One of the reasons why I enjoy talking about early childhood development and what I’ve read about with others is because many connections can be made that might otherwise go unlinked. I ought to thank my SIL2 for this one…
We were talking about The Outliers and the significance of having 10,000 hours of practice before you can really be great at anything. If that’s the case, then how does right brain development fit into all of this?
Based on the right brain development theory, children can develop speed reading abilities, photographic memory, rapid mental math abilities, perfect pitch, excellence in sports, and general well-being. Right brain development also enhances creativity, social development, discipline and self-control.
When I talk to new parents about right brain education, the question that burns most brightly on their list is whether I have observed any of these developments in my children after having sent them for right brain development (Gavin for a year now and Gareth for 9 months). What can Gavin do? Well, it is difficult to attribute what he can do specifically to Heguru because we have done so many other programs with him. He can read, but then again, he could already read before he started Heguru. He can do simple Math but definitely not computer-like calculations. The last time I tested him with random linking memory (which was probably about mid-last year), he could remember as many as 12 cards in sequence. Could he have done more than 12 cards? I don’t know because he refused to do any more.
It is difficult to separate exactly what Heguru has taught him because there is input from so many other things that he does. I do know he has picked up stuff directly from Heguru because he repeats them at home. However, I cannot say that he has developed any of the abilities listed above. And after reading Chapter 2 of Outliers, I know why.
When we first started Heguru, I asked, “Is it enough to do these classes only once a week for an hour?” If you’ve read any of the literature from Shichida, you’ll realise that there is a lot of emphasis on home practice. Chapter 2 of Outliers states that if you want to be really good at anything, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. If all you are relying on to develop your child’s right brain is the right brain class that you send your child to, that’s only 48 hours a year (one hour, once a week minus holidays) – hardly enough to scratch the surface.
So perhaps that is why some parents will observe the benefits of having sent their children for right brain education and others won’t. It all comes back to how much home practice you do with your child. Which raises another issue – probably the biggest difficulty when trying to do home practice is getting your child’s willing cooperation. And when it comes to early childhood development, the cardinal rule is never force it upon your child. Not to mention that when you are dealing with very young children, attention spans are short, which means there is only so much practice you can get into a day without putting your child off your home practice programs. Perhaps that is why the right brain education programs for children at Shichida, Heguru and TweedleWink all continue until a child is 12 years old. As your child gets older, you will be able to increase his home practice to reinforce what he does in class and get him closer to that 10,000 hours of practice.