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### Notation, Notation, Notation

Rose wanted to learn it, so Emperor is teaching her.  She still isn't quite sure how to make all her letters without a model, so she has a little motivation now.  Algebraic notation is easy.  Use a K for king, Q for queen, B for bishop, N for knight and R for rook.  Then write down which square the piece went to.  For pawns, you only write the landing square.

 Here is part of Emperor's recent game against Dr. C.  Emperor is white and moves his pawn to the d4 square.  Dr. C is black and during his first move, he moved his knight to f6, and so on.
It gets a little harder when you take pieces or castle.  Move 5 shows Emperor doing a kingside castle.  Rose is not even in kindergarten yet and she has many of the basics down, so I'm not exaggerating at all when I tell you that it isn't as hard as you might imagine to learn.

### Comments

1. That actually looks like a great way to introduce a bunch of concepts and skills ...assuming you're interested in chess [smile]. Nice.

~Luke

2. I can't believe Rose knows how to play chess! Heck, I still can't. boo hoo! lol

3. Rose is growing up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. I've never seen a teaching chess board before. One of those might have made my learning experience more fun. I've never understood all the strategies involved, we always just moved pieces around and hoped to win.

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### Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK.

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series.

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

### Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap!

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D!

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics:

### Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…