This post is brought to you by the word queef.
Now that I have your attention, I will let you know that this post will actually be dedicated to parsing out all of the learning that happens while my daughters are playing Minecraft. We have become a rather avid crafting family as all of us now have Minecraft (with the exception of our 3 year old) and we have our own server too. What I am going to do in this post is spell out a lot of the things that we are learning from Minecraft. There is a back story to why this post exists so I will start by sharing that first. I will clearly label the back story and the learning parts so you can skip the back story. The back story will help to explain my first sentence.
The back story behind all this is that my daughter's best friend is also an avid Minecraft player. They play on Minecraft and Skype almost daily. When nobody else is on with them, they can get pretty silly and they will experiment with foul language. Rather than being upset by this, I ran with it. I have built a rather large house on our server so I decided to put up obnoxious signs for the girls to read and discover. It is silly stuff like "Don't scratch your butt in public." I have also invited them to add to the signs. I am not worried about the content of the signs because I know it is them experimenting with language. During the course of our silly sign making, they are practicing keyboard skills, spelling, reading, and who knows what else.
Anyway, the other night,we had a silly sign making session. I am not even sure how to explain the content of the signs other than to say that they were discussing bodily functions such as the different types of farts. Since the conversation was occurring between all girls, that led to a discussion of vagina farts. My daughter's BFF called them quipples to which my daughter responded, "No, it's actually called a queef." That led to signs with the word queef in them. The conversation and the related signs ended up being completely hilarious yet completely inappropriate. The girls knew that the words were inappropriate and that made it even funnier. My friend and I were listening/watching the entire time and could not stop laughing. This was a conversation that you would not think would occur between two young girls. Most of the time, potty humor is usually associated with boys.
When my friend and I were discussing the girls and the signs, she made the comment that she wished that she could share some of what they were doing on the state reports. (They live in Pennsylvania, which has some pretty strict homeschooling regulations.) She and I agreed that the content was not appropriate to share with anybody, especially a reporting agency. Really, the actual content of the signs will not be shared with anybody other than those that get whitelisted on our server. At the time of this writing, the signs are still there. I suspect that the girls will decide to remove them at some point because they are pretty sensitive to the feelings of others and would not want to scandalize or offend others.
After thinking about it, I realized that it is totally possible to share what they are learning in a homeschool portfolio. I couldn't take screen shots of those signs but I could take screen shots of other words that have been written on various signs by me and the girls.
Of course, that led me to a huge brainstorm of all of the activities and things that the girls are learning as a result of Minecraft. What follows is a list of my brainstorming that would have never happened if we the word queef hadn't come up during some silliness.
(Note: The following list is NOT comprehensive and is more of a list that resulted from brainstorming and getting ideas from my friend. In some places, I will explain and, in others, I won't. If you see something that I missed, please leave a comment. I think it would be helpful to parents and educators to see how much can be learned from playing Minecraft. If I didn't provide an explanation and you would like one, please comment.)