Minecraft has been popular with players of all ages and backgrounds since its initial release in 2009, but now it’s gaining popularity as an educational tool. If you don’t know what Minecraft is, you’re probably not alone. Minecraft is a sandbox game that lets players choose how they want to play. Because it’s so open-ended, it can provide learning opportunities in almost any subject imaginable, including math, reading, writing, art, history, geography and more.
Benefits of Unschooling
Unlike conventional schools, unschooling uses individualized and self-directed learning. With this education style, there is no set curriculum that every student follows. Rather, students are free to explore their interests and passions as they please. Some schools may be able to offer classes for general topics such as math or history but still allow children some freedom in how they approach their studies, but because our own thoughts, needs, and goals are so different from those of our classmates, this educational technique does not work for everyone. Parents don’t need a background in education nor do they need qualifications in order to home school their children in Michigan. All that is needed is an open mind and desire to learn new things alongside your child each day!
One way to make the most out of unstructured learning is through cooperative games. There are many board games out there that teach valuable skills like strategy, problem solving, teamwork, and social skills. Another fun idea is to create scavenger hunts for your child around your house or yard; you can use these hunts as ways to reinforce what they have learned in other areas by giving them clues based on what they already know about life outside of school. It also helps build confidence in your child when they realize just how much they know. With all the benefits of cooperative games and unstructured learning, it’s easy to see why more people are choosing this form of education over the traditional one.
How to Use Minecraft in Your Child’s Education
If you’re a parent like me, you know that it can be challenging to find the right education methods for your child. I personally have spent years struggling with trying to decide whether my kids should go to public school or if they should be homeschooled. Then, a lightbulb went off in my head and I decided there was a third option. That’s when I looked into what is called unschooling and found out about how people are using video games in their children’s education. Here are some of the ways Minecraft can benefit education for children.
Minecraft can help build critical thinking skills. There are many puzzles in Minecraft that require players to think critically in order to solve them. Kids who play these types of games over time may get better at making connections between different ideas and solving problems on their own by figuring out solutions through trial-and-error instead of just looking up the answer online.
Another great way that Minecraft can help develop critical thinking skills is by allowing players to make decisions about where buildings will go, what animals will live on the farm, etc., which gives them the opportunity to figure out why certain things work well together and why others don’t. And because it takes time to build everything, kids also learn patience while playing Minecraft! They love watching all the plants grow and exploring new areas. It’s an awesome feeling when you finally open up a new door on your map after working so hard on getting enough resources.
It teaches kids the value of perseverance and overcoming challenges. When you play a game like Minecraft, you’re going to face obstacles that seem impossible to overcome at first glance, but as your child plays more and more, they’ll become accustomed to overcoming those obstacles with ease. Playing these types of games not only helps kids become more confident but also teaches them valuable life lessons such as persistence, creativity, and determination.
There are other benefits too! A lot of parents see their children playing video games like Minecraft and worry about whether it’s a good use of time or not. The truth is that there are studies showing how beneficial gaming can be for social development. For example, one study found that gamers were more likely to cooperate with each other than non-gamers. Nowadays, we’ve come to understand that playing games can actually help children develop their interpersonal skills, something schools could never hope to do.
Overall, I am convinced that Minecraft has made a positive impact on my child’s education and would recommend it as an alternative educational program for anyone considering alternatives. It has had more of an impact than any book or teacher ever could have had.
The Potential Risks
Some people believe that unschooling through gaming and other technology, though it has its merits, also has potential risks. Educators often worry about children getting addicted to games or turning out irresponsible adults because they lack real-world skills. In response, many professionals advocate using educational games in moderation. For example, Don Johnston, a professor at the University of Waterloo who teaches video game design courses, advocates limiting time spent playing video games to 30 minutes at a time for children ages 7-11. It’s not enough time to get involved in deep play, he says; but you can do some productive stuff. Children 12 and up should stick to two hours per day maximum, he advises. For younger children, there is no limit on screen time, but parents should still guide their children’s screen usage to ensure adequate exercise and interaction with others in person and online. These recommendations go against the unschooling philosophy, but should be addressed regardless.
I hope this post has helped you get started in learning about Minecraft, or at least opened up new possibilities for your own learning journey!