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Frequently asked questions

How does Story Time Chess at Home work?

Story Time Chess at Home is a subscription-based service which allows individuals and families to teach their children how to play chess through fun, engaging stories. Our curriculum transforms the chess pieces into characters whose personalities and backstories provide a concrete framework for the abstract rules of the game.

Why teach through stories?

Children have an incredible capacity to recall narrative detail; they might not remember what they had for breakfast but they can often tell you, blow-by-blow, exactly what happens to the characters in their favorite movie, book, or show. Because kids are already fluent in the language of character motivation and narrative cause-and-effect, we use wacky, memorable stories to illuminate chess concepts that might otherwise seem arbitrary or lacking justification.

Do I need chess experience to use Story Time Chess at Home?

No – anyone who can read a story can use Story Time Chess at Home to teach their child to play chess! There are extensive teacher resources built into the program and the learning curve is very gentle; we introduce the pieces one at a time to give young learners ample time to absorb it all.

How long is each lesson?

Lessons range from 35-55 minutes. As you work your way into the curriculum, you’ll likely find you’ll want to take more time at the beginning of lessons for review and more time at the end of lessons for free play.

How often should I use Story Time Chess at Home?

Every student’s capacity for new information is different, but, on average, parents and teachers implement a formal Story Time Chess lesson once a week. As long as your child isn’t overwhelmed, however, feel free to do lessons more than once a week. And we certainly recommend bringing out the chessboard and playing some form of chess as often as possible to boost retention. Also, chess is fun!

How quickly will my child/student learn to play chess?

Story Time Chess at Home will have your child, at the very least, playing mini-games and games with only some of the chess pieces from the very first lesson. After the first 9 lessons, novice students will be able to set up and play a full game of chess. After the first 20 lessons, a student will have learned advanced rules and opening strategy.

Is Story Time Chess at Home an e-learning product?

No. Most e-learning products require the student to complete tasks on a computer screen. By comparison, the web portal that hosts our curriculum is designed to be accessed by the parent/teacher only. It is a digital curriculum that the parent/teacher is meant to implement. We strongly believe the best way to learn chess is not from a screen, but by playing and learning on a real-life board.

What are the differences between the Standard and Premium plans?

The Standard plan includes 31 chess lessons: two Core Curriculum modules and one additional story series, The King Shaky Saga. The Premium plan includes the contents of the Standard plan, plus a five-lesson module teaching chess notation (recording chess moves in writing) and access to newly-released lesson modules on a quarterly basis. Upcoming modules will cover topics like piece point values, making a game plan, and intermediate chess tactics.

Do I need to purchase Story Time Chess: The Game?

No, but we highly recommend that you do. Story Time Chess: The Game is an excellent companion to Story Time Chess at Home and will really help the lessons come alive for students. That said, Story Time Chess at Home can also be taught using any traditional chess set with a full complement of pieces.

Can I cancel anytime?

You may cancel at any time and continue to access the curriculum until the end of your most recent, paid-up billing cycle.

Can I use this program outside of a home setting?

No. This program is only permitted to be used by parents and homeschoolers for their children and immediate family.

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