This is a really great insight into Right Brain Education from Pamela Hickein (founder of Right Brain Kids – TweedleWink/Wink) for anyone who wanted to understand more about it. The Q&A is from the perspective of TweedleWink and Wink programs by Right Brain Kids, however, much of the parts about right brain development are relevant to anyone interested in right brain education. It following been edited and if you want to read the original statement from Pamela, you can find it through the link above. I have also added some comments in italics.
ABOUT THE BRAIN
THE LEFT BRAIN
There is a theory that the brain develops from right to left–children access the right brain before the nerve fibers (corpus callosum) for a bridge to the left brain. This left brain pathway becomes active at around age 2, but it can be before–and it can be later, especially with boys.
The left brain organizes information in the brain and is considered the “thinker.” You know when this left brain pathway is active by observing a child’s speech. If he/she is able to express thought into words (or sign language), then you know that the left brain “language brain” is functioning.
THE RIGHT BRAIN
The right brain is more subconscious. It is the “feeler.” It can soak up information like a sponge and is integral later when working with photographic memory and speed reading, etc. The right brain pathway is wide open beginning prenatally.
IMPORTANT: It does not close when the left brain pathway opens up. But can be overridden if there is no right brain stimulation.
(I thought this was an interesting insight because I think the common misconception is that the right brain closes after 6 years old, which is not so much the case but rather the left brain overriding it).
Also, the right brain is really sensitive. It is the “feeler” and considered the “emotional brain.” So, it can also shut down when a child experiences trauma of any kind–parent discord or inharmony, disapproval, or unkind disciplinary techniques.
(Hence all the stress on the importance of communicating “love” to our children as part of the process of helping them develop their right brain).
THE WHOLE BRAIN
So, the goal is to provide a lot of healthy right brain stimulation while a child’s brain is in the “right brain window”–before bridging to the left brain. Then, once the left brain opens naturally, to provide 2 types of education:
1 – right brain education (LOVE, FUN, flashcards, classical music, world language exposure, tuning forms, etc.)
2 – left brain education (PRACTICALITY, puzzles, Montessori lessons, workbooks, hands-on activities that play with writing, reading, math, etc.)
Q&A on Right Brain Education
Question: If we do the right brain training from birth to 6 years, does that mean our children will automatically know how to tap into their right brain for the rest of their lives?
Answer: Only if you encourage it, and more importantly, teach your child how to USE IT meaningfully beyond the first six years–applying it to school and life in a practical way.
Question: Will our children have photographic memory and all the other abilities for the rest of their lives?
Answer: We all have photographic memory. Early visual stimulation, as long as it is free from stress, will open the visual pathway so that their intake and recall of visual information is crystal clear. The later Wink activities help them develop this to a more mature technique, but even without it, a child will have photographic memory.
(Which is what I mentioned in an earlier post – the problem for most of us is that we cannot access our photographic memory and that is why we cannot remember and the purpose of right brain education is to teach our children how to access their photographic memory).
Question: Can we stop after 6 years old? Do we need continue training after 6 years old?
Answer: Yes. Once the child is at the PRESCHOOL stage of development, we begin to teach Wink. 10-15 minutes a day is all that is needed.
Question: How will a right brain kid differ from a kid without right brain training as they grow up?
Answer: When done with love, then they understand their world, can interact with it intelligently (left brain), sensitively and creatively (right brain). They can pick up information really quickly and this makes them feel empowered and excited about learning. As long as parents keep the family system loving and kind and strong and help their child acquire their abilities with humility and respect for others, the child will grow up balanced and happy.
To be honest, in the past, we’ve had a mixed bag of children who came out of the program with different attitudes. We have twenty-something and teenage graduates from the early learning program now. All have memory and speed reading–some with the mental math and perfect pitch abilities. But their attitudes are different. Some, sadly, have arrogance and intolerance for others who had less abilities then themselves. And those with strong families who had a moral or spiritual foundation are more humble and compassionate.
Our newest phase of training is on “inner family” psychology–helping parents create happy families so that this is possible.
( I thought this was an excellent insight because my assumption has always been that right brain education naturally develops children who are kind, caring and humble. It is important to remember to instill these values in our children along the way).
Question: What are you hoping to achieve or give your children when you are doing right brain training with them?
Answer: Here is an excerpt from our Right Brain e-book. And if you want to see the summary of TweedleWink, we have a free e-book for that as well.
The 5 Goals of Right Brain Education
Goal 1: Build a Loving Bond Between Parent and Child
A loving family is the foundation of all learning. This is the most fulfilling goal of all. When a parent-child team enters the classroom as a dysfunctional unit, in most cases, it is because the mother or father is a left-brain auditory learner and the child is a right-brain visual learner. They’re simply on different tracks, and communicate in different ways. Once the adult begins to speak to the right-brain, many of the child’s “learning problems” dissolve, bringing the whole family closer together.
(Interesting to note the difference in Shichida philosophy that the auditory memory is more powerful than the visual memory)
Goal 2: Heighten Senses
This part of the program is truly ground breaking. Heightening your senses is like washing the windows of your mind—increasing your conscious awareness of everything that is happening around you. Simply put, you notice a lot more. When hearing instructions, you receive every detail. When hearing a lecture, you walk away with more memory. When seeing a landscape, you notice every nuance—each blade of grass, the way the sun hits tree branches, the multiple shades of color in the clouds above. All the great masters of art and science have relied upon their heightened senses to bring forth the highest form of perfection. Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and your natural intuitive senses are all sharpened through fun right brain play!
Goal 3: Increase Mental Creativity
The right brain is a universe of unlimited possibility where ALL YOUR DREAMS CAN COME TRUE! When children use the right brain pathway, they know no limits. They can invent, play and create anything their heart desires. One day, when imaging with 8-year-old Gabriel, I asked him to design a car for me. I asked him to build a car that could go over the mountains instead of having to follow the roundabout pathways that can make driving in Montana so tedious! He was quiet for quite some time. When he opened his eyes, he drew a picture. His design included jet packs, and intake panels on the front of the car that took in air and forced it down to lift the car off the ground. Later, he showed his picture to his mechanically-minded father who commented on its efficacy—he had just created a form of VTOL aircraft!
Goal 4: Make Learning Easy and Joyful
Did you know that you have a personal computer sitting atop your shoulders? The right brain takes images in every split-second and records and files it there for later use. That’s why, when you tap into right brain memory, learning simply becomes a matter of gathering information and playing with it!
(This is exactly what they showed in the movie Limitless. Although the story is fictional, I think the demonstration of what the main character could achieve with his life is a great example of what our children can achieve with right brain education – minus the cloak and dagger stuff, of course.)
Goal 5: Let Your Child’s Genius Shine
Helping our children realize their highest potential, free from our expectations, is the greatest gift we can give back to life.