I have sent my kids to both Heguru and Shichida when they were around 2-4 years old. Both offer educational programmes to help your child in their right brain development. Here I will be comparing them and my experiences participating in the classes. Note: These are my experiences and they may vary depending which teachers or centres you experience.
Years of establishment
Heguru was established by Hirotada and Ruiko Henmi in 1986. Shichida method was established by Makoto Shichida in 1958.
Heguru has different groups of management. One that manages many branches, e.g. SingPost, Tampines Hub, Nex, etc, and the other manages Habourfront and CCK. I sent my kid to the one at Habourfront. Shichida used to have more branches, but has since cut its operations to a few branches. Its headquarter is at Toa Payoh.
Differences in class activities (for kids 2-4 years old)
Heguru has 2 teachers per class while Shichida has 1. The activities in Heguru feel faster than Shichida’s, partially because there are 2 teachers and they can quickly take over from each other. My opinion of the teachers is that those in Heguru are generally younger, and feels more energetic, whereas the teachers in Shichida might be more mature or experienced. However, this is just based on my experience and may differ from others.
The activities in Heguru also feels slightly more difficult, e.g. more cards to memorise in the card sequence memory, and I am not sure if its actually better for the kids as most of the time I felt that the parents were tested more than the kids. Shichida’s lessons feel like they are geared more appropriately in terms of difficulty for the kids, but I am not sure if that is better in terms of right brain training.
The lesson time for Heguru is also shorter. Heguru’s lessons are about 45 minutes long and there’s some time for the teachers to engage the parents after the lessons. Shichida’s lesson used to be about 60 minutes, and then it got extended to about 75 minutes at the time of writing. Shichida’s lessons feels more like a classroom setting due to the use of tables and chairs, whereas for Heguru both parents and kids sit on the floor. For Heguru, once the kid grows older, they will attend classes by themselves.
There are definitely some differences in how they conduct their right brain training, and I feel ultimately it is up to the parent which method is more effective and suitable for their child. To me, the ability to participate and solve puzzles in class with your child, encouraging and congratulating them when they do something right is what I value most in these lessons.
photo: image above taken from Wikipedia