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 Post subject: teaching tips
Post #1 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:59 pm 
Honinbo

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I am teaching a kid - probably about 8 or 9 years old - how to play go. We meet every Monday for an hour.

He is not really that interested in playing go, but his mom wants him to learn anyway. I personally think that the class will be more enjoyable if the kid enjoys himself a bit more, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to make the class more fun.

A typical class does like this:
- We char about the last week (5 minutes)
- We go over last week’s homework (10 minutes)
- Watch a bit of Hikaru no Go (10 minutes; just started doing this in an effort to increase his interest)
- Brief lecture on a technique or joseki (10 minutes)
- 9x9 game and review with him playing my son (10 minutes; they are a similar level)
- Handicap game with me, where he and my son are a team (10 minutes; they discuss moves before playing)
- Talk about next week’s homework (5 minutes)

I asked him what he enjoys, and his favorite part of class is watching Hikaru no Go. His least favorite part is actually playing go :-)

I’m trying to think of ways to make the class more interesting to a kid his age. I have lots of go content we can talk about, and we can always play games. But how do I make the class more fun?

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: teaching tips
Post #2 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Homework? Lecture? Does he play any board games?

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Post #3 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:27 pm 
Honinbo
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Hi Kirby,
Quote:
He is not really that interested in playing go, but his mom wants him to learn anyway.

his favorite part of class is watching Hikaru no Go.
His least favorite part is actually playing go
It's good you ask him what he likes and dislikes.

Personally I think this is counter productive.
It's one hour per week with you, and let's say another hour for homework.
Maybe it's no worse than any other school classes that he doesn't enjoy.

Not sure what he'll learn out of this, but at least two things: some cultural knowledge (about Go and HNG), and that life isn't always smooth sailing (of course, even that is relative).

I hope you're watching HNG in the original dialogue, with English subtitles... :blackeye:

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 Post subject: Re: teaching tips
Post #4 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:11 pm 
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Maybe he could be interested in the Level Up! books. They are books teaching go for kids, with comics.

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Post #5 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:32 pm 
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I’ve done a lot of private math tutoring and my first question was always “why do you want to pass?” The students we’re always surprised by this question because the motivation came from their mom. Once I got their true motivation (usually of social kind)fired up,there was a high chance for success.

In this case the kid’s motivation seems to come entirely from mom, in which case I would stop tutoring. What is your motivation for teaching him?

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Post #6 Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:41 pm 
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For 100 kids starting an activity (whether go or something else), 90 won't be interested and will drop out after one year or so, 9 will be moderately interested and 1 will be super-motivated and will progress 3 times faster than what an adult could expect. So if the kid you are teaching doesn't want to play go, don't take it personally. If it were possible to make a kid interested in any activity you wanted, then the level of education would be much higher.

Regarding go, here are a few observations:

  • Go environments in western countries are often not friendly for kids: go clubs taking place in bars, at late hours, with a vast majority of adults; lack of children tournaments... The fact that he can play with your son is a good thing. Even better would be to socialize with other children who play go.
  • Go players often try to make their children interested in go, sometimes with success, but I have seen many children who don't want to play go.
  • When I meet people who learned go "in isolation" and ask them how they got interested, the almost invariable response is "Hikaru no Go".

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:05 am 
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Watch Hikaru for 1 hour for a month and then see if he wants to play :)


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Post #8 Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:15 pm 
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From my experience, this sounds familiar.
Some ideas and suggestions:
- Try to have more kids. One or a few kids extra would probably make it more fun for this kid. I.e. try to be more of a children's club in stead of a go club.
- Limit the teaching, both in teaching time and in number of topics. It is about fun and social contact primarily. Go comes second. I would recommend no lectures at all. No focus on becoming better. Your schedule looks to me to be too much. Just play and have him play.
- Likewise, limit the reviews. One or two feedback points per game is enough. Don't review a complete game.
- As a teacher: don't try to be 'productive'. Don't try to teach him as fast and as much as you would like him to learn. Don't overwhelm him. Don't overask him.
- If you would have more children, set up an internal competition.
- Use a grading system. Most kids like to see how they progress.
- I prefer 2 kind of games in one session: a 'serious' game or a 'chat' game.
The serious game is silent. Just let him play, let him make lots of stupid mistakes, just let him lose games. Do not correct or teach.
During a chat game (to be agreed upon by both players on beforehand-!) try to give him a tip for each of his moves.
- Win or loss you can also determine by using negative komi. Kids love winning, even when they win because of that.
- If he wants to play silly, creative, self-invented 'games', like making nice patterns/figures, like placing 2 stones per move, like playing a 'shouting' game or whatever, just let him do that and go along. Be a child again yourself and go with his flow.
- I do not know what kind of homework you give him. I recommend Britgo puzzles.
- Manage mother's expectations. Does she really want him to learn go and make progress and become better/stronger, or does she want her son to have a great pastime and pick up valuable lessons in the meantime? Try to get mother more involved and play her, and also let her play her son.
Anyway, enjoy your teaching time.


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Post #9 Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:04 pm 
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See also the teaching/clubs section for tips on teaching children.

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:31 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
What is your motivation for teaching him?


I enjoy teaching go. I don't have a lot of experience with it, but it's fun. It's just even more fun when the student is having as much fun as me :-) That's why I started this thread.

There's also the small detail that his mom is friends with my wife. That's how things got started.

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Post #11 Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:31 pm 
Honinbo

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sybob wrote:
From my experience, this sounds familiar.
Some ideas and suggestions:
- Try to have more kids. One or a few kids extra would probably make it more fun for this kid. I.e. try to be more of a children's club in stead of a go club.
- Limit the teaching, both in teaching time and in number of topics. It is about fun and social contact primarily. Go comes second. I would recommend no lectures at all. No focus on becoming better. Your schedule looks to me to be too much. Just play and have him play.
- Likewise, limit the reviews. One or two feedback points per game is enough. Don't review a complete game.
- As a teacher: don't try to be 'productive'. Don't try to teach him as fast and as much as you would like him to learn. Don't overwhelm him. Don't overask him.
- If you would have more children, set up an internal competition.
- Use a grading system. Most kids like to see how they progress.
- I prefer 2 kind of games in one session: a 'serious' game or a 'chat' game.
The serious game is silent. Just let him play, let him make lots of stupid mistakes, just let him lose games. Do not correct or teach.
During a chat game (to be agreed upon by both players on beforehand-!) try to give him a tip for each of his moves.
- Win or loss you can also determine by using negative komi. Kids love winning, even when they win because of that.
- If he wants to play silly, creative, self-invented 'games', like making nice patterns/figures, like placing 2 stones per move, like playing a 'shouting' game or whatever, just let him do that and go along. Be a child again yourself and go with his flow.
- I do not know what kind of homework you give him. I recommend Britgo puzzles.
- Manage mother's expectations. Does she really want him to learn go and make progress and become better/stronger, or does she want her son to have a great pastime and pick up valuable lessons in the meantime? Try to get mother more involved and play her, and also let her play her son.
Anyway, enjoy your teaching time.


Wow, very nice list. Very much appreciated!

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Post #12 Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:50 am 
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Kirby wrote:
Wow, very nice list. Very much appreciated!

You are welcome.

Britgo puzzles: http://www.britgo.org/covers/psmith
More about teaching from Britgo: http://www.britgo.org/teaching/guide and follow the links.
If you really want him to get addicted to the game, suggest he downloads GoQuest on his smartphone and/or tablet.

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Post #13 Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 2:06 pm 
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I tried to teach some Go to my two children.
They are basically uninterested and when they are, I am happy to see that it is more about staying with me than about the game.

The daughter is pleased by the aesthetic of the materials and creating patterns, as you can see by yourself
Attachment:
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...still she is using the intersections and not the squares. :clap:
I got better success teaching TicTacToe to the boy (7 y.o.). The game is solved but, as correctly stated in Wargames (John Badham - 1983), it has in itself the basics of placement and tactical reading.
Attachment:
tmp-cam-1799911496.jpg
tmp-cam-1799911496.jpg [ 19.61 KiB | Viewed 598 times ]
Next time they will give me the occasion, I will probably try on smaller boards (<9 square), since I felt that one of the obstacles of the game is the duration.

btw I fully agree with Sybob about keeping oneself from being productive and overask still this is not always easy with one's children. ;-)

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