I came across a blog( http://happinessishereblog.com/2014/10/childhood-rush/ ) the previous night and the author wrote something very precious about giving back children their childhood.
It also reminded me of a book which I had read some time back ” Einstein Never Used Flashcards” by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Kathy Hirsh Pasek and Diane Eyer. The gist of this book is that children learns more effectively through play during childhood years than attending enrichment classes that make them memorize through flashcards. And in her book, she mentioned that Einstein never used flashcards but he was a genius. How he became a genius was he that he explored and asked many questions about his surroundings while he was learning through playing.
The blogger emhasizes not to rush children with whatever they are doing , for example, when they stop to smell the flowers or observe the shape of the clouds. Because in a blink of an eye, they will soon all grow up and have lives of their own, and gone were the childhood days spent with them. In this 21st century where everything is faster seems better and smarter, we often impose these two principles on our childrens’ learning and growth as well. From the book, the author explains that children are learning while they are playing too so dont take away their play time and send them for overwhelming enrichment boot camps.
Both the book and the blog post made me reassess two decisions which I have made recently. I been attending an infant swim class with my 8month old Matty on every Thursday morning, which lasts 30mins for each session. The reason why I joined was because we had really enjoyed ourselves during the trial class and the bonding in water was really special. We are at 3rd week of our course and the instructor feedbacked that Matty is progressing well and has high confidence in water, so she was allowed to join the older babies group. She is bold and takes it well when being submerged.
I have also signed her up for a Japanese right brain training program which makes use of color cards, flashcards and puzzles to stimulate their brain vessels. I have signed up with Heguru Education, it is some sort of similar to those of Shichida Method or Glen Doman method.
A close friend then asked me if I was being a little over competitive to train her in such areas at such a tender age. Another close friend said it was definitely worth it and many of her friends are doing so too.
Of course, I had asked myself what are my objectives for doing so and what are my goals for each program. As for the swim program, I am looking at a unique bonding experience, allowing her to pick up some water competency and get into a form of mini playgroup in water. Ultimately, I hope she can develop some more significant attributes such as confidence and perseverance.
Right brain training will only begin in November and I cannot assess anything now. To begin with, how did I even think letting her try this program. It all began with a Facebook advertising page and I clicked it to read more, which led me to Google more on forums and online resources. Having read some of the benefits and potential, I attended their parents information session and from there I learnt to understand how babies’ brain works, and from birth to 6 years old, it is the right brain being dominant. So when you develop their right brain during the prime age, they can learn useful skills such as photographic memory and some other skills which may help them to pick up faster in academic, music and other things that they do. There have been many positive parental testimonies that their children are able to stay concentrated far better and hence absorb more during lesson time. They are more self controlled too. Could it be I have been sucked in by the overpromising advertisements?
For us, we just hope that she will become an independent thinking child who is self motivated and responsible. I have been a tutor for about 10 years and been to many different homes. And sad to say, I have seen many kids and teenagers who are lacking in discipline and responsibility. Many dont even want to think when you ask them questions and their favourite answer is ” Dont know.” And they just blanked out there waiting for someone to perform a miracle. Some simply just cannot concentrate at something and it is not that they are lower in IQ or what, but probably they are just not keen or cannot wire things together.
Many a times they come from backgrounds that parents just leave it to nature and pray that things will just turn out better or simply just feel that ” they will get over that stage”. I am definitely not saying that attending a right brain training class and these will not happen, but I feel it might help to enhance her overall learning process and things might be easier. I am not entirely against nor for using flashcards and I definitely enjoy our play time together where I will teach her things as well. I feel that flashcards if use appropriately can achieve some desired results such as in the form of right brain training. At home, I prefer to use real objects and toys to teach her about colors, shapes and songs to learn ABC.
There again, I will never want to steal her childhood away.