Category Archives: minecraft

Nothing against Minecraft, but…

“Nothing against Minecraft, but wouldn’t it be great if parents tried to catch up with their children’s and their children’s peers fascination for Sudbury schools, in the way they did with Minecraft when it began to catch on?”
— Jim Whiteford, 10/8/2014, on the Discuss Sudbury Model email list


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Filed under minecraft, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

More Woodworking with Kids links

Since we (as in… the world) is going to be in an ongoing struggle between globalization and re-localization for the foreseeable future, along with it’s impact on the education of our kids and ourselves, here are a few more links on the topic of woodworking with kids that I started back here. Nothing compares to the thrill my kids get of doing real things with their bodies — skiing, cooking, gardening, sawing logs, etc. (Except Minecraft. And Wild Kratts. And… well, you see the issue.)

So here we go.

Kindergrarten Shop Class –

Mar 30, 2011 – Teaching children construction is gaining momentum across the country as a way to develop imagination and confidence

– If you’re in the Boston area, Wood is Good occasionally offers classes for kids.

– And The Eliot School, Boston MA offers endless courses for kids including “Very Beginning Woodworking – age 4-6”

– In NC, go to “summer camp” with a 5-day workshop from Roy Underhill. Here’s an example


– Shop Class integral part of this private school for boys

– A great 10 minute video about…
The Blue Ox Mill and Community High School, Eureka CA
A custom mill and woodworking classes for kids and veterans
Eric Hollenbeck

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Filed under alternative education, education, globalization, green, health, homeschooling, homesteading, kids -- freedom and responsibility, local, makerspace, mentoring / apprenticeship, minecraft, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling, video games, woodworking / shop class

Ob-SVS: Minecraft 2011 == Plasticene Village 1975

From a remembrance of a Sudbury Valley School alumni:

“The first thing I remember clearly spending lots of time doing was the Plasticene Village, a table in the art room taken over for full-time use for plasticene. On some days, I would do it from the moment I got there to the moment I left. I don’t know how long it lasted, but it seems like it went on forever! We made houses and people; those were pretty basic. The more complicated things were machinery and stuff like that. You had to convince people your machinery worked, so you needed some superficial knowledge of how it ought to work, and you had to be able to point to where the different parts were. It was wonderful fun.
All of us graduated many years ago, and it turns out that it wasn’t a bad thing at all to be doing plasticene all day for a year or so! ”

See full article here taken from “The Kingdom of Childhood: Growing Up at Sudbury Valley School – Page 130”

See Also:
– A really really great set of alumni recollections about the “Plasticene Village” experience is found in: “Reflections on the Sudbury School concept” – Page 24-31

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Filed under art, minecraft, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, video games

Power tools for kids

A few thoughts on the subject…

Minecraft and the Tinkering School (it’s a camp) have me inspired to use power tools and knives more with the kids.

Dad gave us kids toolboxes and tools and wood and glue as kids and that was cool. We all had swiss-army knives when we were little too.

Here is an example of tools and a workbench on offer at day care. Cool. I mean, as a SVS-aficionado and all, I think it should be up to kids whether they want to do anything with any of it, but having it available is nice too.

Ah well, anyway, I just wanted to collect a few links and articles and ideas floating around in my brain. Kiddos (all of us!) just love doing stuff that is REAL so much, that’s basically all I wanted to acknowledge. This is (one of the many) beauties of things like SVS, and cohousing. Can’t get more real than that! People living and doing stuff. Awesome!

Life Size “Lincoln Logs” – still contrived. fancy “forts”? life-sized Magnatiles?
The Agenda Restated by James Kunstler
– MAKE and Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World
Story of building a harpischord at SVS (The Kingdom of Childhood: Growing Up at Sudbury Valley School By Daniel Greenberg, p136)
11 tools to get for your kids — a good list! – has some nice beginner plans for woodworking
simple solar projects are good places to start for DIY solar (see for more…)


Filed under community, contrarian, erik-green, freedom, homesteading, kids -- freedom and responsibility, minecraft, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, woodworking / shop class