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TweedleWink: Right Brain Education for Children

Currently, there are three right brain training schools in Malaysia – Shichida, Heguru, and TweedleWink.  Up until recently, the only one I’ve had first hand knowledge of is Heguru.  Gavin has been attending classes at Heguru for nearly three months now.  Although I have heard the opinions of other mothers regarding Shichida versus Heguru, I have never really seen Shichida to form my own opinion.  I did try to get Gareth registered for Shichida but the waiting list was really long and since the school locations aren’t particularly convenient for me,  I didn’t think it was worth the trouble.

I went to check out the TweedleWink center in Neo Damansara yesterday and I now have a better impression of TweedleWink beyond my knowledge from the DVDs I bought from Right Brain Kids.

This is what I learned…

The Functions of the Left and Right Brains

The left brain:

  • is responsible for conscious awareness
  • processes logical thought
  • provides short-term memory
  • takes in information slowly
  • likes detailed analysis
  • works in a linear, sequential fashion
  • requires reason – why?
  • favours learning through the physical senses – touch, feel, sight, taste, hear
  • learns through repetition
  • uses words, lists, and numbers
  • processes data one at a time
  • is practical and works well under stress

On the other hand, the right brain:

  • is responsible for subconscious awareness
  • processes abstract thought
  • provides long-term memory
  • takes in information rapidly
  • is photographic – whole-picture comprehension
  • works in creative, imaginative ways
  • favours intuition
  • soaks up information like a sponge
  • uses rhythm, shapes and picture images
  • processes data all at once
  • is emotional, works best when fully relaxed

Right Brain Education has its roots from the philosophies of Maria Montessori, Glenn Doman, Makodo Shichida, and Tony Buzan – to name a few.  Like Shichida and Heguru, TweedleWink is a right brain development program for children from birth to 6 years.  The philosophy of all three programs is the same in that they believe children are born right brain oriented and gradually transition towards left brain dominance as they grow older.  Usually by about 6 years is when the left brain completely takes over.

Early right brain dominance is the reason why children from birth to age six have the exponential capacity to learn new things at a phenomenal rate.  This is because the right brain has no learning limits – it absorbs everything indiscriminately.  It is only when the left brain becomes active that children begin to filter out things.  Early left brain transition can limit a child’s utilisation of this potential, that is why TweedleWink believe it is important to preserve right brain activity for as long as possible.  In so doing, you can:

  • Activate both hemispheres of the brain
  • Accelerate learning
  • Enhance memory
  • Acquire multiple languages easily, and with little accent
  • Stimulate the visual centers
  • Activate photographic memory
  • Develop speed reading
  • Promote spatial visualization

While this is also the thinking of Shichida and Heguru, there are differences between how TweedleWink encourages right brain activity compared to Shichida and Heguru. TweedleWink believes that feeling loved forms a strong foundation upon which children are able to learn.  This is why their program focuses heavily on relationship as the first building block to tapping a child’s right brain potential.  This also ties into why babies need love to learn because the right brain thrives on emotions such as love.

Because TweedleWink believe it is important to keep the right brain active for as long as possible, their style of teaching presents information that is more right-brain friendly.  Heguru presentation of information is geared more towards the left brain which TweedleWink believes will promote a faster transition to the left brain.  Although this allows Heguru parents to observe results more quickly, it is believed to decrease right brain activity.

The right brain learns through unstructured play.  Left brain learns through a structured and logical manner.  TweedleWink promotes the right brain’s method of learning by purposefully avoiding a classroom structure.  If a child is upset or disconnected from his parents, TweedleWink believe it is more important for the parent to reconnect with the child before continuing the lesson, because a disconnected child cannot learn effectively.  The right brain is emotional and this disconnect prevents its ability to function properly.

The TweedleWink program is typically laid back and friendly which follows the right brain’s need for relaxation to learn. It also includes more physical activity which is another important part of the developmental process for the right brain.

Glenn Doman stresses that if you want to help your child develop a love for learning, don’t test him!  TweedleWink follows this philosophy.  They don’t test.  They believe it is important to avoid testing in order to keep the right brain engaged.  Tests are for the left brain.  The TweedleWink program focuses on providing a rich, playful environment for children to learn.

The TweedleWink program aims to keep right brain learning open for longer and is focused on delaying the child’s transition to the left brain.  That children will automatically transition to the left brain is a given.  The purpose of delaying the transition is to maximise a child’s early learning potential which is infinitely greater than the learning capacity of the left brain.  The learning capacity of a child’s first six years is greater than the sum of his learning capacity in the next twelve years (7 to 18 years old).

To learn more about right brain education, listen to the Teleseminar Audio Preview.

Download the free eBook How to Bring Out Your Child’s Genius in Just 10 Minutes a Day to learn how you can maximise your child’s right brain potential.

You can also view a Sample TweedleWink DVD Lesson Online.

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Welcome to the Right Brain Kids teleseminar page!

What is Right Brain Education,
and what can it do for your child?

Give your child an early advantage
that could last for the rest of their life!

PAMELA

Pamela Right Brain Education
Developer and Master Trainer

WENNIE

Wennie and her son Right Brain Education
Trainer

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Hear an introduction
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Listen to Wennie here - (arrow)

Listen to a 23-minute audio excerpt from a recent teleseminar on Right Brain Education.

What’s all the buzz going around about Right Brain Education?

You may have heard of it, because it’s getting a lot of people excited.

It’s immensely popular and well-known in Asia and the Far East where they place a great deal of emphasis and value on early learning and in giving their children an academic advantage to excel in school.

Right Brain Education
is a way for your child to…

  • Activate both hemispheres of the brain
  • Accelerate learning
  • Enhance memory
  • Acquire multiple languages easily, and with little accent
  • Stimulate the visual centers
  • Activate photographic memory
  • Develop speed reading
  • Promote spatial visualization

What is Right Brain Education?

Right Brain Education is an accelerated learning program inspired by Maria Montessori, Glenn Doman, Makodo Shichida, Tony Buzan and many others. It is a gentle but powerful method of activating both hemispheres of the brain to accelerate learning, activate photographic memory, promote speed reading and make early learning fun for both children and parents.

Why is Right Brain Education powerful?

Right Brain Education is built upon scientific findings about brain development. Because the outer cortex of the brain develops from right to left, this gives a window of time during which a child is functioning primarily with the right hemisphere. We’ll show you methods and techniques to take optimum advantage of this incredibly absorbent right brain learning period.

Right Brain Education is not just a knowledge-building program —
it is a way to learn more deeply and efficiently.
Hear Wennie tell you about it!
Be sure to check out the Right Brain Education products in our Online Store

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.

38 thoughts on “TweedleWink: Right Brain Education for Children

  1. Ah… I don’t think of it as being kiasu. I think of it as helping to make our kids’ lives easier when they grow up. What I would have given to have speed reading abilities and a photographic memory back when I was at school… So this is me trying to give my kids the gifts I wish I had as a child growing up. :-p

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  2. Shen-Li, I like your post! this was what i was going to ask. i’d like to enrol my daughter to Shichida but never got to check the waiting list. does the long waiting list also implies to the RajaChulan branch?

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  3. Actually, I didn’t try the Raja Chulan branch. Only the Centerpoint one.

    The Mums I spoke to who left Shichida to bring their kids to Heguru were from the Raja Chulan branch. The complaint was that the teachers were not very experienced.

    I wanted to enroll Gareth just so I could see how their classes were structured and how different it was to Heguru. After seeing TweedleWink, I think I’m sold on their program. I’ve always believed that learning should be relaxed and fun and that feeling seems to emanate from the TweedleWink class.

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  4. My boy has started his first term at Jalan Raja Chulan, the teacher is good and we enjoy the classes. Lots of mini-activities and songs, which my boy loves. Attended the 3-hour Parent Education Course and I am totally convinced by the Principal from Singapore that we are at the right programme.

    The first emphasis of Shichida is on letting the child feel loved (many don’t feel loved enough though parents love them). I learnt specific ways to show my love and I am already seeing improvements in our parent-child relationship.

    We got a place within a term, the waiting list was fine.

    A parent started his infant on Tweedlewink and is unhappy that there is no separate class for babies. 0-3 years old in 1 class! Her elder daughter is doing well in Shichida and she will put her infant there once she gets a seat. (The children in my boy’s Shichida class are all about 1-yr old, so the pace suits all of them well.)

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  5. The waiting list was at the Centerpoint Branch. Another Mum I spoke to also tried Centerpoint Branch – she said they were so arrogant that she was really put off. She asked for trial class and to see the materials that they taught and they wouldn’t let her. They said that their reputation should speak for itself and that if she wanted her daughter to attend class, she had to put her daughter on the waiting list.

    Perhaps the Raja Chulan Shichida has less people trying to get in since it’s in the city… I never tried contacting the Raja Chulan branch.

    Anyway, it’s a moot point now that I’m sending the kids to TweedleWink. I wouldn’t mind sending them to both places, but my MIL doesn’t seem to happy about me scheduling so many ECAs. I guess because she has to babysit for me…

    I think the TweedleWink class your friend took his child to is the old branch. The one in TTDI? Rumour has it that they broke off from the principal because of some dispute and have nothing to do with the current TweedleWink classes. The one I went to – in Neo Damansara – is headed by the original people. They definitely do not put 0-3 in one class. The classes for my kids – the children are all within a few months of age with each other.

    Although they do allow children of different ages in the same class, it all depends on the child’s level of development. If the child is advanced, he will go into a higher class with other children at his level. However, the infant classes are strictly infant classes and they would never put infants in with older children because the focus is different. For instance, they have infant massages which is not done for the toddlers.

    TweedleWink’s primary focus is also on love because children who don’t feel loved cannot learn effectively. The right brain needs love to learn. If a child is distressed in class, they will send the parent out to give that child an extra boost of “love” before they can return to join the class. If they are out of class for too long, there are make-up sessions. At our first class last week, one parent came late and the teacher remained behind to go over the stuff that child missed.

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  6. The staff I contacted at Shichida Singapore (Springleaf Tower) and Jalan Raja Chulan have been very polite and helpful, both before and after enrolment. I did my homework beforehand and knew there is no trial class, so respected that practice. There is a free video preview for parents to view and decide if the programme is suitable.

    Punctuality is very valued (Japanese tradition) and students are encouraged to be in the classroom 5 minutes before class commences. I like this because it builds a habit of punctuality from young.

    If you and the kids are happy at Tweedlewink, great! Going to 2 types of similar programmes seems unnecessary. Spend that time on home practice instead? 🙂

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  7. Maybe it’s just the Centerpoint branch. I find that schools with a heavy demand and long waiting list tend to be more arrogant when you want to make enquiries.

    Although Raja Chulan is nearer to us, I didn’t check there because I wasn’t keen on braving city traffic.

    I saw a similar video at Heguru when I was asking them about their program. They told me they didn’t do trial classes either but another friend of mine got one. I find this differential treatment very annoying – probably because I can never bully my way into getting what I want.

    I agree with you on punctuality but I am glad that TweedleWink make allowances. Despite my best efforts to plan around Gareth’s timing, I still run into trouble sometimes. When I don’t want him to sleep, he falls asleep. When I want him to sleep, he’s determined to stay up to play. When he’s cranky, I won’t put him into the car seat even if it means we’ll be late.

    From what I understand – as I’ve never attended a Shichida class before – Heguru and Shichida are pretty similar. Based on what I’ve seen of Gareth’s class at TweedleWink, they are quite different. Although I like the structure at TweedleWink better, what I did like about Heguru was the Chinese and Japanese component. It was my only link to Gavin learning some Chinese aside from me playing Chinese DVDs and EuroTalk for him at home.

    TweedleWink helps develop perfect pitch which helps kids with language later on but it’s not the same as learning another language.

    These classes are supposed to help maximise right brain potential before the transition to the left brain. Personally, I don’t think once a week is enough. What I was told about Shichida is that they insist on home practice and parent’s commitment. I think it is necessary if you want to reap the full benefits of the program. We do home practice everyday, but many of my ideas are based on what we do in class.

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  8. Yes, young babies change their timings frequently, so it’d have been tough to attend classes with my boy when he was much younger.

    I find weekly Shichida classes sufficient because home practice is much more effective with Mummy-to-kids bonding and customized activities to suit the child’s preferences and pace. I just attended Shichida’s Home Practice Guidance Session and learnt more specific ways to carry out home practice. Of course, materials can be bought from the centre and that gives us an easier start while I start to build my collection of home-made cards and activities. So far, I am pleased with the support by the centre’s programme for parents.

    Look forward to more updates as you attend more classes. 🙂

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  9. Special classes seem to work well for me and Gavin because he values them as strictly Mummy and Gavin time. I guess because when we’re home he has to share me with Gareth. While we’re in class, he gets me all to himself. Hence the reason why I prefer classes that allow parents to come in with the kids. I understand that Shichida expects parents to be in with the kids. Heguru and TweedleWink only requires it for the classes up to age 4. After that parents aren’t required.

    Been meaning to update about our class last week… Boy has it been a crazy week!

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  10. Hi, Shen-Li, thanks! I finally found someone comparing Heguru and TW in an objective manner … Or maybe similar to what I think. I totally agree with you where you said that TW is more suitable for infant. I brought my little girl (7.5 months old) to Heguru trial class, she cried during the introductory section… I guess the fast paced and high pitch tone which the sensei used during the class was kind of “intimidating” for her young age.

    I wanted to sign-up for TW, but sadly, their weekend classes for Sunshine class is full 😦 I’m still working, so I can’t attend any weekday class… I feel so disappointed as I might need to end up with Heguru as they still have one slot for me and it’s also nearer to my house.

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  11. Hi Koolci – Glad you’re finding these posts useful. It was quite overwhelming when I first started learning about right brain education so this was a great way to air my thoughts and get others to share their comments.

    Heguru is still a good school. At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters so much which right brain school but whether your child is enjoying herself. It is important for your child to be happy because the right brain feeds on emotions.

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  12. Hi Mommies,

    I have send my child to Shichida, Heguru and Tweedlewink. All 3 enrichment centres are good. After attending it with my child, I realised, it is not about how much mommy likes or loves the program, its all about how comfortable and happy your child is. My child chooses Shichida and Tweedlewink. She feels Heguru is boring and stressful tough she is only 2 then.

    In Shichida, lots of parents wanted to have good Sensei. My girl was blessed with a good sensei from the start. But, she doesn’t want to be co-operative. I don’t know why. Then, this Sensei resigned, we got a new Sensei, I can tell this present sensei is not as good as the previous sensei but my girl loves her and I can see tremendous progress in her. Guess, this is what they meant by relationship first. She told me, she can sense the negative vibration of the previous sensei about her.

    Shichida and Tweedlewink both also teaches right brain but there’s a big similarity; LOVE and differences is Tweedlewink focus more in input and in Shichida they focus more in training (eye, ESP and memory). This is only my own personal view on both programs.
    The front desk girls of shichida in centrepoint are all very friendly. I was surprised why the word “Arrogant” was used on them. They are willing to help and listen to every parents problem about the child. They help to solve the problem.

    In Tweedlewink, my child is exposed to lots of information. This is something I myself cant do in an hour class. My child enjoys it. For a child who is always looking for challenges, she will feels that everytime she was given new input, her day is brighter. As for Shichida, they will conduct different activities to help your child to do practices using the right brain way. All the activities are not only challenging but also enjoyable. It might be easy for you, but we must always put ourselves in our children’s shoe despite of their age.

    I think a classroom environment is also important, I was so stressed up because other aunties always comment my girl is active and feels she is annoying because she is out spoken. I have to tell myself “ignored them”. Never expect to look at output, then your life will be much more easier and happier. The most important point in choosing the right enrichment program is understand your child and observe is she/he happy and comfortable with the teacher and environment. Children are born genius, they are able to tell us what they want, we have to try to understand them via observation and trial and error.

    Thank you very much for the post on Tweedlewink and Shichida. I learnt from this post too! Wish all the mommies have a great journey in nurturing your child! You can do It Mommies!!!!

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    1. Queenie – you’re absolutely right. When I first embarked on right brain education, I was looking for the “best” school. But as I surveyed them all and learned more about them, I realised that there isn’t a “best” school. Just what suits you and your child best. I think parents need to be comfortable with the school as well especially for the classes where parents must be present because our feelings and emotions will affect our child.

      I think the Shichida staff are very helpful to you because you are their customer. I found, too, that the staff at Heguru seem even more friendly and warm to me now. They were polite and helpful when I first came to enquire about their program, but I definitely feel they are different now because I am a regular face. I guess that is generally the case with any person.

      Now that I have had time to understand all three programs more (Heguru and TweedleWink through my experiences in their classes, and Shichida through reading his books and the handbooks) this is what I feel:

      Heguru and Shichida are very similar. Whatever differences there are between their classes is negligible. That is to be expected I guess since they both stem from the same source. Which is better will vary from parent to parent because there will be good and bad senseis. And like you said, our children will interact with each sensei differently based on their unique personalities. So what might be best for your child might not be best for my child and vice versa.

      TweedleWink is quite different from Heguru and Shichida and if I had a choice, I would have my children do TweedleWink and either Shichida or Heguru. Unfortunately, I have two children and these programs are very expensive, so we’re down to one choice and I’m honestly quite reluctant to make it.

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  13. Hi Shen-Li,

    Can describe more how TW conduct the class?

    My elder son attended shicihda abuot 1yr.. At first at KL branch, just changed to PJ branch as it’s nearer. However, felt bit boring with the program and speed of teaching there. It seems like repeating and maybe because of different class, sensei have to slow down to make sure everyone is following. That class was just started for 1 term.

    In addition, big surprise for me when i heard of sensei who come back from Japan training (after sign up the contract with Shichida) felt very sorry to the children and parents. She came to know the way she conducted the class and the teaching method was totally wrong after back from training in Japan. This is really shocking news for me and make me more ‘hardworking’ to look into other enrichment center.

    Samuel have been attended Heguru before at younger age, as mentioned.. i personally also felt that Heguru more suitable for elder kids.. The way of teaching makes my bb stressed.

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    1. Hi Suzanne – I have a blog post outlining a typical lesson in TweedleWink here:

      http://figur8.net/baby/2010/10/14/tweedlewink-class-outline/

      I think there is some repetition after a year. I’ve noticed this in both Heguru and TweedleWink – as in they repeat some of the materials. The philosophy behind this, as explained by TweedleWink, is that it helps children to build on what they have already learned in the past and consolidate what they learn with their newer experiences. For example, a baby under a year has very little “life experiences” so much of the materials shown will be seen for the first time ever. A year later, your baby will be a toddler who may have already been to the zoo and seen live animals and the pictures of animals will now mean something different to her. This is just an example. Also with the more complex subjects, reviewing materials helps us to understand them better. Like when I was in highschool, chemistry seemed so complicated, but in Uni, we “reviewed” what we learned in an entire year of highschool chemistry in a couple of lectures and everything seemed to make so much more sense.

      How old is your son now? I think the styles of Heguru and TweedleWink are very different and suit different children. From what you briefly described, it sounds like your son may enjoy TweedleWink more.

      I am also curious to know more about what the sensei said. How should they be conducting the class? I hope you can elaborate.

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  14. Hi Suzanne Lee, I am as surprised as you to learn now when you said you were taken aback by the conducting method by sensei who came to realize that all her methods were wrongly conducted only after returning from training in Japan, in that case, can you describe in a little detail, if that went wrong, in what way that went wrong……..I really wish to know from horse’s mouth. Thank you.

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  15. Suzanne: I’m as surprised too… I just finished reading a Shichida’s book (translated into Chinese) on right brain education for 0-6 years old. The methods used in our class are largely identical except for slight differences, perhaps to cater to younger toddlers. I’d say they’re correctly carried out.

    Moreover, after 1+ year, I’m still amazed that the mini-activities materials are kept refreshed, don’t remember any repeats.
    – Flashcards are repeated for 4 weeks, then refreshed. Some flashcards are repeated, due to necessity? E.g. Dot cards, random dots, organised dots, and addition cards.
    – Songs are sometimes repeated, and the kids enjoy listening to some of the same favourite songs.

    And have you provided feedback to the centre on this particular sensei?

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  16. My friend is holding a license for a local right brain enrichment center. I do not know the detail where went wrong. Only knew that this comment is from a sensei from Shichida who went to her center for interview. Sorry for can’t review the name of the sensei.

    Anyway, as long as we satisfy with their teaching method and we see the result from our children, then should be alright to proceed further. It’s hard to comment and compare from center to center as each of them having their own teaching method. As long as mother and baby feeling comfortable with the center, guess that is the right choice 😉

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    1. Hi Suzanne,

      I agree with you that at the end of the day, the best center is really the one that Mom and child are most comfortable with because the most important part of right brain education is the relationship and love.

      What I am curious about, however, is what the sensei said was different in the way they taught at Shichida here compared to the training she received in Japan. You don’t have to reveal her name, just what she said. I know this can be sensitive and we don’t want anyone getting in trouble. This is a site for exchanging information freely, not to name names or to get anyone in trouble.

      Thanks Suzanne.

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  17. Hi Shen-Li,
    it is glad to read your blog… i am sending both my almost 4yrs old and 2yrs old sons to tweedle wink, they like it so much… i start sending my elder son at age 3+ and my younger son start the class at 2yrs old… as u said, i also found that tweedle wink is more suitable for infant. Now, i am not sure should i continue sending my elder son to tweedle wink or should send to other right brain development class like shicida or heguru or other enrichment class… will my elder son too late to go to tweedle wink? what’s your thought?

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    1. Hi FF Tan,

      I think it is really personal preference. If you feel that your child has a good relationship with his teachers at Tweedlewink then there is no reason why you should switch him out. The danger of moving classes and school is the potential that your child might not like the new school or new teacher. So if a good relationship exists, I would not want to disrupt the balance. On the other hand, if your child is unhappy or resisting class, then it can be reason to try a different school for a change in teaching style and teachers.

      I confess I moved my younger son over because I didn’t want to have to drive to two different places for their classes. Plus, the schools always had different “holiday” periods which made it hard for us to plan our trips. Since my elder son is more inflexible compared to my younger son, I decided to move my younger son instead and keep things stable for my more sensitive elder boy. My younger son has adapted very well to Heguru and enjoys classes as much as he did at TweedleWink. I think he just has a good disposition towards classes (very different from my elder boy for whom any structured class was always difficult to get used to). I suspect that when my younger son starts school, the process will also be a lot easier.

      I do not think your older son will be too old for TweedleWink – I understand that their programs go up until 12 years old, too, if I’m not mistaken.

      These are just my opinions, but really you should do what you feel is right for you and your sons. If you want to explore, see if you can do a trial class at the other schools – Heguru or Shichida – just to see what it’s like. You may find your son doesn’t like it. At his age, he is better able to tell you what he likes and doesn’t like.

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  18. Hi Shen-Li,
    Thanks for your sharing. Honestly, my elder son likes Tweedle Wink so much, and I don’t think he is a flexible type of kids. For my elder son, I get feedback from his preschool that he doesn’t really focus in the class, and can’t recognize the words due to he doesn’t pay attention, but teacher said he listen and understand what teacher teach, just he can’t recognize the wording, doesn’t it due to Tweedle wink concept which is too relax and doesn’t emphasis if the kid doesn’t pay attention in the class? And I try to enroll him to other enrichment class which he need to attend without parents, he doesn’t want it, how can I train him to be more independent and brave?

    My younger son (2yrs old) attend the tweedle wink too, he moves around in the class and play the toys that bringing from other kids. He doesn’t focus on what teacher teach, I am wondering does he learn?

    Among Shichida, Heguru and Tweedle Wink, which program really give the big impact to the kids and really can ease their future learning ability? Many ppl commented that shichida can give a very good memory to the kids.

    What other programs or activities which can improve kids right brain?

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    1. Hi FF,

      Agree with CC. You shouldn’t worry that your child is not paying attention. Wennie once told me that young children have the ability to learn 360 degrees – so they don’t have to look at what they are learning (unlike adults who must pay attention). I think this is the reason why it is so hard for us to understand how they could possibly be learning anything when they aren’t even looking. I remember reading somewhere else that children’s brains are like a lamp casting light over everything but adults’ minds are like a torch light shining light only on one spot. There is a receptor in the brain that allows us to block out other stimuli. I forget whether it is a chemical that activates it or deactivates it. Anyway, the gist of it is that adults can block out other stimuli but children cannot so they can’t help but take in everything even when they aren’t “paying attention”. The reason for this is because children don’t have enough experience in the world to know what is important and what is not so this ability to learn everything ensures that they will automatically learn what’s important and that they don’t accidentally ignore the important bits. I’m not sure I explained that very well but I hope you get what I mean. So you can be sure that your child is learning.

      I’ve also had one experience with my older son that I distinctly remember. When he was six months, I was in Star Bucks ordering a drink. While we were waiting, I explained how they roasted the coffee beans and I took some of those roasted samples they have to let him smell. I only ever did this that one time and I never mentioned coffee beans again after that. When my son was over a year old (he was walking already so it must have been at least 14 months onwards), he pointed to the place where they had the sample roasted coffee beans (in a different Star Bucks outlet) and indicated that he wanted me to pick him up so he could look at it. When I did, he reached in, took out the beans and brought them to his nose. He remembered! Sometimes we don’t think they understand or that they will remember, but they do.

      As for memory, TweedleWink also trains memory. In their Wink program (we bought it), there are memory activities – linking memory, photoeyeplay activation, observation training, etc. these activities all train the memory, too. If you son continues at TweedleWink, he will also do these activities eventually. Just that TweedleWink doesn’t believe it needs to start as early so they don’t introduce them until the children are older. You might want to speak to them as to exactly when they incorporate these activities in the class. Heguru also trains memory. All right brain programs develop memory.

      Other activities that improve right brain are creative activities like Art and Music.

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  19. FF, I don’t think you should be worry too much about both of your kids. Each kid has different character and the mere fact that they don’t “seem” to pay attention or “seem interested” does not mean that they are not aware of what’s happening in the class!

    My daughter surprised me with things that we did a year ago. My experience was that I used to attend a music class with her while she was 8 ~ 1.5 years old, we stopped the class when the “pre-paid package” expired and also I felt the class was not interesting. I remembered each kid was given a microphone to sing/speak during the class and my girl was kinda shy, she often rejected / pushed the mic away. We sang a lot of songs during the class too. Recently, my girl can suddenly sing a few songs (with lyrics) that we sang at the Music class. More interestingly, during my mother’s 60th birthday last month (Feb), she took the mic from my sister and sang “Happy Birthday” in front of a crowd of 50~60 people. I really didn’t expect she can do it because I thought she was shy when she rejected the microphone a year ago!

    I know being a mother, we always worry if our kids couldn’t catch up with their peers or appear to be a slow learner. But I believe our kids are still young and they still have a lot of potentials! We just have to be patient and more relax, let them find their pace 🙂

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  20. Hi Shen-Li,
    I get what you mean. I have friends send their kids to shichida, their comment is the kids have good memory and can focus compare to those sibling that doesn’t attend shichida, but weak in motor skill (hands on activity). I notice that kids who attend tweedle wink will not have problems with motor skill. So, can see there is different for the kids who attend shichida and tweedle wink.

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  21. Hi FF, I’m really curious here: do you mean within the same family, sibling attending Shichida tend to be stronger in memory & weaker in motor skill? Could it be a coincidence?

    I believe that activities done in home practice contribute more to the child’s development than the 1hr/weak class. Wouldn’t siblings in the same family go through similar home practice? The parent would probably have a mixture of activities he/she learnt from the various classes, right?

    We’ve only attended Shichida. My boy has good memory and fine motor skills, probably because our home practice covers both areas. Another Shichida-boy I know (from his Mum’s blog) is good at fine motor skills too — he started writing just before 3 years old.

    Now that I’m attending a Montessori training course, I realise that Shichida classes incorporate quite a number of Montessori-activities. So it seems that Tweedle Wink is Montessori + right brain + others, while Shichida is Right brain + Montessori + others. Just a recent observation…

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  22. Hi MieVee,
    What i meant here is my friend sent her elder gal to shichida, and she found that her gal got good memory but fair in motor skills, so she decided not to send the younger boy to shichida. And I got to know from another friend who send her son to shichida, she also commented that her son got good memory but not really good in motor skills. So, I agree with your observation that Tweedle Wink is Montessori + right brain + others, while Shichida is Right brain + Montessori + others. Which one is better I guess it is depends on individual preference.

    But, I got a question, does good memory is categorized as right brain or left brain?

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    1. Hi FF,

      Sorry for the late reply. You can have a good memory whether you use your left or right brain. As far as I understand the main difference is that right brain can memorise things much, much more easily. The left brain takes a lot more effort and more repetition to get it. Right brain is photographic memory, the left brain is muscle memory.

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  23. Oic, thanks for the info. I guess the key is still home practice that covers a wide range of skills. People whose left brains are strong have good to excellent memory. People whose right brains are well-developed (either naturally or with the right training) have fantastic to perfect memory (including photographic memory that allows memorizing after one glance). I belong to the first category. My boy goes through Shichida-style practice and memorises with much more ease and perfection than me.

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  24. Hi Shen-Li

    Thanks for the blog & all the mummies comments above! Very insightful as I am currently choosing in between Shichida vs TweedleWink vs BabyJumperGym.

    I would like to ask.. I know Shichida is about right brain. When I visit TweedleWink website as well as a long phone call chatting with one of the teacher there, TweedleWink is about left + right = whole brain edu. But it is opposed with what you have written above that TweedleWink is also only focuses on right brain? Can you please clarify? Since you wrote (& I’m also agreed that) “Early left brain transition can limit a child’s utilisation of this potential, that is why TweedleWink believe it is important to preserve right brain activity for as long as possible. In so doing, you can: ?Activate both hemispheres of the brain.”

    Both hemispheres? I thought we only want to activate the right bran?

    Appreciate your feedback 😉

    Thanks 😉
    Kelly

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    1. Hi Kelly,

      Actually, the term “right brain education” is a misnomer. You can read more about it here:

      http://figur8.net/baby/2010/08/19/left-brain-right-brain-whole-brain-education/

      All right brain education is actually “whole brain”. The aim is to develop both right and left and the communication between the hemispheres. Traditional educational methods focus mainly on left brain, hence the limitations. So whether it is Shichida, Heguru or TweedleWink, they are all “whole brain”. The purpose of developing the right brain is to draw out its potential, but if you rely only on right brain, it would be like the idiot savants who are brilliant but unable to translate that brilliance into real world significance. I think a good example is the Rainman story – he could do massive calculations in his head but when asked something simple like a dollar plus fifty cents, he doesn’t understand. This is a very simplified explanation because the relationship is actually a lot more complex than this.

      That’s what I understand from it anyway. I hope it makes sense.

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  25. Thank you Shen-Li! Fully understood on what you’ve written in another article..

    I’m being kiasu here.. Feel like enrolling my child to Shichida when she’s 20 mo to try for a term (3 months), see if she likes and can cope with it otherwise I’ll switch her to TweedleWink.. What is your idea on this?

    Best regards
    Kelly

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