This post has been updated – see “Update: Right Brain Education Resources for Home Practice“.
Gavin has been attending Heguru classes for two and a half months now. He has warmed up considerably since the first lesson and now actively participates in class. When I first signed him up for classes, I felt somewhat dubious that an hour long lesson once a week would be able to have that much of an impact on a child no matter how brilliant. I asked about materials that I could use at home to reinforce what Gavin was learning during his lessons but the resources available from Heguru were very limited. They have blank cards available but you still have to make your own flashcards.
I’m sorry but I’m a lazy Mum. I just don’t have the patience to make my own flashcards – about the best I can do are the flashcards on powerpoint. I heard from another mother who took her son to Shichida that Shichida had a good range of take-home materials for parents to practice with their children. I tried to buy their materials but was told they only sell them to parents of Shichida students. So unless your child was actually taking Shichida classes, you can’t purchase any of their materials.
Since Gareth would be turning six months soon, I enquired about enrolling him into their class. Would you believe that they have a waiting list even for their September intake? So I can’t buy their products and I can’t enroll Gareth into their classes. The next best thing was to replicate the activities Gavin does in class as closely as possible with whatever resources I could scramble together at home. It turns out that I have a lot more materials on hand than I had previously realised.
If you want to do Heguru/Shichida activities with your child at home, here’s a list of resources you can use to get started:
- Memory Magic – contains flashcards, eye training, memory recall, and linking memory.
- TweedleWink – DVD series by Right Brain Kids which includes visual tracking, flashcards, speed reading, perfect pitch, math, phonics, word building.
- Wink – 7 Step series also by Right Brain Kids which includes linking memory, photoeyeplay, mental imaging, photographic memory/speed reading, observation training.
- Wink to Learn – they have flashcards for teaching Languages and animal facts.
- Shichida Parents – a resource site with contributions from Shichida parents of materials they have made for their own kids.
- BrillKids – a huge resource site for free powerpoint flashcards created by BrillKids and BrillKids parents.
- Amazon has a good selection of Tangram puzzles.
I started doing these activities with Gavin ever since his Heguru sensei encouraged us to do at-home reinforcement. One of the things I’ve been doing at home with Gavin is the linking memory activity from Memory Magic (titled “silly stories”). All I did was go through it with him – no testing – well, okay, I did ask him if he could remember the card sequence but I didn’t press him when he didn’t want to offer an answer. Since we started the silly stories activity at home, I’ve noticed that in the last two weeks of Heguru, he’s been getting all his cards right in the linking memory part of the lesson. To test whether it was the Memory Magic that helped him improve, I randomly picked ten cards from the sequence of silly stories and ask Gavin if he could remember what came next. He got them all right except for one.
I’ve also been showing Gavin random picture flashcards from Memory Magic and ones that I created based on the Glenn Doman reading flashcards. To encourage Gavin to pay attention to his flashcards, I have been rewarding him with smarties. Although he listens, I often get the feeling like his mind is somewhere else whenever I’m going through a flashcard session with him. Today, I discovered that he actually has been listening. I showed him the set of Doman “Bits of Intelligence” cards on musical instruments for the first time and he recognised all the instruments.
I’ve been asked whether flashcards and the sessions at Heguru really work. Up until now I’ve always replied that it is too early to tell and that it isn’t advisable to “test” him since Doman strongly advises against testing. I guess if what I’ve seen so far is anything to go by then yes, I think they do work.