Learning Minecraft - As an Adult - Gaming with Kids

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Immediately after taking the plunge to learn the wide world of Minecraft with the kids we also decided to start setting up a YouTube channel. Why not right? I am already failing in the game quite often so why not document that for the world to see. Right? This makes total sense! (insert much laughter here)

One thing I do wish the game had was a controller. I am ok with keyboard commands but sometimes a good 'ol fashioned joystick works for me. And at first when I was trying to sort out the differences between all the platforms the game comes on? Ouch! The learning curve! To help you out here's a little breakdown:

Minecraft PC (Java edition) comes in versions dating before 1.6 all the way to 1.12.x right now. It's (of course) on the PC or Mac and costs around $27. Most laptops available on the market today can handle playing this game. I will warn you that if you are a highly competitive person, a laptop may not be the route to go to play this game well. You may want to look in to a gaming computer system. It will make game play much more enjoyable!

Minecraft console games are on XBox, playstation, etc. I am not familiar with this version of the game because I have never played it. I'm not even sure how much this cost?? Sorry!

Minecraft PE is the mobile version of minecraft. It is available as a Win 10, android and apple itune app. You can play on your phone or tablet. On Win 10, if you have a PC account already, you can get a free Win 10 app code. And on the phones/tablets you can purchase the app many different ways. It's not too costly and can be purchased on a family account and shared across some devices. Not all my kids play Minecraft PE anymore. I find the controls difficult. Now since I have been able to get the Win 10 version I have been able to play with my kids that like their PE versions and I get to use keyboard controls. That makes my life easier!

Annnnnd this is where it can get confusing. I know a lot of this is as clear as mud... but hang in there. Win 10 app Minecraft is not the same as Minecraft PC. You cannot do multiplayer with a PC to a PE account. You can, however, play PE, Win 10 and consoles all together though. Wooowho! The world opens up with that right there. Each version has a variety of online servers you can join or ways to play with friends. You just can't play PC to one of the other versions. Also, some consoles cannot cross play with other consoles at the moment either. That may change later... I guess the biggest thing to realize is that if your kid is playing on your phone and you are in the Java (PC) Minecraft, you can't play together.

Soooo... this is why the kids and I each have a Minecraft (Java) PC account. These accounts have slowly been collected over the years for birthdays and holidays. We have tons of fun playing together and building things. Right now I have us going through some Adventure Maps that are available to learn some history while we have fun playing around. The minor frustrations of installing these maps (which isn't as hard as you'd think it is) is greatly out-weighed with the fun we have playing together. The kiddos that do not have a PC to play on also hang around with us giving advice or adding much giggling to the fails that happen. Kinda like this:

Learning Minecraft - As an Adult

Saturday, November 04, 2017

I am a mom. I also love games! I really enjoy getting in to technology and electronic stuff. Soooo... when the kids started talking about a certain game (Minecraft) I did check in to it some to make sure it wasn't some terrible game hiding an agenda. Once I saw that it was really a computer version of Lego's I was all for it! I tested the game out myself first (a complete fail of attempting to beat off a silly green zombie with a stick) and than gave the account to the kids to share. I love watching the kids build new things! They are amazing!! Even on the tablets the kids can build fantastic things like... OH... Like this video! You have to check out this video.

Isn't that just amazing? They are so proud of what they build and I am shocked. After realizing what this game can do though... there is just so much potential! Yes, playing is great but can't we also do problem solving? History? And so much more? Plus wouldn't it be more fun to play WITH them? I thought it would be.

After about a year of the kids sharing an account it came to our attention that there is a wide world of online Minecraft out there. Now that can be scary because it is the wide open internet and it can be a ton of fun because there are so many people to meet from all over! Once I saw all the games and fun and social aspect and cooperation and play and play and play of Minecraft through the online world, I wanted in on the fun. I also wanted in to be a protective force in the background for my kids too. I have a lot more online world experience and I know how rough it can be at times.

Getting started in this new land of Minecraft takes some getting used to. The controls are simple but sometimes quicker or slower than I anticipate. Heehehe... Which results in much failing. Some days I have been known to "rage quit". A game just isn't worth that much frustration to me. Sometimes I push through and prevail. I have to adult a lot so I don't get as much time to "play" as I would like. I also doubt I will ever be as good at the game as my kids. I am just happy to be along for the ride. And amazingly enough my kids love to have me there with them.

It works for us! Now... to get that perfect balance of play and adulting worked out. PHEW! That is so hard... I want to play!

Learning History with Minecraft

Friday, October 27, 2017

This has been such a fun journey! We are wrapping up the pre-fire map soon. The kids have learned so much and some of the learning has sparked some side interests and conversations. For example, there is a disc that tells us that the Great Fire of London in 1666 did not stop the plague of 1665. So the kids were interested in, what is a plague? Also the great St Paul Cathedral has an amazing history and some interesting architecture conversations started with that. I am so not good with architecture so we had a great time looking in to some of those topics and learning things together. Here's a great website to get your started on learning about this fire together: http://www.fireoflondon.org.uk/

If you have yet to take the plunge on learning with your kids using a platform that they love (like Minecraft) I highly recommend it. I know it's not something everyone can do but maybe you can sit in the background and watch over their shoulder to see what they are doing in the map. Although, that comes with a motion sickness warning! Haha! I can't always watch my kids play because they are just all over the place. I just really hope that you have found the way to play and learn with your kids. We love it!

Of course, we do have quite a bit of fun during our learning. Check out more of our videos and learn along with us:

London Fire - Pre-fire Map - Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

We have one more video to wrap up the pre-map and we will be starting the actual fire map soon. The kids are actually pretty nervous about the fire map too. They are not sure how it will work. Sadly, we know the end result is that the fire does not get stopped as quickly or as well as we would have all liked.

Minecraft Homeschool History - Let's Learn Together...

Sunday, October 22, 2017

We have started on an amazing Minecraft adventure together as a family. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my kids in video games! Is that weird? I've always enjoy video games myself though and now to be able to play with my kids and learn things together has been so much fun!! Maybe they just find it fun because I have an issue with staying alive in the games... or using maps... or crafting things... or... well... Ok. The game is HARD for me sometimes. But I don't mind. I can teach them by example to keep trying until you get something you want or when it is a good time to quit a game because it is not worth your sanity.

At any rate, learning history with my kids in the Minecraft game is a blast! I have found these amazing adventure maps and just LOVE them. The kids and I are making a series of it on our new YouTube channel now. The adventure map we are working through right now is The Great Fire of London 1666. So much of it can be applied to the Chicago Fire of 1871 and other tragic events. We get library books, compare the events, think of strategies to prevent more events and more. The kids are learning and we are playing together. It's win-win-win to me!

Now, for our channel we are not discussing every aspect of our learning that is going on in the background, but it's there. I did include links in our video description to where you can visit the London Museum website and take a virtual tour of the museum exhibit. They also have an amazing resource for learning more about the fire and another game with the Minecraft Adventure maps downloads too. It is amazing! You should definitely try it out with your kids.

Here's the first video of our London Fire adventure together:

What Does One Say?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wow... I honestly thought I was done with even trying to write on my blog anymore. I have missed it but my priorities don't allow for the freedom these days. I so wanted to do techie classes on here with our Raspberry Pi or to give web site tips but that's not happening. Due to different things in life I've stepped away from teaching outside my own kiddos. I was sad to do that. I was also relieved. Isn't that terrible? Feels terrible sometimes. I'm also (trying... really trying... it's a difficult skill to get away from...) getting away from web design.

Lately my time has been spent pretty close to home with family and friends. I'm getting more involved at our church and I have to say that has been hard! I'm so much better being a wallflower then I am amongst people. People make me nervous. Hehehhe... I feel much safer online in a virtual world because it's easier to avoid the messiness of... I dunno... Life? So sad... I need to not let life scare me away from doing life though right? Yah... I'm trying. Always learning is my thing.

So... There ya have it. I have a new to me tablet that I don't have to share with the kids (that's amazing in itself) and its reawakening old hobbies that I used to enjoy. Like blogging! I went to load up some apps and lookie-lookie, there's my old blogging app waving at me. Hmmmmm... We shall see... I've installed it. It does make it a lot easier try and blog again though. Tablets are more portable. Also more distracting.... Hehehe... It'll be a love-hate relationship. I'm sure.