G attended his first class at Heguru today. For those who are not familiar with Heguru (also known as HEGL, which stands for Henmi Educational General Laboratory), it is a popular right-brain training school from Japan. It’s famous for introducing “Wave Reading” (Hado reading), a method of reading that is faster than the usual speed reading that we are familiar with.
Prior to this, G had attended another school for right brain development (not Shichida), and was doing pretty well in class. He enjoyed the activities and looked forward to attending class. However I noticed that he sometimes got bored during activity transitions, so I had considered moving him to Shichida, which I heard was more fast-paced. Unfortunately the waitlist at Shichida was long, and I was told that I had to wait till January this year for a place. Then, when I heard that Heguru was going to setup schools here in Singapore, I decided to give it a shot instead, considering its popularity in Japan. In addition, I did not have to commit for a full-term like Shichida, and there were no additional charges on top of the school fees (fees per class between Shichida and Heguru are comparable).
For Heguru, class duration is only 50minutes, compared to the usual 60 minutes. However, instead of one teacher, Heguru has two teachers assigned to each class (there were three teachers in my class today). The purpose of having two teachers is to speed up the transition of activities, and hence maintain the high energy level. Based on what I was told during sign-up, there are a total of more than 60 activities per lesson (!!). Of course, I was a little skeptical- the previous school only had about 15 activities during the one hour class. So I was looking forward to a really fast-paced session today.
Attending the class
There were 7 students together with the parents (max class size is 8), plus 3 teachers, so there were a total of 17 people seated on the floor in a relatively small room. I was concerned that the space would be a little cramped, but it was still ok, as the students did not really have to move around. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I was a bit startled when the teachers started the class with exuberant cheers and claps, haha.
Many many activities
As promised, the class was very fast-paced, with a variety of activities. A brief summary of the program contents include:
1. Flashcards (all right brain training classes include these! They included dots, general knowledge, words)
2. Linking memory
3. Peg memory
4. Colour mandala
5. ESP exercises
6. Iroita – this is similar to tangrams, where we place magnetic pieces in different shapes according to the pattern on the paper.
7. Songs and stories
8. Physical exercises
And many many more …
G wasn’t feeling too well today, and was a little cranky right from the start of the class. He refused to go up to the front of the class during the introduction, preferring to cling on to me. When the lights were dimmed for the 1st session of story-telling, he felt uneasy, and wanted to go to the door. However, he settled down during the flashcards portion (he really enjoys flashcards) and songs section.
Although we had attended right brain classes previously, quite a few of the activities were new to us, like the ESP/intuition session, where G was asked to guess the colour of the peg I was holding inside the bag. Surprisingly, he got it correct (but I think it was a coincidence)! Linking memory was also new, and memorising 40 cards was a challenge. I don’t think the kids had any idea what was going on, it was mainly the parents doing the work. Colour mandala was another challenge for 19-month old G. Once he got hold of the crayons, he didn’t even look at the picture, and started scribbling, haha. Think more training needs to be done here.
I thought that some of the activities were too advanced for G, like writing down the numbers and drawing the mandala. Slightly older children (probabaly 2-3 year olds) would benefit more. I would have preferred a little more manipulatives for G to handle, but I guess that it might break the momentum. Some parts were fun, and I liked how the addition and multiplication facts were introduced in songs. There is a wide range of information presented during the short 50 minutes session, ranging from topics like mathematics, science, moral education to general knowledge. I especially liked the part where they used a song to convey a moral value – not to tell lies. Hopefully when G is in a better mood he will be able to enjoy the class more.
Heguru class was very different from what I had experienced previously. It was definitely more fast-paced and covered more topics, compared to the previous school. There were still a bit of teething problems, but I think it’s understandable since they had just started. Hopefully with a little more time, G would get used to the new class, and able to participate more. I would probably attend for a term to see how G progresses in class, and to give my conclusions :)