Homeschooling With Minecraft - Easy ways to make learning fun!

My youngest son is eleven.

He loves the outdoors, animals, and sports.

He also loves Minecraft – like a lot.

As he has gotten older, I have struggled to find ways to make learning engaging and fun. (Why is it that so many middle school programs suddenly shift  exclusively to textbooks and worksheets?)

I have found one of the easiest ways for me to challenge him, and keep his attention, has been using Minecraft as part of our learning.  He gets to enjoy a favorite activity, and I am able to see how much he is progressing in any given subject.

Minecraft is one of the best homeschool mom-hacks I know.

Homeschooling With Minecraft – Easy ways to make learning fun!

Here are some of the ways we have incorporated Minecraft into our learning.

Minecraft Signs

Oh my goodness – this changed everything for my son, who struggles with reading and spelling. Instead of practicing sight words or completing spelling tests on paper, we type the practice words into signs on Minecraft. It’s a lot more fun and I have found he retains the learning so much more than if we were using a standard approach.

History Projects and Book Reports

This is one of my favorite ways to use Minecraft for learning. In the same way I completed shoe box dioramas in school, my son creates scenes from historic events or a book he is reading. In our state, students are typically required to complete a state history project related to the California missions. My son created his project entirely in Minecraft – and it was great!

Math Is Given

Area and perimeter, multiplication and complex addition – all are inherent in Minecraft builds. While I could use this to “teach math,” I have chosen to instead smile and keep it to myself. My son easily completes math assignments on his own, so I consider Minecraft to be a real life application of the knowledge he has gained. If he was struggling in math concepts, I can imagine using Minecraft to help him visualize the math equation. In fact, Minecraft is a perfect place to solve math word problems!

Biome Scavenger Hunts

The Plains, Desert, Forrest, and Savannah biomes are just a small sample of  what is automatically built into the game. In order to learn more about the different terrestrial regions present in real-life as well, I asked my son to show me the different biomes in Minecraft and tell me about their climates, plants, animals and features. It was an excellent discussion and I was honestly surprised at how much he had learned already, just by playing the game.

It is rare that an online activity, one that my son actually enjoys, can provide so much educational value and learning.

Minecraft is a gold mine for our homeschool.

Do your kids love Minecraft too? Have you used it for learning as well?

About Shawna

Shawna Wingert writes about motherhood, special needs and the beauty of everyday messes at www.nottheformerthings.com. She is an accidental writer, a passionate speaker and has been a part of special needs discussions on Today.com, Autism Speaks, The Mighty, For Every Mom, Simple Homeschool, and The Huffington Post. She is the author of two books, Everyday Autism and Special Education at Home. Shawna lives in Southern California with her voice actor husband, and two awesome sons

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