It's difficult to see your child struggling to 'fit in'.
Maybe they're shy, and they're being bullied at school or just finding it difficult to make friends.
Maybe your child is brilliant and intelligent and excels at academics, but they get teased for being a 'nerd' and they just aren't interested in the same things as the other kids: sport, drama, music and all the more 'conventional' activities.
Or maybe your child just likes to keep to themselves: to think and tinker quietly on their own projects. They are quite happy keeping their own company.
As a parent, your biggest hope is that your child grows up to be a happy, kind, resilient & emotionally balanced human with all the confidence to pursue their dreams and live their best life.
And if your child plays Minecraft, you're actually in the perfect position to use their favourite game to build up their confidence and self esteem whilst developing tons of other skills.
Want to know the secret?
Minecraft Mods are bits of computer code that modify the original behaviour of your child's Minecraft game.
Any Minecraft player with coding skills can essentially re-program the game into anything they can imagine.
Mods can automatically build large and complex structures in an instant to easily fill a world with castles, rainbows, skyscrapers and dancefloors.
Mods can turn Minecraft into a mini-game like soccer, paintball or treasure hunt. Mini-games can have scores, and can be played with friends
How about a mod that freezes the ground around us when we walk around, just like Elsa in the movie 'Frozen'
You may not realize it yet, but this is absolutely brilliant news for parents like you.
Because when your child learns how to code Minecraft mods, they are learning how to gain control over a computer. They can tell a computer what to do, and it will do it.
This sense of power and control is incredibly important for children who are feeling disempowered at school.
Your child may feel powerless in the face of bullies and teasing.
They may feel powerless in the classroom, especially if they are gifted children who feel 'stuck' in a learning environment that is 'boring' and under-stimulating.
They may feel powerless to make new friends, especially if they've recently moved to a new school or experienced changes in their friendship group that is out of their control.
Minecraft mods empower your child to bring his or her big ideas to life in a way that’s fun, collaborative and social.
I’ll illustrate with a simple example, taken from the introductory workshop that we run here at CodeMakers.
After writing this code, she can run around in Minecraft throwing snowballs that immediately strike 3 lightning bolts when they land!
In this very simple mod she's used universally applicable coding concepts that are used in the workforce to program anything from a calculator to Facebook to a NASA space craft. They are also part of the new Australian Digital Technologies primary school curriculum.
As well as coding, Minecraft modding develops all kinds of skills and attributes in different areas of your child's learning:
Don't take my word for it - here are some case studies of kids who have transformed into happier, more focused kids through Minecraft modding.
Cathie recently wrote to us about how Minecraft modding was "the key to unlock Sydney’s potential and more importantly to establish belief in himself":
Another one of our students, Xavier, was very shy and lacking in confidence. After a few months of Minecraft modding classes, his mum called me up and told me how Xavier had completely come out of his shell since finding his passion and was now helping run the coding club at school!
Here's an email she sent to Xavier's teacher, Meliza, when he finished his last 10 week program with us:
We've seen first-hand the effect that Minecraft modding can have on kids. Most parents think its just about having fun and learning to code, but but for many kids its about so much more than that.
It's about finding their passion - that 'thing' that lights them up and makes them unique, and helps build their confidence and self esteem.
It's something productive and creative and challenging to focus on outside of school, when school when they're struggling to fit it.
It's something that makes them unique, that they can teach to their friends or talk about.
Unfortunately, Minecraft modding can be difficult to learn without 'technical' parents.
For your child to start modding Minecraft, you'll need to setup and run your own server which means installing and configuring various things.
That being said, if your child is...
... then these books might be a great place for them to get started:
This book will teach your child how to mod Minecraft with Java. Requires running your own server.
For non-technical parents & beginner coders, we've made it easier!
I created CodeMakers to teach kids how to bring their brilliantly creative ideas to life using code.
Ok, so you're probably wondering how much this costs...
And here are some little reviews from two of our students, Hayden & Chris: