Skip to main content

Homeschool Chess Lessons

Chess can cost you practically nothing, which makes it the perfect homeschool elective. I've found several boards for sale in secondhand stores and garage sales. But I did break down and purchase a standard tournament board after we got into the game for a bit and began playing in tournaments.

A simple library book or three can help you learn which pieces move and how. Ages ago, we bought some sort of chess disk to play on the computer. Software isn't very expensive. For that matter, you can play for free online at or We bought "premium" memberships in chesskid after we tried it out for a while and figured that it was something we would really use. There are videos and tactics exercises galore.

One book I found pops up for sale frequently with homeschool curriculum providers is Starting Chess. My nine-year-old, Emperor, took a look at it lately and declared it far too simple. Which to me means that it likely is a truly "starting chess" sort of a book that most anyone would find understandable. Currently we are working through the Simon and Schuster Pocket Book of Chess. I'd recommend it for a middle school through adult beginner. It contains some basic tactic puzzles and teaches algabraic notation (the current standard) after a brief introduction of the pieces and their moves.

There are a good number of youtube videos and websites devoted to chess and chess tactics as well.

We've found there is a chess club and a chess league not too far from where we live. We've been playing at the league level for about 6 months and now we are ready to try going to the club each week. I don't think we'll ever get as ambitious as our friends who are going to NATIONALS this week in Dallas (Good luck, S family!!), but I think we'll always enjoy the game.


  1. Thanks for the info....we got our board in the mail this week and now need to learn the basics of the game so we can start playing. The book you recommend sounds like it's right up our alley....have to check the library!

  2. I'm not a fan of board games. When we were little my younger brother was a poor loser, so playing was never fun. give me a book to read instead.

  3. I don't know how to play chess, though we have a star wars chess set.

    When I was younger, an ex-boyfriends younger brother was teaching me, however once we no longer saw each other my chess teacher was gone..

    Makes me want to try to learn how to play..


Post a Comment

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

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: