By: Jodi Stevens
I credit the video game Minecraft for teaching my daughter to read, and for teaching her that reading is both useful and fun. I realize that might sound a bit incredulous, so let me explain.
My daughter HATED reading
When I started homeschooling, my daughter HATED reading. She fussed…she complained…she didn’t want to read at all. She didn’t see a need for it (really!). I was unschooling, so hesitantly, I let go of the reading lessons….just for the short term…until I figured out what to do next. That’s when she fell in love with Minecraft. She played Minecraft for hours at a time and of course, I became a bit concerned. Not only was she not learning to read….but she was wasting her time on video games. I actually started questioning the unschooling process. But this is why I was wrong.
She realized that reading is pretty important after all
In Minecraft players have to communicate in the game’s chat feature. My daughter had to read the messages, compose her own messages, and navigate the Minecraft map to finish projects in the game. The words came alive, they finally meant something to her (she realized that reading is pretty important after all) and everything clicked. My daughter taught herself how to read!
About two months after my daughter got hooked on Minecraft, she picked up Charlotte’s Web from our home library and read it from beginning to end. My daughter, the one that HATED to read, picked up a book meant for readers two grades ahead of her and read just because she wanted to. During this time, she didn’t play Minecraft once! She’s been reading ever since, and she’s enjoying it.
You know what else Minecraft is GREAT for? Learning to code.