This post has been moved to the Right Brain Child. You can read it here:
Does Right Brain Education really work? It seems to be the most prominent question on every parent’s lips when they first hear about it. The following are testimonials taken from a Shichida brochure:
Prof C. Matthews, USA:
“I have found Prof Shichida to be a loving, compassionate man. He deeply loves children and has been willing to keep an open mind to make these unanticipated discoveries about learning the right-brain way. The right-brain activities that I observed were game-like, taking no more than a few minutes each, held the children’s interest, looked like fun, and seemed to build on innate abilities. Many of his pioneer batch are now adults with phenomenal abilities. It behooves us to keep an open mind and to further investigate these phenomena. It is hard to ignore the magnitude of this evidence, whatever the scientific explanations may turn out to be.”
Mother of MK (10 years old), Japan:
“Thanks to the appropriate early education, she acquired perfect pitch by the time she was 3 years 8 months old. Now, she is in fifth grade. She can play many instruments including the piano, violin, electronic organ, koto or the Japanese harp, and drums. She participates in many music competitions at the prefectural and national levels. She has received a great number of prizes.
My daughter does not practice half as much as some of the other children because of her right brain is so developed. She can master a compulsory piece for a competition in just 2 days.
My daughter now loves composition. She has composed a surprisingly large number of pieces and plays them for us. When I ask how she composes a piece, she say, “The music comes into my head naturally. I just copy it onto paper.”
Mother of SY, Japan:
“She plays the piano. She does not need to practice so much to play correctly. Her piano teacher is always amazed. She can swim one kilometre easily. She is an enthusiastic jogger. She runs three kilometres at 6:30 every morning. She also enjoys playing soccer three times a week.”
Mihara, 7 years old:
“I can copy a page into my head if I look at it for an instant. I then read it in my head, even though the book is closed.”
“Fidelia was slow in learning to speak and started to speak at the age of two and a half years old. At age 3, she had difficulties in learning; her motor skill and her social skill were poor. She was also extremely shy and lacked confidence.
Having been with The Shichida Method for 2 years, she demonstrated confidence and competence in her learning abilities and her social skill; she is able to interact with cihldren as well as adults. She is able to read independenty and can concentrate on a given task without being easily distracted. She has a superb memory and is able to recall the sequence of events and stories. Besides her high academic proficiency, she is a very independent girl who knows how to carry out her routine wiht little or no guidance. The Shichida Method has stimulated her potential and groomed her into a high performer. This makes her learning life easy and happy. My hubby and I are very pleased with The Shichida Method. Here, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the instructors who have showered her with love.”
In January 2007 when Mustaqim was 2 years 5 months old, my husband and I decided to send him to the Shichida classes after hearing lots of interesting stories from our friends about their kids who are also in Shichida classes.
My husband and I have been reading books to him when he was still a baby and we realised that he really loves books and it can actually calm him.
After 4 months in Shichida, I realised that his memory ability has tremendously increased whereby he can remember every word from his favourite books and is able to read those lines correctly from the first to the last page. I was surprised to learn that he is able to read those lines that appeared on different pages correctly though I intentionally skipped the pages. This is amazing as I was the one reading those books to him repeatedly but still fail to remember those lines without looking at it! He loves books and will beg me to keep on reading books to him and when I am reluctant to do so, he will say, “Mummy, read for me please…” in his sweetest voice and I will drop everything and read to him.
Mustaqim can remember the poems given to by his sensei and happily recite them to his relatives and myself. He can also remember nursery rhymes easily. One day when he was playing alone, he suddenly sang a few lines of my favourite English song. I do not have to sing that song alone anymore while cooking as I have a duet partner.
Another great progress is in his social skills; he is always the first one to start conversations with people. Every time we drive pass the guard house to our residence, he is now the one to waive and acknowledge the guard.
It has been a fantastic journey in my life to witness how intelligent, independent, and caring my son has become. My husband and I honestly hope that The Shichida Method will mould him to be a better person.”
“My child is in third grade. She is always a top student in school. She can finish her homework during the recess period with no problem. Her teachers are puzzled why she can finish anything so fast correctly. She reads many books before going to bed using the speed reading technique. She watches news on TV. Since she memorises what she sees as images, she is able to retain more information than adults do.”
“To me, my daughter Zahra was an amazing little girl. She joined The Shichida Method at 6 months old and loves coming to class.
Zahra is a positive and happy child. She is confident, independent and assertive. She is a fast learner too.
At 1 year old, she can count to 10 and sing in perfect pitch. She can sing her nursery rhymes very confidently after hearing it only a few times. In fact she sang melodies before she even learnt to speak!
Her physical development is also good. She can run sturdily on her feet and dances well to music. I believe she is unique and truly special.
She has a wide vocabulary of around 150-200 words and can sometimes string sentences with 3 words.
Our family members are enchanted and amazed by her abilities as she is only 1 and a half years old. Zahra is usually the centre of the family’s entertainment. My husband and I feel so blessed to have Zahra as our daughter.”
Children with Down Syndrome, mental retardation or autism:
“I am a mother of a 21 month old suffering from Down Syndrome. Our child is progressing at an amazing speed everyday. We see him every day and can see remarkable changes in him.
I cannot help admiring the effect of right brain education even with an impaired child. I must express my greatest gratitude to you, Professor Shichida. My son can sometimes hold up his torso with his four limbs, but generally the lower half of his body is still weak. I am trying to take it easy because weak muscle tension is characteristic of an impaired child. Anyway, we have been working hard to improve his muscle power and physical strength. I think this workout has benefited him greatly.
Similarly, his intellectual growth is so advanced that it is almost hard to believe he is impaired. He has an excellent memory. We only need to teach him any word by using the picture cards, and things around us a couple of times for him to know their names. He remembers the words he has learnt once. His vocabulary has increased to about 200 words. Especially during the last one or two months, his linguistic progress was remarkable. I am thoroughly impressed by the power of your education method.” – A Mother’s Report.
“My son is 10 months old now. He suffered from meningitis when he was 7 days old and part of his brain was badly damaged due to a viral/bacterial infection. He joined the Shichida class in April 2004 and since then, his progress has been fantastic. Last month when I brought him for a medical check up, the doctor was surprised at his progress. My boy is now like a normal baby and no one can tell he had actually suffered from severe brain infection before.
In fact, our doctor is so impressed that she wanted to find out what we have done right to stimulate him as she wants to tell her other patients’ parents to do the same. As such, I have introduced The Shichida Method to my doctor.” – Mr Choong.
More testimonials and stories can be found from the Shichida website:
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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).
For those who are interested, Shichida Malaysia offers a prenatal education course. In fact, this course has been available for some time but due to the lack of awareness, it has not been running. In order to run the course, they a minimum of 15 participants. Once they have that, they will schedule a date and time for it.
Here are the details of the course:
Duration: 2 x 3 hour sessions (6 hours in total)
Cost: RM450 for parents with children attending Shichida; RM500 for the general public
Trainer: Jocelyn Khoo
Venue: Makoto Ballroom, 12th Floor Wisma Lim Foo Yong, 86 Jalan Raja Chulan
Requirements: Only applicable to pregnant mothers (3-7 months preferred)
What you will learn:
- What is prenatal education?
- Method of right brain training during pregnancy
- Food for the foetal environment
- Three sacred treasures of child-rearing
- How to develop a calm and good child in the womb
- Communicating effectively with your unborn baby
- The Shichida Method birthing approach
- Proper breastfeeding procedures and brain quality
- How to protect your unborn baby from brain injury and other disorders
- Managing your new-born baby
Benefits of Shihcida prenatal education:
By teaching words and by sending images through heart-to-heart communication, a baby will develop the right brain ability and be born with genius. These babies grow up with 6 characteristics:
- always calm and smiling
- seldom agitated.
- does not wake up crying at night.
- sociable and does not cling onto his/her mother. Happy to be carried by grandmother and grandfather.
- absorbs information fast. Quick to understand things.
- Strong right brain ability.
For more information, please contact Shichida on +603-21442555. This course is currently available in Malaysia, however, if you have a Shichida center in your country, you should try calling them to ask if they offer this course.
Right Brain Education…Unveiled
In today’s challenging world, having a high IQ no longer guarantees success. A well-rounded individual comes from a background where he is loved, knows how to love and has a balance of intellectual and emotional intelligence. That’s where the Right Brain Education (RBE) comes in to realise a child’s highest potential. What exactly does RBE do? Lee Shen-Li investigates.
What is it?
In the 1960s, Dr Roger Sperry performed split-brain experiments revealing distinct differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. His findings inspired new techniques for developing the brain by tapping into both sides of the brain to utilise their unique potential strengths. Individuals such as Tony Buzzan and Edward de Bono came up with new educational methods.
At about the same time, physical therapist Glenn Doman discovered that specific movements helped stimulate brain development. He applied what he had learned to brain-injured children and discovered that he could help these children catch up in development to their “normal” peers. He then applied the same methods with “normal” children and witnessed amazing results. These methods evolved into an accelerated program for teaching children to read, do math, develop encyclopaedic knowledge and be physically superb from infancy.
When Makoto Shichida, a Japanese professor in education heard about these developmental techniques, he began to apply them on very young children through child-friendly methods. These children began to develop at an amazing rate, revealing enhanced abilities. Some had photographic memory; some were extremely creative; some had superior IQ; some had superb linguistic skills and were able to master multiple languages; some developed perfect pitch; some developed excellent intuition – the children developed a variety of these abilities and more. These methods were so successful with young children that a school was eventually formed to teach the Shichida Method. From there, other schools followed quickly – Heguru (HEGL) and Right Brain Kids (TweedleWink/Wink).
Eight Goals of RBE
Goal 1: Develop a Loving Relationship between Parent and Child
It is important to foster a loving relationship between parent and child because the right brain abilities can only be reached when the child feels loved. When there is discord and disharmony, especially between parent and child, learning problems emerge and the pathway to the right brain closes. Focusing on developing the relationship between parent and child not only facilitates learning, it also helps to strengthen the family unit.
Goal 2: Develop Right Brain Senses
Touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight are all considered left brain senses. Similarly, the right brain also has its own set of senses which Professor Makoto Shichida referred to as “HSP” or Heightened Sensory Perception. RBE helps to develop the right brain senses to enhance the individual’s intuition and perception.
Goal 3: Enlarge the Brain Capacity
HEGL states that the brain is like a cup – it can only hold so much information before it begins to overflow. Therefore, the fundamental step before knowledge acquisition is to increase the brain’s container. Current educational programs focus only on knowledge acquisition. RBE, however, focuses on enlarging the brain’s capacity first so that it is capable of storing even more information.
Goal 4: Make Learning Easy and Fun
The human brain has abilities that surpass the capabilities of any computer ever designed by man. Unfortunately, most individuals are not always able to tap into these abilities. RBE helps children to utilise their brain’s full potential at will so that learning becomes easy and enjoyable.
Goal 5: Input Knowledge
RBE helps to create a library of information in the right brain that can be accessed at any time by children who have effectively developed the connection between the left and right brains.
Goal 6: Enhance Left and Right Brain Connection (Corpus Callosum)
Developing only the right brain does not create genius. It is the combination of the left and right hemispheres functioning together as one seamless unit that produces genius. In order for an individual to utilise their whole brain effectively, the connection between the left and right hemispheres must be properly developed to facilitate communication between the two halves.
Goal 7: Develop Creativity
Information that is memorised using left brain pathways relies on muscle memory. It requires considerable repetition in order for the information to be stored. RBE not only helps children remember new information more easily and completely, it also helps them to use that information creatively.
Goal 8: Help Children Discover Their Genius Potential
Children who are able to learn effortlessly have more time to explore the world around them. This enables them to discover and develop their individual passions free from the distraction of arduous learning. For example, these children spend less time studying material taught at school so they are able to pursue personal areas of interests instead of having to attend tuition classes after school. Their heightened senses, developed through RBE, and their increased confidence allows them to pursue any course they desire.
RBE enhances a child’s learning ability. Individuals who have been through RBE in childhood have demonstrated the ability to absorb new information quickly and easily. These individuals are also well-adjusted, confident and very successful in the various pursuits they have undertaken, be it in sports, music, academics, or with any other aspect of their lives.
In a nutshell, right brain kids can develop any combination of the following abilities and characteristics following their individual inclinations:
- photographic memory
- speed reading capability
- highly creative and imaginative
- superior intellect
- superb linguistic skills
- perfect pitch
- extraordinarily intuitive
- exceptional sporting skills
- music brilliance
- able to perform computer-like calculations
- charming personality
What Parents Say…
“I think it is too soon to see the benefits of RBE. However, I feel that the programme has exposed Timothy to many different subjects. As a result, he has an expansive general knowledge. My son has a vivid imagination, speaks well and has a large vocabulary for his age, although I think this is also because we read to him a lot.”
– Lim Su Hoon is mum to Timothy Ee, 29 months who has been attending Heguru for 16 months.
“After one year of studying at Heguru, there is tremendous improvement in my daughter. The most obvious changes are her memory and reading skill. Due to this, she now loves to learn and is able to absorb new things or new subjects very fast. For example, she is able to remember new words, song lyrics and dance steps. What I am most impressed with is that she has become braver and dares to present herself with confidence in front of other people during the class.”
– Nur Diyana binti Zainal is mum to Raja Athira Sofea, 4. They have been attending Heguru for 13 months.
“I think it’s still early to tell what the benefits have been for my children. It is the potential of what can come that drives me to continue sending them for right brain classes. Sometimes, encouraging signs manifest in precious moments, like when the kids play memory games surprise us when we least expect it.”
– Tey Kiat Hong is mum to Kirsten, 4, and Dominic, 3. Both her children have been attending TweedleWink for 13 months.
“I feel that my children are able to grasp new concepts more quickly; they are more creative and able to think out of the box; and they take great joy in learning. I can see that these advantages help to give Elyssa a lot more extra time to relax and play (she is in Primary 1). Elena is still young and not into proper school stress yet but I feel she learns at an even faster rate than her big sister.”
– Ang Soo Huey is mum to Elyssa, 7, and Elena, 4. Elena has been attending TweedleWink for 2 years, 7 months. Elyssa has been attending TweedleWink for 2 years, 1 month.
“Before joining Shichida, my son was very shy and easily distracted by others in the class. His attention span increased tremendously from the third term onwards. He has developed into a more confident and happy toddler. The programme has also influenced the way I raise my son. I have learnt ways to become a good parent and create a closer bond between us. I don’t expect my son to turn into a genius but I hope he can develop excellent memory and have an easier learning path in future.”
– TehLih Peng is mum to Chai Chen Rui, 4, who has been attending Shichida for two years.
“Adam has been with Shichida since he was nine months old. At 19 months old, he could recite words and simple sentences in the whole storybook after we read to him just once or twice. My husband and I are so thrilled we can’t help but think he might have photographic memory. To date, he has memorised about 10 books. We are looking forward to him reading a whole storybook all by himself.”
– Cherrie Chin is mum to Adam Kuan, 49 months, who has been enrolled in Shichida for over two years.