FREE Initial Meeting
Our first meeting is a combination free lesson and an evaluation. This meeting will last between one and two hours, and there is no cost to the potential student. The outcome of this meeting will be a letter/email to the student (or parent) in which we:
Accept or reject the applicant student
Note some general observations
Establish initial objectives for the first few lessons
Outline the initial pricing for lessons.
Should You Consider Group Lessons?
We keep group lessons as individualized as possible. We accomplish this by allowing players who have similar learning needs to form a group. We keep the groups small so that there is still significant interaction between each student and the instructor. Even so, there is some loss of individualized attention, but there can also be significant cost savings for the student. Lesson costs are not simply divisible by the number of students since there is still individual diagnostic and preparation time, and certain difficulties in simultaneously working with multiple students who each learn differently.
Group lessons can also possibly be beneficial because of the interaction between the students in the group. Sometimes students can "feed off each other" and progress more rapidly -- we often see this in chess camps or working with chess teams.
Sometimes students in a group may need to address particular issues separately. If so, we will notify the student of that, separately.
The primary reasons FOR group lessons are cost savings per student and mutual student involvement.
The primary reason AGAINST group lessons is some loss of individualized instruction.
Classes - Another Alternative
Another alternative to individualized lessons are classes. Classes are larger groups - typically 6 - 20, covering a specific topic for multiple weeks in a row. The format is less individualized, but takes advantage of larger groups and the ability to repeatedly use materials to decrease the individual costs. For more information on classes see this Classes page.
Scheduling and Preparation
We generally do not to travel for lessons. If travel is necessary, lesson pricing will include an additional fee for travel time. Lessons are typically held at our chess studio, in uptown Park Ridge, IL, within easy location from major expressways, and a two block walk from the Metra NW train line.
One of the greatest teachers said: "“No! Try not! Do. Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda"
Students will need to work at chess. Organized material, structure, context, reasons can make that much more understandable and much more fun! But to be successful, a student must be working more than the teacher. The student must change their way of thinking. Sometimes they have things to unlearn.
So there will be assignments, there will be homework. There are steps to simplify this, but it is still always necessary.
Our lesson pricing includes time for instructor preparation. Preparation time can include things like diagnostics of what concepts to focus on next with respect to a player, researching the appropriate games or examples to teach the concept, and producing student materials.