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Since the decision to move Gavin from Heguru to Shichida, I have been scouting around for more right brain training materials to supplement Gavin’s and Gareth’s right brain program at home. I was looking particularly for stuff like the memory boards and Mandala activities and managed to locate two online stores. The photographic memory kit contains a series of memory games that are very similar to the activities played in Heguru (and, apparently, Shichida). The online store – Right Brain Education Shop – is located in Singapore and is run by a lovely lady named Janice. Janice’s sister, Rachel, lives in Malaysia and helps her out with customers in Malaysia so I was able to get the kit directly and save on shipping.
When I went to pick up the kit, I started chatting with Rachel and we talked about what I was doing with the kids in terms of right brain education. Rachel, who has had the experience of sending her children to TweedleWink, Shichida, and Heguru and a personal insight to the people who run the programs said that if there was only one right brain school she could send her children to, it would be Heguru.
Why? This is her reasoning:
Glenn Doman may have been the founder of the Gentle Revolution, but it is Makoto Shichida who is the father of right brain education. Being one of the pioneers in the field of right brain development, Shichida has the greatest experience in helping to bring out the right brain in children. He has not only been around a lot longer but he’s also got the credentials in right brain development.
Why Heguru and not Shichida?
There are several reasons offered by Rachel (for the record I do not know the validity of some of this information since I have no connection to it. I’m only repeating what I heard from someone whom I believe ought to know more than me on this subject):
1. Although Heguru was born out of Shichida, it was Heguru that took the Shichida program and improved upon it. It was Heguru that developed “wave reading” and taught it back to Shichida. Apparently, wave reading really kicks in from 6-12 years so it is important to continue your child’s right brain development program beyond the first six years.
2. Heguru only requires parents compulsory attendance for children up to three years old. Thereafter, children are required to attend class on their own. Shichida requires parents to be present even after the first three years. The issue with this is that right brain development is very emotional and if a parent has negative thoughts, it can negatively impact the child. That’s not to say that parents intentionally create negative feelings. Sometimes it is unintentional, for instance, if a child fails to perform up to the standard of another child, the parent of that child might feel bitterness, jealousy, or even disappointment in her own child. No matter how well that parent may try to hide it, children read their parents’ emotions like an open book. Any negative reaction, no matter how well hidden, will be felt by the child and that will impact upon the child’s learning.
3. The standard of Shichida has dropped since they first launched in Malaysia. Unlike Heguru, the teachers are no longer being sent to Japan for training. Heguru teachers are still being sent to Japan for training. Like some of the other mothers I had spoken to, Rachel believes the standard of the teachers at Shichida have dropped which is supposedly due to the poor wages offered by Shichida. A lot of the good teachers have left Shichida either to join Heguru or to do their own thing.
As I said before, I don’t know the validity of the information for the last point, but she does have a point regarding Makoto Shichida being the father of right brain. Although Rachel agrees that the TweedleWink program is a good program, she still believes that Heguru is better for results and strongly urged me to reconsider sending Gavin back to Heguru. She didn’t discourage the TweedleWink program. In fact she believes that Gavin may enjoy the TweedleWink program even more. However, at the end of the day, if you have to make a choice, it should be Heguru.
The primary reason why I wanted to move Gavin from Heguru to TweedleWink is because I liked the pace and philosophy of TweedleWink more. The environment felt friendly and more laid back. Additionally, they offered me weekend morning classes which Heguru did not have. Now I’m unsure what to do. I have committed to start Gavin at TweedleWink and terminated his classes at Heguru, but it isn’t too late to continue his classes at Heguru. Having missed out on tapping into the first three years of Gavin’s right brain potential, I am loathe to do the wrong thing by him now. And now I’m starting to sound like a kiasu Mum… but there’s a reason for it and I’ll tell you why in the next post.