Right Brain Development – is it too Late for my Child?

I recently picked up the book “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge on the recommendation of CoachMi. Considering that I have a growing pile of unfinished reading to do, I probably could do without the extra book, but this one is really worth it. If there is a book you should read this year, this would be it.

As a professional Mom, my life revolves around how I can help my children reach their potentials. To do that, I believe it is important to learn as much as possible about the amazing potential of the brain. As we move further into the 21st century, we are redefining what we know about the human brain and the discoveries are nothing less than spectacular. Given the knowledge we now possess, it would be criminal not to harness it through deliberate constructive development of our children.

After learning about right brain education and how helping our children to develop their right brains can unlock amazing abilities that are inherent in every individual, it really comes as no surprise to read even more amazing findings about the human brain.

Some time back, I watched a movie called “Limitless“. In a nutshell, it is about a failing writer who starts taking a miracle drug that gives him access to everything his mind has ever seen. Here’s the preview:

Okay, there are spoilers ahead so if you really want to watch the movie, I would stop reading here…

Although the movie is fictional, the concept is not quite as impossible as it may once have seemed. Following right brain philosophy, the right brain records everything we see like a camera where it remains in our subconscious. The only reason we cannot recall everything with perfect accuracy is because those memories are clouded by our consciousness that influences how we remember things. The purpose of helping our children develop their right brain is so that they can access those right brain memories with greater clarity.

At the end of the movie, the main character gets off the drug, but he is still able to function as if he is still on the drug. This correlates with the brain’s amazing ability to reshape itself. In the first chapter of “The Brain that Changes Itself”, Doidge writes about an individual who has lost her sense of balance – the organ that gives her her sense of balance has been damaged. She cannot stand up without falling over. Her condition is debilitating and her quality of life is next to zero. Based on most medical prognoses, there is nothing that can be done for her.

Enter Bach-y-Rita, a scientist who has developed a device that will help to give her an artificial sense of balance. When the woman wears the device, her sense of balance is restored. Now the amazing thing is that after removing the device, there is a residual effect and she is able to keep her sense of balance without the device for a fixed period of time before she totally loses her balance again. The more she wears the device, the longer the residual effect becomes. Eventually, her brain retrains itself completely and is able to fully compensate for the loss of the sense of balance without the use of the device. This woman is able to find her balance without the organ that ordinary individuals require to maintain their sense of balance.

So what is the significance of this story?

We used to talk about right brain development being something more for the children. If you missed the window of opportunity, it is gone forever. But it isn’t. Neuroplasticity is the new name for the brain’s amazing ability to organise itself. Neuroplasticity can occur at any age. The key is to find out how to do it and then to train the brain to change itself.

So whether your child is newborn, 3 years old, 6 years old, or a teenager, it is never too late. In fact, it is not too late for us either.

The old philosophy of right brain education is that the right brain is open up until 6 years of age and then it closes. If you do not tap into the potential before then, it is gone forever. That is not so. Pamela Hickein from TweedleWink concurs and they have the Wink program which is equally applicable for adults as well as children. Ruiko Henmi from Heguru has said the same thing. Yumiko Tobitani also shared the quantum speed reading training for adults in her book.

So if you’ve only just heard about right brain development and are concerned that your children are “too old”, worry no more because it is not too late.

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.

33 thoughts on “Right Brain Development – is it too Late for my Child?

  1. I recalled reading this real medical article of a 13- year- old patient whose left brain was removed in its entirety due to serious damage of brain cells caused by severe epileptic fit, the doctor doing the operation was pessimistic with the outcome, he said even if she survived, she might loss all functions controlled by left brain such as speech, movement……etc, so she would be speechless, lose conscious, or paralysed, so chances for the young girl to survive was not even half as she might fall into deep coma….that said, things happened the other way, not only she could talk, but she could talk even better after the operation, and they later discovered in fact the right brain had taken over all left brain functions, at end of the report, it did point out 2 important facts that explaining why the girl could resume her speech ability, first her brain had reorganized itself by taking over the left brain function, second, the age of the patient, the report said that the same sort of recovery would be quite unlikely if the same operation were to do to an adult…….

    Still the best is to start young, there must have valid reasons why the professionals highlighted the 6 years bracket, I’m sort of fully understood the underlying philosophy when I start teaching my daughter from 0 to 3, from 3 to 5, the first phase is easy, just inputs, no questions, the second phase is harder……because she has started develop her own learning habits….this is not difficult to understand or to deny when you have consistently training your child, yes, it is never late and it is better late than never but it is even better if we could just start early.

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  2. I completely agree with starting young. There is no debate on that. But I consistently hear parents lamenting that they wish they had heard about right brain education earlier because their children are over 6 years old. This article is intended for those parents – it is never too late to start. Of course the ideal is to start as young as possible but just because you hear about right brain education late doesn’t mean you have completely missed the window.

    That said, I would like to point out that those medical practitioners who said that she was able to recover because she was “young” and that the same might not have happened for an older patient were also the ones who initially gave her a hopeless prognosis. Who is to say that if she had been older she might not have been able to achieve the same thing? We really don’t know. The brain is continuing to surprise us at every turn and we are constantly underestimating it because we believe the limitations that the experts set up.

    The case mentioned above about the woman who lost her sense of balance, she was in her 40s. In her 40s her brain was able to reorganise itself and develop the ability to find her sense of balance without the organ that senses balance.

    I didn’t mention the other case where they developed a device that helped people who were blind from birth to “see” by uses their touch receptors in their skin. These people were also able to learn how to see despite not having the function of their eyes. This is just the tip of the iceberg as I have only gotten into the first chapter of the book.

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  3. I remembered I read the article as well as the interview done to the doctor and that patient in TV, I suppose perhaps we shld compare the “severity” between “loss of balance sense” and the “total removal of left brain”, back then, the only question in mind was how to survive when one part of the brain was removed and the void was then filled specifically with certain liquid. And the CT scan later showed the right brain then grew subsequently to replace the void. I remembered the age factor clearly because the girl had recovered her ability to speak and walk only several months after the operation was thought a miracle that time, if not mistaken it had become a landmark case…. I am unsure if the outcome would be the same for operations done to 40, 50, 60 or even 70 yo adults.

    Now let us talk about normal brain, brain with no injury.

    Admittedly we just can’t underestimate our brain, an instance, I recalled when I was at P 2, my mother used to sit beside me and gave me a book with 12×12 timetables (TT ), asking me to recite ALL 12×12, I was abled to do so and I was labelled good and fast student back then, but NOW I have V, I teach her by leaving the CDs on for the entire 36×36 TT without giving her the timetables book to read to. Initially I thought it must be real hard to learn because how to learn TT without actually seeing books and I thought by time she could remember 12TT, she would have forgotten 16TT, but it isn’t the case, her way of reciting is fast and accurate, and the most ironic is I am the one who does the listening program with her, conduct the TT flash cards with her, by right I shld be more skillful than her should judging from my age, my experience, however no matter how consciously I try to recite, my brain can only recall the old TT learned and stopped at 12×12, and I can accomplish only if I am given longer time to think to add on, I can’t do ORAL recite without actually thinking and looking at the numbers, I thought perhaps I am not good at numbers so I conducted an experiment to my hubby, but same thing happens to hubby who was a top Maths scholar his time….then I conclude, yes, I am much more experienced than her for numbers, but the velocity of my brain isn’t fast enough to garner that advantage, so with the same set of training to both of us, I am no way closer to her…

    The same goes to piano, we were both beginners since January this year, both learned from the same teacher, now she has completed 2 books, well I am still struggling with the first few pages mingled with sightread, especially when the sharp and flat and natural come in, one part of my brain asking me to follow the book but my other hands never seem receptive enough to have played correctly. It is just inevitable that my old brain just isn’t dexterous compared to her young brain.

    I discover I am am only better than her in terms of analytical skill due to my many years experience reading the charts….a very passive brain.

    As such, I am pretty sure most adult’s brain just falling squarely in what Professor M. Shichida had mentioned in his theory of ” the law of diminished ability”. The one side of me wish to embrace the theory of neuroplasticity, but my other side tells me it is “much harder” to achieve optimal response, if not impossible.

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    1. Hi FZ – I have yet to finish reading the book. As it is, I am only in the first chapter so I cannot cite any more examples of neuroplasticity. That neuroplasticity exists, there is no doubt. But I agree with you, as adults, we cannot compete against a child when it comes to learning. A child will always learn faster and more quickly. Shichida’s law of diminishing ability still holds true – I’m not arguing against that. But just because an adult cannot compete against a child in terms of ability to absorb new information does not mean neuroplasticity does not exist. For sure, if you want to develop your child’s abilities – earlier is always better. That has always been the case. But, as MieVee pointed out – that doesn’t mean we cannot develop our brains as adults. It is still possible, although it will take a lot more time and effort on our part and because it is so much harder, it is not surprising that so many give up because they witness the results of their efforts.

      So yes, you are right that it is “much harder” to achieve optimal response, but it is not impossible. Because of this, it is always best to start as early as you can, but if you have only just discovered right brain education, do not be put off because you think it is too late. That is ultimately the message.

      And yes, Gavin runs rings around me as he absorbs information that I sometimes don’t even remember hearing or seeing. I wouldn’t dream of thinking I could out-perform him in terms of learning new things. The only edge I have over him is experience and wisdom because I have lived on this Earth for many more years.

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  4. Recently, I read a translated Shichida book. It cites an example of a man who tried developing his right brain abilities and succeeded in his 40’s, after about 10-20 years! It’s possible but very slow to see results, and most people would have given up along the way.

    But babies and toddlers are amazing, their brains are such efficient learners and they DON’T give up, keep trying again and again.

    Same as Fz Teh, I’m playing the Addition and Multiplication CDs and reciting different things to Vee daily. His audio memory is very strong. Shichida’s book also mentioned that audio memory is much more powerful than visual memory. And that window to develop it is when young, except for some lucky ones who’re born with the gift.

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  5. Recently, I read a translated Shichida book. It cites an example of a man who tried developing his right brain abilities and succeeded in his 40’s, after about 10-20 years! It’s possible but very slow to see results, and most people would have given up along the way.

    But babies and toddlers are amazing, their brains are very efficient learners and they DON’T give up, keep trying again and again.

    Same as Fz Teh, I’m playing the Addition and Multiplication CDs and reciting different things to Vee daily. His audio memory is very strong. Shichida’s book also mentioned that audio memory is much more powerful than visual memory. And that window to develop it is when young, except for some lucky ones who’re born with the gift and need little nurturing.

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    1. MieVee – I think the other reason why it is best to start early is because young minds don’t question so much and they don’t resist. As adults, we are influenced by our experiences, and our biases which also affect how quickly and easily we can accept new information (as well as the plain and simple fact that we are much slower learners compared to children).

      Another thing that they mentioned in Heguru was that the benefit of starting very young is the ability to tap into the children’s subconscious. Once older and the consciousness kicks in, it is harder to reach the subconscious and therefore slower to input information. It is like what I read somewhere about a child’s mind about how children can play and absorb what you are saying at the same time whereas adults cannot. Adult minds have been trained to shut out irrelevant information so we can focus on the task at hand whereas children absorb everything around them. This is also the reason why they say background TV is not good for children because they are still picking it up even if they don’t appear to be watching the TV.

      Thanks for the information on the audio memory. It’s something I should make more use of.

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  6. Hi shenli- Absolutely right, never put off to try right brain education even when the child has more than 6 yo.

    I bought tuning fork May, 2011, Ms Winnie was kind enough to advise me to consider further as V had already passed the ” cut-off” age of 0-3, but because I think she has been enjoying music since young and I have a strong hunch that she could still ” listen” to the vibration so I proceeded to purchase…..well the response of her to follow the vibration is a mixture of good because she can consistently listen to vibration to every note from c, d, e, f… to higher c even before the fork is brought closer to her ears, not so good ie quite inconsistent only for all the sharps, that said, I strongly believe she could definitely give all correct answers to sharps if I am diligent enough because she has showed interest to listen and I myself is not consistent enough conducting the same set of practice to her after her music lessons…. So my take home lesson is always : everything is possible.

    The same principle goes to neuroplascity or everything in life. I trust my heart-to-heart advice to parents who have child more than the stipulated cut off age would absolutely be never give up as it is apparently better late than never !

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    1. Sorry for the late reply, ladies…

      FZ – it is great that you have gone ahead with the tuning forks for V. I had a friend in highschool who had perfect pitch which she developed through learning piano. She had done all 8 grades and was studying for a diploma in music Licentiate (AMUS-A following the Australian music program). So I’m sure V can still develop perfect pitch even though she is “past” the age. I’m sure Wennie discouraged you from purchasing the tuning forks because she didn’t want you to make such an expensive purchase and be disappointed if it didn’t work for you especially since age was against V.

      MieVee – Thank you. I would love to be able to share your flash cards as well. Preparing materials is extremely time consuming so it helps to be able to share resources.

      Thank you both for stressing again the value of auditory training. I must confess I have been rather lax with the reading in recent times. I used to read aloud to the children a variety of texts – classical literature, general knowledge, character development stories, and of course children’s stories. I must make sure I start again.

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  7. Back then when my DD was born, my teaching materials were very limited. I only got a set of GD’s( didnt actually lay fingers on it except the black and white pic cards). Later I bought 4 sets of flash cards from Popular bookstore, coupled with a few CDs, my constant reading of books and DIY materials to her…Right Brain School wasn’t in my list because I was always busy, and thought it was only an hour’s activity per day/week, as such how effective could it be for that hour’s time, BUT I read most of shichida’s books thoroughly to educate myself.

    Until one fine day August, last year 2010, I discovered Tensai and then I discovered there too selling many challenging learning materials such as 1000LM, 36TT 120 pc World Figures, mandala, but then DD was already 4y8m old, so I had another long contemplating and sleepless night bc I don’t want the sets to collect dust as GD ‘s cards…….

    Again this year I then discovered Figur8 too has few pretty good real challenging flash cards such as moons, stars, constellations, cloud formations as well as stones…, then there are Maths cards, flags cards….. from other resources in Figur8. Then I started exploring ways to print out flash cards and doing my sets of flash cards on collective nouns and idiomatic expression…

    From 0 to 5 yo, I didn’t flash a lot of cards to DD except reading, and my detailed recollection here is to tell parents that it is still very effective and positive to conduct flash cards activities even when the child has reached 5.

    Perhaps still a lot of parents don’t understand how fast could that be for children as old as 5 to pick up 60pc of United States’ flags cards with recitation of States’ Capitals, well, only a night’s times. How fast for DD to pick up the more challenging 30 Cloud Formations cards ? Again, a night’s times. That’s their way of learning, very amazing, very powerful. And I too suspecting she might have already finished all 36TT by now the moment she could recite 27 TT in a few sittings….. Again, it’s better late than never, you would never gain when you never try.

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  8. Totally agree with the regular reading part, which we’ve coincidentally been doing since Vee was in my tummy. We read to him every night and daily since he was born. That time, I’d zero idea about right brain education, just wanted my child to enjoy reading and learning, which I love. By the time we started Shichida classes and home practice at 14 months old, he already had a strong interest in reading and have been picking up books to “read”, and wants me or hubby to read to him several times a day.

    Another Singaporean mum I recently knew through a forum has FIVE brilliant children. She’s working full-time and had no time to go through her GD flash cards except for the first kid for a short while. All she did was speed read to the kids since 1-1.5 years old DAILY, up to 10-20 books at one sitting. Her kids started reading NOVELS at age 4, developed speed reading skills and photographic memory, are state representatives in sports, accelerated school after primary school and the first 2 are attending Uni at 14-15 years old. I’m sure the kids have brilliant genes in them in the first place, and the speed reading part opened up the abilities. I’m very amazed and inspired by her!

    There’re also many testimonies at Shichida with children starting classes after 4-5 years old. Yes, the results are still possible. In fact, parents who start at newborn to 3 years old may tend to give up early because they can’t see the “results”. Those who start and/or persevere from 3-6 years old start seeing results earlier because this is the period when the left brain start getting connected to the right brain.

    Still, starting early has its strong advantages. In Shichida’s pre-natal education book, it shares about a mum who started the first child in baby/toddlerhood. He’s brilliant and catches things fast. For second child, she started during pregnancy. The baby is even more brilliant, remembers the flash cards contents after only 1 flash. (The older brother needs flashes over 3-4 days.)

    And Fz Teh, would you like to share your flash cards files via email? I’ve been making own flashcards too and am thinking of sharing them via email. Some topics: birds (ratites), animals (invertebrates), world flags by continent (Asia & Africa), natural disasters, fractions 1/1 to 12/12 (love these, downloaded from a site). I’d have to keep making more cos son is absorbing like a sponge.

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  9. Hi MVee, you are right, constant reading/speed reading, that were my daily activities with her since birth for approximately 3-3.5y.

    I personally feel adult reading is far more important than to teach the child to read their won since birth, because we could read fast, read more, read in-depth, read variety, we dont dumb down, this will build them with strong handling of books with different nature, from fun to serious and to boring, that said, flash cards also has the similar effect to speed reading. Now I am experiencing another new phase in terms of reading with her as I’m too suspecting she can also do speedread her own when she has finished reading 90 pages teenage fictions in 30 mins times. The other way is through listening to long, complicated, well organized and well known stories vide CDs or books, for instance stories by W. Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde…

    Yes, my pleasure to share flash cards with you, most of my cards are in words form, less pictures, mostly from wikipedia, hope you could wait for a day or two as I can only check to upload in middle of night. Will forward to you then.

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  10. Yes, I learnt from Shichida’s book that we don’t need to restrict ourselves to reading simple things to our child, starting from the basics, etc. Just go on to more complex text and they can understand through the right brain.

    Recently, I got a set of Chinese picture books with several idioms in the stories. After a couple of weeks of reading them, Vee is using idioms during conversations.

    Sure, take your time regarding the flashcards. I know how night hours are mums’ best time for all these prep stuff. My sets are mostly pictures, with the word on the page after the picture.

    And Shen Li, I’d definitely be sharing the files with you too, when I get organised. We’ve been using many of your flashcard sets too. After a couple of days, Vee already said “Blood” before I moved on to that set. A million thanks!

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  11. Hi MVie-Yes, Chinese reading is far more difficult than English. This is always the “start young” language. I regret to read to her late, when she was 3, she managed to recognize 200 words from RED DRAGONFLY in weeks time, I was satisfied, thought it was easy, and lost touch with Chinese fro entire 2 years, the moment realized she has reached 5 and perhaps would send her to Chinese Primary School for first 6 yrs, then I go back to pick up Chinese……

    Have forwarded the files to you, let me know if you haven’t received, I don’t need your flags cards, but I wish to exchange the rest of cards…..more importantly the Maths cards. Since you were a Maths teacher, I just made a set of flash cards for “volume” formulas and the fill-in-the-blank chart for counting faces of shapes, dont know if you could help me edit/re-check a bit of its contents…

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  12. Hi Fz, can u pls share how do you print the flash cards? From office or you have a printer at home, what if i do not have those 😦
    Do we need color printing and good hard copy paper for the printing?

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  13. Hi pc,

    Yes, you need computer, and a normal printer with an external color cartridge ( ><RM20 each) to laminate. Wish my explanation is clear to you.

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  14. Hi pc,

    so sorry, kindly omit the precious comment.. It was wrongly sent by the system…anyway, you need a computer and printer with external color cartridge (><RM20 for A4), print the pics to normal 80gm paper, adjust sizes needed, ie A4, A5, A6 to save paper. A4 isn't very practical, difficult to handle, the best is A5, but difficult to get pouch….hope my explanation is clear.

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  15. Shen-Li and FZ, I’ve just emailed you the links to the files. Please check.

    FZ: I haven’t received your files, perhaps they were too big and didn’t get through. Try using the Dropbox application mentioned in my email. It makes file-sharing a breeze.

    Sure, I’d love to go through the Math cards. Math was my favourite subject and I did relief teaching in my alma mater for half a year, not a trained teacher though.

    Same, we’re planning for Chinese primary school too. I’m educated in S’pore and did Chinese as a first language. But, it’s still “scary” thinking of having to coach my boy’s Sciences and Math in Chinese. English seems so much easier, with many reference books available. The textbooks in Chinese here make me giddy.

    Red Dragonfly is a good series, I just bought the rest of it, planning to cover the 1,200 words before primary school starts. Going to make some Chinese idioms flashcards, shall keep you in the loop.

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    1. Thanks for the file, MieVee. Love dropbox. I use it to transfer files to my iPhone when I’m too lazy to hook the phone up. Thanks also for the info on the Commercial bookshop. There are also MP3 audio stories that can be downloaded from online sites – some for free. I have the links here (scroll to the bottom of the page):

      http://www.figur8.net/resources/reading/

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  16. pc: This is how I do up flashcards:
    – buy A5 and A4 thick card stock (130gm) from Shichida. Haven’t shopped elsewhere yet. I use A5 most of the time. A4 is more for math equation cards with many dots / pictures, and song lyrics.

    For A5 cards:

    – print the flashcards on A4 paper, 2 pictures to 1 page. I usually don’t print English words, prefer to write them.

    – cut out to A5 size

    – glue onto A5 flashcards

    – use thick black marker pen to write words behind the card (saves ink and time)

    With this method, I skip lamination. Hope this helps.

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  17. Hi MVie-recently I encountered some good books series in KL Commercial Bookstore, they are having clearing sales this weekend, they have few sets of very good Chinese Flash Cards, in words or in short phrase, you may wish to check out.

    Their contact : 016-6615368.

    Also the same bookstore I bought most of my English Literature in Student version with CDs, I saw several real good books, such as Aesop’s fables with CD-ROM/MP3 all by native speaker, still Black Cat Series has attractive voice) why I buy ? because it’s very inexpensive and some stories are indeed lengthy, second, they used Victorian language, third, they have Chinese translation the next page ( but not in Chinese simplified)…well, for sake of experiencing old language, it is worth to have copy.

    Hi pc- perhaps when I left comments to you last night I was about to doze off. You must have computer, printer (Rm200) with extended color cartridge (RM16 each color, can last more than 1000 color pictures) laminator (RM80) laminating pouch ( depends on size) and paper cutter. I use laminating pouch ( plastic) because I forsee certain of my materials are going to last even when she is at her teenage, the other is she can scribble on the pouch with whiteboard marker and it’s water resistant. MVie has another way of doing her flash cards, though, but using pouch is very time consuming)….it is amazing to realize everyone has different ideas to make simple flash cards….:-), wish that help.

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  18. Fz, thanks for the info on the clearance sales, will try to squeeze some time for it.

    I like audio files because it’s easy to leave them playing in the background while Vee plays by himself. Works on his subconscious learning very well. With a MacBook, iPod and iPad that syncs the audio files, I can play the audios anytime and anywhere. This is important for us also because he’s still kept away from TV and screens.

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  19. Hi Mvie and/or Parents-

    Please call up to KL Commercial Bookstore ( 016-6615368) before going…..afraid giving wrong clearance date.

    Yes, good point for audio is it helps the child learns real fast! Audio learning indeed makes changes to my style of teaching, I find digital flashing by computer is painfully slow then audio and hands-on flash cards.

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  20. Thanks for the printing tips! I need to get myself printer and the gear to start, currently I m only writing words on the paper following Doman’s method

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  21. Hi ladies, I’ve been to the KL Commercial Bookstore clearance sale today. Black Cat series is at 30% off, limited volumes available. I managed to get Level 1C (other Level 1 volumes not available) at RM79.80 (5 titles).

    The rest are mainly Chinese books.

    Spending above RM138 entitles you to free membership, that applies to Borders in Malaysia too. Plus a RM5 voucher to be used in the clearance sale.

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  22. Hi there, Im new here and just got to know about this. My boy is 6 years old. Hope that he still can catch up. Can I know for the audio file where can I find it? Thanks for sharing the precious advice.

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  23. hi, Im looking for the audio that you all mention can improve the audio memory.
    And actually all this while i’m using the usborne LOOK INSIDE series for the kid and seldom read stories like you suggested. Is it the reason his vocab is not picking up? And for this series of book is it consider good for right brain training as well?

    Thanks

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    1. I’m sorry. I wrote this a long time ago. I don’t recall the reference to the audio memory. However, I do have audio memory training resources here:

      https://www.figur8.net/2015/10/03/resources-free-online-memory-games/
      https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/auditory-memory-club/id981347689

      Regarding vocabulary expansion… You mentioned your child is 6 years old. How often are you reviewing the Usborne books? You need to repeat exposure for your child to pick up new words. You might also need to link the content with real-world examples at this age. You can also draw on other media. If you’re reading about the body, a youtube video for kids on the body can complement the book. Or you can go to a museum and look at the human body exhibits and use the same language from the book. To expand vocab for older kids, you need to link what they are reading with their world. The reason why we do stories is that they’re more engaging and therefore work better than non-fiction – unless the non-fiction topic is of personal interest to your child.

      For instance, when my son was interested in dinosaurs, he learned a lot about them and picked up a lot of words about them. I do not believe he would have learned as many words if he had not been fascinated by dinosaurs. But the Usborne books are still good for expanding knowledge so I would keep them going. I hope this helps.

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