA he wants his minecraft time. Yeah not actually good for his obsessive side. He is learning but he would learn if I gave him any videos, he learns from reading horrible histories.

As far as my youngest, well he spent 6 hours on his quiz last night and didn't complete it. Today he spent another hour on it then his brother, being ever so helpful (I didn't know he had gone out there or I would have stopped him, he is obsessed with getting on there) pressed a button and cleared it so he had to start over again. Luckily the last time didn't take nearly as long. He can tell me things he is learning but he completely failed the first quiz so I don't know. He isn't getting the builds at all. I will not do it again with him, I might consider doing the creative writing with my oldest only because he needs encouragement to write. I will have to give it a lot of thought and things will have to improve for the rest of this session before I go for it though. I am sure this is a useful tool for some, I don't feel that it is for our family. My kids are just not using it responsibly and I do not have the time or desire to sit next to them the entire time they are on it.

03-08-2014, 01:37 PM
We are trying MCHS for the first time. My ds10 is doing the Castles and my ds12 is doing the 7 wonders (both lite). The first week they were very excited to get started, watched all of their videos and read their articles, and jumped into building. They are using Teamspeak to talk to other players which they enjoy. The second week they were not as excited to get started but still say they are enjoying it. I think ds10 is enjoying it more than ds12. Ds12 says it is hard to get everyone to work together on the team builds, but I think it is good for them to communicate with others and learn to work as a team. Ds12 is also not impressed with the Redstone labs (says they are too easy/things he already knows) so he is just doing the lab his own way, as creatively as he can. Ds12 had one episode of "griefing" and we emailed the problem and it was taken care of very promptly (within a couple of hours). I do think they are learning from the classes and it is a nice "break" from the normal history work that we do. I print out their assignments weekly and we use it as a checklist to make sure everything is done by the end of Friday.

03-08-2014, 05:59 PM
That just sounds super unpleasant, Iris.

In addition to Cara's sage words of wisdom, I guess I would add that something I've learned is that just because they are into something, doesn't mean that it works very well to try and make it "educational." While it's nice when they marry, sometimes it's best if learning is learning and play is play.

03-09-2014, 12:11 PM
My kids are begging to take these classes but I'm confused by the offerings. Do we start with the intro class (From China to Mars) or can we start with the history class (7 Wonders of the Ancient World)? I assume my 8-year-old should do the "lite" course and my 10-year-old should do the "advanced"?

Also--my kids share the same account so I didn't have to pay $27 each for them to play Minecraft. But it looks like Minecraft Homeschool makes them each have their own account? Am I correct on that?

03-10-2014, 12:31 AM
You can start with the history classes and it is up to you as far as advanced vs lite. Read up on the differences I don't fully understand minecraft the biggest difference to me was that advanced was graded and lite was not (I think there are some differences in the builds but I don't know how much). I do believe they recommend younger students stick with lite and resources are more limited/controlled in advanced. As far as your account goes, there is an FAQ on it on the site but you can absolutely use just one and my boys are. It is better if they are taking different classes and if they are using lite because of the allotment of land and money or some such thing. You don't run as many risks of them using each other's items I guess. Like I said I don't speak minecraft. I do refuse to buy two minecraft accounts when I'm not that fond of owning it in the first place.

03-10-2014, 12:45 AM
My children are currently in the Master Chef Lite class. I was told, by Jody at MCHS, the age requirement for the graded class is 12. I'm not sure if this is the case for all the graded classes.

03-11-2014, 11:16 PM
The Advanced 7 Wonders of the Ancient World (graded) is for students 9-18. The Master Chef Advanced (graded) class is for students 12-18.

03-16-2014, 04:22 PM
My kids have really enjoyed the 7 wonders lite program. We bought minecraft pc for the program as they had only played on their iPads previously.

I made my 5 year old watch the videos and asked him the questions to the quizzes but he really didn't do the builds. His sisters helped him start a site each week but he ended up just playing with other kids. He can't read but uses team speak. Older kids always seem to help him out and give him items.

My 9 year old each completed their builds in about 1-2 hours and spent the rest of the time exploring and building with other kids. They love it and say they have made several friends.

I limit each to 1 hour a day (some days none depending on what we are doing).

My opinion is it's great for them to play on line with other kids and know that there is an adult moderator watching for inappropriate language and behavior. The educational value is low but it replaces their other screen time so I don't mind.

03-27-2014, 10:42 AM
I emailed the Minecraft Homeschool admin yesterday, after reading about this activity. I think I will sign him up for this, as he rather enjoys MC, and having it as part of his homeschooling extra-curricula activity will be good. After all, it's partially able to be regarded as part of the actual homeschooling work. Looking forward to this!