Monday, June 3, 2013

Ryan at Shichida Makoto Club

The highlight of our weekend was Ryan's little showcase at Shichida's Makoto Club. I am happy (and relieved!) to report that it went very well, and I am most happy that Ryan was happy throughout the event.

The audience was warm and friendly. Everyone had a smile for the children and good things to say. Huge thanks to all of Ryan's supporters! Special thanks to Swan and family who rushed from another event on the other end of the island, and Sue and her hubby, who came with a perfect little card and gift for Ryan! Teacher Hirin was also there, rushing over from Springleaf branch after her classes - Ryan was so happy to see her! Thanks also to Margaret and all at home for their love and well wishes, even though they could not be there. Ryan was definitely in a very positive mood that day!

Pardon the dirty patch on the wall - that's where Tiger brushes himself everyday.

The event started with a screening of one of the episodes of "My Perfect Child", which featured some Shichida children. The message was that building a bond between parent and child is a powerful foundation for nurturing and developing your child's best talents and character traits. I truly believe this to be the case.

Ryan went on stage after that. I was told that I could accompany him on stage if I felt that he needed help, but I decided to let him go up on his own. Turned out that he was marvellously independent!

He went through three sets of linking memory, some block play, poem reading and a song-and-dance. He had a false start for linking memory, although I think it was only noticeable to those who were familiar with the material. He was a little un-used to what was going on around him: the linking memory images were being flashed on the screen behind him and Teacher Erfi was sitting closely next to him with the linking memory story sheet and the timer. I could see his eyes darting around as he tried to take everything in while reciting. About 2-3 seconds into it, he mentally shook everything off and then he started over. All on his own. Actually that was the moment that I was most proud of. Something small that maybe nobody realised or noticed, but something big in my eyes - he knew he was not quite focused yet he didn't give up; he maintained his composure and got the job done. He clocked in at 2 minutes and 17 seconds, which is well below the time limit.

Block play was easy peasy, as you can see from the photo above. The pattern is made up of 16 blocks. Ryan completed it in 48 seconds, methodically and efficiently. Then he had to read a poem which he had never read or heard before. It was "Barbershop" by Martin Gardner, supposedly for six year olds. This was to showcase the fact that he can read and that he can read above his level. He did mispronounce two words - one was "quiver". He pronouced the "qui" like it sounds in "quiet".

Song and dance segment - he did a rap but didn't dance! I guess he was still a little shy. The song was a rap of the lyrics to "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom". Teacher Hirin told me that she couldn't really catch what he was singing about, hahaha! He rapped through the song so quickly!

Next we screened our video. Here it is! It's about 9 minutes. If you turn down the volume of the music at the start, do turn it back on when he starts on Chinese. That's when the music cuts out, and you can hear him talking.

I will talk about the video in another post, to highlight some points about the right brain stuff.

After the video, the other student came on - Tan Wen Yu. She was adorable! She did linking memory, recited a poem by heart and played her own award-winning composition on the piano. Brilliant! When she was playing on the piano, Ryan said he wanted to go up on stage and do his song and dance again! I guess he was inspired and a lot more relaxed, and felt that he was able to get some dancing moves on, heh heh!

Q&A with the parents was short. I think it was a little uneven because everyone was talking on different levels and stages. A little difficult for the audience to ask questions, and a little difficult for the parents to give accurate answers, because we may not be talking about children at the same stages. Plus, we may each have different objectives and goals, and different parenting styles and approaches. Even between the two parents on stage, there were obvious differences. Anyway, I hope that it was at least clear that there is no hard and fast rule. Every child is different; and the most important thing is to stay positive.

The other thing that was a relief for me was the chance to talk about Ryan and not come across as bragging. It is very hard for me sometimes when I am with non-Shichida mummies to talk about Ryan, even if it's just about his interests and hobbies. I mean, this boy can learn 80 flags in 15 minutes - how do I say that without sounding as if I'm bragging? Not everyone finds stuff like this inspiring, some people take it as showing off. In addition, I don't want him to be a party trick or a circus act. So I'm usually silent about all this and, in fact, none of my friends or family know that he learned all those flags, let alone in 15 minutes.

Having said that, it is a wonderful thing to be able to share what Ryan can do, to share our happiness that he is doing so well. Fortunately, Shichida parents are a receptive crowd because they are aware that every child can do what Ryan does, and they want to work with their own children to realise that potential. They know that I'm not touting Ryan as being unique or special because they know that there are many Shichida children who are more amazing. We can move beyond all that and talk constructively about what parents can do to nurture their children, which is the part I like to talk about!

After the Q&A, there was the presentation of the certificates to the children, together with some cash vouchers. They also got some stickers! All the teachers were very supportive and encouraging, and made Ryan feel so comfortable. In particular, I have to say a big thank you to Teacher Hirin and Teacher Nuraini for nominating Ryan for the event. They love and support Ryan so very much.

Ryan had a wonderful time, he enjoyed himself so much although he spent less than ten minutes on stage. I understand that it may not be a big deal to some people but, for our little family, it was truly something to remember. Not so much because Ryan got to perform, but because he got to experience such warmth and positive attention from so many people - such a wonderful boost for a four year old, and we are so grateful for that. Our little king was made to feel like a king, if only for a little while, so it was a fabulous day for us.


Anonymous said...

I think you are an envy to a lot of mothers who wish their child were as smart and modeling potential.
Being a sahm, I feel more responsible to bring out the best in him. However, since young, he rejected flash cards and couldn't focus the least in Glenn Doman class.
Since then I decided not to be too hard on myself (believing the right brain will 'closed') and let him develop freely. I hope he grows up to be a smart one too. After all, modeling could be my dream, not his.

DV said...

Well done, Ryan! Wish I got to discover your blog much earlier and witness all this live!
My son is just 19 months now and shows great potential and I'm starting him on Heguru/Shichida classes. It's be good to hear from you, what you did at home to supplement Ryan's Shichida classes. Thanks so much!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Thanks for your kind words, DV. :)

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