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Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > What is Ho Math?

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20 Apr 2008

What is Ho Math?


Frank Ho


BC certified math teacher


Founder of Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Ho Math is a special concept and game-based math teaching method especially designed for elementary students (from kindergarten to grade 7). It was invented in Canada by a Canadian math teacher Frank Ho.


How Ho Math was invented?


Below is a short description by Mr. Frank Ho.


When I was a teenager, I went to a few learning centers including general purpose and some specialty learning centers (like English only) and also went to my teacher’s home for preparing for junior high entrance examination. The purpose of these learning centers is for one simple reason that is to cram students with exam questions so students can get higher marks, there is no other real mission. None of these learning centers expanded or made to the international stage since they were geared to prepare for local exams and they exist or die depending on education policy in the area.


In recollection, I realized how wrong it was to learn something for the sole purpose to get better in exam, although I agree the marks are important and some employers only recognize marks for new graduates. But learning for the purpose of getting high marks without training to think is definitely wrong.


There are still many learning centers out there just mainly advocating kids to do computation or preparing for exams etc. Their teaching style and way of running business is still the same as the learning centers I went when I was young, nothing much was changed. Since I realized the way of my learning was wrong when I grew old, I never wanted to teach my own kids the way learning centers were teaching me when I was young. I never sent my own kids to any learning centers until I set up my own learning center.


I never had a mind to start a supplemental education business except by coincidence. When my son was about 6 years old, he asked me what was the use of a chess set, which I left in the living room. It was given to me as a gift by my former colleagues at the Faculty of Education when I quit working at the University of British Columbia. My son’s curiosity got me thinking on how to “educate” him so he could learn chess and this led me to investigate on how math and chess are related. My research and study resulted in my invention of Geometry Chess Symbols.  When my son’s classmates’ parents told me that they would like to enroll in my tutoring classes, I knew I did not want to set up a learning center for the purpose of just cramming school stuff and for just getting higher marks. So I had the idea of using chess as a tool to train their critical thinking skills.


After my over 10 years of devotion in research and study the interrelation of math and chess and I found out that my teaching method of integrating math and chess in deed generates more interests in math for children than the traditional worksheets.


I found out that some kids’ progress were very slow or even stagnant, despite how hard I explained concepts or tried to teach them again and again. I discovered one major contributing factor, which caused the problem and this promoted me change the way I teach. I discovered that the weak math students tends to not like the IQ type of questions and the condition is reversed for strong math students under the condition these questions do not even require any math knowledge other than analyzing, comparing, sorting, or collating. This tells me that the weak math students perhaps have a problem that is their brains are not trained or fit for doing math problems (and thus they do not want to do much math problems.)  Because of this discovery, today Ho Math program consists of 5 major components:


1.    School math

2.    Chess and IQ mathematical chess puzzles

3.    Word problems

4.    IQ Puzzles

5.    Math Contests problems


Why Ho Math is unique and effective?


Ho Math is unique in its teaching philosophy and teaching method. To create the worksheets for the above 5 major components, Ho Math and Chessuses proprietary, copyrighted and patent applied intellectual properties such as Geometry Chess Symbols, Frankho Chess Mazes, Ho Math and Chess Teaching Set, and Universal Word problem Solving Tool.


Ho Math is created based on founder Frank’s belief that math learning must be effective and fun.  Ho Math is fun to work with and also it improves children’s math marks. It also improves children’s brainpower and at the same time, children also learn a social game, which will last life time. Chess is competitive and also a social game, it connects people and provides chance for improving social skills and improves children’s critical thinking skills. Chess is one of the best education manipulatives.



How Ho Math worksheets differ from others?


Ho Math is a math teaching method invented by a Canadian math teacher Frank Ho. Frank intrigued by the relationships between math and chess after teaching his son chess started Vancouver Ho Math and Chess tutoring & learning center over 10 years ago. His long-term devotion of research has led his son to become a FIDE chess master and also the publications of over 20 math and chess workbooks for children. The trademarked name "Ho Math and Chess " reveals part of its history of "Ho Math and Chess" and its tradition.


Working on mathematical chess puzzles is an excellent way of improving problem-solving ability. By combining chess and math problems together, Frank wrote the world's first math and chess integrated elementary student workbook for children.


Frank also invented Geometry Chess symbols and also Ho Math and ChessTeaching Set so that children as young as 4-year old can learn chess much easier than using the traditional 3-D chess set. Using Geometry Chess Symbol, Frank created the world’s first and copyrighted Frankho Chess Mazes.


The Illinois (USA) data has shown that Hoteaching method is statistically significant in raising students' math marks.


Today, HoMath and Chess is an international brand name in franchised math specialty learning centre business. Ho Math and Chess  is the leader in the areas of research, marketing, and teaching integrated chess and math to elementary students.


Ho Math and Chess ™ learning center is the only supplemental education franchise dedicated to teaching children math using math and chess integrated workbooks. It is now the world largest franchised scholastic math and chess tutoring organization with worldwide locations to serve including offices in Vancouver, Canada. Mr. Frank Ho invented the unique Math and Chess teaching method in 1995. Today when people talk about Math and Chess, they think about the leading research organization in this highly specialized field - Ho Math and Chess. Ho Math and Chess and Math and Chess are synonyms. 


HoMath and Chess offers one-of-its-kind and unique 5 subjects in 1 program, namely, math, IQ chess, IQ puzzles, and word problems, and math contests problems with paying only one fee.


What are the purposes of Ho Math?


The purposes of Ho Math teaching method are to:


·       Raise math marks.

·       Improve critical thinking ability.

·       Improve chess ability.

·       Improve brainpower.


What is the background of Frank Ho?


Frank Ho, a Canadian certified math teacher, coined the learning centre term Math and Chess and he also founded the world's first math and chess learning centre by creating the world's first math and chess integrated workbooks for elementary students in Vancouver, Canada. He invented Frankho Symbolic Chess Language, intriguing Frankho Chess Maze, and also an unique new chess teaching set. He published math and chess teaching theoretic basis in a Canadian math journal. The USA Illinois research data has shown statistically significant that HoMath and Chess teaching method increases children's math marks and also improves children's critical thinking skills. The HoMath and Chess Teaching Set can improve children's memory by playing half-blind chess.

Frank Ho


Ho Math Chess at Home = Math + Chess + Puzzles = A fun place to learn math at home.

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