Shichida in the Media

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Five year old girl with amazing memory can recite Pi to 120 places, recall 50 picture cards

This article was originally featured in Daily Telegraph
By Jessica Rapana, North Shore Times
Shichida Mum, Jane Saurajen discusses the way Shichida has benefitted her two children

 

Before she was five, Caitlyn Saurajen could recite Pi to 120 places from memory. The clever kindergartener can now recall 50 memory cards after only two reads.

Her young brother Callum, who turns two this month, can already recognise the alphabet, colours, animals and shapes.

Are these young geniuses genetically blessed with some sort of superhuman intelligence? Maybe. But, according to their mother Jane Saurajen, they are “not smart kids as such”.

Their lawyer mum credits the more likely source for their above average smarts to the Shichida Early Learning Centre in Chatswood, which they both attend for one hour a week. Ms Saurajen said her daughter had been attending classes there for about three years and her son for about a year and a half.

Caitlyn is now in kindergarten at Wenona and reads at a year two level.

She can do subtractions, additions and multiplications well-above her age.

Caitlyn Saurajen, 5, and Callum Saurajen, almost 2, at Shichida Early learning Centre.

“I’ve noticed my daughter does remember things quite well, she can listen to songs only a few times and she remembered the tunes and the lyrics,” she said.

“She is one of the few kids in her class who can read at her age.”

Younger brother Callum is just as impressive.

“He can count to 10. He sings the alphabet and he knows his colours and his shapes,” Ms Saurajen said.

“He will sing along, it’s just play for him.”

Caitlyn Saurajen, 5, and Callum Saurajen, almost 2, at Shichida Early learning Centre.

Ms Saurajen, who lives in Mosman, said the classes were “just one of the many extra-curricular activities” the children did.

“There’s not that many programs out there for young kids, and you know why not? It doesn’t hurt them and they enjoy it,” she said.

“It does help them to develop to the best of their potential and their ability.

“They do an amazing amount of stuff in that one hour that I could not do at home with them.”

‘PLAY IS IMPORTANT, BUT LEARNING IS BETTER’

Owner of the Shichida Early Learning Centre Shiaoling Lim said parents were forking out hundreds of dollars a day for childcare but not getting good bang for their buck.

Ms Lim criticised the Australian system’s vague early learning framework and lack of rigour.

“There are general outcomes like encouraging children to learn through play and become confident and happy learners but in many cases this isn’t translating to what is happening in the day cares,” she said.

Shiaoling Lim, who owns Shichida Early Learning Centre in Chatswood.

Ms Lim said many child care centres on the north shore — some charging up to $150 a day per child — were more concerned about occupying children than stimulating their learning.

“You’ve got the kids for the whole day, why couldn’t we do something more purposeful? Don’t waste those early years, it is important to play but can be a lot more purposeful,” she said.

Ms Lim’s own Chatswood learning centre uses the ‘Shichida method’ to educate children from six months old to six years old.

Caitlyn, 5, and Callum, almost 2, with educator Hanako Ward.

The unique approach to early childhood education uses a whole brain development method, which combines findings of brain research with education — using playful exercises like memory boxes, alphabet charts, songs and games.

Ms Lim said Australian parents aversion to formal education or “hot housing” kids had now caused the pendulum to swing too far the other way.

“We’ve gone too much to the other extreme and say ‘kids should just be kids and play’. Play is important but I think there can be a lot of intentional, purposeful and constructive learning children can be exposed to,” she said.

The Schichida method provided a “middle ground”, she added.

Ms Lim has criticised Australia’s daycare system.

Ms Lim described the Shichida classes, which children attend with a parent for one hour a week, as “like a personal trainer” which taught parents skills and exercises to continue at home.

“It’s a know-how of what to do with the children so you’re not just playing at the sandpit, you could jolly well be at the sandpit but you could be teaching them about quantity,” she said.

University of Sydney early childhood education senior lecturer Dr Marianne Fenech said there was a substantial body of research to support play-based learning from an early age.

“Play-based early learning is a great way to facilitate children’s early development,” she said. “Learning starts from birth.”

“It doesn’t have to be one-to-one sit down formal rote learning,” she added.

While she did not know enough about the Shichida to evaluate its effectiveness on early childhood development, she said there was no doubt play-based learning had a positive impact.

3AW Radio Interview with Shiao-Ling Lim “What Amazing Things Can Your Child Do?”

3AW Radio Interview Shichida Australia

Here is a 30 January 2016 radio interview on the 3AW radio show with Denis Walter. Shiao-Ling explains how kids can take advantage of the various aspects of the Shichida Method: Numeracy, Literacy, Visualisation, Creativity Techniques, Image Training, Breathing Exercises, Critical Thinking, to name a few. Why is Shichida Australia the method that helps give kids such wonderful head start?

Where else can you find such a comprehensive program that gives you all these resources for a tired parent and an eager-to-learn child?

For more questions make sure to gives us a call at 1300-FUN-N-GROW (1300-3866-4769).

You can also register for a free demo lesson here.

Listen to the Audio Here:

Herald Sun Article: LOVE OF LEARNING HELPS MAKE THE GRADE

Herald Sun Article January 2016

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

Lim said.

“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

months old.

“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

Herald Sun Article: Pi is no Limit-One of our Shichida Kids get Recognised!

Herald Sun Shichida Pi Australia December 2015 Icon

Here is a 20 December 2015 article from the Herald Sun with a focus on one of our students that has memorised Pi to 1,000 decimal places. During the Shichida lessons we teach all types of methods to help with memorisation as part of a complete whole-brain programme that combines creative thinking, critical thinking, numeracy, literacy, photographic memory, and memorisation techniques to name a few. We are always happy to see others give recognition to all the efforts kids and parents make for all the effort they put coming to Shichida, realising that the learning journey is a lifelong journey.

For more questions make sure to gives us a call at 1300-FUN-N-GROW (1300-3866-4769).

You can also register for a free demo lesson here.

Make sure to read the article here:

Herald Sun Shichida Pi Australia December 2015

2UE Radio Interview with Shiao-Ling Lim Concerning HSC Results

2UE Radio Interview HSC Results with Shiao-Ling Lim

Here is a 16 December 2015 radio interview on the 2UE radio show with Luke Bona (Summer Drive with Luke Bona). Shiao-Ling explains what the Shichida programme is about. Just remember we are not a “tutoring” program, we are an early-education method that combines every aspect of learning (creativity, photographic memory, literacy, numeracy, critical thinking) to help make learning “focused play” for kids.

For more questions make sure to gives us a call at 1300-FUN-N-GROW (1300-3866-4769).

You can also register for a free demo lesson here.

Listen to the Audio Here:

Tiny tots tackle maths problem as Australia looks to improve numeracy

This article was originally featured in The Age
By Henrietta Cook and Timna Jacks
Photo: Eddie Jim
Featuring Shichida Mum Rachel and her son George who is confident in mathematics after attending Shichida classes

 

A flash card with the equation “2 + 7 = 9” whizzes past three-year-old George’s eyes.

Before he has had time to blink, another equation appears, and then another.

Maths starts early at the Shichida centre in Elsternwick, where children as young as six months old train their brains using a Japanese teaching method.

George already knows his two and three times tables and can count to 15, according to his mum Rachel, who drives for 45 minutes every week to attend the classes.

“He doesn’t see maths as something that is hard,” she said. “He just sees it as another subject.”

As governments, policymakers and educators ponder how to reverse a slump in Australia’s numeracy performance over the past decade, there are growing calls for children to start learning maths before they start school.

Research shows around one third of Victorian grade 1 students are “mathematically vulnerable”, and struggle to learn number concepts.

Australia’s chief scientist Professor Ian Chubb thinks children should be taught maths and science in kindergarten. This is common in Germany, he said.

Ann Gervasoni​, an Associate Professor of Numeracy at Monash University has developed an intervention maths program for primary school students and also helped create an early numeracy program with the Smith Family for three to five-year-olds.

She said parents should be talking to their children about maths from a very young age.

“Every experience that we have during the day is an opportunity to notice and use some mathematics,” she said.

This could involve looking at patterns, shapes, counting and discussing the concept of less and more.

Technological changes over the past two decades – such as the prevalence of smartphones and iPads – meant children were no longer playing board games which taught them maths.

“If you think of board games like Monopoly, snakes and ladders and playing snap, they were always experiencing numbers,” she said.

Little Scientists, a German initiative expanded to Australia, provides professional development to early childhood educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas. It taps into children’s curiosity through experiments.

Little Scientists project manager Sibylle Seidler​ said young children’s ability to learn should not be undervalued.

“When you look at brain research, the little brains are like sponges … the earlier you start the more you develop the brain.”

Back at the Shichida centre, the group of two and three-year-olds are using crayons to circle a sheet of pineapples into groups of four.

Managing director Shiao-Ling Lim said the lessons were fast-paced because young children had short attention spans.

“By the time they get out to the workforce, information is exploding everywhere, they need to be able to recall quickly and pull the relevant information together.”

Are the classes putting too much pressure on young children?

“This is not to prepare for your entrance exam,” Ms Lim said.

“Parents are looking for something that can help them engage their children.”

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