Shichida versus Heguru in Malaysia

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Shichida or Heguru?  Which one should you send your child to?  Well, if we’re talking Klang Valley, then the consensus based on my discussion with three other mothers is Heguru.

Shichida versus Heguru

What I understand about the two programs – though I can’t say for sure if this is factually correct so feel free to correct me if you know otherwise:

Shichida is the original right brain training school in Japan, however, Heguru appears to have taken over in terms of number of schools and size.  Both are similar in concept with the same sort of teaching structure, but Shichida appears to be more methodical (at least here in Malaysia, it is). For instance, one of the things they teach is called “Linking Memory”.  In Heguru, the teacher opens a series of cards and creates random stories from the cards.  The only opportunity the children have to practice this is at school since parents don’t have the cards at home to play the Linking Memory game.  Shichida demonstrates the Linking Memory game using a booklet of 1000 cards.  Parents can take the booklet home and use it to work with their children for greater reinforcement.

Shichida also offers parents more take-home resources to continue the program with their children at home (which is something I think is very important if you want to derive greater benefits from the program because I fail to see how a one-hour, once a week session can be enough to stimulate the right brain adequately).  Heguru also has some resources available for purchase but they only offer blank cards and parents are required to make their own cards.  There is nothing to stop Heguru parents from buying Shichida resources, though, so that is one way to circumvent this problem.  There is also an online Shichida resource center created by Shichida Parents that offer free resources that you can download and contribute to.  Yet another resource you can use is called “Memory Magic” which you can purchase online from Accelerated Learning Methods.

Despite this, the mothers I spoke to preferred Heguru over Shichida because they felt the teachers at Heguru were more experienced.  I’m afraid these are just their opinions and I cannot verify them since I have yet to attend a Shichida school.

Based on my personal experience, my only gripe with the class at Heguru is the English pronunciation.  However, like I said before, the teacher needs to be able to speak multiple languages so I guess it can be hard to get qualified staff who can speak all these languages with perfect pronunciation.  I would much rather the teacher pronounce the Chinese words correctly than the English ones since I can teach Gavin English at home but I can’t teach him Chinese.

What I don’t like, however, are some of the recordings that they play which do not pronounce the words correctly.  This is one area where I believe they could improve.  They may not be able to help it if the teacher’s pronunciation is out, but surely they can get recordings where the pronunciation is accurate.

For more information you can contact either school at:

The Shichida Method Sdn Bhd

(Enquiries: Wed-Sun, 9am-6pm)

86 Jalan Raja Chulan, #12-01 Wisma Lim Foo Yong, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: (603) 2144-2555
Phone/Fax: (603) 2143-1528

Units F1-F7 (Level 2) Centrepoint Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Phone: (603) 7727-8149
Phone/Fax: (603) 7727-9105

E-mail: enquirykl@shichidamethod.com

Heguru Educational Laboratory (M) Sdn Bhd

(Wed-Fri, 10am-7pm; Sat, 9:30am-7pm; Sun, 9:30am-3:30pm)

Unit 27-3, Blk B, Signature Office, Mid Valley Boulevard, Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: (603) 2287-2168

E-mail: info@heguru.com.my

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Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

12 thoughts on “Shichida versus Heguru in Malaysia

  1. I come across your posting while doing research for a preschool for my child. The following information come from a very close friend with kids attended Shichida in the past.

    Heguru founders previously operated as a Shichida Child Academy in Tokyo. In 2006, they had withdrawn from the franchise contract and started Heguru school due to differences in opinion in operations. One fundamental difference was the no. of student in a class. Shichida advocates a maximum of 6 in a class and their program is very age specific versus Heguru which does not cap at 6 and will mix students from 0-3 years of age. There is no relationship between Shichida and Heguru from an operations perspective.
    From a heritage perspective, Shichida is founded by Makoto Shichida and has been operating in the last 30+ years. Shichida invest heavily in curriculum development of the whole brain education approach and constantly updates it’s curriculum. I was told that there are curriculum changes and updates every year. New teaching aid and materials are introduced in classs as a result of ongoing development. Heguru, on the other hand who was previously a domestic Japan franchisee is still using the old curriculum from 2006 and does not invest in ongoing development. They do not have non-teaching staff.
    From a student count perspective, Shichida has 460+ schools in Japan and 20+ overseas schools totally >40,000 student worldwide versus Heguru has 1200+ students in Japan and 1 school in KL and just opening one up in Melbourne.

    These information may seem bias towards Shichida, but since it comes from a very reliable source, I decide to enroll my child to Shichida 🙂

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    1. Hi Kathleen,

      I wrote this post back in the early days when I was still searching for the “best” right brain school. I confess in my ignorance, I thought there truly was a “best” school. But as I have grown in my understanding of right brain education, I realise there is a lot more to it than simply a methodology. Right brain education, as I understand it now, appears to me to be more akin to a philosophy based on a methodology. I have come to realise that both Shichida and Heguru are good schools regardless of their beginning background.

      I find that there is a lot of information floating around about each of the schools that are misinterpreted or misunderstood. Only recently, I was corrected about some information on Shichida. Similarly, while it may be the case in Heguru Japan to have more than 6 students in a class, the classes in Malaysia are usually capped at 6. The mix of students is not from 0-3. The earliest entry is at 6 months and the cutoff for infant class is 2 years. So you will have students from 6 months to 2 years in a class. The next group ranges from 2-4 years. Then 4-5 years, then 5-6 years. There are some variation to this guide based on the individual ability of the child.

      Each school has its individual strengths and weaknesses and which school suits a particular family best really depends on that family. I have had parents tell me that Shichida is best for their child and others find Heguru is best and yet others who feel that TweedleWink is best. Sometimes it might be a teacher that makes the difference to a child, and other times it’s the slight difference in the way the program is presented.

      I started out researching for the best right brain school and ended up with the realisation that there is no “best” for everyone but what is “best” for the individual. In fact, I do regret writing these early posts on right brain schools pitting each school up against the other because in my eyes they all have their strengths.

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  2. Is your child still attending any of the above classes for right brain training? I happened to come across another Japanese brain training centre other than shichida and heguru. Not sure if you aware of it and what is your view?

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    1. Yes. They attend Heguru. What other center are you referring to? I know that there are many new ones cropping up these days but am not familiar with them all as I have no cause to look elsewhere.

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    1. Ah yes. I have. It’s been on my list of things to do for a long time! Been trying to pay a visit to the center near us but haven’t managed to get there yet.

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  3. Hi Shen-Li and readers,
    Yes it really depends on the family’s preference and the child’s comfort zone. My kids have been to TweedleWink, Shichida, Heguru and Pinoki Brain Training Centre 😉
    Since there isn’t much talk about Pinoki, just a brief one. You can find out more at http://www.pnkbrain.com
    It is a Japan research based whole brain training program and co-founder (based in Malaysia) was a high achiever (academics) and has a neuroscience doctorate. Kids from 3-17 years old attend the lessons without parents. They assess students before enrolling them to classes (to go by the child’s developmental level). The senseis (teachers) are trained regularly to ensure mentally agile themselves and programs are updated (researched). From what I’ve seen so far, most children ‘kind of run into the classroom’ – they enjoy.

    Thank you for writing articles for us. We have learnt so much from you and from other readers as well.

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  4. Hi Shen-Li,

    I bought your book and have been reading it with great interest! I have a question about Heguru. Why did you choose Heguru over other Whole-Brain/Right-Brain methods? What was it about Heguru that clicked better with you and your children? Have your children developed any abilities that you would consider worthy of a testimony for Heguru?

    Hope this reaches you in good health!
    Ps. We live in a town in England called: Shenley which, I believe, is pronounced in a similar way to your name.

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    1. Hi Michael,

      Thank you for the support. Why Heguru? Because of the location – it was more convenient and accessible for us. Shichida also had a waitlist at the time that was very long. By the time they did call me with a spot, my son was already very well adjusted to Heguru and it didn’t make sense to move him and disrupt the rapport he already had with his sensei.

      Noteworthy abilities? To be honest, I never saw anything of the more remarkable abilities. This is what I have observed – my kids can read fast (much faster than me), their memories are also excellent when it comes to certain things (I say certain things because they still manage to misplace water bottles and other miscellaneous items that they don’t think are important). In school, my elder boy is intellectually ahead of his peers. The younger one is not quite as advanced but still ahead in his class for certain subjects. But that’s about it.

      Are they where they are because of their early training? I can’t help but think that there must have been some effect through the exposure but how much, I can’t say. I have heard far more remarkable abilities that have been achieved by other kids that make my kids seem pretty ordinary. I would really love to meet those kids on a personal basis to understand their achievements on a deeper level.

      I hope this answers your question. Wishing you good health, too! That is quite a coincidence about the name of your town…

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  5. Hi ShenLi,

    Hope you are dng good.
    How old were your kids whn thy attended Heguru.
    I hv a 4yo gal and a 6yo boy.
    Is it still suitable?

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    1. Hi Sonya,

      Thank you. The eldest was 3 when he started. The younger one was 1 plus, I think. Sorry, always hard to remember the dates for the younger one. They were there until the elder one was about 7 years old. In Japan, kids attend Heguru up to 12 years old even. My elder boy was part of the pioneer batch in Malaysia.

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