Presented by Christian and Shiaoling on 22 October 2015:
A list of Q&A raised during the webinar can be found below too:
Q: Some of the Montessori toys or materials are really good for example number cards, beads, weights etc can we use those materials in shichida a classes
A: Shichida has a very specific requirement of what material or how the material should look like for use with each of the specific concepts that we bring across to the children. The materials that you mentioned yes it is very specific to Montessori and intended to develop the numeracy development of the children. Shichida’s curriculum has more breadth in that sense.
Q: For literacy in shichida we don’t use phonics but only flash cards which is similar to rote learning doesn’t that means we are restricting them to only words that are flashed and they will have difficulty with new words
A: We do use phonics in our classes. In fact, we work on both phonics and sight words approach with the children. Again, back to the point about Shichida is not about ‘feeding the children with fishes, but teaching them how to fish’. So children are given the skill sets like the sounds of letters, the visual bit of how a word look and the memory ability to recall. In English, there are words that cannot be sounded out phonetically. Hence, it is called sight words.
Those words in the flashcards section that you see – it’s not all sight words – but they are what some schools will call the MIOOW words or magic words or basically the top 100-200 most frequently used words in English. These words are often introduced in the first year through second year at school as ‘spelling homework’ and as a basis to help with reading. So like the numeracy example that was given during the webinar – Shichida children are taught more
than 1 way to process information/certain concept. So when they then encounter a new word in the future – they have various skills to ‘decode’ the new word.
Q: How is Shichida self-directed?
A: Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Montessori is self-directed or rather it’s child-directed. That way in turn yes it will promote the love of learning – per the Montessori philosophy. What I was saying is that it is similar in the sense that Shichida’s philosophy definitely aims at developing the love of learning (similar to Montessori). However, we do that through our philosophy where we believe when we can engage the hearts of the children, we can engage their minds. Because when they feel good about something, they will want to do it more => Love of Learning. (That’s why we always say that unconditional love from parents and what our team brings to the children is necessary to create that as a foundation).
Q: What is EYLF?
A: EYLF stands for Early Year Learning Framework. It’s a curriculum framework given to kinders to work on to draw up/design a curriculum. More information about the framework can be found on: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/belonging_being_andbecoming_the_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf
Q: Was it a bias survey as all parents want to be an Authoritative parent?
A: We had no control over who clicked what. But based on our interaction with our customers in person, I am sure many parents will try to be an Authoritative parent. I personally do try VERY HARD too! But of course there will be days when we might turn into an Authoritarian parent or an Indulgent parent. Like with everything in life, it is always a balance! We all just need to remind ourselves, remind each other and do our best to ‘outdo ourselves’ yesterday! Main thing I hope is that parents too see us as your form of support or resource in dealing with your parenting challenges out of Shichida.
Q: I found out that Shichida centres are in eastern states but none in Western Australia/ How can I get assistance of the shichida teaching in my area?
A: Yes currently we are only at VIC and NSW. SORRY!! We are working hard! Please connect with us via Facebook/Instagram. We will keep you posted once we have news to share
Q: What does “well rounded education mean though?
A: “Well-rounded education” may mean different things to everyone. To some, it may mean not just academic, but sports, music, arts and drama too. To some, it may mean not just IQ but EQ too. To some, it may mean not just getting achievements in life, but being a sensitive caring, thoughtful, helpful person. As far as Shichida is concerned, what the program aims to do is to address all the various definition – because we are talking about the program ‘tuning’ and optimising our whole brain (which is capable of the thinking and the feeling). And when the brain is trained/exercised to work on its potential – regardless of what our children grow up to be, we know that we have done our part to set them up and that little machine (their brain) will be on an autopilot mode to take it on from here.
Q: Schools use naplan test how does that tie with shichida classes curriculum?
A: The Shichida curriculum is not based on the Australian curriculum of study. It references the Japanese education system’s benchmark in terms of developmental stages and what to expect. And what we do here in our office is of course we will localise it to contents that children can associate with as much as possible while not varying too much from the Shichida heritage. Back to the point what Shichida is though, it is never to replace school nor be a ‘tuition centre’ to help to work on all potential questions in NAPLAN. It is a brain-training program. Through the program, we are not ‘feeding’ children ‘fishes’ but teaching them how to ‘fish’. So it’s not just learning but learning how to learn. That is more important as once they do that, learning becomes easier and when it is easier, it is enjoyable. And naturally when it is enjoyable, they will do well (as we always say – when you can engage the heart, you can engage the mind).