Teaching Chess in Homeschool Cooperative Environments

Ever since joining my first chess club in high school I began playing chess competitively and continued throughout college and beyond. I cherish the memories I have of my high school chess coach who spent countless hours teaching me the finer points of chess and how to become a better student of the game. Of course, in those days we only had chess books with which we laboriously poured over each page, playing through diagram after diagram until we had mastered certain positions and ideas. It was only much later that better chess tools began to surface, but they were few. Still today, there are few very good tools with which to teach chess to a wide range of ages and abilities that does not require pouring over dense pages of chess notation.

When my children reached school age, we decided to homeschool them. It soon became clear to us of the need to find an established homeschool cooperative with which to engage our children and maximize their learning opportunities. One of the requirements of the co-op is that each parent must teach a subject every semester. This was my opportunity to enrich other’s lives in the way my life had been enriched through the study of chess.

Today, I am a scholastic chess coach for the Mentoring Children Cooperatively (MC2) homeschool cooperative in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. When I began coaching chess at MC2, I considered some of the online teaching tools that were available, but the cost was prohibitive. Each semester, I have anywhere between 15 to 30 students ranging from 8 to 18 years of age. I was in desperate need to find a teaching solution that would allow me to teach chess to such a wide range of ages and ability at an acceptable cost. I began using printed material for a while until I finally found the LearningChess online Learning Management System.

Not only is LearningChess the most affordable Chess Learning Management System on the market, but it has afforded my students of all abilities to learn chess at their own pace at home as homework assignments. This has become the best solution for my chess classes because each student gains a sense of achievement wherever they are on the chess ladder, and there is no pressure in doing so. The LearningChess system employs such a fun and playful environment that every student thoroughly enjoys each moment learning chess as they earn rating points and visually see their steady improvement.

As a chess coach, I regularly use the Learning Management System to keep track of each student’s progress. It is easy to see who is struggling with certain lessons, which gives me the opportunity to know what aspects of chess I need to focus on during our class sessions. I even have the ability to view their games and learn how they are playing, and this is a powerful tool to help each individual student improve certain aspects of their opening, middlegame and endgame strategies. There are also unlimited Tactics Puzzles with which they can continuously improve their thinking skills as well as superb Grandmaster Lessons to take them even further along their chess learning journey.

Without a doubt, LearningChess is the most affordable and fully featured chess learning management tool on the market, and I believe wholeheartedly that you will not only love it but that it will positively transform your chess club.