Shichida vs. Doman: A Comprehensive Comparison of Advanced Early Learning Methods

Early childhood education is critical in shaping a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Two renowned methodologies in this field are the Shichida Method and the Doman Method. Both emphasise the importance of early brain development but differ significantly in their philosophies and techniques. This article explores the key differences and similarities between these two methodologies, helping parents make informed decisions.

The Shichida Method

Photo Credit: Shichida Australia. Kids playing a phonics game in a Shichida class.

Background and Philosophy

The Shichida Method, established by Professor Makoto Shichida in 1958, is rooted in extensive research into early childhood brain development. This method emphasizes comprehensive brain training, engaging both the right and left hemispheres to enhance creativity, intuition, memory, and logical thinking. Shichida’s philosophy posits that every child has vast potential that can be unlocked through early and appropriate stimulation and nurturing.

Type of Early Learning Method

  • Whole-Brain Training: The Shichida Method categorizes as a whole-brain training program, emphasizing the development of both the right and left hemispheres of the brain through structured and varied activities.

Age Range

  • Shichida Method Program: Caters to children from 6 months to 9 years old, with an intake cutoff age of 4 1/2 years old.
  • SHICHIDA at Home Program: Designed for children aged 1 to 5 years.

Key Components

  • Right-Brain Training: Activities like flashcards, speed reading, and memory games stimulate the right hemisphere, enhancing creativity, intuition, and photographic memory.
  • Left-Brain Training: Activities such as puzzles, phonics exercises, and math games develop logical thinking and language skills.
  • Memory Development: Techniques like memory linking and rapid image flashing improve photographic memory and recall abilities.
  • Emotional Development: The method emphasizes emotional bonding and positive reinforcement to build a child’s confidence and motivation.
  • Flashcards: Used as a right-brain activity to increase vocabulary, general knowledge, math and phonics knowledge, and improve memory.
  • Sensory Stimulation: Songs, games, and activities stimulate the senses to enhance sensory processing.
  • Parental Involvement: Parents play an integral role in the Shichida Method, actively participating in activities and creating a nurturing home environment.


  • Enhance memory and concentration.
  • Improve problem-solving skills.
  • Balance development of both brain hemispheres.
  • Develop strong emotional intelligence and social skills.
  • Increase confidence and motivation.
  • Provide an engaging and fun learning experience for kids.
  • Strengthen the parent-child bond.

Program Structure

  • Shichida Centres: Offer one class per week, ensuring fun, consistent, and structured learning experiences.
  • SHICHIDA at Home: Provides a flexible online learning platform for ages 1 to 5, including videos, songs, printable workbooks, and parental guides.


The Doman Method

Background and Philosophy

The Doman Method, developed by Glenn Doman in the 1950s, focuses on early brain development through physical and intellectual stimulation. Doman, a physical therapist, developed this method based on his work with brain-injured children, later adapting it for healthy children to maximize their developmental potential.

Type of Early Learning Method

Neurodevelopmental Approach: The Doman Method is categorized as a neurodevelopmental approach that emphasizes physical activities to stimulate brain growth and cognitive exercises to enhance intellectual abilities.

Age Range

The Doman Method is typically applied to infants and young children from birth to around six years old.

Key Components

  1. Physical Development: Emphasizes crawling, creeping, and other physical activities to stimulate brain growth and motor skills development.
  2. Flashcard Learning: Uses flashcards for teaching reading, math, and general knowledge.
  3. Sensory Stimulation: Incorporates activities that stimulate the five senses to improve sensory processing and integration.
  4. Enriched Environment: Encourages creating a stimulating environment with varied and frequent learning opportunities.
  5. Parental Involvement: Parents are the primary teachers, implementing the program’s activities and ensuring a rich learning environment.


  • Enhanced physical and motor skills.
  • Accelerated reading and math abilities.
  • Improved sensory processing.
  • Strong parent-child bonding through active involvement in learning.
  • Holistic brain development through integrated physical and cognitive activities.

Comparing Shichida and Doman

Philosophical Approach

  • Shichida: Focuses on balanced brain development and integrates emotional and social growth through structured activities and parental involvement, with the aim of improving both IQ and EQ.
  • Doman: Emphasizes physical development as a foundation for cognitive growth, using physical activities to stimulate brain development and cognitive exercises to enhance intellectual abilities.

Curriculum Structure

  • Shichida: Adaptable to the child’s pace, using various activities to stimulate different development areas, including both right and left-brain training.
  • Doman: Structured around physical development milestones and uses a rigorous schedule of physical and cognitive activities to maximize brain growth.

Parental Involvement

  • Shichida: Parents are heavily involved in the learning process, playing an important role in class and creating a supportive learning environment at home.
  • Doman: Parents are the primary teachers, implementing the program’s activities and ensuring a stimulating learning environment.

Learning Environment

  • Shichida: Learning occurs both at home and in centres, promoting a holistic educational experience through structured activities and parental involvement.
  • SHICHIDA at Home: Videos, workbooks and songs are used at home. The video content is presented by a certified Shichida Method teacher.
  • Doman: Primarily home-based, with parents using structured activities and materials to create a stimulating learning environment.

In-Depth Look: Core Techniques

Right-Brain Stimulation vs. Physical Development

  • Shichida: Utilizes flashcards with rapid image flashing and memory linking to enhance photographic memory. Techniques like deep breathing, visualization, and imaginative play stimulate creativity and intuition. Core key learning areas like math, literacy and fine motor skills are addressed through games and activities.
  • Doman: Emphasizes physical activities like crawling and creeping to stimulate brain growth, alongside flashcard learning to enhance reading and math abilities.

Memory Development vs. Sensory Stimulation

  • Shichida: Focuses on working memory training with techniques aimed at improving short-term and long-term memory, using rapid image recall, linking stories to images, and mnemonic devices.
  • Doman: Incorporates sensory stimulation activities to improve sensory processing and integration, enhancing overall cognitive development.

Emotional and Social Growth

  • Shichida: Emphasizes emotional development and social skills through activities designed to build confidence, empathy, and communication skills. Parental involvement reinforces emotional bonds.
  • Doman: Fosters strong parent-child bonding through active parental involvement in learning and development activities.

Practical Applications for Parents

Shichida Method at Home

Parents can implement the Shichida Method at home through various activities that promote right-brain stimulation and emotional bonding:

  • Flashcard Sessions: Regular sessions with flashcards to stimulate visual memory and the whole brain connection. Include a varied topics to cover math, phonics, colour, shapes, art, geography and more.
  • Memory Games: Games that involve recalling sequences or the placement of images or numbers.
  • Math and Phonics Games: Games that involve counting and matching of numbers or identifying and matching of letters.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Using praise for effort and encouragement to build your child’s confidence and motivation.
  • Interactive Play: Pretend play and storytelling to enhance creativity and social skills.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Teaching relaxing deep breathing exercises to help with focus and calming down.
  • Educational Songs: Incorporating educational songs during playtime to enhance the understanding of key skills.

Doman Method at Home

Parents can implement the Doman Method through structured activities that promote physical and cognitive development:

  • Physical Activities: Regular crawling, creeping, and other motor skills activities to stimulate brain growth.
  • Flashcard Learning: Daily sessions with flashcards to teach reading, math, and general knowledge.
  • Sensory Stimulation: Activities that stimulate the senses, such as texture exploration and auditory exercises.
  • Enriched Environment: Creating a stimulating home environment with varied learning materials and frequent learning opportunities.

Accessibility of Programs


For parents who cannot access Shichida classes in person, the Shichida Method offers an educational platform called SHICHIDA at Home. This online program provides videos, songs, printable workbooks, and parental guides to replicate the classroom experience at home.

Photo Credit: SHICHIDA at Home. The SHICHIDA at Home content is delivered on a child-safe, ad-free educational platform.

Doman Online Resources

The Doman Method is primarily home-based, with various resources available through The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, including books, courses, and materials to support parents in implementing the program at home.



Both the Shichida and Doman methods offer unique and effective approaches to early childhood education, focusing on harnessing the brain’s potential during its most formative years.

  • Shichida: Ideal for parents seeking a balanced approach that includes cognitive, emotional, and social development, with significant emphasis on parental involvement.
  • Doman: Suited for those looking for a neurodevelopmental approach that emphasizes physical development as a foundation for cognitive growth.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on the individual needs and learning style of the child, as well as the parents’ involvement and educational philosophy. By understanding the core principles and benefits of each method, parents can make a well-informed decision to support their child’s early development journey during the crucial years of development.

SHICHIDA at Home provides many activities designed to help develop your child’s cognitive abilities. Try your FREE TRIAL today!

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