Thursday, 13 October 2011

Right Brain Learning: Our Home Practice Material

I get emails asking what exactly do we do for our right brain training?

We started off doing right brain work only, then I decided that it wasn't enough. So as time goes on, we incorporated more elements because I personally love creativity and fun in our work, like Montessori and Tot School.

I have explained why I feel the need to do right brain learning here even though I don't really like the rigidity and spoon feeding method. As with all the methods, I bend and break rules to suit us better.

 This is the basket where I keep my materials for the week.
I keep it on the Tot Tray shelf so that it is easily accessible.

The materials are mostly available for free here. After some time, you will be able to use free pictures from magazines or any flashcards that you have at hand.

 This is a sample of what goes into the basket on a weekly basis:

Clockwise from top right corner:
1. Space memory sheets (credit to verol pj from )

Show the template for 3 seconds. (Bear holding the heart containing baby, deer, banana & crocodile)
Give the child the answer sheet and the small cutouts of the 4 items
They are supposed to place them in the correct position on the answer sheet

Purpose: To train the child's photographic memory ability. Same principle as Mandala

Note: If you are too lazy to print and laminate, you can purchase from
Many materials are made by some mothers who attended Schicida before but pricey in my opinion.

2. ESP game
Blender with some fruits.
Present the materials. I usually make a silly presentation to keep Tiger interested.
Like this: " Brrrrrrrr (suppose to sound like blender :)) Ooh look, Mommy got a blender. We will make juice today. What yummy fruits we have.
Present the fruits
Hide one of the fruits behind the blender. Can you guess what is the fruit in the blender?

According to Schicida, younger children has ESP powers that enable them to sense 'paranormal' events. There is no evidence, just anecdotes that this is true.
I intepret it as something like, they can sense your unhappiness even when you try your best to hide it because they can sense your negative vibe.

I am not really hard pressed on this, just wanted to see how much of it is true. Who knows, maybe Tiger is a clairvoyant and he will sense the lottery one day. I'll be the last one laughing then ;)

3. My DIY Montessori colour box 1 (without the box)
Shouldn't be in the right brain basket but I usually keep all the tiny stuff in it as well for convenience

4. Linking Memory (lower left corner)
  • This I LIKE. This really works because I use it. How do you think I passed med school without studying my ass off and staying hot? Just kidding :p
  • Anyways, Tony Buzan (mind mapping moneymaker)and and this Singapore dude (can't remember his name off hand) uses it as well.
  • Basically, you are given a list of objects and you make a silly story out of the objects to aid your memory.
  • Certain things will help you remember better such as smell, colour and 'dirty' stuff. Not for kids though :p
Here's how we do it with flashcards or printouts:
  1. I make up a silly story using 10 flashcards. I usually print/write the story out so that the storyline remains the same.
  2. I present 4 cards to tiger, telling him the nonsensical story.
  3. Then I will add on 1 card daily (repeating the same story) till we complete all 10 at the end of the week.
  4. For alternative methods, click here
5. Chinese flashcards
For speedplay
Very young children are supposed to learn better at higher speed.
Schicida recommends flashing 3 cards per second
I find that my tongue gets twisted and the words are jumbled together if I flash too fast. No point in learning, watermelonpapayaorange, right?
So, I flash 2 cards per second. Just the nice speed for us. Now he will learn, watermelon and papaya.
I usually use the computer for this. Good for karma as you kill less trees compared to printing.

Note: Schicida teaches Japanese as well. Personally, I don't see the need to add on another language that he is unlikely to use later on like Japanese or Spanish. He is going to learn Chinese in a few dialects and Malay.

6. Cute box with Tweedlewink flashcards
Tweedlewink provides an A4 sized card at the end of each lesson. After you cut it, the cards are too tiny too flash. My fat fingers will cover most of it. I usually give him the cards to play with and read them outloud.

7. Whole word flashcards (in the middle)
Ala Tweedlewink. I am not a strictly phonics person. We do both.
I downloaded for free from this nice lady here

Sounds like a lot? Not really, this entire exercise is over in less than 10 minutes. Speed is of essence in right brain learning.
It may sound a little cuckoo if you are skeptical but we'll see. I want this to work so that Tiger will breeze through school later (our exam system is basically memorise and regurgitate) and he has time to do whatever else he loves, hopefully charity work and a part time job to learn the value of money :)
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