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Some time back, there was a comment on my blog about the Shichida program in Malaysia and Singapore not being the same as the one in Japan. Naturally, it raised questions from other mothers who were sending their children to Shichida. One mother replied that based on what she had read from Shichida’s books and manuals, the lessons in Shichida (Malaysia) were all in keeping with what Shichida wrote so she couldn’t understand it. Unfortunately, we were not able to get any more information so we were all left in the dark.
While I was in Melbourne, I found out a little more about it and this is what I was told:
It is true that Shichida Malaysia and Shichida Singapore do not follow the Japanese program exactly because there are things that are done in their classes that are not available in the Shichida program in Australia. These additions to the Malaysian and Singaporean program were done to augmented the program to make it better. In what way, I don’t know. Is it really for the better? Again, I cannot answer because I have not attended a local Shichida class, nor have I attended an Australian Shichida class (or a Japanese Shichida class, for that matter) so I do not have a basis for comparison. Even if I had, all I would have is an opinion.
As to whether the information is correct – that there are differences in the Singaporean/Malaysian Shichida program – well it does make a lot of sense because the home practice materials available from Shichida Malaysia and Shichida Singapore are not available in Shichida Australia. Additionally, you cannot purchase them even if your child attends Shichida Australia – or so I was told.
Shichida has a policy that does not allow non-members from purchasing their products. The reason for this is because they do not want the materials to be used incorrectly.
I believe, as Makoto Shichida did, that right brain education has the power to change our world. A very wise friend once said to me, “I cannot change the world, but I can change the world around me.” Indeed, we may not be able to change the world, but we can change the world around us – through our children. By helping our children – the next generation – to realise their full potential, we can create ripples in the water that can be far reaching.
It is unfortunate that right brain schools are not available throughout the world. However, if we can make the information readily available, it will take us one step closer to realising Shichida’s dream. For isn’t that why he published his books so that others can read his methodology and use it? Although it may not be quite the same as being able to send our children to a right brain school, we can only aspire to do the best with can with what we have. So to all the parents who keep asking which is best – Shichida, Heguru, or TweedleWink – this is what I have to say:
Stop worrying about whether your child is in the “best” school. Ask yourself how your child is doing in the school that you have chosen for that is the ultimate test. We’re all individuals with different preferences and inclinations. What might work best for one person might not be the best for another. The polar differences between my two sons are all the testimony I require for the truth in this statement.
Also look to what you desire from the school and see whether they are being met. As parents, we also have different priorities. We want different things for our children, therefore how can we ask another parent if a school is “good”. When I wrote about International Schools, there were a lot of comments about which was good and which was not. Of course, there are certain aspects that everyone will agree is not ideal, for example, high staff turnover – no one wants their child to change teachers three times in one year.
Other aspects are not quite so black and white. For example, some parents complain that certain schools are too academic focussed and tended to neglect life skills, while other complained that a school does not emphasise enough on academics. Obviously these parents have different priorities and expectations from school. Clearly, they are unlikely to agree on which is the best school. Likewise, you will find that the parents who send their children to Shichida will believe that Shichida is the best right brain school. Those that send their children to TweedleWink will believe that TweedleWink is the best right brain school. And those that choose Heguru will believe that Heguru is the best right brain school. It is all a matter of perspective.
We should count ourselves lucky if we even have the choice to send our children for right brain education. If you aren’t able to send your child for right brain education and would like your child to develop his/her right brain, feel free to use the right brain activities and resources I have listed in this blog post (it has been updated to include links to new activities I have written about since I first wrote the original article).