Strangely, the babies decided to stay quite well-behaved today, with only a few isolated shouts (Actually, I have to admit that Samantha is usually the nosiest in class – once, a fellow parent commented to me after class that ‘Samantha is very vocal!’..yeah, what a nice way to say that she’s noisy in class! Haha!).
Today we had to pretend that we were magicians. There was this top hat that we were supposed to put a squeaky toy inside, then cover the toy with a handkerchief and tap the hat with a magic wand..and abracadabra! The squeaky toy will be gone!! (Actually, just sneakily removed by the parent.) I had no chance to do anything – Samantha grabbed the squeaky toy and refused to let it go for me to show her the ‘magic trick’..by the time I managed to wrestle the toy back, the teacher had moved on to the next activity..
There was also this two pictures of drums printed on an A3-sized, laminated piece of paper, and the babies were supposed to beat the drums to a song. It started off quite well, until Samantha realised that there were baby faces printed on the other side of the paper (I suppose it’s for another activity)! So she just spent the rest of the time looking at the baby faces instead of beating the drums.
Another notable activity was once that introduced the babies to occupations. There were 3 envelopes and in each there were 2 pretend ‘tools’ of the occupation (for example, the hairdresser had a scissors and a comb). The parent was supposed to show the babies how these tools were to be used.
We are almost nearing the end of a term! Today the teacher asked for the ‘report book’ so that she could write a ‘progress report’ for the term..Perhaps I shall do my own evaluation of this term’s Shichida lessons too..
Over these 10 weeks I have immersed myself fully into this educational program, and tried to look at everything with an objective point of view. The good thing about coming to class every week is that I get to learn some fun activities that I can recreate (or make a modified version of) at home to play with and to teach Samantha.
The pretend play activities are indeed fun and I don’t think I would have been able to independently come out with them myself. It is also good that there are counting activities and reading activities as I do believe in early exposure to reading and numbers.
However, I have yet to notice that doing the flashcards do indeed benefit Samantha. To be fair they did say that you need to put in a few terms of effort before you see results..but this could be a ploy to make people sign up for a longer period right?
Also, I do not agree to the parts where they play Korean or Japanese (or Italian) words to accompany images flashed on the TV screen. Does hearing Japanese once a week really benefit the child? Sometimes the sound is muffled so what are the babies learning (if they are) anyway?
And..the ESP bit is still quite dubious to me. A friend has suggested that I conduct a study on Samantha to see if her clairvoyance improves over time, and I think that is an interesting and feasible idea! I’m not sure if I actually violate any ethical rules by doing this though..
Overall, I think I will still stay in the Shichida Program (for the ideas if not for anything else)..and hopefully there are some tangible evidence that I can report in the near future..