Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Championship Chess

For years I have been seeing the guys from Championship Chess at homeschool fairs. This summer I finally had a good look at their offerings. I'm in love, what a simple and clever way to teach scholastic chess.

I bought the curriculum and then discovered that they have a coach in the Norfolk/VA Beach area. I was delighted as this meant that I could have someone else teach the kids chess. I know we homeschool parents are happy to teach subjects where we are neophytes ourselves, but it's so much easier to have someone who knows what they are doing teach chess. This way I get to learn from a coach at the same time as the kids.

Coach Kala Dawson is simply wonderful. I have seldom met an adult who got my children's numbers so quickly. It took him less than fifteen minutes to get a handle on the dynamic between Ben and Shira. He immediately reigned in Mr "I know it all" impulsive Ben and at the same time set about building up Shira's self confidence. I love how he manages Ben without putting him down. There are a few adults in our lives who find him very tiresome and are rather horrid to him. Ben does not mean ill, he just has a very well developed sense of self, is very quick witted and very impulsive. He needs reigning in, not putting down. This is one of the reasons I vet the adults in our lives very carefully. I want Ben to learn how to survive in the world while not losing his special characteristics that will make him successful as an adult.

He had Shira eating out of his hand. She thinks he walks on water. He has her stretching her comfort zone and feeling full of self confidence.

He has immense patience and has a real gift for imparting knowledge to young children. I gather via the grapevine that the parents of the children in the chess club he started at St Helena Elementary School also think he walks on water.

I don't know how he finds the energy to do everything he does, he coaches chess, is president of his daughter's school's PTA and runs a real estate business.

I'm just glad he has the energy he does, because we're much enriched by our interactions with him.


Lelani said...

It's good to hear your take on him. I met him at the expo as well and was impressed. However, our little Kempsville group is going it on our own this semester with the Chess Basics book, but maybe at some point we'll need to call in the big guns. LOL

Anonymous said...

ABC's "Wife Swap" is currently casting its fifth season and looking for families who enjoy playing chess!
Perhaps you or someone you know would be interested in this fun opportunity.
If interested, please contact

Coach Kala said...

Thank you for such great words. It is an absolute pleasure to teach the game I love so much to your children. Chess is a game that teaches "Life Lessons" that children will carry into all types of situations. I have been honored and blessed to have met you.
Coach Kala