Technology is not going away, and our kids need to be ready to use it as adults. Online Skrafty classes can be a great way to help them learn the technology and also lighten the load on you as the homeschool teacher. The Skrafty community began as a group of moderated Minecraft servers for homeschoolers, and now offers a full range of online classes. Our family has taken advantage of both Live Skrafty Classes as well as several of their self-paced class offerings.
Most classes include Minecraft builds as assignments, which is great for kids that need some motivation from their favorite game to do their school work. Students may be asked to build the answer to a question instead of writing it down on paper. For a child with writing disabilities like mine, changing the way they show what they are learning can change their attitude about school.
You can count on Skrafty to be a safe place for your homeschooler to play online. Moderators are available to help and there are filters in place for language. Parents can access the chat transcripts to see their child’s interactions with others. There is an active parent group on Facebook for asking questions and supporting in game play. Game play is free but various membership levels come with in game perks. Membership benefits also include access to self paced classes and discounts on live classes.
Live Classes were our first introduction to Skrafty classes. When my oldest was in 3rd grade she was ready to write more, but needed help organizing her writing. I was lost as to how to teach her the building blocks for good writing. We had a chance to meet one of the Skrafty writing teachers in person and we learned more about the program they use. She offered to let my daughter try a couple classes. It was the right fit for her, and it allowed me to take teaching writing off my list for a couple years.
The live classes are taught at a specific time each week in a Zoom-like classroom with student webcams so they can see each other and interact with the teacher and peers. There is also a website for each class where assignments are listed and you take any quizzes or tests the teacher assigns. My oldest is a very independent learner so the online format works well. It allows me to outsource a couple subjects while being able to help as needed. We have taken IEW Writing, IEW Grammar, Literature and Spanish classes using the live class model.
I find that live classes work well for independent learners. The class model requires you to be independent, take notes and complete assignments away from the teacher’s presence. Written assignments are required to be typed and other assignments had to be scanned and submitted. Having an independent student who could learn these life skills and complete them alone was very important.
Self Paced Classes
With any level of Skrafty membership you gain access to a library of self paced classes. These are classes that can be completed at anytime, at any speed, in any order by your student. They are built around curated videos or existing curriculums. You do not have access to a teacher but can reach technical support either by email or in the parent Facebook group. The flexibility to decide the speed at which to assign your child the lessons is helpful.
When we have done morning time as a family, I have assigned short History classes like “Build like an Egyptian” to my oldest student, giving them more hands-on work that the younger ones weren’t yet ready for, and it didn’t add more work for me. Before we dived into our year-long World Geography program, we used the 6 week Basics of Geography class as a soft start. We did the 6 weekly lessons over 2 weeks as a short unit study before starting our longer planned study.
When we studied Medieval History we used the Story of the World 2 class. As we listened to the audiobook and worked through the activity book. Each week after listening to our chapter they would log on and watch videos related to the reading we had done that week. There was also a suggested Minecraft build they could do related to our history lesson. There was also a quiz they could take to record a grade as we progressed as well. We took a full year to complete the Story of the World class.
Skrafty classes has been a great fit for our Minecraft loving family to add variety and interest to our learning. It has made my life easier as mom and has given my independent learners some freedom without leaving home. Having classes available that added to the curriculums we were already using added enrichment to our life without extra work. The different membership levels are all a great value for all the class options you receive. We hope to see you in class!