Ever wondered what goes on in a Heguru class? Mum blogger Michelle Hon shares her daughters’ learning experience at their weekly classes.
We’ve been attending Heguru classes at Heguru Education Centre at OneKM for more than 4 months now. Luckily for us, the classes for Lauren (aged 3) and Georgia (aged 1) run concurrently every week. That saves us time but I can’t be at both classes at the same time. So my husband, Nick and I take turns to accompany each child.
Attending lessons at Heguru Education
I still remember my shock during my first class. The lead teacher who greeted me sweetly when I arrived, started the class with exuberant cheers and claps. Her voice must have gone up a few decibels too. I was taken aback by how quick the lessons were going. But I have now learnt why each lesson has to be fast-paced and conducted by a teacher with a strong voice. The speed helps to stimulate the right brain while the strong voice helps in maintaining the children’s attention for the entire duration of the class.
Class time and teachers
Teachers demonstrating how to sing an Aqueous solutions song.
Both classes run for 60 minutes, with two teachers assigned to each class. This is to facilitate a seamless transition of activities and maintain the high energy level. There are usually 4 to 5 students together with their parents.
I must say the teachers play a big part in making sure the atmosphere and the learning environment is conducive and enjoyable. My girls’ teachers are very welcoming and look genuinely happy to teach the kids. Despite the pace of the lessons, the teachers are observant to each child and quick to call them out when they are losing focus. I should know, because my younger girl Georgia sure gets called out a lot.
What goes on in a typical Heguru Toddler class
The objective of the class is to input a stream of information at rapid speed, until the left brain is unable to process the massive influx of data in such a short time. This causes the right brain to be “activated”. Hence, there is a great deal of stimulation happening in that one hour.
A range of holistic activities (motor, linguistic, musical, spatial, mathematical) are covered in each class. All in all, we do 40 to 50 activities per lesson. Yes, we go through all that in one class. When I said the pace is fast, I wasn’t kidding. But don’t worry about the children not being able to follow the lesson, some of the activities repeat every week for a month or a term so that the children can learn and absorb much better.
Flashcard reading. The teacher covers each card in a split-second speed, using a loud, dynamic voice.
Link memory cards. Remembering the pictures in the correct order by associating it with a make-believe story. For example, “My mother puts on a blue ribbon straw hat for the baby after placing her on the stroller…”
Iroita time. This reinforces on a variety of skills such as fine motor development, mathematical concepts and their ability to problem-solve through trial and error.
Counting 3D blocks. This helps to develop their counting skills and their visual and spatial awareness.
Towards the End
At the end of every class, the teacher goes through a ‘Parent’s Lecture’ handout explaining the purpose of the special activities conducted, how these activities aid in your child’s development and how parents can replicate the same teaching methods at home. For a mother like myself who sometimes has no idea what to do with my girls, I find this to be extremely helpful.
My Children’s Progress
Georgia, 1 year old, Baby class
Georgia is a little inconsistent when it comes to paying attention during the class. Some days, she surprises me with her ability to participate in some of the activities which I thought are too advanced for her. She seems to be able to understand instructions well and complete the tasks set by the teacher. Other times, she is distracted by everything else that goes on in class. The only thing that is sure to get her attention is music, which is great, because many activities are taught through songs and movement.
Lauren, 3 years old, Toddler class
I must say Lauren has grown leaps and bounds since we started Heguru 4 months ago. From an extremely shy girl who didn’t like strangers looking at her, she is growing out of her shell and becoming more confident. She gave both teachers big hugs after just one class! Now, she participates enthusiastically in class and will even speak out when she knows the answers to the activities.
She is extremely good with puzzles and activities related to visual memory, and enjoys going up to the class during peg memory exercise. Lauren has also become a better reader. She now reads by using her finger to lead and point at the words, a technique she picked up during class. Whenever we read at home now, she would point at the words and try to read along too.
As for me, besides my daughters learning new things every week, I’m most pleased to see them enjoying their classes. They get very excited every week when we tell them it is ‘school’ day and they can’t wait to get to classes.
For more information, visit Heguru Education Centre website at www.hegurueducation.com.sg
This is the second part of The New Age Parents and Heguru Education series. In the next part, Mum Blogger Michelle Hon will go in-depth into how some of the lessons are conducted and ways to replicate these lessons at home.
Read part 1 here: Right Brain Training For Your Baby and Toddler
Michelle Hon is a mother of two, writer and founder of The Chill Mom Baby Planner & Maternity Concierge. A certified early childhood educator and carer, she has helped many busy mothers-to-be plan and manage the arrival of their babies. Michelle has been featured on The Asian Entrepreneur and Harper’s Bazaar Kids. Besides being a contributing writer at The New Age Parents, Michelle shares her motherhood tips and experience on her website at www.thechillmom.com
This was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.