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 Post subject: How to start teaching my son
Post #1 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:35 am 
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First of all, I'm a single digit kyu player. I have no intention on becoming a go tutor. I'm just an English teacher. My son is turning 3 years old now and no, I'm not trying to force him to play go, but it's been over a year now that he noticed my goban in my study and he's always asked me to play with him. I have some kind of rubber goban and pieces, so I occasionally get it and I try to teach him how to hold the pieces and where to play them. But we usually play randomly on the board (sometimes we pretend we are making dragons or houses with the pieces).

So far what he knows is:
1 - You have to play on the intersections;
2 - You play in turns, each one playing a piece at a time.

I've heard that in China kids sometimes start playing at a very young age. I don't intend to force him to be a go prodigy or anything. I'm just looking to expand his knowledge of the game a little and keep him interested. He really does like it. Sometimes we play on my cell phone app and he enjoys it a lot.

So, my question is: does anyone know any articles or methods for teaching go to kids? Has anyone ever been on my shoes? Any advice will help. Thank you.

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Post #2 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:41 am 
Judan
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When Michael Redmond was a little child, his dad Peter and friends would play Go ( here in town ), and Michael would just quietly watch them play.
Later, Michael got his hands on some Go book ( say, a joseki dictionary or a tsumego collection, etc. ) and after some time promptly memorized the entire book. :) :study: Nobody forced him to.
Quote:
I'm not trying to force him to play go
Excellent and please keep it that way. :tmbup:

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #3 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:00 am 
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Sadly I'm from a small town in Brazil, so I have no one to play with. He does watch me play online sometimes, glancing on my computer's screen. Problem is, on those occasions he wants to sit on my lap and play himself. This is, obviously, very distracting for my game. So I tend only to play online after he's asleep. I could play some free games with him sitting on my lap from time to time, though...

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #4 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:19 am 
Judan

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Menezes wrote:
Sadly I'm from a small town in Brazil, so I have no one to play with. He does watch me play online sometimes, glancing on my computer's screen. Problem is, on those occasions he wants to sit on my lap and play himself. This is, obviously, very distracting for my game. So I tend only to play online after he's asleep. I could play some free games with him sitting on my lap from time to time, though...


What if he got his own account? Could he sustain his attention enough to play a 9x9 game?

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #5 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:31 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Menezes wrote:
Sadly I'm from a small town in Brazil, so I have no one to play with. He does watch me play online sometimes, glancing on my computer's screen. Problem is, on those occasions he wants to sit on my lap and play himself. This is, obviously, very distracting for my game. So I tend only to play online after he's asleep. I could play some free games with him sitting on my lap from time to time, though...


What if he got his own account? Could he sustain his attention enough to play a 9x9 game?


He is very agitated, but he has endured many moves on my cell phone app playing random moves against me (though he does not sit still). Using a mouse would be hard for him (again, he is 3), but my laptop is touchscreen. Whenever I'm playing and he sits on my lap I have to either disable the touch or hold him strongly, because he keeps pressing his finger on the screen to make a move. He has already played some games (random moves) against the app's AI on the mobile. Maybe I'll create an account for him on kgs and set up some games against easy computers and guide him through one or two games while explaining the real point of the game (having more territory than the adversary). I think that should be the next step, teaching him the real goal of the game, but it's a hard approach. How do I explain a 3-year-old he should have more territory than his opponent? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #6 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:35 pm 
Judan

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Menezes wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
What if he got his own account? Could he sustain his attention enough to play a 9x9 game?


He is very agitated, but he has endured many moves on my cell phone app playing random moves against me (though he does not sit still). Using a mouse would be hard for him (again, he is 3), but my laptop is touchscreen. Whenever I'm playing and he sits on my lap I have to either disable the touch or hold him strongly, because he keeps pressing his finger on the screen to make a move. He has already played some games (random moves) against the app's AI on the mobile. Maybe I'll create an account for him on kgs and set up some games against easy computers and guide him through one or two games while explaining the real point of the game (having more territory than the adversary). I think that should be the next step, teaching him the real goal of the game, but it's a hard approach. How do I explain a 3-year-old he should have more territory than his opponent? :lol:


Yeah, it sounds like playing online against a human would present difficulties.

As for teaching him about territory, you can start with the Capture Game, where the aim is to capture one stone. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #7 Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Bill Spight wrote:

As for teaching him about territory, you can start with the Capture Game, where the aim is to capture one stone. :)


That's actually a very good idea. I forgot that I have taught him how to capture one day. He understood that when you put four stones around one stone of the other color, I can remove that one. Thanks for the advice. I'll try that.

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #8 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:13 am 
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Olà Menezes, acqui encontra-se a minha introdução preferida:

https://senseis.xmp.net/?DieterVerhofst ... troduction

Boa sorte!

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #9 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:07 am 
Judan

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Menezes wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:

As for teaching him about territory, you can start with the Capture Game, where the aim is to capture one stone. :)


That's actually a very good idea. I forgot that I have taught him how to capture one day. He understood that when you put four stones around one stone of the other color, I can remove that one. Thanks for the advice. I'll try that.


Start on a small board, like a 7x7 or even a 5x5. I play an adult friend on the 7x7, with him Black, OC. It makes for a pretty good game, which he enjoys. :) And play it with no passes. Then if you come to a position where each side has solid groups and there are no dame, the side with the most territory wins. Once he can count, he can count the territory at that point. :)

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #10 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Kids at that age develop different skills at such different rates, I think it's hard to provide general guidance. I think you just need to try things, see what engages him, and go with that. I have a four-year old who has a similar level of interest as your son, but like you we largely just make designs on the board. The most abstract thing I've been able to get him to do is to "surround" stones. He gets the idea that one kills stones by surrounding them, and since he's a four-year-old boy, just repeating the act of killing stones in fun. So, I'll often put a few stones of one color on the board in some configuration and ask him how to surround it. The activity certainly contains no strategy, but I figure he's at least learning one aspect of the game.

Your also fortunate that your son is willing to accept playing on the intersections. For a while, my son was adamant that the stones should go inside the squares. Those were fun discussions :-)

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #11 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:21 pm 
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When he first saw the board and asked me to play with it (he was around 2, I think), he would also put pieces inside the squares. My wife didn't help at all. One day I saw them playing and she was also placing the stones inside the squares. She has no idea how to play go. But one day my son actually corrected her, saying she had to play on the intersections. I felt happy and I'm getting the feeling that he is, in fact, learning and evolving.

I was just playing with him on an SGF editor on my laptop. He was sitting on my lap just pressing his finger on the screen at first. But after I cleared the board a couple of times, I started noticing he tends to repeat my patterns. So, for example, if he plays first, he will simply press his finger on the screen randomly. However, when I play first and play on the corners, he imitates me and plays on the adjacent corner. And when I play on another corner, he goes for the last one open. He also connects his stones when I connect mine. Tomorrow I'm going to try again with the rubber board and pieces (it's not really rubber... I don't know the actual name of the material... it's a kind of foam).

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This post by Menezes was liked by 2 people: Bill Spight, BlindGroup
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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #12 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:19 pm 
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When my daughter was around 3, we started playing on a cheap go set with a thin wooden board and some ceramic go stones. I think she enjoyed touching the real stones as a start. I tried to introduce to her the simple rules of the game myself but later on, we went through "The Interactive Way To Go" at playgo.to and then I told her that she went from 50 kyu to around 35 kyu. She was very happy and thought that she could rise in go very quickly. But she started to lose a lot of games to her grandfather who didn't go easy on her and understood go wasn't so easy after all. Now she is about 7 but still hasn't improved too much because she needs to spend most of her time on schoolwork and related activities first. But recently I gave her the "Learn to Play Go" series by Janice Kim and told her to try reading those books herself. I said if she finishes the books, she could become a kyu in the teens thereafter. She is currently on the second book. Anyways, she still enjoys the game even though she doesn't have a lot of time for it.

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 Post subject: Re: How to start teaching my son
Post #13 Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:08 pm 
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tchan001 wrote:
When my daughter was around 3, we started playing on a cheap go set with a thin wooden board and some ceramic go stones. I think she enjoyed touching the real stones as a start. I tried to introduce to her the simple rules of the game myself but later on, we went through "The Interactive Way To Go" at playgo.to and then I told her that she went from 50 kyu to around 35 kyu. She was very happy and thought that she could rise in go very quickly. But she started to lose a lot of games to her grandfather who didn't go easy on her and understood go wasn't so easy after all. Now she is about 7 but still hasn't improved too much because she needs to spend most of her time on schoolwork and related activities first. But recently I gave her the "Learn to Play Go" series by Janice Kim and told her to try reading those books herself. I said if she finishes the books, she could become a kyu in the teens thereafter. She is currently on the second book. Anyways, she still enjoys the game even though she doesn't have a lot of time for it.


I was just doing some basic go problems with him. Like "where do you play to capture that stone?". I first introduced the idea saying we were going to play tag with the pieces (in Portuguese, the game "tag" would be literaly translated as "the catching game", which helped to introduce the idea of capturing).

Tomorrow I'll try "The Interactive Way to Go". I also have Janice Kim's series, though it's in English (we're from Brazil). Hopefully by the time he knows how to read, the "Learn to Play Go" series will serve as an incentive for him to learn both Go and English. :study: He actually really enjoys English. He is always asking me how to say "this" or "that" in English...

I'm really happy I posted about this here. You guys have been very helpful. It had been some time since the last time I played a go. Now I'm feeling I should get better so that I can be a better teacher for my son. People really work harder when they have a reason, right?

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