Caitlin, 5, William, 5 and Julia, 4 can’t wait to start school.
Picture: Alex Coppel
A GROUP of precocious youngsters just can’t wait for their first
day of prep. William, Julia and Caitlin can already read, write, do simple
additions and recall 50 random items in sequence.
The gifted trio have been attending Shichida early learning classes
and are expected to be well ahead of their classmates on the first
day of school.
Five-year-old Julia is reading comfortably at grade 1-2 level, can
count up to 200 in multiples of twos, fives, and 10s, and can recite
pi to 180 decimal places. Proud father Vlad Rozenkov says Julia has
benefited enormously from being involved in a structured learning program.
“She can read fluently and write quite well, she is well prepared for
school,” he said. “She was extremely shy when she started but now she is
confident in expressing herself.”
Shiaoling Lim, who runs Shichida education centres, says it’s
crucial to instil a love of learning at a young age.
“What we are trying to do here when they are younger is to
exercise the brain and have it working at an optimum level,” Ms
“By the time kids are five or six years old and at school, they’ve
already lost the best years of their learning lives.”
Ms Lim advises parents to prepare their children for prep to ensure
they have a positive experience at school.
“It’s better to be dealing with being ahead, rather than trying to
work on catching up with the class,” she said.
“If you start school behind, and don’t do anything about it, the
odds are against you to ever catch up.
“A child can quickly grow to fear reading or mathematics, for
example, and become defeated before they even start year 1.”
Frank Blakiston, father of five-year-old William, agrees.
William has been attending weekly classes since he was nine
“We’ve never looked at it as just reading or counting, it’s the love
of learning that’s important.”
January 22, 2016 11:30pm
Rita Panahi, Herald Sun