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Did you know a study by an educational psychologist found that elementary school students in Los Angeles and New York who played chess scored 10 percent higher on reading assessments than their non-chess playing classmates? Another study conducted by a high school teacher in Texas found that fifth-graders who played chess scored 11.2 percent on state reading exams and 18.6 percent higher on their math tests than their peers who did not play chess.
More and more studies like the two above come to the same conclusion: Chess makes kids smarter.
In fact, both public and private schools in the United States have made chess a part of their extra-curricular programs and in some cases, curriculum, teaching it as early as kindergarten and offering after-school “chess academy” programs where participants can compete in local and national championships just like any other sports program at school.
Aware of the “brainy” benefits of chess, the demand for after-school chess programs and local chess clubs have grown in many communities nationwide. What’s more, states like New Jersey have literally “written” chess into the official school curricula. In fact, U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) membership for kids 12 and under has risen from approximately 3,000 in 1990 to over 40,000 and growing today.
Top universities like Princeton and Harvard have also taken special notice of their chess-playing incoming applicants. Organizations such the United States Federation publicly publish and verify national chess ratings that are included in college applications more and more. Furthermore, many colleges offer Chess Player Scholarships, including University of Maryland, University of Texas, and Tennessee Technical University, to name a few. Of course, chess, as we will cover below helps kids excel in academics overall.
Therefore, it is no surprise children, parents, and communities all over the country are so enthusiastic about the game of chess. You will be excited too by what chess programs like the ones we offer at New England Chess School (NECS) can do for your kids. For example, take the case below of one young man who overcame his learning disability with the help of chess.
2014-15 National Scholastic Chess (NSCF) middle school chess champion, Reuben O’Neill, credits chess with helping him overcome a huge setback at school. Reuben became a fan of the game starting in kindergarten and first grade. Although he was an exemplary math student, Reuben had difficulties with reading due to his dyslexia. The situation threatened what would otherwise be a brilliant academic career. Fortunately, learning and playing chess helped Reuben overcome this learning disability.
“Chess helped me become more patient.… Later it helped me learn to focus on a subject even if it’s difficult and to be more determined to get better grades. In chess, if you’re in a tough situation, you’re looking to turn the tide for yourself, so you learn from that.”
However, children need not be dealing with a learning disability like Reuben’s dyslexia to experience the many benefits of a powerful brain trainer like chess:
1. Chess instills patience – Chess teaches kids how to wait both playing the game and getting better at it.
2. Chess teaches concentration – Your children’s level of success in chess is linked to their attention level during a game.
3. Chess rewards planning – Winning a game requires planning, including setting goals and mapping a path to victory.
4. Chess teaches problem-solving – Playing chess can be like solving a math problem or a jigsaw puzzle with each move or piece getting you closer to success.
5. Chess improves memory – Successful moves in chess are remembered and repeated requiring kids to memorize them.
6. Chess charges up brain activity - All of the above chess activities exercise your children’s brains, essentially exercising their brain muscles to become stronger.
Apart from the practical skills above, chess also teaches kids some valuable life lessons:
1. Chess imparts that hard work pays off – The more preparation and effort kids put into the game, the more successful they can be playing it.
2. Chess shows the good and bad consequences of your actions – Every move in chess results in getting closer to winning or losing the game, good and bad consequences.
3. Chess introduces kids to the value of responsibility – Your kids will be responsible for 16 game pieces they must both protect and play to win.
“Chess membership and popularity has grown immensely due to technological advances,there are millions of chess enthusiasts playing watching and analyzing the game online, NECS is one of the first schools to use a method of integration between over-the-board and online resources.”
Of course, the game’s most important life lesson for children is teaching them to deal with losing. In most cases, your children will experience being defeated in chess many times even as they get better at it. The game teaches them to accept losing as a part of life. Moreover, they learn losing is just another opportunity to learn and do better the next time.
Are you interested in your child gaining the advantages chess can bring?
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See for yourself how chess can meaningfully improve your child’s academic life.
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That’s two weeks of unlimited after school and weekend chess classes at no cost and no obligation to you. Here’s everything you will get at New England Chess School’s awesome chess program for kids -
New England Chess School has a classroom conveniently near you. We’re in Newton, Brighton, and Lexington.
Our classes include a lecture followed by supervised playtime.
Our coaches regularly attend local and major scholastic chess tournaments to help our students prepare logistically and mentally.
We teach how to develop a chess strategy and tactics with an emphasis on tournament participation and team building.
Kids who participate in our classes and summer camp will get to play in United States Chess Federation (USCF)-rated chess tournaments.
Our membership grows year after year thanks to technological advances, specifically NECS’ integration of over-the-board standards with online resources, allowing for literally millions of chess enthusiasts to watch and analyze game-play.
NECS is proud to be one of the first chess schools to pioneer online components to our chess programs.
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Need more convincing your child needs to be enrolled in a chess program now?
As we’ve mentioned, more and more data shows a correlation between chess and improved academic performance. Sports your children might participate in school like basketball, softball, and swimming get their bodies in peak condition. Furthermore, playing sports is just plain fun.
And chess is very much like sports in that it sharpens, in this case, your kid’s mental muscles by promoting brain growth. Chess has been shown clinically to promote the growth of dendrites, which is responsible for neural communication in the brain. The stimulation of dendrites, which playing chess does, optimizes brain capacity and function. Studies have also shown chess uses both left (logic) and right (creative) sides of the brain, an achievement very few activities reach. Finally, playing chess raises your IQ in as little as four months of chess study.
Like sports, chess has the competitive angle with tournaments in local chess clubs and in championships nationwide. On the other hand, unlike athletics with its varieties, chess is uniquely positioned as the only game of its kind at school that can make your kids’ brains stronger. Sure, there might be other activities we can name, but chess, as we’ve shown, is the most widely recognized. Moreover, studies are consistently verifying its positive effects. Thus, schools are recognizing chess for its complementary cognitive benefits. You should too
Are you ready to try our FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL OFFER?
BETTER HURRY and Sign Up now because our offer is only good thru the rest of this year. Yes, our FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL OFFER to try New England Chess School’s chess program for kids at no cost ends on December 31, 2016.
That’s a [enter standard dollar amount for 2 weeks] value ABSOLUTELY FREE with no strings attached. We’re confident you and your children will quickly see how something so fun like chess can also improve their lives
Although he is now a successful adult, one lifelong chess player who also learned it as a child, praises chess for helping him deal with problems and reach his goals throughout his life including finding a girlfriend, getting into college, and landing a job, among many other experiences.
Why not give your kids the lifelong benefits learning and playing chess can provide? You won’t be disappointed.
SIGN UP NOW for our FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL. Our offer expires on December 31, 2016.
*FREE TRIAL OFFER available to new students only.