06 Jul 11 Things to Consider Before Choosing the Chess Academy for Your Child
As parents, we all want the best for our children. While the world took a step back and all of us were forced to shift our routine activities indoors, our little learners were the most impacted. Schools shut down, and little humans were compelled to figure their way out through homeschooling, online interactions with peers and teachers, and learning in a way we never thought would come so soon in our lives.
The present generation of learners has unique challenges. Online learning comes with its own set of constraints.
How do you rate a student?
How do you ensure the assignments are done with the highest, or at least optimal, integrity?
What is the way forward for making sure students are catching up on missed lessons?
How does an instructor judge if all the students are hitting the milestones in time?
Ironically, the very same screens and gadgets that gave some parents sleepless nights over mindless screen exposure have come to the rescue. Online classes today have become a necessity and a norm. Many parents believe that going back to school or specific coaching would still be a long way to go for most kids due to varied reasons.
Why step out when you can learn equally well-staying right where you are?
Overall, the parents have found it challenging to maintain the academic and extracurricular balance without regular offline coaching. Online classes have eased into our study rooms and drawing rooms, blurring the lines between homes and learning centers.
They have been a successful model and tremendous support to the learning needs of growing, knowledge-hungry minds. The forced emphasis on online learning has resulted in several online chess coaching academies mushrooming through the cyberscape.
How to choose the best online chess coaching academy for your child?
Chess has always been considered a cerebral game, and traditionally, people may have taught chess either individually in person and less as a classroom setup. But over the last year, online chess coaching has picked up exponentially, and every chess lover is now used to mobile apps, online chess games, puzzles, and more.
If your child is also interested in learning chess, here are ten tips on how you should choose the best online chess coaching academy for them.
- Choose one where chess is not a business, it’s a passion! Many online coaching academies offer a wide range of courses from baking to drawing, to chess. When you opt for a chess academy, make sure they are as serious about the game as you are and it is not just one of their “ offerings”.
You can’t nurture young minds into champions with a generalized approach. So be wary of places that promise a rainbow, and a treasure at the end of it and focus on places that are as focused as your child needs them to be to learn chess- Nothing ELSE!
- Choose one where coaches are established players- A chess coaching academy has “coach” as the operational and functional core. Having coaches who are National Masters, FIDE Masters, International Masters & Grand Masters will make sure that your child’s chess journey is exciting and rewarding in the long run.
Having played the same game at the highest level, these established chess players could be the guiding lights for your child, and no routine chess coach could match them.
- A structured curriculum is a must- Ask questions about how chess is taught at the online chess coaching academy. Is the child going to get learning material that he/she can understand by himself? Are there any assessments to judge the child’s level to begin with? How fast or how slow your child learns may depend on many factors, but chess coaching is meant to suit your child’s specific needs, and that’s all that matters in the long run.
- Classroom set up Okay, so there are going to be online sessions. By now, even preschoolers are aware of the online learning environment. But how are the classes structured? Are the students of relatively the same age or mixed age groups? Is your child getting a chance to speak or clear his/her doubts? Are your children getting the individualized attention needed from the chess coach?
For example, at CHESS KLUB, our team members make sure that one of us is present in every session across the board. We are silent, but we make sure that both coaches and students derive what they want from the session. Smaller classes with less student: coach ratio, regular lessons and homework, Game analysis and discussions, and individual attention make the learning journey equally enjoyable for all stakeholders.
- Study material- Is your chess coaching academy providing exclusive in-house curated learning material and content? Ideally, when you have joined an online class, you should have lifetime access to chess resources and learning material. Think of it as buying a book. Once bought, it’s your property.
Your learning materials should be based on your skill levels instead of generalized content that is freely available on the internet anyways. Having complete content handy enhances your learning experience where you are not just dependent on the coach and the classes.
- Are the classes live or recorded? If we were to ask you if you like live, interactive learning sessions or pre-recorded videos, the choice would be obvious, wouldn’t it? In the case of a child, the focus and attention span is a challenge anyways, and expecting a child to learn via pre-recorded online video, which offers one-way communication on any new concept, is unfair. Classroom learning has to be a two-way communication street where productive discussions often contribute more than rote learning.
CHESS KLUB provides recordings of all the interactive sessions absolutely free of charge in our classroom dashboards. So if a child wants to revise a particular concept at their own pace, they are free to do so.
- Is the child regularly assessed? Learning is a continuous process that should never stop. Whether your child is making progress or needs some extra support can only be judged by regular interactions between parents and the coaching academy. If the kids are not assessed consistently, the money spent is completely wasted.
Regular assessments are the backbone of any good online chess coaching academy. Whoever is promising you that, make sure you ask for sample assessments to understand which aspects are evaluated.
- What is their approach to teaching? Is it just about learning through books or learning with examples? How much practical exposure is your child getting? Are they able to discuss some exciting world championships happening around the world with confidence? Are there any in-house competitions, tournaments, challenges happening that give them the taste of the more significant platforms? Tournaments, puzzles, assignments are an essential part of learning chess from an online chess coaching academy.
Any place focusing only on learning through rule books may not be the right choice for your kid!
- Is your online chess coaching academy flexible? Our kids have a lot going on all the time. As the world is gradually limping back to normalcy, our kids have many expectations from us and from themselves too. They want to make time for everything, be in 100 places at a time. The best way to ensure our kids are making time for everything is by placing them into a flexible routine. Ensure that the online chess coaching doesn’t feel like an obligatory tutorial or a burden to them.
If they can do it in their free time, nothing better. Your online chess coaching academy should ideally have classes for all ages, all time zones, and all levels on all days of the week. The more options you have, the lesser the stress of making time!
- Is your chess coaching academy mentoring and nurturing you? We all set up goals, and goal-oriented coaching with clear milestones is necessary for children. Chess coaching may not work well for your child if they lose interest midway, there are instances where the child showed promising potential, but in the absence of proper guidance, it all got channelized in some other activities.
We all want children to explore various activities, but “Jack of all trades” might not be a good approach for some children. Make sure that the online chess coaching academy you choose offers optional mentoring and guidance counseling sessions in case things become serious for the better and your child has potential. Your chess coaching academy should be able to handle talent and do it well!
- Community-centric approach- When our kids join soccer or baseball clubs at school, there is a sense of fraternity and camaraderie that starts blooming. Is your chess coaching academy facilitating this type of community building in an online setup? It is not an easy task to go beyond the obvious needs of providing good chess coaching and create a lively, thriving, interactive online community where your child can talk about chess.
These groups are essential for the overall development of chess skills, and several players have benefited from the online communities formed informally.
Children around the world are looking forward to returning to the comfort of their schools and dorm rooms. Till the situation is normal for everyone, this may still look like a distant dream but the course of learning should never stop. As adults, it is our responsibility to provide safe, flexible, enjoyable, and enriching learning experiences for our children. They are the future, and we can’t let the present affect it in any negative way.
An exclusive online chess coaching academy focusing on just chess and not other faculties is a far better option than places that offer multiple courses under one roof. If your child has potential or is serious about chess, you should think about online chess coaching that suits your budget, time, and vision. CHESS KLUB is one such place dedicated to growth and development of young chess players.Visit our website www.chessklub.com today and explore more!
Bulbul, a Finance professional-turned-content writer, is a content and digital marketing consultant. She is an avid follower of the game of chess, she has developed a life-long affinity towards the game because of its simplicity and uniqueness. In her free time, she loves to read, create graphics, and do Yoga.