Why Choose CHESS?

Why hundreds of families have taken part in CHESS since 2001

Many homeschooling families in the area have discovered that they can energize their home education by connecting with the opportunities CHESS provides. Here are some of the distinctive benefits of our group.

Affordable tuition

Private schools in the NOVA area charge tuition fees of approximately $11,000 to $37,000 per year. At CHESS, students can take a full 6-class credit load for around $2,580—around one-third the cost! CHESS maintains competitive rates with similar enrichment groups in the area. Plus, CHESS offers special volunteer-track pricing and need-based scholarships.

An experience community college can’t give

What are the CHESS advantages over dual enrollment? CHESS provides small class sizes where the teacher is more able to connect and interact with the students, and students can learn in an environment where biblical values are honored. The focus of the class is to master the material, rather than just pass a test. Students have the entire academic year to study, instead of a 16-week semester, and will learn among peers who are equally talented and motivated. Focused study helps students discern their interests and passions (and college majors).

Click here for a detailed comparison of CHESS and NOVA.

Courses that equip

CHESS provides middle school courses to help prepare students for high school-level work, foundational high school courses in hard to teach subjects like foreign language and science, and college-level content courses at the high school pace. Our courses teach students to think, reason, and communicate.

A personal environment

Classes at CHESS are small groups usually having between five and twelve students (the average size is nine). Students are encouraged to discuss the topics with their teachers and fellow students, contributing their thoughts, not just turning in homework. Students learn time management skills, accountability, and grow personally as they adapt to different teachers’ styles and interact with their peers. Plus, they have fun learning together and working in groups in a challenging learning environment.

Expert instructors

The teachers at CHESS are what make us truly exceptional. Our teachers are Christians who truly care about their students. They include public and private school teachers, tutors and private educators, and veteran homeschooling parents—all with years of educating experience. Many of our teachers hold degrees and/or have careers or professional accomplishments in the fields in which they teach – all share a passion for the subjects they have chosen to teach and for working within the homeschooling community. Read more on our teachers’ bio page: http://chessclasses.org/current-teachers/.

Flexible education plans

At CHESS, students register for individual classes, not an entire program, which means families can tailor their education plan to their homeschool. Most families simply choose to supplement their homeschool with between one and four courses at CHESS, meaning the program is more adaptable to each family’s unique needs.

Advanced-level and honors course options

While homeschoolers know the advantages of learning at home, public institutions look for ways to compare home educated students with those in public and private schools. When a student takes the most challenging courses available to them, it can validate the student’s transcript for colleges. Showing that someone else has assessed your student’s work is helpful. If your student excels in a particular area and is ready to delve deeper or is ready for more challenging work, consider the honors- and advanced-level courses CHESS has to offer.

Note: An honors course indicates that the class will have a greater quantity of work throughout the academic year compared to a standard high school course. When incorporating honors courses into your student’s high school transcript, grades can be weighted when calculating the GPA. Advanced-level courses will help prepare the students to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam for that designated subject area.

Students who pass the AP exam may earn college credit.

Proven Success

CHESS is proud to have so many graduates continue on to higher education. Here is a partial list of colleges and universities blessed with former CHESS students:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Benedictine College
  • Biola University
  • Bluefield College
  • Christopher Newport University
  • College of William and Mary
  • Embry Riddle
  • George Mason University
  • Grove City College
  • Highlands Bible College
  • James Madison University
  • Liberty University
  • Lord Fairfax Community College
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Patrick Henry University
  • Oklahoma Christian University
  • Regent University
  • Roanoke University
  • Shenandoah Conservatory
  • St. John’s
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Mary Washington
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington & Lee
  • Wheaton College
  • WyoTech.

CHESS graduates also receive many scholarships and awards. For example:

  • Samuel Lillemo received the Dean’s Scholarship at Regent University College of Arts and Sciences for the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Corinne Wood was awarded the Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarship at Liberty University, which covers four years of her tuition.  Corinne was also the 2015 recipient of the Home Organization of Parent Educators (HOPE) scholarship.