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Shichida Right Brain Training - Discussion

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Well said

Postby beamergirl » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:17 pm

Well said,Addy.

This is my first log on KiasuParents. I only just joined, but the first thing I did is check who else was being duped by all the right-brain stuff. There sure are a lot of us!!!!

if you want to find out how much they really know at shichida method about the programs they teach, before you pay up and live to regret it, ask them 2 questions - see if you got the same reply as me.

i) what university is shichida a professor at, and where did he get his qualifications?
ii)Can you have the references to any research he is supposed to have done in creating his methods?

If he was legitimate, they would be able to answer those questions, but they can't. It's all 'smoke and mirrors' and no substance. They couldn't show me one real scientific paper - just a whole lot of 'testamonials'.

Don't be fooled by the stories. They don't prove anything. Ask real parents whose kids have been there, and the story isn't so rosey.

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Postby breguet » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:15 pm

Hi Addy,

I've been so tempted to speak up against Shichida and this sort of enrichment classes. Makes me wonder who's being enriched. :wink:

To be upfront, I enrolled out of kiasu-ness when my son was 12 mths old. We lasted a total of 2 lessons - he learnt the joy of running away from lessons because he learnt to walk then. But I was totally appalled. What is the basis of flashing ping-pong cartoon pictures to a child? Will he understand the game? They have this scratchy sounding recording of some German or Japanese song. So my son can speak a different language after that? I found it a total joke! Boy, if that worked, I sure would have flashed calculus notes to myself just before my exams! Why waste time studying so hard?

Around that same time when I tried to convince myself to continue with the lessons, I did a little research on Shichida and Glen Doman. Surely if it worked in creating geniuses, these companies would be advertising the number of PHds, geniuses they would have produced through the system? How about grades through PSLE or High school? Back then anyway, there were no such scientific conclusions except for these unsubstantiated claims by the companies themselves. I mean, how not to be skeptical?

breguet
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Re: Well said

Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:19 pm

Hi beamergirl and Addy, you are right that the biggest problem with such courses are the unsubstantiated claims made by such services with regards to promising photographic memory and even ESP.

However, the following are also true:

1. Babies from the age of 3 weeks to 3 years have an amazing capacity for absorbing data and facts. They learn without attempting to understand. That's the essence of right brain training.

2. Any baby and toddler exposed to the a great degree of interaction with the care-giver will learn faster and deeper than one that is left alone.

3. If we want a child to learn a skill or behavior for life, it is best to expose it to the skill or behavior when it is under 3.

The above are all scientifically proven facts, not invented by Shichida, but from hordes of child psychologists that have studied human intelligence for decades.

Any parent sending their child to Shichida believing that it will be transformed to a genius just by going to the classes will be in for disappointment. That 1 lesson a week is not going to do anything without reinforcement at home.

What Shichida and other "brain training" centres do are commonly known memory training techniques you can learn from books, videos and the Internet.

If we take courses such as Shichida, Trio, and even Glenn Doman to be "train the parents" course, then we can probably derive a lot more value from the courses. It is not the lessons that make our children smart learners. It is us, the parents.

And no... we cannot buy our way to a gifted child. We have to put in our own tiny bit of effort.

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Postby breguet » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:30 pm

Chief,

JMHO - there are plenty of ways to provide a warm, secure atmosphere for best learning, but it doesn't always have to involve paying $$ to an enrichment class operator.

If you think back about your old memories, you'll probably remember the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, etc, and not only what you read/got flashed with as a child. I highly advocate reading to children, but it isn't just the reading of the book - it's the fun and warm feelings you impart to your child when you cosy up and share your reactions together. Even just listening and interacting with the kid on what's at hand could be more meaningful than flashing a 2-d image. For example, go to the park and touch, smell the tree rather than show him a picture of a tree with a few alphabets underneath.

I've been reading up on neuroscience for a while (not directly related to early learning), and a lot of research out there debunks the right brain/left brain movement that started in the 60s ... Seriously, like everyone else, I love my child to bits and will do the best I can for him. It just seems like there are tonnes of other more effective, more humorous means to develop a bond with your child that can also encourage a love and curiosity of learning.

Getting off my soapbox now :lol:

breguet
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:58 pm

breguet wrote:Chief,

JMHO - there are plenty of ways to provide a warm, secure atmosphere for best learning, but it doesn't always have to involve paying $$ to an enrichment class operator.

If you think back about your old memories, you'll probably remember the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, etc, and not only what you read/got flashed with as a child. I highly advocate reading to children, but it isn't just the reading of the book - it's the fun and warm feelings you impart to your child when you cosy up and share your reactions together. Even just listening and interacting with the kid on what's at hand could be more meaningful than flashing a 2-d image. For example, go to the park and touch, smell the tree rather than show him a picture of a tree with a few alphabets underneath.

I've been reading up on neuroscience for a while (not directly related to early learning), and a lot of research out there debunks the right brain/left brain movement that started in the 60s ... Seriously, like everyone else, I love my child to bits and will do the best I can for him. It just seems like there are tonnes of other more effective, more humorous means to develop a bond with your child that can also encourage a love and curiosity of learning.

Getting off my soapbox now :lol:


Well said, breguet! Unfortunately, unlike yourself, few new parents really know what it takes to educate young children, so in my opinion, these enrichment courses do have their place in exposing parents to the various ways of interacting with their children. But they cannot be taken as a panacea for all our children's educational needs.

And you are right, if you already know how to play and teach your children through simple activities like reading and counting, there is really no reason for you to spend money for someone else to do it.

As for whether left or right or "whole" brain training is the way to go, there are well entrenched camps on both sides. One of the earliest educators was Maria Montessori, who was also Italy's first female psychologist. Her belief was that we as parents should treat children as little adults, and that we need to let kids learn through their own creative play. Her teachings spread like wild fire when she went over to the US, and we still have lots of young child educators modelled after her methods. And there are still lots of people who question the effectiveness of her methods :) .

Every child is different. Also, every parent teaches differently. We have to do a bit of experimentation to find a combination that works best for our children and ourselves. In the end, the only thing that counts is that we are able to excite our children to develop good habits of mind.

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Postby mintcc » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:17 pm

personally, I never think that courses like Shichida are scientifically proven. They probably can't really make that claim too. On their site, they just say that Shichida have "committed the last 40 years to developing techniques to stimulate the early development of the brain." Of course they have plenty of mention on him belonging to this science council and getting that science award which probably give people the impression that they are scientifically proven. (meaning tested in scientifically control environment)

However, I do appreciate those classes where I learn/get inspired by the activities that are done to engage/expose our kids to knowledge and concepts.

Many of those activities are documented and the games probably can be bought off the shelf but , being a new mum, I have little ideas / hands on experience of this domain of simulating young minds. Before attending the classes, I probably will not even bother finding more about methods on brain training or motivate myself to engage my kid in those activities.

Noticing my kid performance in class is coorelated to how often I practise the activities with him also make me try to play and practise with my child most days no matter how tired I am after work. = More interaction time for me and boy.

that said, I think that the claim to be able to train genius is abit overboard and Shichida is rather over priced.

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Postby Guest » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:24 pm

Ultimately all these "genius-producing" programs are subscribing to parents' vanity of wanting a "genius" kid. If there is no demand, the supply cannot take off... JMHO.

I must say the marketing has been very successful considering the number of people I know are joining one thing or the other.

Once parents who have been bought into the program, majority will not speak too badly abt it since it reflects on them for making bad decision if they overly criticise it especially when the courses are expensive.
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:30 pm

breguet wrote:...They have this scratchy sounding recording of some German or Japanese song. So my son can speak a different language after that?...


BTW... my daughter is in the Little Neurotree programme (Trio) right now... just for the experience and for me and my wife to learn and see what it is all about :oops: . We are the type of lazy parents... couldn't find the time to really go through the daily remedial routines. My daughter went for the 1st Japanese class where the teacher went through the 10 digits in Jap. My daughter, who has an attention span of 5 minutes and 43 seconds for most things, was sprawled on the table with her head lying sideways for most of the lesson, so I didn't think anything went in. Imagine my surprise when she suddenly blurted out all 10 digits in Jap in rapid succession completely out of the blue a couple of days with zero reinforcement from us. I don't think she understands what she was saying. To her, it is just some kind of rhyme.

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Postby tamarind » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:38 am

My 5 year old girl has excellent memory. And sometimes I suspect that she is telepathic, because she seems to be able to know what I am thinking. Her reading,writing and drawing skills are far more advanced than other kids the same age. She has never attended any right brain training, and I have not done anything to train her right brain at home.

My 4 year old boy almost caused me to vomit blood when I am teaching him phonics and reading. I took more than one month just to teach him how to read 3 letter words with the vowel "a", and he still could not read those words very well.

So do I want to send my boy to right brain training classes so that he can become like my girl ? The answer is no. The fact is that it is not possible. I don't want to stress my boy to do something that is unattainable.

I would rather that he learns in a slow, steady, consistent environment. I am happy enough that he is able to progress in his own pace :) Honestly, I think that all these rush for "right brain training" is due to parents who compare their kids with other kids of higher ability. I think that we should learn to stop comparing, and start accepting our kids, and the abilities they are born with.

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:49 am

tamarind wrote:...sometimes I suspect that she is telepathic, because she seems to be able to know what I am thinking....Honestly, I think that all these rush for "right brain training" is due to parents who compare their kids with other kids of higher ability. I think that we should learn to stop comparing, and start accepting our kids, and the abilities they are born with.


Being able to sense what someone is thinking is more likely due to a very high level of sensitivity and ability to read body language. My chihuahua, for example, knows when she's in for a bath. It seems like the moment I think about bathing her, she would disappear to her favorite unreachable hidding places where no amount of coaxing can extricate her. And the moment I open a pack of prawn crackers, no matter how quietly, she would appear before me like a genie with her "you owe me" expression.

Some parents, like myself, send our children more out of curiosity than anything else. We go like "orh... like that wan ah" and then go home. I don't think I can last for more than one term :) which was fully paid up, anyway.

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