Homeschooling and Minecraft

NaNo got put on hold, basically. Instead I’ve been focused on some of the learning projects Little Bear and I have got going on in the Minecraft Bedrock edition (which is cross playable on several systems and doesn’t require a dedicated server for friends to play on your map provided you are logged on).

Our Headquarters - Dubbed "Sweet Home"

So for awhile there, I was playing on PC with Little Bear on the Xbox. Anyhow, I got to discover how much Little Bear already knew about bees when it came time to set up bee keeping in our headquarters. I already knew ants were a topic of interest for him, but I wasn’t aware that bees were too. So after many mishaps, we have bees and one automated collection system that still needs to be tinkered with.

The video tutorial for the automated 2-in-1 bee farm is here. And in practice, it loses bottles. I’ve tinkered with the design a little bit so that the hopper minecart is tilted into the hive, but it’s still slowly losing bottles. So… I need to tinker with it some more to figure out how to properly collect all of the items harvested from the hive. I’m thinking that maybe it needs a system similar to the automated berry farm.

If he was actually helping me with the redstone stuff, I’d count that under Science too since there is so much circuitry shit going on with that. Like, I’m still trying to learn and master it myself.

The tutorial for the automated roasted chicken and feather farm is here. I did mess it up at first, so it was shooting the eggs into the headquarters instead of the designated space. This meant that until I figured out the problem, I had an army of chickens that kept randomly appearing.

My favorite redstone project so far, I think, is the auto jukebox shuffler. Little Bear still needs to finish decorating the room, but the redstone machine part of it is finished. When you turn it on, it just continuously cycles through all of the music discs that you have put in there.

And I won’t lie. I enjoy building and decorating in this game so I created a room specifically for food storage.

His current project that he wants to do is to build a Villager town next to our headquarters. Urban Planning/Design counts as civics, which falls under Social Studies. And oddly, the Villager AI in Minecraft is well suited for a simulation for that. They have some highly specific “needs” that you need to aware of and understand in order to design and create a functional, thriving Villager town.

So the first order of business for the Villager town project has been laying down the road grid with single chunk sized plots (16×16 blocks) to build in. If we give one plot to each profession, leaving the center plot as the meeting place, we will need a 5×5 grid – which will give us some extra plots for housing and whatever else he wants to add.

Unexpected math to work with in this project! Actually, turns out the planning and landscaping part of it has a lot of basic geometry going on. Once the road plot grid is carved and laid out, Little Bear will need to decide on the materials for the protective wall and get that up around the grid. He already has a street lamp design ready to go as well and he’ll need to figure out the optimal spacing for placement to prevent monster spawning to keep the Villagers safe. More math. How many blocks apart can the street lights be without creating pockets of darkness? This is an important question since in survival mode you have to gather and collect your materials too. So you want to keep the area safe without wasting supplies.

The landscaping for the road grid has resulted in the collection of so many materials, I ended up building an auto sorting storage system since Little Bear has the habit of throwing stuff in whichever box he finds.

And we’ve set up a lectern so we can use a book to keep track of all our projects and materials needed for them. As long as the book and quill remains “unpublished” we can edit it as much as we like and read it when it’s mounted to the lectern. So functional reading and writing has been thrown in there as well.

And of course, we’ve been working with maps! Still so much to explore.

We just recently learned that the Education edition has chemistry in it, which allows you to make colored torches as part of a flame testing experiment. The Bedrock edition allows you to turn on cheats so you can flip on the chemistry features of the Education edition in your map. I may be doing that with this map soon.

I believe that’s all we’ve got going on right now. More updates will come, I’m sure. Until then, thanks for visiting!

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