Presented by CambriLearn

How homeschooling empowered a teen chess prodigy

What started as a natural progression from logic puzzles, such as Sudoku and the Rubik’s Cube, became a fascinating avocation that encouraged a young boy to make a whole-life adjustment from the accepted norm.

Dante Beukes was just six years’ old when he began moving chess pieces around the board and was nine when he began competing in tournaments.

His mother Juliet describes his love of chess as his greatest passion and ascribes it to his keenly logical and analytical mind.

Now ranked as an International Master, Dante has high ambitions: to join the select 1 500 or so chess players around the world who own the rank of Grand Master.

It’s a rarefied group – just 0.0003% of all global players are recognised as professional chess players by FIDE (the International Chess Federation).

To realise his goal, Dante and his parents understood that he needed to dedicate as much time as he could to practising and perfecting his chess strategies.

Something had to give… but what exactly?

As it turns out, nothing. Dante found his answer in homeschooling. With the support from his parents and Marita Short from the Windhoek Homeschooling Centre (a CambriLearn affiliate tutor centre), Dante was able to commit fully to chess, without sacrificing his education.

When speaking with Dante, there is an immediate clarity of purpose, not just in his chess pursuits, but in his firm approach to learning.

He understood that although his professional goal lay outside academia, it was important to complete his schooling as a foundation from which his adult activities could confidently grow.

In order to accommodate Dante’s busy tournament and practice schedule, his parents enrolled him in an online learning programme.

Dante has thrived in the online learning environment and in 2020 he succeeded in achieving two As and four A* in the International GCSEs.

Perhaps there’s no such thing as ‘alternative’ schooling

When we talk about ‘alternative’ methods of schooling, it’s always with the implication of the ‘other’, of the abnormal; that given the choice every child would follow one standard method of teaching.

This suggests a lack of choice when it is in fact quite the opposite.

An 08h00 to 15h00 daily school schedule was never an option for Dante.

If he was going to set aside the time he needed to achieve Grand Master status, he required a learning system that could accommodate his goals – not the reverse.

The right choice is your choice

And by that, we mean the one that provides the environment for your child’s unique needs.

CambriLearn provides online schooling that adapts to your life and your schedule.

CambriLearn offers weekly live lessons, an extensive library of recorded lessons, direct chat with experienced teachers and regular updates on each student’s progress.

From Learning to Read and Write right through to A Levels, CambriLearn can be your partner in setting out your child’s education journey.

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How homeschooling empowered a teen chess prodigy