This week we are embarking on our fifth week of school. (Wow; I can’t believe how fast time is flying!) We are just finishing our review of Creation up till the fall of the Roman Empire. Now, we are heading into Medieval Times! There is a myriad of reasons for enjoying the Medieval period, but chess just isn’t the top of my list. It looks like it might be time to bite the bullet and let my children teach me a thing or two!

CheckmateOur family studies history (and science) using unit studies. This means our children don’t have their own books; we learn as a family.

Not wanting to overtax the kids with all book work and no fun, we have decided to study with a day on/day off method. So, on Mondays we learn from a book and on Tuesdays we learn hands-on. Wednesdays we repeat more book work, followed by more hands-on on Thursdays. This seems to be a fine plan and the kids are very excited about which activities are coming up.

The first four weeks were a quick review of all the things we had studied last year (don’t you love how things repeat?), but now we are heading into some territory we haven’t covered for a little while… medieval times!

So, how does chess fit into all this? Well, one of the vast number of activities the kiddos plan to do while learning about medieval times, is to do some heavy-duty chess playing. Now me, not my favorite thing to do. I need a “cheat sheet” in order to play; all those pieces moving all over the place just confuses me.

Now, let me be clear, I think chess is a great game. There is so much to be learned from a good game of chess.

  • memory
  • concentration
  • logical thinking
  • imagination
  • creativity
  • independence
  • capability to predict and foresee consequences ¹

Again, chess is a great game. I just don’t know how to play it. Yes; I confess. I can’t play! My kids know how to play, but not their mommy. Even my six-year-old son knows how to play; how is that for shame?

So, it seems I need to dig out (or possibly reprint) my movement cheat sheet and swallow some pride. It’s time mommy got the stuffing knocked out of her and learned the game of chess.

Are there any other medieval board games we can play? Save me, someone!


9 thoughts on “Checkmate!

  1. I don’t know anything about chess, but I bought the chess set that Timberdoodle sells and it has a story book about the chess pieces that my son and I read together. My son now is beating highly skilled chess players on a regular basis, but I on the other hand still can’t play chess. I am forever damaged by my public school education! 😉


  2. I love your day on/day off method. When it comes to chess now, well, I’m with you. Not my favorite thing–the cheat sheet is mandatory. Good for you for being willing to play it–nothing makes my kids happier than to skunk Mom at any game!


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