Anyone for chess.


About a month back, the boys found my old chess board. They were fascinated by it, and what all the pieces did.

Hubby spent sometime explaining the basic rules of chess, and since then, the boys have happily argued a good game of chess.

Then M came home from school this week saying they were being taught chess at school. He wasn’t too sure why but thought it was something to do with angles!

One day a week at school, the children get what is called golden choose time. It is basically downtime where they can take something in to play with or do. During the week though they can lose some of this time for minor misdemeanours. M is constantly loosing time, as the teacher has to reprimand him for thing he might not always be able to control, such as sitting calmly, and listening. While I do feel it can sometimes be unfair to punish him for these things, it would be equally unfair to punish other children and not him for the same thing. It is a fine line to walk, but at the end of it all, M, and D both have to learn what types of behaviours are and are not acceptable in society.

Anyway, M has rightfully been very proud of the fact that since the October holiday he has lost no time. It might not seem a long time for many, but for him, it is a big deal, and I hope his teacher has realised how long it is since he lost time.

Today, M asked if he could take the chess board to school for his golden time. I was happy he wanted to share his knowledge of the game with his class. I was however a little worried that pieces might go missing, as I have had this set since a holiday in Yugoslavia as it was at the time.

M has had several things go missing recently from school, so it was a major concern.  His missing thing though have been turning up at later times – he had a coat missing for 2 weeks, and then it turned up on his peg the day another coat went missing, which reappeared hanging up a week later, his lunch bag went missing and he had to have a sandwich from the school canteen – £2 for a sandwich that he only ate the ham out of had to be paid – it turned up later that day hanging on his coat peg. Now, the less suspicious of us would say M is being careless with his things, but the fact I searched the cloakroom and dug into the lost property box – not a pleasant job, I knew these things were nowhere to be found. The fact that they reappear hanging on his peg also seems a little strange. I have no evidence to say he his being tormented or wound up on purpose, so I can not take it to the school to look into, but to me it certainly seems a little unusual.

Anyway, as we were walking up to school this morning, M’s wee girl friend asked what he was taking to play with. She was so excited when he said. It was great to see two 8 years olds getting excited by a logical intelligent game. She told him she would come to his classroom to play him at the appropriate time – she is in the other P4 class. M was happy to know he would have someone to play with.   I also knew she would keep him in line as far as controlling where the piece were.

After school, she came running over to me saying they had played chess all golden choose time. M said she had won twice, but next time he would try really hard to beat her!    He also proudly announced he had checked and all the pieces were back in the box – Hubby did double-check this when we got home, and sure enough they are all accounted for.

I think it is great to know that something so old-fashioned  and fairly complicated can engage kids of the era where they love their computer games. It is good to know that thinking is not dead, despite what the media seem to be telling us.     Let us praise the young rather than keep putting them down.


5 responses »

  1. That is so good M has kept all his golden time. I’m sure it’s hard for him to overcome his problems but I think (what I found at my children’s primary school) that other children respect their peers more when they can keep to the rules, even if it is difficult. There can be resentment when they feel someone is being treated differently. In the long run, it will be better for M. In the short term, he must feel as if he has achieved something major.

    I used to run a chess club at the primary school and it was a game very highly suited to those on the ASD spectrum. It’s a good skill to have!

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