BabyTalk Article: The Top 3 Right Brain Schools

Right Brain KidsThis is the original article I submitted for publication in the November 2011 issue of Baby Talk on the Top 3 Right Brain Schools:

Top 3 Right Brain Education Schools

Keen on enrolling your child in right brain education but not sure where to start? Fret not as Lee Shen-Li compares three leading right brain schools.

Distinct Differences Between Shichida, Heguru and TweedleWink

  • Pace – TweedleWink believes in following the body’s natural rhythm.  Flashcards should be presented at the same pace as the heartbeat.  Both Shichida and Heguru flash cards very rapidly, approximately 3 cards per second.
  • Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) – There are no ESP activities in the TweedleWink program. Both Shichida and Heguru incorporate activities designed to develop a child’s ESP potential.
  • Repetitions – TweedleWink believes there should be fewer repetitions because repetition is the learning style of the left brain. The right brain, which is photographic, captures new material instantaneously and does not require repetition. Repetitions in Shichida and Heguru fall in between Doman’s three times per day for five consecutive days and TweedleWink’s once a day for three days.
  • Movement – TweedleWink believes in the importance of movement to enhance learning. Children, especially boys, need to move to absorb new material.  Shichida and Heguru are more structured.
  • Activities – TweedleWink believes that the focus of development in infants and toddlers should be purely right brain only. Activities believed to develop the left brain are slowly incorporated later as the left brain emerges and bridging between left and right hemispheres begin to take place. For example, they do not do linking memory, after-image practice, space memory, and other similar activities in their infant and toddler classes. These activities are only incorporated later once the left brain emerges. In Shichida and Heguru, these activities are done right from the start.
  • Testing – TweedleWink believes that there should be no testing of the children as this promotes left brain bridging and reduces the right brain potential. The philosophy is relationship first.  By virtue of the activities performed in Heguru and Shichida, there is some testing occurring although it is very low-key.

What Happens During the Lesson?

Shichida

  • Good morning song in Japanese
  • Reinforcement of parent’s love
  • Breathing exercise
  • Image play
  • Extra sensory perception (ESP) training
  • Vowel training via song
  • Flash card
  • Eye exercise
  • Photographic memory training
  • Linking memory – memory technique for remembering a long sequence of images
  • Speed reading and listening
  • Puzzles matching game
  • Alphabets training via song
  • Finger play
  • Math with abacus, flash cards, songs and activities
  • Goodbye song in Japanese

Heguru

  • Introductions
  • Flash cards – slow with additional information; stories; songs in other languages; and rapid flashing.
  • Reinforcement of parent love.
  • Eye training.
  • ESP (extra sensory perception) training.
  • Linking Memory – memory technique for remembering a long sequence of images.
  • Mandala Activity – photographic memory training.
  • Mental Imaging – visualising scenarios in the mind.
  • Image Training – reproducing images in the mind.
  • Speed Listening.
  • Puzzles – Tangrams, Iroita.
  • Math with abacus, flash cards, songs, and activities and games.
  • Peg Memory – memory training technique.
  • Music Movement and singing songs.
  • Physical Activity.
  • Space Memory – memory puzzle.
  • Activities – hand writing, puzzles, number memory.
  • Story time.
  • Goodbye.

TweedleWink

Hello and parent-child relationship reinforcement. Throughout the class, children are given opportunity to move around.

  • Vision – visual stimulation and eye training.
  • Vocabulary – new words from a variety of categories using flash cards and multi-sensorial activities.
  • Culture – introduction to a different country and its culture (language, music, map location etc.)
  • Music – perfect pitch training with tuning forks; rhythm training; introduction to different instruments; introduction to different composers and their works.
  • Reading – phonics, handwriting, whole words, hands-on activity, riddles, literary exposure, short story.
  • Math – flash cards, Math, hands-on math activities.
  • Science – a new concept is introduced each week; related hands-on activity.
  • Art – exposure to different artists and their works, and styles of art; art activity for older children/Montessori activity for younger children.
  • Thank you song.

Overview of the Schools

Shichida

Country of origin: Japan
Founder: Makoto Shichida
Age suitability: 0-6 years (Pre-junior); 7+ (Junior)
Number of kids per class: 5 max
Classroom setting: tables and chairs
Frequency/duration of class: 60 minutes
Languages used during lessons (including songs): Each week – English, Japanese
Parent education course (side activities for parents/children besides weekly classes): A compulsory three-hour parent education course for new parents during the first term (RM350 per person/RM595 per couple) – refundable in full when the child completes four continuous terms of the programme. There are also Parentcare workshops, Motivation for Life workshops, Shichida Par-T and Genius Digest sessions organised every term.
Fees structure (weekday/weekend): RM1,050/term (3 months) weekday; RM1,200/term (3 months) weekend
Registration fee (annual or life time): RM100 (annual); Deposit RM500 (refundable)
Home teaching materials? Any additional for purchase? Yes – Handouts. No additional fees. There are also materials available for purchase.
Waiting list (number of months): Average 6-9 months
Locations: Kuala Lumpur – 86 Jalan Raja Chulan, #12-01 Wisma Lim Foo Yong; Petaling Jaya – Units F1-F7 (Level 2), Centrepoint Bandar Utama
Contact details: Tel: 03-2144 2555 (KL) / 03-7727 8149 (PJ)
Website: shichidamethod.com
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 9am-6.30pm

Heguru

Country of origin: Japan
Founder: Hirotada and Ruiko Henmi
Age suitability: 0-12 years old
Number of kids per class: 6 max
Classroom setting: floor
Frequency/duration of class: 60 minutes
Languages used during lessons (including songs): Each week – Japanese, English, Chinese. Occasionally – variety of other languages that vary from week to week.
Parent education course (side activities for parents/children besides weekly classes): Fortnightly video message from founders. Optional parent education courses conducted by the founders when arranged by the school.
Fees structure (weekday/weekend): RM400/mth weekday; RM450/mth weekend.
Registration fee (annual or life time): RM100 (annual); Deposit RM500 (refundable)
Home teaching materials? Any additional for purchase? Yes – Handouts. No additional fees. There are also materials available for purchase.
Waiting list (number of months): Depends on class and time slot (varies from month to month)
Locations: Unit 27-3, Block B, Signature Office, Mid Valley Boulevard.
Contact details: Tel: 03-22872168
Website: heguru.com.my
Opening Hours: Wed-Fri 10am-7pm; Sat 9:30am-7pm; Sun 9:30am-3:30pm.

TweedleWink

Country of origin: US
Founder: Pamela Hickein and Wennie Sun
Age suitability: 0-6 (TweedleWink); 4+ (Wink)
Number of kids per class: 5 max
Classroom setting: floor
Frequency/duration of class: 60 minutes
Languages used during lessons (including songs): One new language every week (depending on Country studied). If the country is English speaking, then no new languages.
Parent education course (side activities for parents/children besides weekly classes): Yes – book and DVD upon registration. Optional weekly parents’ gatherings. Optional online courses available (TweedleWink – US$98; Wink – US$197; Interfamily Archetypes – US$98)
Fees structure (weekday/weekend): RM1080/term (3 months) weekday; RM1200/term (3 months) weekend.
Registration fee (annual or life time): RM300 (lifetime); RM300 (refundable)
Home teaching materials? Any additional for purchase? Yes – Handouts. No additional fees. There are also materials available for purchase.
Waiting list (number of months): Depends on class and time slot. They require a minimum of three students to open a new time slot.
Locations: Petaling Jaya – B-2-01, Neo Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/1, Bandar Damansara Perdana. Puchong – 30-2, Jalan Puteri 1/4, Bandar Puteri. Klang – 20, Jalan Mahogani 1/ KS 7, Bandar Botanic.
Contact details: Tel: 03-77101090 (PJ) / 03-03-8063-8733 (Puchong) / 03-03-3325-7808 (Klang); Mobile: 012-2656018 (PJ) / 012-3801733 (Puchong) / 017-2552422 (Klang)
Website: rightbrainkids.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm.

From the Horse’s Mouth

Shichida

“Some other methods use mainly flashcards or worksheets for their training whereas The Shichida Method™ focus on drawing out the innate imagery system in learning through fun techniques. Parents will be taught how to use stimulating materials during the public seminar. We provide parents the foundation to help their children and not to over-emphasise academic performance, much seen in other types of programmes.

Today, the 21st Century is called the Century of the Brain. It is the right time now to have babies because The Shichida Method™ is revealing to us how we can bring up a child with less stress, more joy and in a successful manner. Our nation can then have many capable and useful citizens with a strong commitment to serve society and to serve with a great heart and positive mindset.”

– Jocelyn Khoo, Director of Shichida Method

Heguru

“Heguru is the result of 27 years of research. It is a wholesome and balanced education which places importance in character building to inculcate a positive attitude towards life.

‘Developing Potential Abilities’ is the main theme of HEGL education. It means activating the genes that are asleep within the individual. HEGL education is an epoch-making method that shows how to activate the gene. When children are trained to fully utilise their right brain, this ability will greatly enhance their learning ability and they become high achievers.”

– Tam Yu Li, representative of Heguru Malaysia

TweedleWink

“TweedleWink is a balanced program that teaches both sides of the brain based on the child’s development with the Montessori philosophy (where the child takes the lead) as our foundation.

We do not teach ESP, although we encourage children to use heart-based intuition and creativity. We teach speed reading based on a solid foundation of early reading skills. We teach to the rhythm of the heart because we believe a more rapid rate of delivery can over-stimulate the nervous system. We empower our teachers to use their own right-brain creativity and we encourage children to move because movement is good for the brain. We also believe that a strong relationship between the child and the parent is vital.”

– Wennie Sun, Co-founder of TweedleWink Malaysia

Shichida, Heguru, Right Brain Education