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Heguru Home Practice Activities

This post has been moved to the Right Brain Child. Read it here:

Top 3 Right Brain Home Activities – if you don’t have time to follow all the activities recommended in our home practice guildelines.


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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.

24 thoughts on “Heguru Home Practice Activities

  1. We’ve been doing these 3 activities regularly. And I discovered something amazing just these 2 days: 2-year old Vee can remember a sequence of 10 items easily. He has blurted out 3 sets of 10 items from 3 mini board books. It’s such a breeze for him and I’m blown over. Haha… Now my job is to find more interesting activities for him every day, before his peak at 3 years old tapers off. Happy learning! 🙂

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    1. Mie Vee – I think there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the results of your efforts with your child. Great work, Vee and Mum! 🙂

      Yeah, I missed out with Gavin because I only found out about right brain education when he was 2 plus. He didn’t start classes until he was 3. I’ve been told it’s not too late, so we shall see.

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  2. Hi! I’ve been following ur blog for quite sometime now. Thanks for all the info on right brain education which i find very informative and enlightening. I’ve recently started flashcards with my sixteen month old daugther and i hope ú can clarify certain things for me: if i need 100 flashcards every four days, i’d need around 700 cards a month, right? That’s thousands a year! Can i repeat the so called old cards after a few days/months? Another thing, my daugther loves to repeat after me every time i read out to her. Is that all right? Can i flash cards on stuff she already know eg ball, apple etc. Thanks!

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    1. SK – It is okay to repeat the same flash cards after giving it a break, but ideally you will want to introduce new flash cards on a regular basis to continue expanding your daughter’s knowledge.

      According to right brain theory, your child will remember everything in her right brain after the first time. Whether she can repeat it depends on how well connected her left and right brains are. Based on this understanding, you actually don’t need to repeat the flashcards after you’ve been through them as long as your daughter has developed her right brain properly. However, to be sure she gets it, you should repeat the same cards four times. Why 4, I don’t really know. That’s just what they told us to do.

      The reason for flashing so many new cards is not just to teach her new things. The act of flashing images very quickly develops the right brain because the right brain is an image brain and responds to images. It’s like an exercise program for the right brain to make it stronger. For that reason, you want to flash as quickly as you can, which means you can’t really wait for her to repeat after you. If she likes repeating after you, I guess you can do that as a separate game with her, but when it comes to flashing for right brain development, then no, she can’t repeat after you because it would slow the whole process down significantly which would mean you are teaching to her left brain.

      You can flash cards on things she already knows. For instance, you can show her a set of flashcards on musical instruments, and at another time, you show her a set of flashcards on string instruments. Violin will be repeated but she will learn that violin is a musical instrument and that it belongs to the family of string instruments. Of your can have a set of flashcards about the things you would see at the park and certain objects may be repeated, like ball, kite, etc.

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  3. Hi Shen-Li, may I ask for your favour to clarify the difference between “never repeat the same set twice in a day” and “flash each sets of cards no more than 4 times”? Thanks.

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    1. Joey – Sorry about the lack of clarity. What I mean is that in one day, you should never flash any set of cards more than once. However, you should show the cards four times over four days. So day 1 – flash once, day 2 – flash once, day 3 – flash once, day 4 – flash once. Then retire the cards and flash a new set.

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  4. Better late than never. I know a Shichida boy who started class and home practice at only 5 years old. At 8 years old, he’s achieving great results — amazing harp player now. After attending classes with Vee, I also find my brain being more active and creative nowadays.

    Helping to answer a few questions:
    – Yes, can repeat cards after days/weeks/months, to reinforce learning. As long as child is still interested and not looking away, means he still can absorb from the same cards. Once he starts looking away, means bored, know-it-already. E.g. I started flashing Addition cards months ago. Suddenly recently, son started being very EXCITED when we reach these cards. At the same time, I observe that he’s able to blurt out Addition answers. Reason might be he’s converting the input to output at this time.

    Another e.g. Shichida 63-day program needs to be repeated over a few cycles.

    Parents of kids with success stories at Shichida have mentioned they have stocks of 7,000 to 20,000 cards! We just have to keep churning cards for the kids cos they absorb very fast.

    – it’s a good sign that child is reading as you flash, means she’s interested, and absorbing. Shichida teacher actually wrote this as a good feedback when my son did this in class. Just make sure you’re flashing fast enough, don’t need to wait for her to repeat. Key is to get her all excited! 🙂

    – for maximum input, progress to more interesting items than those child already knows, to prevent her from getting bored. Last thing we want is child to think of flashcards sessions as boring. It should always be refreshing, fun and exciting. E.g. instead of just an “apple”, create a topic on “Apples”, and flash 10 different types of apples — Gala apple, Granny Smith apple, Rome apple, etc. And another topic on 10 types of balls — baseball, basketball, etc. My boy enjoys this.

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  5. Yes, great point to add MieVee – the reason we don’t want to repeat the same cards too many times as well is that we don’t want our kids to get bored. If your child gets bored, she won’t want to do flashcards any more.

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  6. Dear Shen-Li,

    I have to copy that from another comment “Hi! I’ve been following ur blog for quite sometime now. Thanks for all the info on right brain education which i find very informative and enlightening.” SAME HERE! Wouldn´t know what to do without your blog.

    For some time I thought “I cannot really find time to do Right Brain home activities” and felt really bad about it 😦
    But now I am so happy I can do the 3 most important activities you mention – THANKS FOR THE GOOD NEWS!

    I would however also like to send an email to an Schichida organization and another on to Heguru asking if they don´t have plans to open centers in Europe – where can I find email addresses to write to them please?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE GREAT INFO YOU ARE SHARING WITH US!

    Take care ISA

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  7. Hi Shen-Li

    What type of flash card is suitable for right brain training?Is it the flashcards with just picture on it or just word or the combination of both word & picture? Do we have to flash the hard copy of the flash card or is it enough to use powerpoint slides?
    I’m using Little Reader for my daughter and since LR is sort of using the flash card method, do you think using LR (lesson 1 + lesson 2 once everyday) is enough to cover for the flashcards?

    One more thing, is there any place where we can download the linking memory games?

    Thank you

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    1. Rahz – There are lots of different philosophies here. Doman believed that you should have separate pictures and words, i.e. do not have flash cards with words and pictures together. For example, if you want to teach your baby the word “shoe”, you would show a flash card with the word “shoe” and then the next flash card can be a picture of a shoe. Shichida and Heguru give greater preference for picture flash cards because they say the right brain is an image brain and you need images to develop it. However, they do flash word cards as well so I guess both are fine.

      The general recommendation is to use hard copy flash cards because your child can see your face, expression and movement of your lips – those are important for babies. You can use powerpoint or flash cards on computer as long as you say the words. Your child needs to hear your voice. I use a combination, but now more computer because my younger son is too mobile and wants to touch everything. The only way I can help him to pay attention is to hold him in my arms which then makes it very hard to flash the cards. With the computer, I can also turn down the lights so there are less distractions from things around the room.

      I also use LR (English and Chinese) and LM, but on top of that, I do the 100 flash cards (although not everyday, maybe once every two days). The thing with LR and LM is that they repeat the same cards, so you end up with a lot less than 100 flash cards. Also the pace is quite slow compared to the speed they use in class. I do the 100 flash cards at a quicker pace. So perhaps if you can top up the flash cards. BrillKids downloads site has a lot of free flash cards you can use.

      I have some linking memory files you can download here:

      http://www.figur8.net/linking-memory-flash-cards/

      You can also play the shopping list memory game here:

      http://www.memory-improvement-tips.com/shopping-list-memory-game.html

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  8. Hi Sen, Thanks for the top 3 things to do. Phew..at least I know what to do. Yes, I also would like to know what do you mean by QUALITY of the flashcards.

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    1. In “Right Brain Education in Infancy”, Shichida wrote that it is more important to be able to show lots of image flash cards because you want to develop the image function of the right brain. As long as you can show your child lots of images, you achieve that purpose. However, Ruiko Henmi says that you are also teaching your child at the same time so quality is important. By that, I took it to mean that your flash cards should be meaningful. You want to teach your child things not just show them pictures. So by quality, I mean the subject of your flash cards.

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  9. Hi Shen-Li, thanks for answering my questions. Thanks MieVee for the added info. My daugther was excited when we did flash cards, and she actually asked for more! Would ú recommend doman’s bits of intelligence (i’m contemplating to buy)? Will that be sufficient for at least six months? Do flaschcards for teaching babies to read count? I’m planning to start that soon but can i combine both together? I’m a working mum, so time is a factor. Thanks so much.

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    1. SK – That’s great that your daughter loves flash cards. As I mentioned to Rahz, Shichida and Heguru place a lot of emphasis on images because the right brain is the image brain. You can use the flash cards for teaching babies to read, but you should also make sure you have some flash cards with pictures in your set.

      As for Doman Bits of Intelligence, I have 10 sets of those. I find that my children don’t really look at the pictures after the first round so I could have achieved the same effect by reading to them books like “Why is the Sea Salty”, “Tell me Why?”, or even The Cat in the Hat Learning Library.

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  10. I believe there are many things Shichida didn’t mention specifically in his books: (1) still need to attend classes & parent’s courses for detailed practice notes (2) updated methodology based on latest brain research in its institute.

    At Shichida school, flashcards generally consist of either pictures or words, not a combination. The content covered is meaningful and introduces depth to each topic, consistent with what Ruiko Henmi mentioned. The ratio is also heavier on pictures and quantity recognition / calculation than words. As for reading, the method seems to do that more through reading books and speed reading, rather than lots of word cards.

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    1. MieVee – yes, the best is for our children to be able to attend a right brain school because there are certain experiences you cannot achieve in home practice alone (resources, information for parents, feedback from the sensei, radar effect). The amount of time that goes into preparing the materials for a class is enormous! Unfortunately, not all parents have the luxury of sending their children to right brain classes (as many countries do not have right brain schools). For these parents, the next best thing is home practice. Hopefully we will be able to provide enough information here for them to practice at home. I do believe that with home practice, you will still be able to tap into your child’s right brain potential. I have felt the benefits of what little practice I have done on my own so surely with a bit more dedication, you could achieve much more.

      Heguru also places a lot of emphasis on the importance of reading books to your children – it’s the number one activity you should do in home practice. In fact, there is a philosophy for teaching children to read just by reading books to them. Take a look at the “Read Aloud Handbook”.

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    2. MieVee – just wanted to thank you for providing insight into the Shichida classes since I do not have the experience to do so. I believe a lot of Heguru and Shichida philosophies and practices are similar but without having any experience in Shichida (beyond reading the books) I cannot comment with absolute certainty.

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  11. You’re most welcome, Shen-Li. Shichida is the only class we’ve been attending, so we sort of complement each other here.

    And I certainly believe that right-brain education will be more widespread in the years ahead. In fact, I hope it’d be the norm in future for the kids’ benefits. As ex-students and parents, we’d have felt the huge limitations of the current education system which is very left-brain-skewed.

    One caution though is to be careful of non-well-researched schools, methods or materials that are riding on the right-brain education wave. It’s a sad fact that some people in the education industry is there for the money, not for the kids. Instead of helping the kids, these could “wire” the brain wrongly. Therefore, we need to keep up with reading about the methods and latest research findings so that we can decipher the good materials from the “bad” ones.

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    1. Agreed. In the meantime, hopefully raising awareness on right brain education can help…

      Yes, I have heard of a few schools who are starting to implement “right brain” methods in their teaching, but I haven’t really investigated enough to know whether they are following the methods properly. I think when it comes to our children’s education, it is important to do the research to find out which are the better schools. The stories I’ve been hearing about the workload and the pressure our children are under in schools today is pretty scary.

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  12. Wow! Thanks for sharing this!
    I just about fell off my chair when I read 100-150 flashcards a day!
    Can you clarify a few things?
    1)Are these in categories like Doman has set up in his EK program (cats, presidents , artist, etc)? Or each set has random bits?
    2) Where on earth are you getting all these flashcards? I was thinking of buying a case of used National Geographic and making tons of flashcards that way if it is a random things.
    3) In this total of 100-150 are you including word cards or are these just images?
    Thanks again for sharing this with us!

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    1. Hi Monique,

      Since I first heard this, I have been trying to work out a routine for it, too. It’s tough to get 100-150 new flash cards everyday. After further discussion with other right brain instructors and consolidating what I have learned, this is what I think would work:

      100-150 represents one set of flash cards. You would repeat a set for four days in a row before moving onto a new set. After about six months to a year, you can bring out the old sets to repeat. As your child grows up, his or her knowledge of the world will increase and reviewing old flash cards can help form new connections about how and where these bits of information fit into the bigger picture.

      Regarding the types of flash cards, I would assume they would be similar to the flash cards used in Heguru during “superflash”. You do not have to have 100-150 on one particular topic. It can be a variety of topics adding up to 100-150 cards. So you could have 10 Doman EK sets. I have made a number of my own flash cards – see our general knowledge flash cards page (http://www.figur8.net/resources/flashcards/general-knowledge-flashcards/), but I have also used flash cards downloaded from other sites (like BrillKids free resource pages, the classical mommy). Other mothers have also been very generous and shared their resources with me. If you have a group of like minded mothers, you can pool your resources together so you don’t have to make so many. That said, the good thing about making your own flash cards is that you will also be more familiar with your own flash cards.

      At present, my target is to make and upload 14000 flash cards to our resource site (we currently only have 2000 over). This will allow us to flash 200 flash cards a day, repeat for four days and retire. Assuming you only do flash cards 5 days a week, this series will last you a year. In the following year, you can repeat the old flash cards. Admittedly, I am still relatively new to right brain education and this is my own program. It has not been endorsed by any of the right brain education experts.

      100-150 includes words, images, and numbers (or number representations).

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