In my previous posts on right brain education, I have made many references to Makoto Shichida, one of the pioneers in right brain education. By now, I think the name Shichida is probably synonymous with the term “right brain education” because of the work Makoto Shichida has done over the years. After the recent parents’ seminar from Heguru, however, I think there is another person who should also be recognised for the significant contributions she has made to right brain education – Ruiko Henmi, one of the founders of Heguru and Principal of Henmi Educational General Laboratory.
Why I find Ruiko Henmi so inspiring is because she not only observes the theory of right brain education but she has also had a lot of practical experience helping children to develop their right brain. If you look through the old videos on right brain education, you will see Ruiko Henmi at the heart of the right brain classes. This amazing woman has been in the trenches leading the children and watching them develop over the years. If there is anyone who should understand right brain education, I think Ruiko Henmi would be that person.
Even now, she continues to assist in refining the Heguru right brain program to ensure that the classes offered provide the best chance of success for developing the right brain. Come June 2011, Heguru will be implementing a new pre-school program that is currently running in Japan which has yielded even greater successes in right brain development.
I was also impressed by the commitment of HEGL (Henmi Educational General Laboratory) to the Heguru school in Malaysia. They personally evaluate their senseis and provide feedback for improvement to ensure that the classes are conducted correctly. They also watch video recordings of the classes while they are back in Japan so they can monitor the progress of the school here.
To help parents understand right brain education, the Henmis have made arrangements to keep in contact with the KL senseis via Skype so they can answer any questions from the parents about right brain education. I had previously felt that Heguru lacked adequate information and support to help parents understand right brain education. I’m really glad to see that they have addressed this gap.
Meeting Ruiko Henmi has given me a renewed confidence in right brain education. It has also given me greater clarity on the priority of early childhood development programs for my children. If I could choose only one early childhood development program to enroll my children in, it would have to be a right brain development program first and foremost. All the other programs – sports, music, languages, etc. – can be picked up later as and when the time and resources become available.
If right brain education has been done right, school becomes easier for your child. This affords him more time to pursue other areas of interest instead of having to attend tuition classes to help him get through school. Enabling your child to pursue his interests allows him to live a more fulfilling life because he has the time to discover what he really wants to do with his life.
When I was going through school, I was told, “You can’t always do what you love, so you should learn to love what you have to do.” Honestly, I could never find it in me to learn to love what I had to do. After graduating from the wrong course, it took me years to discover my passion – wasted years I could have spent developing my abilities in a field I loved and making a meaningful contribution to it.
Too many people I know are in the same boat – they have no passion for what they do and they go through week after week waiting for the weekend so they can enjoy their lives. My cousin once said, “Every Monday, I wish for the weekend to come. When the weekend comes, it’s over in a flash. Then I’m back to wishing for the next weekend. It feels like I’m wishing my life away.” If we were all doing what we loved, there would be more fulfillment and enjoyment of life. Society benefits because happy people are productive people and productive people achieve greater things and so on.
The first question Hirotada Henmi asked at the Heguru Parents seminar was: “Why are you sending your child for right brain education? What do you hope to achieve with it?”
My answer would be this: so my children can do what they love.