Shichida home practice materials collage

Shichida method: review & FAQs answered

by mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com on January 30, 2013

Our family has been using the Shichida method for almost 3 years, since Vee was 14 months old. Jae was brought up with the method  from the time he was conceived in my womb. Till now, hubby and I can confidently say that we’re happy to raise and educate our children the Shichida way.

In this article, I’ll review our experience with the method and the school, and answer the FAQs that many parents have asked me.

Please note that the sharing is based on our personal understanding of the method through reading and our own experience in Malaysia. Our opinions do not represent the Shichida method / school / organisation in any way and are subject to change over time. No compensation was received for this write-up.

FAQs

General:
1. What’s The Shichida MethodTM?
2. Why did you choose the Shichida method over other right brain education / flashcard programmes?
3. But I don’t believe in ESP / Is ESP real?
4. Is HSP useful? Why is it good to have?

The School and Teachers (sinsei)
5. Is customer service a concern?
6. Is the quality of teachers (sinsei) a concern?
7. The waiting list is very long, how did you get into a class after only 1 term?
8. What’s the hygiene practice in the school?
9. Is there a replacement class when my child falls ill?
10. Is there a replacement class if class falls on a public holiday?

Classes
11. What’s covered during class?
12. How are the children seated? If my baby has to sit on a chair for 1 hour, won’t he/she be uncomfortable? Isn’t movement better for learning?
13. What if my child is super-active, cranky or uncooperative during class? How can he learn anything?

Home Practice
14. When’s the best time to start attending class and doing home practice?
15. Where can I read more about the Shichida method?
16. Can I just practise the Shichida method by reading, without joining a class?
17. Can I join the class for 1 term / 1 year, then practice on my own?
18. I’m very busy, can I join the class and skip home practice?
19. Where do you get materials for Shichida home practice?
20. How do you carry out home practice? / How much time do you need?
21. How do you do home practice with more than 1 child? Separate or together?
22. How do you get your child to do home practice?
23. How much money do you spend on home practice materials?
24. I’m on tight budget but want to practise the method at home. How?
25. How do you do photographic memory exercises at home?
26. How do you do senses play at home?
27. How do you do speed reading at home?
28. How often do you change flashcards?
29. Can you share your soft copy flashcards / materials?
30. What’s the most efficient way to make flashcards?
31. Do you see results?

General

1. What’s The Shichida MethodTM?

Professor Shichida has a proven system highly regarded as the methodology which will be influential in this century. To develop a fine child, it is important to examine both character formation and learning abilities as a wholesome approach towards child rearing.

The purpose of education is not to teach knowledge and skills but to create a well-balanced child with enormous abilities, rich creativity and the ability to use a huge proportion of the brain. These can only be achieved without stress and a right parent-child relationship.

The main characteristic of The Shichida MethodTM is concentration on a whole brain education rich in aspirational value which will inspire a child to contribute his/her best to the world we live in.

(Source: Shichida Calendar 2013)

My personal interpretation of the method is that it is actually a parenting philosophy. It teaches me how to build a solid relationship with my children before educating them in a wholesome manner.

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2. Why did you choose the Shichida method over other right brain education / flashcard programmes?

If you’ve been following my articles at Mummy’s Reviews too, you’ll know that I usually shop very carefully before making major purchases or commitments. Here’s my long story…

When Vee was 9 months old, our home-visit nurse suggested that I started flashing cards to him because he’d absorb very fast at that age. She added that after flashing cards, I could ask him a question and let him choose between 2 cards. The card that he laid his eyes on represented his answer. Because I knew nothing about flashcards nor right brain education at that time, I was quite curious. I bought a pack of picture-cum-word cards and tried flashing it to Vee. Interestingly, he seemed to know the shapes such as rectangle, square and circle easily.

I started finding out more about flashing cards to babies and came across various forum discussions. After spending a few nights reading through the discussions and surfing the Internet for more information, I was down to 2 options: Glenn Doman and the Shichida method.

Coincidentally, I met my mum’s friend and she shared that 16 years ago, she quitted her job to be a Stay-At-Home-Mum so that she could educate her son using Glenn Doman’s method. The first 3 years of a child’s life are his golden learning years. 16 years on, her son had entered a prestigious Junior College in Singapore and she’s very proud of his achievements.

She shared how her son would focus well during flashcard sessions (even as a baby) and have a very good memory for learning with ease. She encouraged me to start using the method with Vee while he’s still young. She’s a wonderful lady whom I respect, so I was glad to have her testimonial.

To find out more about The Shichida Method, I emailed 2 mummies whose children had been attending classes for more than 1 year. Both gave me positive feedback.

We visited a Shichida centre in Singapore while we were based there during those few months. We were impressed by the video preview that showed children with amazing abilities such as mental calculation and wave reading.

We put Vee’s name on a Kuala Lumpur centre’s waiting list, so that he could have a place by the time we returned and we could confirm if we wanted to. When we returned to KL, we visited the centre and read the displayed folder filled with parents’ testimonials.

One Mummy wrote that she was thankful that her baby finally started sleeping through the night after she used the 5-Minute Suggestion Method.

BAM! This was it.

Vee was a high-need baby who fussed up to 10 times a night. I decided on-the-spot to enrol in Shichida to learn this 5-Minute Suggestion Method so that I could finally get a decent rest at night. Anything else is a bonus. Haha…

3 years on, we received a lot more bonuses than simply sleeping through the night. On hindsight, I’d still choose the Shichida method because:

  1. of the effective 5-Minute Suggestion Method of communicating to the child in his subconscious stage
  2. of the 8 Seconds Hugging Method that helps us show love to the child easily and effectively, which naturally leads to positive behaviour
  3. it is progressive with latest findings from The Shichida Institute in Japan. For instance, the 65-Day Lightning Rapid Calculation Programme has been revised to a different 63-Day programme after observing that it’s more effective on young children.
  4. it does not teach a baby to read via flashcards. To develop the right brain’s abilities, the child needs to think in pictures (images) instead of words. From this point of view, it isn’t beneficial to learn reading word for word too early on. (Both Vee and myself have experiences to back this opinion up.)
  5. the Mathematics programme is comprehensive, including the 63-Day Lightning Rapid Calculation Programme, red dot cards, variety dot cards, organised dot cards, dot workbooks for home practice, and CDs for addition and multiplication tables. (Math is my favourite subject in school!)
  6. it does not support flashing cards to young children using computer or television screens. The exception is when super-high speed flashing is needed, for certain areas of learning. This is in line with my opinion regarding screen-time.
  7. it includes senses play to develop heightened senses, which is a very useful ability

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3. But I don’t believe in ESP / Is ESP real?

From the Parents’ Handbook, the new term is HSP which stands for Heightened Sensory Perception instead of Extra Sensory Perception. This is definitely a more appropriate term because the method seeks to help children, especially babies, retain their innate heightened senses, instead of helping them develop any ESP.

I’ve rather strong so-called “sixth” sense since young. On several occasions, I’ve dreamt about or sensed examination or essay questions for myself and even for my sister. I may sense a friend and then see her on the bus. Or most recently, I sensed that my Mum wasn’t feeling well and then several days later she told me so. To me, HSP certainly exists, even before I attended Shichida classes.

As for Vee, he attended Shichida classes since 14 months old. Over time, he showed his HSP abilities frequently, such as knowing who Daddy is talking to over the phone and guessing the correct winners for Olympic matches. One memorable incident was when I opened the refrigerator door and he asked,” Mummy, you want to eat the biscuit, right?” Gosh, I was indeed considering and we certainly hadn’t talked about it!

As for Jae, I communicated with him since pre-natal days. From the time he was born, I could easily understand his needs, and he also easily understood my intentions. In class, Daddy is amazed that he gets perfect score for his senses games almost all the time.

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4. Is HSP useful? Why is it good to have?

The HSP activities in Shichida cover clairvoyance, telepathy, prediction and hand reading. In our family, strong telepathy certainly exists between the kids and I. When I know exactly what my children are feeling and thinking, I can modify my behaviour where necessary. This leads to more effective parenting outcomes.

When our prediction ability is strong, we can sense danger and avoid it to keep ourselves safe. In many professions, prediction of trends or reactions is critical for planning ahead and making decisions. Businessmen, equity research analysts, marketing managers, designers, just to name a few. Sometimes, you simply need to act based on “feel” or “gut feel”.

To me, these abilities exist and are practical. Nothing supernatural, nothing religious.

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The School and Teachers (sinsei)

5. Is customer service a concern?

So far, we’ve been happy with the administrative staff. Our first encounter at Singapore’s centre was pleasant. We registered Vee’s name on a KL centre’s waiting list and took the initiative to follow up with the centre on vacancies.

The staff and sinsei have been polite and helpful when we make enquiries.

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6. Is the quality of teachers (sinsei) a concern?

Vee had 1 change of sinsei during the first 2 years. After that, we changed class to a different time slot. In the new class, the sinsei has been with the children since they were babies! We’ve been with her for a year.

Sinsei #1: Young and fast. If a child happens to misbehave, she may give a negative comment such as, “You cannot do that.” She left to pursue further studies.

Sinsei #2: Young, very smiley and patient. Good command of English, inaccurate Chinese pronunciation though she’s a Chinese. We like her.

Sinsei #3: Young, fast, experienced and positive. Command of English can be improved. We like her.

Jae’s Sinsei: Young, relatively new, very smiley and patient. Good command of English. We like her.

Overall, we’re satisfied with the quality of sinsei.

In KL, most people are fluent in Bahasa Malaysia and/or Chinese. Though there’s a large English-speaking community, it’s common to hear less than standard spoken English, even among sinseis. It’s only 1 hour a week, so I’m ok with that but I’ve put it down on the school’s feedback form.

Generally, I put little emphasis on the sinsei, as long as she’s passable. Most important to me is trying out the right brain activities so that I can replicate them during home practice.

Sometimes, there’re typo / grammatical errors on the materials. Whenever I spot one, I’d highlight it to the sinsei. Now, the sinsei has a form to note down the error in detail. Again, the child is exposed to the material once to a few times, so I’m still ok (though I cringe every time I spot an obvious error!).

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7. The waiting list is very long, how did you get into a class after only 1 term?

As mentioned earlier, we took the initiative to follow up with the centre on vacancies. Either this helped or we were lucky to get a slot after waiting for 1 term.

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8. What’s the hygiene practice in the school?

When we first attended classes, there was concern regarding H5N1 virus. Before we entered the centre, a staff would take our temperature via a thermoscan thermometer. After some time, this practice stopped.

Now, there’s a bottle of hand sanitiser outside the entrance and in the classroom. Children and caregivers are encouraged to sanitise themselves before and after class. Most kids I see love sanitising their hands!

The school has left a note for each parent and sent a mass SMS advising parents not to bring children who are unwell to class.

Shoes aren’t allowed into classrooms, but socks aren’t required either. We choose to wear socks into class and wish this were required.

Most importantly, parents need to ensure that ill children or adults don’t enter the centre. Or if generally healthy except with a slight cough or occasional sneeze, wear a face mask. This is what we practice too.

During class, we’re careful about the kids not touching their mouths and noses. For a teething baby, I let him wear a bib which he can bite (and also catch all the drool), instead of stuffing his fingers into his mouth.

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9. Is there a replacement class when my child falls ill?

As of now, no and we’re fine with that. We do home practice almost daily and don’t find occasionally missing a class or two a big matter. Not wanting to miss class gives Vee a motivation to keep himself healthy by avoiding “heaty” snacks, drinking more water, and eating his multi-vitamin.

The principal mentioned before that one parent may still attend class if the child is resting at home. So far, we haven’t done this.

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10. Is there a replacement class if class falls on a public holiday?

If class falls on 1 public holiday during the term, then no replacement. If class falls on 2 public holidays during the term, then 1 replacement. Depending on the sinsei, the class may be during the term break (once every 3 months) or on another day.

We’re fine with this arrangement.

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Classes

11. What’s covered during class?

General range of activities (not in exact order and subject to change according to age):

  • Good morning song
  • Energy ball exercise, blowing / breathing, image play
  • Senses play (for HSP)
  • Eye training
  • Flashcards
  • Memory games
  • Hands-on activities for language, mathematics and IQ
  • Songs
  • Finger play
  • Good-bye song
  • Sinsei’s written feedback on child’s book

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12. How are the children seated? If my baby has to sit on a chair for 1 hour, won’t he/she be uncomfortable? Isn’t movement better for learning?

A row of joined-tables separate the sinsei and the children / parents. There’re small chairs provided for each child and parent.

The table/chair arrangement facilitates playing with the many mini activities and puzzles in class. I actually like having chairs because I certainly can’t move up and down easily from the floor when heavily pregnant.

I find it ok to have the child sit on parent’s lap, let baby climb onto the table occasionally, stand / sit on the floor or wander around a bit during lesson if he likes. As long as he isn’t distracting others much. If the child’s cranky, then it’s good for parent to bring him out to calm down before rejoining class. Most of Vee and Jae’s classmates have settled down well in class after 1 term, probably because the activities are very fun.

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13. What if my child is super-active, cranky or uncooperative during class? How can he learn anything?

To me, the weekly class is really for the parent to learn the method, see how the materials are used and learn how to make home practice materials. I see myself, not my child, as the student.

Sometimes, there is a cranky baby/child (including my own!) who’s unenthusiastic in participating. I don’t expect the sinsei to handle such a situation; the parent is supposed to know the child best and guide him.

The child truly learns during home practice. Up until recently, Vee’s behaviour in class was different from during home practice. For instance, he loves doing linking memory at home but doesn’t do it much in class, probably because it repeats what he’s familiar with. He doesn’t sing in class, but sings all the songs at home.

Scenario #1: active / cranky child

Ideas to try:

  • Calm yourself down first. Fill yourself with positive energy. Remove all expectations of your child’s behaviour and performance.
  • Go out together to calm down for a while before returning
  • Let him sit on your lap, be extra patient
  • Let him stand on floor (remove chair) to do activity
  • Occasionally, allow baby to sit on table (e.g. listen to song)
  • Bring materials to back of classroom and do the activity on the floor
  • At home, use 5-Minute Suggestion Method to communicate to him.

Scenario #2: child refuses to participate

Ideas to try:

  • Allow him to observe without doing anything, until he’s ready to (Tell yourself you’re the student, not him.)
  • Rub off your enthusiasm onto him. I usually tell Vee,“Wow, this looks interesting. I’ll do it!” He either watches me complete it or sometimes says,“No, I’ll do it!”
  • Stay positive, supportive and relax!
  • At home, use 5-Minute Suggestion Method to communicate to him.

Scenario #3: child refuses to return materials to sinsei at the end of the activity and fusses

Ideas to try:

  • Tell him enthusiastically that he can exchange the materials on hand for the next interesting activity / game.
  • If he refuses, let him hold on to the materials. When the new materials are distributed, tell sinsei to hold back his set because he’s still working on the previous activity.
  • At home, do home practice. Let him practice returning materials to you after each activity before moving to another activity.
  • Use 5-Minute Suggestion Method to communicate to him.

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Home Practice

14. When’s the best time to start attending class and doing home practice?

For Baby Jae, I did pre-natal education with him, which included positive communication, playing relaxation music and doing home practice with Vee where he can absorb the information too. When he was about 1 to 2 months old, I started showing him black / white stimulation cards. Then moved on to showing full-colour flashcards and playing other senses / memory games.

We planned to enrol him after he settled into a nap routine and he could stay awake happily for at least 2 hours. He started class at 8 months old.

From my experience with the 2 boys, about 12 to 18 months is a very active stage. When Vee was 18 months old, he kept running about during home practice, and calmed down when he was a bit older.

Jae is even more active, climbing everywhere at about 12 months old, so I only do short spurts of activities with him while he moves about. Then suddenly, at 20+ months, he became very focused, could sit through speed reading sessions of many books, and has long attention span for linking memory activities.

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15. Where can I read more about the Shichida method?

Websites:

  • Shichida Japan: http://shichida.co.jp/english
  • Shichida Singapore / Malaysia: http://www.shichidamethod.com
  • Shichida Australia: http://www.shichida.com.au
  • Shichida China: http://www.shichidachina.com
  • Shichida Hong Hong: http://www.shichidahk.com
  • Shichida Indonesia: http://www.shichidaindonesia.com
  • Shichida Taiwan: http://www.shichida.com.tw
  • Shichida Thailand: http://www.shichida.co.th
  • Shichida Canada: http://www.shichidacanada.com

3 English Books published by Shichida Educational Institute, Ltd.: http://shichida.co.jp/english/c1-3_books.php

5 Chinese books that I’ve read:

  1. 七田真天才胎教法 (Shichida Prenatal Education): ISBN 9787544245692
  2. 七田真0-6岁育儿法 (Shichida Education for 0-6 years Old): ISBN 9787544247955
  3. 超右脑照相记忆法 (Shichida Photographic Memory):ISBN 7544229009
  4. 超右脑波动速读法 (Shichida Speed Reading) (More accurately, Wave Reading): ISBN 7544230643
  5. 七田真超右脑学习法 (Shichida Super Right Brain Learning Method): ISBN 9787544248990

Where to get the books:

  • Borrow from Singapore libraries (My friend has tried it.)
  • #1, #2, #5: I bought from http://shop.ibaby.my (Malaysia)
  • #3, #4: I bought from http://caterpillarhouse.com/store/ (Malaysia)
  • #1, #5: Seen at http://babyworld.com.sg (Singapore)

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16. Can I just practise the Shichida method by reading, without joining a class?

This is possible, but you may not know if you’re practising correctly, unless you have someone to guide you closely?

Here are the reasons why we attend classes:

  • learn from the 3-hour Parents Education Course
  • receive the parents’ handbook
  • try out weekly activities for home practice ideas
  • follow how the materials and activities increase in complexity as the child grows older
  • receive weekly feedback by sinsei
  • attend ad-hoc sharing sessions by other practising parents
  • purchase materials only sold to students
  • be more committed and disciplined to practising the method
  • be surrounded with positive energy from class for increased effectiveness

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17. Can I join the class for 1 term / 1 year, then practice on my own?

The activities and materials changes as the child advances into a higher level class. What you learn this term / year is only applicable for the current age. In the following term / year’s class, the child will be exposed to more challenging materials.

You’d need to read up on the method from books and understand thoroughly how to practice it correctly.

You can make the best value out of the 1 term / 1 year by copying the home practice guideline pasted on the classroom wall, paying FULL attention at the Parents Education Course, reading the Parents’ Handbook thoroughly, clarifying whatever you don’t understand, attending the free parents sharing / home practice sessions, buying the materials from the Tensai shop that you’d possibly need for the next few years to come. (Materials are only sold to enrolled students because you can benefit from them if you how to use them effectively.) Sometimes, you may find second-hand materials in forums.

Build a good relationship with other classmates, to exchange homemade materials, even if you no longer attend class one day. Personally, I think you’d need to spot 1-2 other Mummies who are committed to home practice and willing to share. The ongoing mutual support is very important to keep going with home practice.

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18. I’m very busy, can I join the class and skip home practice?

I believe that regular home practice is more important than attending weekly classes. When we skip home practice for a long period of time (such as a month), it’s obvious that Vee’s abilities weaken. Then he improves when we pick up momentum again.

The brain muscles needs to be constantly exercised to be strong. It’s the same concept as for learning other specific skills. If we attend music lessons once a week but don’t practise with the keyboard at home, then I can’t expect Vee to learn how to play the piano eventually.

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19. Where do you get materials for Shichida home practice?

My sources:

  • Buy from Tensai store in Shichida centre
  • Buy from other stores, if I find that the material is “up to Shichida standard”
  • Make own materials
  • Exchange soft-copy materials with a small group of like-minded parents

Making good-quality materials can take up a significant amount of time, so exchanging can increase productivity. Exchanging also ensure accountability to each other. The frequent sharing among like-minded parents also keeps me motivated to continue doing home practice.

When making materials, I follow Vee’s interests closely. He helps to think of ideas, usually surrounding vehicles and food! He’s my assistant when I print, cut, glue, laminate and stick velcro tabs on. We treat it as art & craft time and he enjoys it.

Making materials together also gives him a sense of ownership on his own education, and he feels more motivated when using them.

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20. How do you carry out home practice? / How much time do you need?

We do Shichida home practice 4 to 5 times a week. When the boys attended Shichida class during weekend, that was a total exposure of 6 days a week. Whenever anyone is grouchy or unwell, we skip home practice until a later time or the following day.

Our home practice session is after breakfast and before lunch. We spend 30 minutes to 1+ hour replicating class activities, depending on how enthusiastic Vee is that day and how much time we have. (With the addition of baby / toddler Jae, we often need to work around his needs.)

During the day, we also practise whenever the opportunity arises. For instance, guessing games, doing math dot practice when eating o-shaped cereals, and listening to audio files in the background while playing.

On a good day, this is the full range of activities we do:

  • Good morning / afternoon song
  • Check calendar and weather
  • *Most Important* Relaxation: Energy ball, blowing (for baby) / breathing (for older child), pretend play (baby) / imaging (older child)
  • Senses games
  • Eye training
  • Memory games: Photographic memory, space memory, flash memory, linking memory, mandala
  • Speed reading: normal speed, 2x speed, 4x speed
  • Flashcards (Our preference is to have flashcards after memory games)
  • Songs with actions or flashcards (also done anytime any child is restless)
  • Shichida worksheet(s) for 2-year old and above: usually 1, sometimes more to make up for lost days
  • Math dot worksheet(s) for 2/3-year old and above: usually 1, sometimes more
  • Montessori and left-brain activities (such as Logico / Noddy Funbook / Fun Thinkers / maze / dot-to-dot worksheets)
  • Good bye song
  • Update Student Tracking Form

At 1 to 3 cards per second, I can cover 60 to 180 cards per minute, averaging 120 cards.
So for 100-200 cards per session, we’re usually done in 2 minutes.

In the past, when we could complete all the activities, we move on to art and craft. The total time is about 1.5 to 2 hours, and Vee may still be reluctant to leave for lunch!

Nowadays, with more kids, we do art and craft and messy play after nap time.

On challenging days, we’ll do some home practice, go for lunch, nap, then continue with flashcards and other activities if time and mood permit.

If time is very limited, it’s also possible to do only the right brain activities (i.e. stop at Math dot worksheet). The activities can be spread out across the week. This way, 15-30 minutes a day would be sufficient.

On super-challenging days, we’ll skip regular home practice. The easiest activities are reading (including speed reading), listening to audio files (including speed-listening), singing and recitation. We probably spent a few months during my pregnant days doing this.

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21. How do you do home practice with more than 1 child? Separate or together?

When Jae was a newborn, I did home practice with him separately because he was lying down. It was only a minute or so of flashcards and some memory games.

When he could sit on the Bumbo seat for about 15-20 minutes, I started doing home practice for both boys together. Sometimes, they distract each other; other times, they find it more fun. Anyway, practising together is certainly more time-efficient for me.

I design home practice activities with older Vee in mind. Then simplify them for Jae where necessary. For instance, Vee does senses play with 3 to 5 cards, while Jae only works with 2. Or Vee does photographic memory with 10 items, while Jae only needs to work with 2 of the 10.

Vee has very long attention span for flashcards while Jae didn’t when he was younger. So I’ll arrange the basic level flashcards in front, and the intermediate to advance ones behind. Sometimes, Jae doesn’t watch the flashcards, so I’ll try to do a separate session for him later on.

After senses play, memory games, reading and flashcards, I’ll let Jae play by himself while I guide Vee on his worksheets and manipulatives. Jae joins in when we sing.

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22. How do you get your child to do home practice?

Straight after attending Shichida lessons when Vee was 14 months old, we started home practice every weekday, after breakfast and before lunch. I call it “lesson time” in English and 上课 (shàng kè) in Chinese.

The basics: No distraction in the room — switch phone to silent mode, no posters on wall, toys and books kept away, basically a clutter-free room

Here’s how I do home practice with Baby Jae / Vee as they grew:

  • 2 months old: lie down on bouncer. Very attentive, won’t roll / crawl / run away! Simply flash the cards, play the senses and memory games
  • ~4 months old: sit on Bumbo seat with tray for 15 minutes. Flash cards, play games
  • ~6 months old — can get out of Bumbo seat / Pull up to stand: stand in cot with bar lowered, head above bar. Flash cards, play games
  • ~10-18 months old — very active, run around: sit in a chair with restraint (e.g. highchair with belts)
  • ~2 years old: sit on floor or small chair. Tell him there’s a SURPRISE activity after lesson. Reveal that only after lesson ends and rotate the surprise. Must be something he loves! For instance, playdoh and painting. When the child gets into the routine of home practice, the surprise isn’t needed anymore. He simply asks for lessons almost every day!

More ideas if child is very active during flashcard / game sessions:

  • include sets with pictures that he love. E.g. vehicles, favourite cartoon characters, family members’ photos
  • in between flashing, can switch to singing a song, then resume
  • do several short sessions

After some time, Vee got used to the routine, and started asking for lesson every day.

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23. How much money do you spend on home practice materials?

There’re costs for flashcards (make / buy / exchange), linking memory activities (buying recommended), puzzles (IQ blocks recommended), and other left brain activities (make / buy).

I make most flashcards and need to buy ink, thick cardstock and glue sticks on a regular basis.
For other materials, I buy in batches as the child progresses.

Personally, I think the most important is a significant inventory of flashcards, audio CDs (math songs, recitations, audio books, various languages), fiction and non-fiction books, blocks (IQ, Lego), and puzzles (jigsaw puzzle, tangrams, etc.) Even without attending Shichida class, I think these materials are very educational for a young child.

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24. I’m on tight budget but want to practise the method at home. How?

Vee attended Shichida classes from 14 months to 4+ years old. Jae attended classes from 8 to 20 months old. Our initial plan was to send at least the oldest child through the entire programme (to about 7 years old).

Classes cost about RM400 / month for 1 child. For home practice / educational materials (buy + make), we budget RM100-200 / month. This means at least RM600 for right brain education for all kids. (Montessori materials is a separate budget.)

We homeschool, so this is still much cheaper than sending all the kids to a good private preschool, which typically doesn’t build right brain learning skills (e.g. photographic memory & speed reading) and we don’t get to keep the materials.

Anyway, just work within your budget because every family’s priorities are different. Right brain education is really about educating the heart and building a solid relationship with the child. Make do with whatever materials are available on hand:

  • borrow library books regularly to practice reading and speed reading
  • record your own audio files for learning language and speed reading (Read the Tutorial here)
  • play different types of memory games with child using anything on hand, including pictures from magazines / brochures
  • invest in 1 good box of Lego blocks (big variety of blocks, some wheels to make vehicles, and a few figurines)
  • get second-hand materials

This year (2013), Vee’s music teacher commented on his high potential in music (his major interest), so he started individual piano classes on top of his group music class. With 2 music classes and 1 swimming class during the weekend, we decided to stop Shichida classes to maintain quality family time. We still continue to do regular home practice.

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25. How do you do photographic memory exercises at home?

Example for younger child: Print 2 copies of a picture. Add stars to the first. Show the child for a short while. Shuffle the 2 pictures. Ask the child “Which one did you see?”

Example for older child: Use Lego bricks: Arrange yellow, blue, red. Show the child for a short while. Then cover the bricks with a box / cloth. Give the child 3 similar bricks (yellow, blue, red) and ask him to try arranging.

In general, just use any materials at hand for similar practice. When the child is better at the activity, increase complexity.

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26. How do you do senses play at home?

Use simple materials such as colourful blocks / small toy figurines / game cards / picture cards. Do a variety of hand reading, prediction (guessing), telepathy, etc. as per class (refer to parents’ handbook). For prediction, you can even guess the next day’s weather or what time Daddy will reach home. It’s that simple! :)

I also let the kids smell food (covered up) and guess what it is. To sharpen the senses.

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27. How do you do speed reading at home?

Do eye training exercises as in class. When reading our regular story books at home, I read at normal speed and then high speed, just like in class. Ideally, the books aren’t too long, a few lines per page, so that the flipping is faster.

I’ve also started recording my own audio books for playing at 2x and 4x speed. (Read the Tutorial here)

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28. How often do you change flashcards?

I try to retire old cards every 4-5 days, which means every school week for us. If child picks up very fast, then he’d need new cards more frequently.

My preference is to replace the entire set of ~200 cards at one go. During busy periods, I can go for weeks before I manage to replace the cards. Oops!

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29. Can you share your soft copy flashcards / materials?

Most of the time, homemade flashcards involve using images sourced online for personal educational use, so they can’t be uploaded for sharing, or there’d be copyright issues.

As mentioned before, I like is forming a close group of 2-3 likeminded friends to exchange flashcards.

I’ve created some flashcards that can be shared openly. Visit the Shichida Flashcards & Home Practice Materials page here.

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30. What’s the most efficient way to make flashcards?

I use A5 and A4 cardstock (300 to 310gsm Art Card, glossy on both sides). Previously, I bought from them from Tensai at Shichida centre at RM20 per 100 A5 and RM38 per 100 A4. Now, I get them from a paper supplier at only RM14 per 100 A4, so I suggest checking out a local paper supplier or major stationery distributor.

Just ensure that the paper is thick enough, with at least 1 smooth / glossy side (that’s for facing the child).

Steps:

  1. prepare flashcards file on computer
  2. print images on A4 paper (2 pages on 1 sheet if making A5 flashcards) (If budget allows, use adhesive A4 paper.)
  3. cut in bulk using paper cutter (much faster than scissors)
  4. stick onto cardstock (front: picture; back: word in small print for my own reading. I rarely do word descriptions because the aim of flashing is to activate the right brain instead of providing lots of information.)

Of course, you may add in word descriptions. When the child outgrows flashcard stage, she may use the cards for reading pleasure or games.

For quick flashing, buy silicon or rubber fingertips for your thumb (the type that cashiers use to count cash quickly), from a stationery shop or Daiso. Try to get transparent ones if possible, to minimise distraction to child. I can’t get those, so am using green, and try to hide it from the child’s view. Here’s a sample of how they look like:


Swingline Large Rubber Finger Tips*

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31. Do you see results?

Vee is 4+ years old, still a few years from the full “output” stage. Some observations:

  • We have a strong relationship and he’s generally obedient. For most discipline challenges, we’ll try to overcome with the 5-Minute Suggestion Method, 8-Second Hugging Method and sincerely apologising to the child (where necessary).
  • He has strong senses. For instance, he recently managed to guess the exact time when Daddy would reach home. He can also hand read 3 to 5 cards. It could also be that he’s a Highly Sensitive Child* since infanthood. Perhaps that’s why the Shichida Method is such a good fit for him.
  • He has excellent visual and audio memory. Ever since he could verbalise quite well at 2 years old, he started singing, reciting books and any 10 items easily. From 3-4 years old, he could recite a Chinese book of several hundred words, 20 items or more, 三字经 (Three Character Classic), x1 to x12 times table after listening to the CD, and repeat verbatim long “instructions” from me. His visual memory is definitely better than me.
  • Music: he can play songs on the keyboard rather easily after listening to it and receiving some guidance from me (who doesn’t know much about music!) He can remember how to play the songs even after days without practising.
  • He’s able to achieve anything he wants by doing deep breathing, relaxation, imaging, and saying “I can do it!”: He’s able to tune himself into the right brain learning mode and has been using these techniques for successfully cycling on 2 wheels, and playing simple songs by ear.
  • He’s rather creative with building using Lego Duplo. (And so do many children.)
  • He’s often eager to learn new things.
  • He’s full of empathy: concerned about others’ emotions, loves babies, and understands me. (Of course there’re times when he behaves like a typical child with tantrums, fussiness, snatching things from Jae, etc.)

Jae is almost 2 years old. Some observations:

  • Very good motor skills: rolled over at 3 months 1 week, crawled at 6 months, walked at 11+ months. Nowadays, he climbs onto any chair, tries doing forward rolls, and pounces everywhere.
  • Started sorting shapes and objects at about 11-12 months old
  • Started stacking blocks at 11-12 months old
  • Understands and follows my instructions very well. For example, “Please pick the book up and put it back onto the shelf”.
  • Excellent during senses and memory games at home and in class
  • Long attention span for guided and independent learning activities

Personally, I believe that early exposure through the Shichida method has helped the boys to develop better than if they hadn’t gone through such right brain education.

Of course, for the method to work and for the children to enjoy it, the parents needs to incorporate the method into their lifestyle instead of using it solely to achieve positive academic outcomes.

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I’ve burnt 3 nights compiling the above. Hope it helps you! :)

P.S. Visit the Shichida Flashcards & Home Practice Materials page here.

To receive updates and FREE home practice resources, join Mummy’s Homeschool Club below:


Updated on 20 October 2013

Disclosure: This article is written based on our personal understanding of the Shichida Method through reading and our own experience in Malaysia. Our opinions do not represent the Shichida method / school / organisation in any way and are subject to change over time. No compensation was received for this write-up.


P.S. Need home practice materials and training workshop? Go to:

Shichida flash cards memory games*


Disclosure: Mummy’s Homeschool™ is an information site that receives compensation if readers make purchases from affiliate links (these are marked with an *). If we receive compensation from the companies whose products we review, this would be disclosed. These compensation help to maintain and grow Mummy’s Homeschool™. We test each product thoroughly and give ratings according to our experience with it. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica January 30, 2013 at 11:35 am

You are one super mommy. Hats off to you!

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com January 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Jessica, working mums are the real super ones! I can’t imagine functioning well if I need to wake up early each day, go to work, and return home to do learning activities. All the best to you!

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Hurt mum January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I have been a follower of Mummy Reviews for years and have often referred to your blog whenever I needed guidance on certain topics. You’re a very detailed reviewer and I have often recommended your site to parents and parents-to-be. Thank you for sharing your parenting tips and advice.

However, this post leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Is it really necessary to emphasize on the poor standard of English in KL repeatedly in a single post? Keep your arrogance in check – do be more specific when making statements like that. It’s indeed true that the local graduates here, especially in recent years, have poor grasp of the language. However, this isn’t the case for most middle-age parents working/have worked in the professional industries. You sounded as if Malaysians in general are not proficient in English. In actual fact, we do speak and write well in English, especially people from the middle to high income class.

It’s probably time for you to venture out of your shell, join more local FB groups (for a start) and really interact with fellow mothers here before judging us from the surface only. Be humble.

Sincerely,
Hurt mum

P/S: You said that Shichida is a parenting philosophy but will you ever agree that it is actually very result-oriented, just like the conventional method of shoving knowledge down their throats and expecting excellent performance from kids from a very young age?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com January 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi Hurt mum, thank you for your comment. I understand where you’re coming from. I know many people in KL who’re highly proficient in English, just that they don’t represent the majority. I didn’t use the word “poor” to describe; it’s more along the line of “not that high” and “can be improved”. The Education Blueprint 2013-2025 states specific statistics regarding the standard of English. It’s an issue that the government has recognised that needs to be worked on. And I applaud that, for the benefits of our children and the economy here.

In the review, I found it necessary to highlight that there are educators who speak less than standard English, yet are in the position to teach in English. Parents need to be aware of this fact, before they spend on enrichment fees, only to find their expectations unmet in this area.

Sure, I’ll review and re-word the sections, based on your feedback. Thank you again for keeping me in check.

The Shichida method reminds parents not to expect any result from the child and to continue to provide a very relaxing and enjoyable learning environment. Only then can he/she shine.

It’s about early exposure to materials and games that the child enjoys, and building a solid relationship. It’s more about enlarging the brain “capacity” to allow the child to learn anything he’s interested in, in a more efficient way, so that he has a lot more time to relax and play.

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Jade January 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

I feel so happy reading all the info you shared for Shichida method. Looking forward to know how you do the speed reading audio files yourself. Thanks for your sharing.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com February 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

You’re most welcome, Jade. Yes, will do up the post. :)

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Janice February 1, 2013 at 1:16 am

Thanks for sharing! i found it extremely useful and was in fact checking out on availability in Singapore. I think i’m not very proactive in this area coz I’ve been telling myself to start having some sort of “lessons” for my baby (who is 14mths) but each time, it gets disrupted. Even with Flashcards I’m not consistent n not sure exactly if i’m doing it the “right” way.
SO yeah, after reading your post, i’m more convinced that i need to be more structured n sign up for the course so at least i feel the pinch in terms of $$ n will work harder! hopefully they have a place for us. haha..it’s really tough coz i’ve heaps on my plate. Work n chores are just two. i’ve printed a lot of flashcards but each time i can only seem to do 15. HOw might u suggest that i do more? my baby can’t sit still or perhaps there’s too much distraction n no proper routine established.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com February 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Ha, toddlers are very active indeed. It’s common that they don’t stay long for flashcard sessions until they grow a bit more. You may use the suggestions mentioned in the post. Else, just do 2-3 quick sessions of 15. Then gradually stretch the sessions. Try some warming-up activities of breathing, relaxation, listening to relaxation / slow classical music, or singing before flashcards.

Yes, try minimising or eliminating distractions. For example, even an iPod Touch within sight can distract Jae easily.

Good luck in getting a place in Shichida! :)

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Poh ling February 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Hi mievee,

This FAQ is indeed very useful!! Thanks. Have 2 queries though:

1) how do you conduct image play for baby below 2 yrs old? HK shichida does that by showing series of images and describing them. Then the sensei will switch off the lights and repeat the imaging again. Is that similar to what is being practised in shichida KL?

2) on flashcards, how often do you flash the same set of cards in a day? just one session or do you repeat 2-3times a day?

Many Thanks! :):)

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 22, 2013 at 11:36 pm

1. Image play: For baby / toddler class, it’s more of pretend play over here. There may be props for the child to wear/use and/or pictures stuck on the wall, then the parent helps the child “pretend play” through the scene. No switching off of lights. The important part of pretend / image play is to end the session properly and go back to reality, e.g. close eyes and say “3, 2, 1, welcome back”. This is the key that differentiates it from kids’ regular pretend play.

2. I only flash cards once a day, no repeating of cards within the same day. It’s ok to split the flashcard session into several parts a day, as long as no repetition. To prevent this child from being bored? Once he’s bored, he may not enjoy flashcards anymore. I flash just enough cards before boredom sets in. If he asks for more, I’ll say there’s more tomorrow, and we move on to another activity. If the session is kept as a novelty and interesting, he may soon ask for it every day, even when Mummy is feeling lazy. Ha!

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Phyllis March 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Dear Mievee,

I would like to make my own flashcard for my baby. Can you share more about the flashcard making in term of picture selection, size of the card and where do you get the plain card. Thanks!

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com April 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

Hi Phyllis, a quick reply here first.
– picture: large, clear, uncluttered. E.g. card of ball should show 1 ball in a plain background. If background is cluttered, cut to crop the picture after printing it out

– size of card: mostly A5 (i.e. 1/2 A4). For math dot cards, math equations, songs, poems, I usually use A4. Just note that A4 is more difficult to flash smoothly, so need more practice.

– type of card: thick cardstock for easier flashing, ~300gsm and above. Ideally, 1 glossy side.

– where to get cards: I’ve been buying from Tensai shop at Shichida centre, out of convenience. To save money, some mums buy in bulk from paper suppliers.

Hope this helps!

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Linda May 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Mievee,

Thank you very much for sharing. Inspired by your homeschooling, i enrolled my girl in the Shichida class here in China.

Can I know which are the websites you use to download images for the flashcards? Was wondering if you use mainly real images or illustrated/clip art images for the flashcards?

Also, what do you think of flashing using devices like iphone or ipad? (I’m just thinking how much trees we can save…. :p)

Thanks

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com May 9, 2013 at 1:06 am

Hi Linda, thank you for reading my blog!

Flashcards:
– I usually come up with a topic, search online for a list related to it, then use Google Image to find the images. E.g. Topic is “Types of Pasta”, so I’ll find a list of all the pastas available, then find the images. Wikipedia is also a useful site for ideas. Or use your child’s interests as a guide.

– I prefer to use real images than clip art

– I don’t flash cards using electronic screens. Reasons: the glare could be strenuous on young children’s eyes; can’t play “Which one?” games after that; lack personal touch that’s important to sustain child’s interest; I can face the child when flashing physical cards and let him watch my pronunciation. We’re a relatively “green” family, using cloth diapers, cloth wipes, etc, and try to minimise our carbon footprint in other ways. Yet for flashcards, books and learning materials (especially for young children), my preference is hard copy.

To save on paper and time, consider building a small group of likeminded Mummies in your area to exchange flashcards. Search in local forums whether other Mummies are selling or giving away flashcards their children have outgrown. After your child(ren) outgrow(s) the cards, pass them down to another Mummy who’s interested.

Hope this helps! :)

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Angie May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

How do you make audio book n make it at different speed x2, x4, ?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com May 18, 2013 at 12:33 am

Hi Angie, I’m planning to do a detailed post on this. Anyway, here’s a summary first:

1. Mac computer:
– Create an audio podcast in Apple GarageBand
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2012?viewlocale=en_US
Read or sing at normal speed

– Export audio podcast to iTunes
http://support.apple.com/kb/PH1799?viewlocale=en_US
I use iTunes to organise audio files.

– Play file in VLC with high playback speed options
Download VLC here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
Open media file
Playback:
• Playback speed 2.00x
• Playback speed 4.00x

2. PC computer
– Record audio file using Windows Media Player
– Save file
– Playback using higher speed, within Windows Media Player

Hope this helps! :)

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Angie May 18, 2013 at 2:35 am

Thank you very much, i have been trying to find an answer to that! I am not a tech person, will try that. Where do you find the free audio short stories /e-book?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com May 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I usually record our existing short stories / reader books.
There’re free audio books at http://www.booksshouldbefree.com, but they seem longer.

There’s a free phonics programme at http://www.progressivephonics.com
You may download the books and record them as audio files.

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phoon May 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

Hi, would like to know what is the card size for memory games such as linkingmemory

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com May 21, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hi phoon, for linking memory, toddlers work with larger cards, ~ size of their hand. We also use regular game cards (e.g. Snap) to play LM.

3-4 years old can work with smaller cards. Ours from Shichida is 4cm by 4.4cm. If you DIY the cards, can be any size larger than this too.

Hope this helps. :)

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Dolly Yong July 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Hai. Thank you for sharing! It’s really noble of u n really impressive! My girl is alrdy 8 yrs old n we do not ve shichida here in E M’sia. Was wondering if t method would b effective if we start our kids abit late? Thinking of visiting t centre in spore to get some of t material here to start with my girl . Tq

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com July 11, 2013 at 12:13 am

Hi Dolly, you’re most welcome. The Shichida Method can be started at any age, even for adults. It’s just that babies and young children use a lot more of their right brains naturally, so it’s easy for them to retain the abilities. So yes, you can start at 8 years old and even for yourself too! :)

If you read Chinese, there’s a book on Shichida Method for older children and students: 《七田真超右脑学习法》ISBN: 9787544248990

Materials at Shichida centre is only sold to enrolled students. The main reason being they believe it’s important to know how to use them appropriately.

Many activities can be done with homemade or even no materials. For instance, older children can learn relaxation, meditation, imaging by doing the correct way of breathing, etc. Playing relaxation CDs (esp. alpha wave) also helps them get into the relaxed state easily.

Personally, I find imaging very useful. It helped me to remember loads of info during my university days, so I could focus on writing on applications during exams, and did very well. (A sports coach taught me to do relaxation and imaging, before I knew of Shichida Method. A Shichida book also mentions that this technique has been used by top Olympic sports players.) With imaging, the child can visualise her success in any area of her passion — sports, music, academics, etc — and the success becomes much more achievable.

All the best to you and I’ll try to share more whenever I can.

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banner July 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm

I came across your blog when I search the web for shichida method. I understand you bought 3 books from shichida japan .

However, on their website, they only indicate 2 books “Children Can Change Through Right Brain Education” and “Right Brain Education in Infancy” are sold. May I know what is the 3rd book and where can I get it?

Thanks and would appreciate if you could response.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com July 27, 2013 at 1:34 am

Hi banner, the books I bought are in Chinese, from online bookstores. I haven’t bought from Shichida Japan before, so what you read there is probably what’s available. :)

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LayLing August 31, 2013 at 7:16 am

Hi Mommy MieVee, Do you have any idea if I could find any Shichida centre in KL, particularly in Setapak area? I wish to train my boy to utilise his right brain as well, since i notice he has wonderful memory power much more than I have.
Thanks a lot :)

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com September 13, 2013 at 12:32 am

Hi LayLing, the Shichida centres are at Wisma Lim Foo Yong (weekend traffic is fine) and Centrepoint Bandar Utama (PJ). You may call the centre to arrange for a video preview and have a look at the environment. We find right brain education very wonderful. If your boy enjoys memory games, he’ll find it fun and challenging.

FTWM can definitely do home practice too. Perhaps rely more on store-bought / second-hand / readily-printable materials than completely DIY ones. If you can read Chinese, I’d suggest reading the Shichida books in Chinese for a start, to understand the method better. The books in English need to be ordered directly from Japan and cost more.

Of course, if you’re enrolled in a class, you’d receive closer guidance during the sharing sessions.

An easy way to start now is to continue reading many interesting books to your boy daily. In every language that you know. Read once at normal speed. Then read once at high speed, without focusing on individual words. For simple books with 1-2 lines per page, the page-flipping will be very fast, similar to flashcards. If your boy is at the inquisitive stage, let him know he can ask questions about the story AFTER you’ve finished reading. You can always read it at a slower pace again. When your boy is used to you speed-reading to him, you may easily read >10 books per session! :)

Playing audio files is also an easy and effective way to start. Gather CDs / audio files for audio books, classical music, educational materials (I like Chinese poems / classics / stories / multiplication songs by ThreeSevenTwoShop). For a short period every day, play selected materials at the background while he’s playing / eating / on the road. Play at normal speed. Later, you can learn how to play them at high speed using this method or another method I’d be sharing.

There’re many more games to play at home. Guess you may start with the above first and see how it goes? :)

Have fun! Btw, how old is your boy? :)

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LayLing August 31, 2013 at 7:18 am

Also one more question – I have no idea about this teaching method until now when i read through your post! What is the way of start with this that you think will become a good start? I am a FTWM, can only rely on after work hours to play and read with my boy..
Thanks :)

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LayLing October 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi mommy MieVee,

Thanks for your great reply. I just got to know you replied me about a month ago!
I have already enrolled Julius to the KL Shichida class after reading your post. Julius is now at his 28 months old and i am hoping it is never too late for us to start him there now.
I started to read lots of picture book for Julius since he was one year old. Back then until now, he enjoyed reading the book so much until he is able to recite back what is the content of the story – for some books that he is really interested in.
I am still struggling to prepare the DIY materials actually to start with teh home practice for him, perhaps it maybe clearer for me once i attend the PEC which will be soon this weekend. What i am doing now is keep reading him book and play some photo memory game with him since he is enjoying with these activities. We attended two classes so far and he enjoy so much especially on singing part. lol

Thanks again for your advice as well as valuable sharing :)

Cheers

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com October 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi LayLing, glad to know that Julius is enjoying Shichida classes. :) It’s never too late to start right brain education, even adults can start, and that’s how I learn with the kids, just that they pick things up much more easily than my rusty brain. Haha!

Besides PEC, do also attend the Home Practice Sharing session for more details on how to carry out home practice. All the very best!

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TsueyShya October 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Dear MieVee,

Can you please elaborate on how you use the 5-Minute Suggestion Method and 8 Seconds Hugging Method on Vee and Jae? My younger son is turning one in Nov and still fusses in the night. I do really crave for a decent night rest. I would also like to communicate better with my elder son who might be a sensitive child.
Many thanks!;)

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Hi TsueyShya,

– Some mums have blogged the details of the methods. These are the Google terms to use:
“shichida 5-minute suggestion method”
“shichida 8 seconds hugging method”

These 2 methods are certainly very useful for bonding with a sensitive child. Till now, I use the Hugging Method several times a day with my kids – morning upon waking up, before each homeschool lesson, before nap, before bedtime, and when they’ve behaved wonderfully. I’m not an expressive mum by nature, so this method helps me communicate my love to them on a regular basis. Otherwise, they may not feel it.

– Sleeping through the night: you may wish to refer to my previous review on Elizabeth Pantley’s book at http://www.mummysreviews.com/2010/01/16/book-the-no-cry-sleep-solution-by-elizabeth-pantley/

Firstly, how does your son fall asleep each night? E.g. drink milk to sleep, rock to sleep? If so, by gradually removing the related “sleep association” and helping him learn how to fall asleep with minimal aid, he may be able to sleep through longer.

Also, for a toddler, you may consider referring to Pantley’s toddler book instead.

All the best to you! :)

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Penny October 31, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Dear MieVee,
Your blog is very informative n thanks for your generousity.
I am from Penang n there is no Shichida center around.
Would you elaborate more on 5 mins suggestion method?My daughter is 25 months n still couldn’t sleep through whole night.

From your post, seem like you start most of your flash cards with image rather than word description? When should we start with word description?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Thank you for your encouraging words, Penny.

– 5-Minute method: There’re mums who have blogged about the details. Google this “shichida 5-minute suggestion method” and you’re sure to find the articles

– Sleeping through the night: you may wish to refer to my previous review on Elizabeth Pantley’s book at http://www.mummysreviews.com/2010/01/16/book-the-no-cry-sleep-solution-by-elizabeth-pantley/

Firstly, how does your daughter fall asleep each night? E.g. drink milk to sleep, rock to sleep? If so, by gradually removing the related “sleep association” and helping her learn how to fall asleep with minimal aid, she may be able to sleep through longer.

Also, for a toddler, you may consider referring to Pantley’s toddler book instead.

– Flashcards: For babies and toddlers, I flash mainly images and few word cards. Perhaps about 80-90% images, some Chinese characters (which are like images and not phonetic). 1 picture sentence which consists of a few words and a few images. E.g. The cat jumps over a door (words are “the”, “over”, “a” while images are “cat”, “jumps”, “door”)

When the child is older and interested in reading words (e.g. 3-4 years old), then I’ll include more picture sentences (about 3-4 in a session of total ~200 cards). For certain topics, I’ll flash the image followed by the word. For English, it’s fine to flash the common sight / Dolch words, since these can’t be pronounced phonetically anyway.

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Eileen November 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

Hi,
Will to ask can 5 years old and 4 years old kids still be train in the Shichida method?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 18, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Hi Eileen, yes, can start right brain education at any age, even for adults like ourselves. (We need to learn together with the child for it to be even more effective.)

From what I heard about, Shichida centre takes in children from babies to 6 years old. Classes for above 6 years old only accept children who have been enrolled in the centre before 6.

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Dodomum88 November 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hi,

My boy is 26months old. Is it too late to start? How can I go about starting now?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Dodomum88, 26 months old is still a good time to start. In fact, right brain education can be started from any age from prenatal to adults! :)

1. Where are you located? If you’re located near a Shichida centre (refer to post for countries with centres), then do visit it to find out more.

If there’s no centre near you, then read up related books to understand the method better. Buy / make some simple materials to see how your child responds to the method.

2. Do you understand Chinese? If so, the books mentioned in the post are a cost-effective way to understand the method. Otherwise, you may try reading the books in English but they’re costly and I’m not sure if the content is good.

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Mary November 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hi, thanks for the sharing. As Shichida seems to be for 0 to 6 years old, I am in a dilemma whether to let my kid continue with Shichida junior class (after 6 years old). Would like to seek your opinion since you are so involved in the Shichida method, although your kids are still young. Thanks.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Hi Mary, thank you for reading my post. Shichida method or right brain education is actually for anyone, even for adults. If you visit Shichida Japan’s website, there’s actually a course for adults.

Also, the Shichida books in Chinese has stories about older students and adults starting on right brain education; it’s just the older we are, the longer we may need to achieve the output.

Due to Vee’s commitment to music classes, we’ve decided to stop attending Shichida classes when he was 4+ years old this July. Still, we do regular home practice for both kids based on what I’ve learnt from 3 years of classes, and Prof Shichida’s books. Whether to continue with junior class depends a lot on your child’s enjoyment from the classes. If he loves them and has time to attend them, then it’s a positive sign. If he’s too busy and starts dreading the classes, then have to reconsider?

If you’ve been attending Shichida classes with your child till 6 years old, then you may have a good idea on how to do home practice and incorporate the method in your daily life and learning. E.g before Vee does his piano practice, he’d do the energy ball and deep breathing exercises, affirm his confidence by saying “I can do it!”, and we do the 8-Seconds Hug. He also does imaging when needed, and visualises dots when learning mathematics.

Hope this helps and all the very best! :)

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priya March 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Hi mievee,
i tried calling SNT marketing as you mentioned but they say they do not sell the empty cards. is there any other place where can get the cards in bulk?

Thanks.
priya

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 11, 2014 at 1:21 am

Thank you for your encouraging words, Priya! :) Shichida home practice is a long (and wonderful) journey, so it’s important to have community support among mums.

Huh? I just received my new order of blank art card. Will re-check the contact details and post here if there’s any change. This is my only wholesale contact for art card. As an alternative, check with any close one’s office supplies provider? Most printers should have a wholesale paper contact.

By the way, I just saw a printer at Ikano Harvey Norman: HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 2520hc All-in-One Printer at RM389. Seems that it’s ink-efficient and can print directly onto 300gsm paper. Worth checking out. I’d be bringing art card sample to see if it can really print directly. If so, definitely a time-saver!

The ink-efficiency should be higher than regular printers, but lower than Continuous Ink System. Downside: The 3-in-1 colour cartridge will need to be changed when 1 colour runs out.

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Penny March 12, 2014 at 10:52 am

Dear Mothers,
Just sharing my thought on the printer.
I bought Canon MP237 + ink tank installation cost ~RM300. It is ink efficient and has a feeder to print flash card from top to bottom. I have printed ~2500pcs of flash card(mixture of word and picture) and the ink still have half left :)….It is really ink efficient. You may check with your local printer shop see whether they can provide printer modification. The shop mentioned now they have MP287 which around RM310, it has small LCD, other same feature as MP237.

My flash card bought from a local paper shop at Penang, the size is around 5″ x 7″ or slightly bigger. With 1000pcs, they charged me RM33.

Vee, it will be great that if you could share me some flash card info too. Where to buy and how much.

Tsueyi March 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hi Mie Vee,

I would like to know more how you do other activities for Shichida Home Practices like linking memory and senses play.
So far I only did flash card for my 12 mo boy. He loves flash card. However, when I continue to 63 days dots programme after flash card session, he will walk away. He is not interested at all.
Can you share you experience.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 19, 2014 at 12:27 am

Hi Tsueyi, are you already attending Shichida classes?

Linking Memory: For 12 months old, this is an example (I’ve blended Shichida & Montessori):
– Choose picture cards #1 to #6. Flash the relevant cards as you tell the story.
– Flash cards by saying names only, without story
– Lay the cards face up on a mat (3 on top, 3 at bottom). Say the name as you lay each card.
– Flip the cards over
– Demonstrate: Say “Where’s windmill?”. Find windmill, knock on it, flip it over. “I found windmill!”
– Flip card over. Invite child to try. Say “Where’s garden?” Let him try.
– If he gets it right, try another card.
– If he doesn’t get it right, say “Try again” enthusiastically. “Where’s garden?” If he doesn’t get it right again, it’s ok, just move on to the next card. Or re-demonstrate. Or move to another game. Observe your child and go with his flow. Important to stop before he wants to stop.

Senses Play:
– There’re 4 main types of games we play. Sensing without touching, with touching, telepathy, and prediction. You may refer to this mummy’s post for details.

Flashcards:
– When we’re doing the 63-Day programme, this is the first set in my flashcards pile. This gets their full concentration as they know there’re many interesting picture cards after that.

Before home practice, remember to do relaxation and breathing exercises with the child. Hope this helps! :)

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Divya March 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Hi MieVee,

Your website is really awesome full of useful resources for any mummy!! I have recenyl subscribed to your blog as my son is now 17 months old and I have been doing research around Right Brain Eductaion programs and I spotted this gem – your blog!!

May I kindly request you to share the 5-Minute suggestion to put baby to sleep…My son always has a disturbed sleep and wakes upto 10 times a night, exactly liek you’ve described! I would be so grateful if you could share the technique that worked for you and your son and made him sleep peacefully through the night…I really need some sound sleep at night after almost 1.5 years :-) thanks a ton in advance!!

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 22, 2014 at 1:16 am

Hi Divya, thank you for your support! To answer your question, I’ve just completed a write-up on the 5-Minute Suggestion Method. Check your mail box on Monday. :)
Shichida 5-Minute Suggestion Method

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Divya March 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Thank you so much, MieVie!! :-)

Elizabeth September 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for very detailed description. Could you tell me if it’s possible to get some Shichida worksheets for people who do not attend Shichida school?or maybe you know any other worksheets?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com September 10, 2014 at 1:40 am

Hi Elizabeth, I’ve supplemented my kids with IQ / right brain / mazes / spot-the-difference / sticker / pre-writing worksheets from bookstores and the latest published by Shichida Education International. For young children, worksheets should be limited each day, so that they get to work on manipulatives. I’d email you more info.

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Mich October 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

Very informative read. Have you seen or know of any premature babies in the classes your sons attended? My girl was born @ 31 week and now is 15 months based on birth aged but corrected age is 13 months which should be the age her milestones are based on. She just started walking and is super hyperactive. Cannot stay still and have short attention span. I feel she is a bit slow in her milestones i.e, can’t speak simple worlds like mum mum, tata, baba, mama and can’t really imitate our actions well like waving bye bye just started clapping her hand when asked. Her motor skills also lacking like she can’t pick up food very well to coordinate and put into her mouth. I’m concerned if she can calm down enough to stay still in class and not disturb others and benefit. Thanks!

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com November 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Hi Mich, I don’t know if any of the classmates were premature babies cos we didn’t talk about that. Milestones wise, children may vary quite a bit. As long as her paed says she’s fine, she should be ok?

When the child seems to be hitting milestones a little late, my approach is to support him with appropriate home activities.

For instance, at almost 2 years old, my #2 Jae said only single words or 2 words / syllabi with big effort. Every morning, after breakfast, I’d play card games with him. Then let him repeat simple words after me. Then I taught him to speak sentences word by word. It was a deliberate effort of showing him my lips and pronunciation. Finally at ~2.5, he spoke much more and could even squabble! Even now, I’m still working on his pronunciation.

That’s the benefit of doing home learning and home practice — ongoing and catered to the child’s needs.

At 1 to 2 years old, my children (and many others) are very active because they’re more mobile and curious about everything. That’s great! Not sitting still at this age is perfectly normal. That’s why I do home practice with toddlers at a well-secured high chair, straight after breakfast / snack, for less than 15 minutes.

Also, if we choose the activities for the child, it’s natural for her to have a short attention span (because she may be more interested in something else). If we follow the child’s lead and do activities she’s interested in at that point in time, she may have a very long attention span.

You’d know best whether your child is suited to be in a structured classroom environment at this point in time. An alternative is to attend my upcoming Home Practice Intensive Workshop so that you can do activities with her, until she’s ready to join a class. Details are here.

All the best! :)

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Dee January 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Wow, that was an extraordinary share of information. Thank you so much! I’m such a clueless mum. My girl is 14mo and she’s been blabbering and shouting before she even turned 1mo. She’s now cruising and holding table and chairs to walk. Do you reckon if we might be too late to start this? Am confused between Shichida and Heguru. Have you considered or compared with the latter before deciding on Shichida?
Thanks in advance!

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com February 15, 2015 at 12:15 am

Hi Dee, 14 month old is still fine to start. Like I always mention, it’s never too late to start right brain learning, great exposure for mummy / daddy in class too! :)

We’re based in KL. When we started, I opted for the school near home and with minimal jam, which meant Shichida. I also have friend who are happy with Heguru. You may read my Heguru post here.

All the best! :)

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Sue February 3, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Very informative post :) is it too late to enroll 28 months old? I’ve called up, they mentioned I should start flash cards before I secure a place for the kids. Besides, if for twins do you have any idea should I put them in the same class or different class. Thanks,

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com February 14, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Hi Sue, 28 months old is still a great time to start. Never too late to start right brain learning, great exposure for mummy / daddy in class too! :)

For my eldest, when I was waiting about 3-4 months for a slot, I already started flashing some cards and some home-learning activities, to get the child into a learning routine.

For twins: is it possible for 2 caregivers (preferably both parents) to attend class with them together? Same class would be great for family bonding too.

For practical reason, I prefer to have my kids attend enrichment class during the same time slot. This means only 1 time slot for enrichment, less time spent on travelling / waiting, more time for family excursions.

My kids’ music classes happen to have twins too. For both pairs we met, parents attended together with twins. The twins get to interact with each other and seem to enjoy the arrangement.

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Yvonne June 6, 2015 at 1:18 am

hello.. thanka for such detailed post ! i’ll like to ask in details about the cards you flash. do you repeat everyday or when do you change the cards ? does it have to be of the same topic ? can you recycle the flashcards or you have to search for new topics everytime.

how much time do you spend flashing the cards in a session ?

thank you !

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com June 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Hi Yvonne, flashcards is quite a big topic to learn about. During my workshops, I typically spend half an hour clarifying questions and demonstrating. In a gist:
– once a day is enough (for normal child). Repeat for a few days, stop repetition BEFORE child is bored.

– I usually change cards every week, out of convenience. I’ve 3 kids, so for the kid who’s bored earliest, he may stop watching the repetition and wait till new cards are ready.

– same topic? I flash a big variety of topics each session. E.g. 10-20 topics x 10 cards each. For an older child with long attention span for flashcards, I may flash only 1 topic, of a few hundred cards.

– recycling cards: for math, definitely yes. Flash in new math patterns.
General topics: I may repeat when cards run out. Or when flashing to a new baby, the older child may be watching a repeat (after about 2 years).

I’m always in search of new and interesting topics because learning has no boundaries. Just like always finding new books for the children as they grow.

– At average of 2 cards per second, perhaps 100+ seconds per session. About 2 minutes.

For more info on home practice including flashcard techniques, feel free to check out my workshops here and stay subscribed to MummysHomeschool blog.

All the best! :)

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Wai July 16, 2015 at 10:44 pm

My son is attending Shichida class in Japan. Seems like it is a bit different from malaysia and Singapore.
We have to memorize 哲学文章 and present it after the Goodbye song.
And now Shichida is encouraging to build up muscle as it is linked to their study in Future. Sometimes has sports games in the class.
Shichida method is until 7 years old in Malaysia and Singapore?
The dot program has a tight-up version. Is it available in there?
BTW, What is finger play?

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com July 17, 2015 at 7:06 am

Hi Wai, great that you’ve the opportunity to attend Shichida classes in Japan! Yes, the version in Malaysia and Singapore is a bit modified by the principal.

I think the content also depends on your child’s age.

Poetry recitation from memory is done here from 4-year old class onwards.

Sports games: we used to have it occasionally even in the toddler classes.
I remember playing badminton and ball games, though the space was really limited.
Yes, exercise is essential. However I think it can be done outside class regularly
instead of in class cos the classroom isn’t designed for this purpose.

I let my children move about a lot and exercise every day.
Usually cycling and swimming because these helps to build muscles and are easy to do where we live.
When we’re in Singapore, we visit the playground every evening for up to 1 hour.
Lots of climbing (helps problem solving skills), socialising and running around.

When we were still enrolled, I rem there were classes for 7-12 years old. However only offered to graduates of the 6-year old class, not for new enrolment. You’d need to check if this is still true now.

Dot program: we use the 63-Day programme, following the Parent’s Handbook.
I’ve the Shichida set (translated into Chinese, and still original), compared the equations, they’re the same.
The 63-Day programme needs to be done consistently at home, not in class (which is only once a week).
The school offers dot cards, that can be arranged according to the equations.
Or you may get pre-packed cards in Japan or through my e-store (Owlissimo).

Finger play: generally means hand / finger actions when singing a song.

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yanti July 31, 2015 at 11:40 am

Thanks A lot for your sharing!!!!
May God Bless u!! :-)

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JM Lee August 13, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Hi Mievee. I am currently 6 months pregnant with my first child was intrigued about the bit where you said you were using the Shichida method to communicate with Jae while he was still in your womb. Is there a pre-natal class available or was it just picked up on your own through attending Vee’s classes? From your (very detailed!) write up above, it seems like the classes are more focused for young children and not on pre-natal ‘education’. Perhaps it is something I could pick up from reading material on my own? I am very attracted to the thought of having a better connection with my baby to make it easier for us to understand each other later. Any advice you could give on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com August 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm

Hi JM Lee, you may read 七田真天才胎教法 (Shichida Prenatal Education): ISBN 9787544245692. Shichida also ran 2-day prenatal classes, open to parents of enrolled students and public. Not sure if they still do. My friend attended. I couldn’t cos of clash of timing, so relied only on the book.

The key idea I remember is to communicate with the baby every day. Talk to him, through the day, if possible, on what’s happening around you.

When doing regular home practice with the older child, baby can listen to my voice in the womb, so I don’t do much prenatal academic stuff with him. I do play alpha relaxation and classical music regularly. And I also read aloud and sing to baby daily.

For 15 minutes before sleep, I also do quiet relaxation, breathing and communicate positive thoughts through sending him mental images.

Be a happy, loving and relaxed mummy. All the best! :)

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Inda February 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Hi Mievee,

This is a very helpful post! Thank you so much for writing this! I am actually intrigued to see how Shichida and Montessori can go hand in hand together in raising a kid. I really love Montessori because it promotes creativity and independence. But I’m also falling in love with Shichida for its ESP. But, I’m just confused. How these two methods can go together because each has very different method. In Shichida, we direct the kids in learning, meanwhile in Montessori, we follow the kids. Do I have to choose only 1 method? Or if I do both, will it be confusing for the kids? Looking forward to see your answer!

Thanks
Inda

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Hihi Inda, thank you for your comment. I blend the methods by carrying out right brain / Shichida activities using a Montessori approach.

Montessori follows the child’s sensitive periods. In the early years, the child is typically very receptive of right brain activities. So by carrying out right brain activities from early on, we’re following the child’s learning stage and speed. The key is how to blend the concepts in.

As long as the teacher / parent is clear on how to carry out the activities, the children will have a clear idea.

You may read through my blog posts to have a better look at what we do at home.

You may also hop over to my other site at Owlissimo.com to check out my workshops.

All the best!

~ MieVee

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mievee @ mummyshomeschool.com March 17, 2014 at 1:52 am

Hi Penny, thanks for sharing on your printer. May I know the thickness of your paper? Is it around 310gsm?

I’m making some flashcards printables to give / sell. Also planning to sell high-quality hardcopy flashcards to time-tight mums. Already received a few personal sets from publisher to try out first. More sample sets on the way. If good, will do pre-order.

Hope this will help more mums and children continue with home practice! :)

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