Classes at Henguru

So we’ve started taking Gavin to Henguru.  He was generally very receptive to the idea of going because it meant I’d be there and he seems eager to do things with me these days.  So far he’s attended two classes and we seem to be getting mixed reactions from him regarding the class.  After the first session, he said he wanted to go again.  After the second session, he said he didn’t like it and didn’t want to come any more.  When I told him he had to go five more times (because that was the minimum number of lessons we were committed to complete after taking the first two lessons), he told me okay but he wanted to go to seven more classes because seven is his favourite number.  Yesterday, when we were in Midvalley shopping, he recognised the place and told me he wanted to go to class.

Does Gavin enjoy Henguru?  I’m not really sure.  Sometimes he pays attention to the sansei and sometimes he’s off with the fairies.  They say that he’s listening even when he doesn’t appear to be, so there is value in him being present even if he doesn’t appear to be paying attention.

After observing Gavin at two classes in Henguru, I find myself more concerned about a greater underlying problem.  Gavin’s been affected by the inverse power of praise.  He’s always been precocious with his speech development and I know others think that he’s smart for his age – heck, I think he’s smart for his age.  I suspect he is being affected by the praise despite my attempts to focus on effort-centric praise because his participation at Henguru seems geared towards those activities that he excels in.  Looks like I’ll need to speak to his teachers at school and talk to him more about his brain muscle.

I digress…  The first session of Henguru was quite overwhelming.  The volume at which the sensai speaks is very loud and intimidating.  Upon reflection, I suppose volume is necessary in order to gain the children’s attention.  Secondly, the speed at which the class progresses is very fast.  Again, I understand that speed is necessary to stimulate the right brain.  Thirdly, the sensai’s English pronunciation leaves something to be desired.  I cringed a few times at the way she pronounced certain words when she was flashing the cards for the children.  That said, the teachers at Henguru must be fluent not only in English but also be able to speak Chinese and Japanese so it can’t be easy to find teachers who can speak all languages well.  Given the option, I’d rather the sensai pronounced the Chinese words correctly since I can’t speak Chinese but I can always correct Gavin’s English pronunciation.

What do they do at Henguru?

They learn a lot of miscellaneous general knowledge.  We’ve covered Buddhism, elements from the Periodic Table, date and time, art, Chinese words, Japanese words, English words, counting, math, quantity recognition, tangrams, writing, mandalas, speed reading, card recall using silly stories.

Here’s an example of a silly story from Memory Magic:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJsYQAQ3XP4

The idea behind the silly story is to train the brain to remember random picture cards in order by using what is essentially a silly story.

The sensai will show an image of a simple mandala and the parent and child will be required to remember where the colours are located.  Then they will have to reproduce the pattern.

The tangrams are simply mini puzzles where the children have to figure how to create the shapes with the pieces that they have.

Quantity recognition involves an activity where the sensai will allow the children to see a certain number of items and the children have to be able to determine how many items they see without counting.

I suppose the stuff about art, Buddhism and the Periodic Table is merely intended to expose the child’s brain and activate the neurons.

Much of the lesson is conducted using flash cards.  Personally, I can’t remember anything that I’ve seen because the speed at which the cards are flashed is so quick, I can barely absorb anything.  Children under six are supposed to be more right brain skewed so they are supposed to be able to take material at this speed.

At this point, I honestly can’t say what Gavin is getting out of the classes.  At the end of the day, I’m shooting for two things – the ability to speed read and a photographic memory.  If I had to choose one, I’d take the photographic memory.  If he picks up anything more than that, it’s an added bonus.

Published by Shen-Li

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

4 thoughts on “Classes at Henguru

  1. hey ShenLi hope u remember me.
    i stumble upon heguru and would like to know what are their fees. whey didnt you pick Shichida instead? how different is Heguru’s right brain teaching compared to Tweedle Wink?

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  2. Hi CM – of course I remember you! 🙂

    The fees for Henguru can be found at:
    http://figur8.net/baby/2010/01/25/henguru-right-brain-creativity/

    The reason I chose them is because they are closer to where I live. As far as I know, the only Shichida center is in Center Point, Bandar Utama and I’m too lazy to drive all the way there. :-p

    My only experience with Tweedle Wink is the DVD series which is limited in the extent of what they can put on a DVD. I have a friend who has actually taken her children to a Tweedle Wink class and she says it is more “fun” compared to Shichida which is more “serious”. They also do more physical stuff at Tweedle Wink – like rolling on the ball and jumping.

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  3. Hi Shen-Li,

    Emilie love to go Heguru, coz their playroom is fun. The activities that the Sensei created for 5 mins…i.e. feeding the cats / corcodile. She is in love with the Hiragana session too!!

    Emilie still walking about when the sensei announced to closed the eyes – imagine session.

    I’m not sure what is the output from her yet, but seem like she enjoys going to Heguru classes. currently, her favourites has increase, she love the math, linking memory, peg memory, flash cards.

    Yep – agreed with you on the English pronounciation, they isn’t that fluent. yet my mates who sent their kid to Shichida, she have to correct the sensei’s english and some of the foreign language at the time during the class is running.

    I supposed the Home practices also help the kid too. My girl frenz juz told me her neighbour’s son was attended one of this right brain centre, now her son is in primary 1, no need to attending tuition class, the school results are good. Finger crossed!! 🙂

    I’m not keen to sent Emilie go to tuition classes especially after her long school days. My hubby and I kinda have the same ideas that u have with your hubby… all-rounded!!

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  4. Yes, Gavin is starting to sing the Hiragana song at home but he gets it all jumbled up. Gavin doesn’t do the imagine session either – he just sits there with his eyes open and looks around the room.

    I still cringe when I hear the teacher pronounce some of the English words, but at least he’s learning the correct pronunciation for the other languages.

    Gavin still wanders off and is distracted for some of the things the sensei shows but at least he’s listening to more stuff now. He’s getting better with the participation and these days he gets very excited to go. I still don’t know what he gets out of it, but I do hope it helps him at school later. I really don’t believe that kids should have to go to tuition to keep up with school. Tuition, to me, was always meant for kids who weren’t coping with school work.

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