Right Brain Development is More than Academics

This is probably one of the most detailed articles I have ever read about the Shichida program.  It is written by Aileen Kawagoe from Education in Japan.  The article is titled: “Dr Shichida’s spy-kids school“.

I’ve always wanted to read more about what Makoto Shichida says about right brain education but have never been able to get my hands on a copy of any of his books.  They seem to be out of print.  Anyway, the article linked above gives a pretty good overview of the program and the background.

To continue on a discussion I was having with hubby about right brain education…

One of hubby’s concerns about my zeal to develop our childrens’ right brain is that I might be going overboard with their academic development.  He wants our children to be all-rounded individuals, not just academically brilliant (which he believes is a given anyway because of their genetics).  Well, I want that, too, which is why I think right brain development is the perfect start to the whole education program for our children.

Right brain development isn’t just about having a photographic memory, speed reading, and being able to perform computer-like calculations.  It is an all-rounded program designed to help children develop abilities that allow them to make wise decisions, help other people, make discoveries and inventions, produce creative works and to excel in sports.

The testimonials from Shichida not only talk about children who are good at academics, but also in sports and music.  Shichida not only helps these children learn to excel in various areas of life, but it also teaches them discipline and self-control.  I think these are admirable traits.

Hirata Hayato, a Shichida child, said:

“If I image before playing sports, I can see the moves of my partners in advance.  Here are some examples.  When I play basketball, I can predict, most of the time, the next moves of teammates and opponents.  When I play baseball, I can predict the pitcher’s moves and act accordingly.  If I image the outcome before I hit or throw, things will turn out just as I have imaged.  This happens many times.  In Taekwondo classes which I attend twice a week, I know where my partner is going to attack and dodge accordingly.”

Interestingly, this was exactly the kind of thing hubby said he was able to do when he played hockey for his school – which is another reason why I think hubby’s manifestation of those special abilities that Shichida talks about is due to his extensive Lego and jigsaw puzzle play as a child.

Who is to know which skills and abilities my sons will develop.  Will they be able to do everything but to a lesser degree, or will they excel only at one thing?  Who knows?  If right brain education helps them develop something, no matter how slight, my time spent researching and implementing right brain education for my kids will all have been worth it.  Maybe they already have their father’s genius genes, maybe all this is completely unnecessary.  Well, I don’t think I’m comfortable taking that bet.

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 “Right Brain Development is More than Academics

  1. I’m quite certain the ‘smart’ genes are in my boy, and we are into left-right brain education to help him develop his full potential. (My husband and I did very well academically and are rather well-rounded.) If he can develop his innate abilities well, he can spend less time on academics, and more time on ECAs, including helping others.


  2. I never did an IQ test growing up, nor was I invited to join mensa but I did do one as an adult. By definition I should be a genius, too, but I certainly don’t feel like one. I have no photographic memory – heck, I forget when I’ve double booked myself for events and appointments! I can’t read fast to save my life. I know why I was among the top in high school and that’s because I worked very hard to get there. Unfortunately, I was not all-rounded because my parents valued academics above all else. I did pick up rock climbing after I started working and got pretty good at it.

    I totally agree with you. That’s exactly why I want to help my sons develop their innate abilities. I don’t want them to struggle in school. I want them to have more fun, enjoy life and contribute back to society. I’m glad I learned about these early childhood development programs when I did.


  3. One good thing in Singapore schools is that every student is required to do CCAs (it is now called co-curricular activities, to emhasise the importance). In the top schools, almost everyone is very smart (many super-smart) and most students are active in CCAs, turning out quite well-rounded.

    My University course had tonnes of readings & projects, so it certainly helped to read fast & have powerful memory. After that, the extra time can be spent on research & application. I point this out because there are parents who are anti-right-brain education. Their argument is that having photographic memory without understanding is meaningless. However, they missed out the point about needing a huge database of information in our brains so that we can recall them quickly for various applications, turning those information into knowledge.

    From my experience in Math Olympiads, it is critical to be accurate AND fast. This applies to many things around us, including sports.

    IQ tests have many limitations in testing true intelligence. In Shichida, it is often mentioned that no IQ test in the world is able to measure the intelligence of the successfully-trained kids. I believe many people with very high intelligence know their special capabilities, even though it may not feel that way at times. 🙂


  4. I don’t want to seem like I’m being critical of my parents for the way that they raised me – I’m not. I believe they did the best that they knew how given the time and the knowledge that they had. But I know more now and I don’t want to make the same mistakes that they made with me – like not encouraging all-roundedness, and not introducing a second language to me when I was young even though they knew one.

    I honestly cannot understand why any parent would be anti-right-brain education. There were many times when I was studying that I wished I had a photographic memory and the ability to speed read. I would have done better at school with less effort and I would have had more time to develop myself in other ways.

    I agreed – IQ tests are limited. In the Briggs-Meyers personality typing, it showed that individuals who were a certain type could still be very bright but not perform well in an IQ test because of the type of input their minds preferred. I think that’s why my cousin had such conflicting results when she did a GMAT test – she aced the written section but flunked the MCQs. The examiners were baffled. When I talked to her about it she said she just couldn’t get her head around the questions in the MCQs but that the written part was easy.


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