My Seven-Year-Old Musketeer

Aku punya ponakan yang masih kelas 2 MIN, he's so much like me, a right-brained kid. Ngomong suka kebalik-kebalik, "harasia, seterah, burung kasuria, dll". Susaaah banget nyuruh dia bikin PR, ada aja alasannya, ngantuklah.. capeklah.. minum susu dulu lah...

Me: "Apid, bikin PR terus.."

Him: "ih.. capek tau!"

Me: "Kerjain terus, kalo gak nanti dimakan monster PR. dia tinggal di bawah tempat tidur, dia bisa mencium bau anak-anak yang gak bikin PR. Kalo ada anak yang gak mau bikin PR, dia marah, mengamuk dan memakan anak itu.."

Ponakanku langsung buru-buru ngerjain PR, abis ngerjain PR.. "Udah pergi monsternya?" 

Me: "Hah?" *aku bahkan udah lupa*

Him: : "Monster PR nya udah pergi?" 

Hahaha.. pengen ngakak, tapi kutahan.. dan cuma bilang.. "Iyaa, udah pergi monsternya.."

-Thanks Barbara Meister Vitale *wink*-


Petama kali ngeliat buku "UNICORNS ARE REAL - A Right-Brained Approach to Learning" karya Barbara Meister Vitale di rumah kakak-ku, aku excited banget pengen baca, gitu buka halaman pertama, tau kalo itu bukan buku cerita, langsung napsu bacanya jadi hilang. sekian lama buku itu cuma dilihat-lihat aja, sama sekali gak niat baca, truuus kemaren itu aku lagi bosan, gak ada bacaan, stock film juga gak ada.. akhirnya buka-buka buku ini, gitu dibaca... waaa, jadi suka sekali.. ini bukan review, cuma menulis bagian-bagian yang aku suka di buku ini.


Much of today's education continues to be dominated by a left-brained curriculum. Most colleges are left-brained in their approach to education and turn out teachers with the same approach. I believe we ought to look at the research in terms of what it tells us about how children learn, rather than why they cannot learn. It is important to understand that children process information and learn in a variety of ways. I believe that by examining hemispheric specialization and dominance and by identifying individual thinking patterns, we can find teaching methods that will meet each child's needs.

Although the real problem encompasses the entire educational  system, we cannot use this as an excuse for not meeting children's needs. The responsibility for providing right-brained experiences lies with both parent and teacher. By being open to and aware of both right- and left-brained consciousness, we can learn to respect those capabilities that flow from the non-verbal hemisphere.

An apparently simple organ, the brain is in fact more sophisticated than the most complicated computer. the brain weighs about 3 pounds. it is composed of two hemispheres, left and right.

People who can visualize very well usually are processing in the right hemisphere; their comprehension takes place by seeing pictures. They are called visual learners. Those who comprehend by hearing (auditory learners) usually are processing in the left hemisphere. Those who cannot localize their comprehension usually are haptic learners; they learn by experience. I have found these people to be right-hemispheric or to alternate from one side to the other.

When we talk about a right- or left-hemispheric person, we are talking about learning preferences based on the functional differences between the hemispheres (hemispheric specialization).


Many children starting kindergarten have not developed a motor or hand dominance. Their hemispheres are still in the process of some form of specialization or lateralization. five-year-olds and even six-year-olds are not ready  to do some of the tasks demanded by today curriculum. Children usually are not ready to handle pure abstract information until the third grade.

In general, young children are not ready for paper-pencil symbolic and abstract type of teaching we now do. When they seem to be answering, they may well be regurgitating information and not processing it internally. These children learn by experience. they learn through concrete and manipulative methods. They need time to grow and mature.

All of us use both hemispheres of the brain, but we may use one side more than the other. For instance, you might have a dominant right hemisphere, which simply means that it is your preferred or stronger hemisphere. It's the one with which you tend to process first most of the information you receive. That doesn't mean you don't use your left hemisphere. You may use your right hemisphere 60% of the time and your left hemisphere 40%. Similarly, when we talk about right-brained or left-brained children, we do not mean they use only one hemisphere, but simply that they use one hemisphere to a greater extent than the other.

Hopefully, the hemisphere that dominates also will be the hemisphere that is more skilled in processing the information received. This is not always what appears to happen. In some cases, a child will prefer to use the right hemisphere even when the left hemisphere may be appropriate for the task. I have found these very right-brained children often are failing in school.

Rigidity of specialization should not be overemphasized. there generally is a balance between the hemispheres, with each taking control of the tasks it is best at handling.

Right hemispheric children I have observed create "mystery" pictures. They show the pictures to you but you aren't quite sure what you are looking at until you are told. many right-hemispheric children will draw cartoon bubbles containing words from a story that exists only in their heads.

When you ask these children what they have read, they can retell the story in their own words without any difficulty. However, they are so creative that they usually add their own details and ending. You think they are exaggerating and, yes, they are exaggerating in our terms. But in their terms, they are simply being what they are. 

Each hemisphere of the brain also specializes in a different mode of consciousness. two separate and unique ways of processing stimuli exist within each person. Although both hemispheres receives and process sensory information from the surrounding environment, each hemisphere processes the information separately.

In short, The right brain and the left brain have specialized thinking characteristics. They do not approach life in the same way, yet both hemispheres use high-level cognitive modes.

The left hemisphere approach to life is part-to-whole. It sequences and is logical. The right hemisphere learns the whole-to-part. It does not sequence; it looks at thing holistically, in an over-all picture.

# Linear and Holistic. Linear means part-to-whole. The left brained-person takes little pieces, line them up, arranges them in logical order, and arrives at a convergent conclusion. The right-brained person thinks whole-to-part, holistically. The child with a dominant right hemisphere starts with the answer, a total concept, or perceives the whole pattern and discovers a divergent conclusion.

#Symbolic and Concrete. left-hemispheric children think in symbols; they deal with symbols, they can function with symbols. Right-hemispheric children deal with the concrete; they learn by doing, touching, moving, being in the middle of things. Right-hemispheric children must deal with real money; they don't want to play with paper money.

# Sequential and  Random. The left brain approach life sequentially, while the right brain floats randomly through life's experiences. My husband and i have a lot of fun with this. I'm married to the most left brained, sequential lawyer in the whole world. Everyday he knows exactly what he's going to do. How does he know? he makes a list. numbers it, and goes sequentially through the list, crossing off tasks as he completes them. I, on the other hand, make no lists and muddle through the day's tasks quite at random. Some things never get accomplished and sometimes six additional chores are rapidly dispatched. My husband doesn't understand how i get anything done.
This is a good time for you to take stock of yourselves. If you don't think sequentially, well, the Lord bless you, for you will need His help. Do you think sequentially? Good. please add us non-sequential thinkers to your list, under the category of "people to pray for." << (LOL)

The world thinks everything is sequential. But many people simply do not think that way. Certainly many children do not think that way, and they never will. They think randomly and if you try to force them to think sequentially you will cause a lot of ulcers, create a lot of headache, and waste a lot of time. I will leave up to you to decide whose ulcers, whose headaches, and whose wasted time.

# Logical and Intuitive. Logical, that's my husband. he knows exactly where he gets his answers. he starts out with a little piece of information and logically works towards an end result. Right brained children are intuitive; they are not logical. They pull the answers right out of the air. they can give you the answer to along-division problem but they may not be able to work through the sequential steps. 

# Verbal and Non-verbal. Left-hemispheric children are very verbal, usually possessing good vocabularies. They have no difficulty expressing themselves. Right-hemispheric children are considered non-verbal; that have difficulty expressing themselves. they can use an object, they can touch it, they can point to it if you ask them to identify it, but they may experience problems labeling it.

# Reality-based and Fantasy-oriented. Left-hemisphere children can deal with reality, with the way things are. they can deal with the pictures and stories they are given in school. Left-hemisphere children are very much affected by the environment and will adjust to it. If something is presented to them, They will shift and react. That is the way they go through life. If something is not there for left hemispheric-children, it doesn't exist for them.

Right-hemispheric children will try to change the environment, to make it shift and react to meet their needs in any way they know how. This tendency often shows up as behavior problems in this children. they deal with fantasy, with imagery, with imagination. They are more comfortable creating from within.

I remember Kevin, who was always late for school. One morning, with big brown eyes turned upward, he announced, "I met this unicorn that wanted directions to the nearest rainbow, and he promised me you wouldn't be mad." That was the last straw. "Kevin," I yelled, "You know unicorns aren't real!" With a look of complete indignation he yelled back, "Unicorns are real!"

During the year i learned that, to Kevin, unicorns were very real.

# Temporal and Non-temporal. This is one of the hardest areas to deal with. Left-hemispheric children have a sense of time. Right-hemispheric children have very little sense of time. They simply do not comprehend when you set time limits. "In ten minutes" might as well be "in a few days." "Before lunch" might mean "before lunch next Thursday." They cannot think in any terms except the here and now. This minute, right now -- this is for the right-hemispheric children. they cannot judge time; they cannot complete their work on time; and frequently, they cannot get to school on time. that is why timed tests are so difficult for them. when they are taking a test, they either will be finished way ahead or will still be in the middle of the test when the bell rings.

# Abstract and Analogic. Left-hemispheric children can deal with abstract explanations as we present them. we simply have to tell these children that "this is the way it is." They can accept that very easily. Right-hemispheric children learn through absurdities, the more absurd the better. This applies especially in the area of discipline.

I will never forget the day I met a little six-year-old monster. everyone had tried everything -- all without success. No one could get him to behave. I approached him, purse in hand. I held up the purse, making sure I had his undivided attention, and asked, "Do you see this purse?" "Yeah," he replied. "Do you know what I keep in there?" "No." "Well, I'll tell you. It's full of little boy's heads that I unscrew when they won't behave."

Absurd? Yes, of course. But it worked. He never gave me any more trouble. Right-hemispheric children really can transfer absurdities right into their systems. They have no difficulty dealing with them.

Just make sure that your absurdities are way out that they can't possibly be true. And have fun!


The following is a list of behavior characteristics displayed by many right-hemispheric children. Well i add "yes, no, and sometimes" in the brackets to identify my behavior.

  1. Appears to daydream. (Yes)
  2. Talks in phrases or leaves words out when talking. (Sometimes)
  3. Uses his fingers to count. (Yes)
  4. Draws pictures on the corner of his homework papers or dittos. (Yes)
  5. Has difficulty following directions. (Yes)
  6. Makes faces or uses other forms of non-verbal communication. (Yes)
  7. Displays fine motor problems (cutting, writing, or pasting) when asked to conform or do structured tasks. Fine motor problems rarely appear when the child is doing something he has selected. (Cutting and Pasting, No. Writing, Yes.)
  8. Is able to recall places and events but has difficulty in recalling symbolic representations such names, letters, and numbers. (YES)
  9. May have difficulty in phonics or decoding skills. (I don't know)
  10. Is on the move most of the time. (Yes, when i was a little kid)
  11. Likes to work part-way out of his seat or standing up. (Sometimes)
  12. May exaggerate when retelling an event in which he has been involved. (No)
  13. Often has a messy desk. (Yes)
  14. Has difficulty in completing his work on time. (Sometimes)
  15. Likes to take things apart and put them back together again. (Yes)
  16. Displays impulsive behavior. (Yes)
  17. Tries to change the world to meet his own needs. (Yes)
  18. Likes to touch, trip, and poke when relating to other children. (No)
  19. Goes to pencil sharpener often. (Yes)
  20. Gets lost coming to the classroom. (Yes. Actually not classroom, but some other places, even though i already know the direction, I still get lost.)
  21. May forget what he went to his room to do. (Yes)
  22. May be very good in athletics but poor in subjects such as English. (No. I'm bad at sports)
  23. Will give the right answer to a question but will be unable to tell you where it came from. (Sometimes)
  24. Will often give responses that are unrelated to what is being discussed. (Sometimes, haha)
  25. May be a leader in the class. (Nope. not that kind of person)
  26. May chew his tongue while working. (No)

Not all right-hemispheric children will display all of the above characteristics and children who balance will display both left- and right-hemispheric characteristics.

Most of us have noticed that one side of our body is slightly larger than the other. when buying shoes, we learn quickly which foot is larger. if you wear glasses, you know which ear is higher. the side of body that is larger, higher of fuller usually is opposite the dominant hemisphere. 

Since I started this book, my ideas have changed or, rather, expanded. I still believe in hemispheric specialization and the part it plays in education. I still believe that alternative methods of teaching that use color, movement, imagery, and a whole-to-part approach enable many children to learn more quickly and easily. But new doors  are opening. Ideas such as the triune brain, cognitive growth spurts, and a consciousness that exist beyond  our concepts will enable us to gain a deeper understanding of learning, which will open the door to new approaches. We will begin to understand how the two hemispheres work together to give the individual a holistic view of his natural environment.


Dalam buku ini juga ditulis gimana sistem belajar yang baik untuk anak-anak yang lebih dominan menggunakan otak kanan, tapi tentu aja aku gak bakal tulis di blog ini, capek..

Yang membuat aku jatuh cinta sama buku ini,

  • Karena dari dulu aku emang sangat tertarik dengan "otak kanan - otak kiri", banyak yang menulis tentang ciri-ciri orang yang menggunakan otak kanan dan otak kiri (tapi gak pernah aku baca yang ada kaitannya dengan sistem pendidikan), dan aku bingung kenapa aku punya karakter di kedua ciri-ciri tersebut. Setelah baca buku ini baru aku ngerti, karena ternyata  memang kita menggunakan keduanya, hanya saja porsinya yang berbeda.
  • Buku ini diterbitkan tahun 1982, tapi sistem pendidikan yang disebutkan disini masih cocok sekali menggambarkan sistem pendidikan di Indonesia. Di negara orang, tahun 1982, ingin mengubah sistem pendidikan yang didominasi oleh left-brained curriculum. Di indonesia, tahun 2013, justru berlomba-lomba menerapkan sistem pendidikan ini. Aku bukannya bilang sistem pendidikan yang mengacu pada left-brained curriculum itu gak bagus, cuma.. gimana dengan anak-anak yang lebih dominan menggunakan otak kanan? mereka dipaksa untuk berpikir dengan menggunakan otak kiri, sehingga kemampuan berpikir alami mereka terhambat dan tidak berkembang. Pada akhirnya hal ini hanya akan berakhir dengan pertanyaan "kenapa anak ini gak bisa belajar?" "gak bisa behave" "gak bisa mengerti", padahal masalah yang sebenarnya ada pada sistem yang diterapkan, sistem yang tidak peduli bahwa anak-anak itu belajar dengan cara yang berbeda. Belum lagi kalau melihat materi yang diajarkan, kelas 1 SD sudah sangat berat, katanya karena anak-anak ini dipersiapkan untuk generasi masa depan, persaingan lebih kuat, jadi materi yang diajarkan juga harus lebih berat. why are we rushing? what are we chasing after? it's just something i can never understand.
  • Membaca buku ini, terutama di bagian yang aku tulis diatas, berasa kayak baca tentang diri sendiri. I'm a very right-brained person. and thank God, i didn't fail in school. In fact, i got a high GPA. One of my (not really) friends, a very left-brained person, said that I was just lucky. Well, maybe I was. 
  • I can't memorize word by word in the textbooks, so.. i change it into an image in my head, visualize it as a total concept. I thought it was weird, but now i know that's what right-brained people do.
  • I know unicorns, dragons, fairies, and other fantastic creatures are not real (in reality). But they exist in my head. and... "the more absurd the better"? haha.. absolutely true!



Di website ini, kita bisa menjadi murid Hogwarts.. kegiatannya mulai dari beli kelengkapan sekolah, milih hewan peliharaan, beli tongkat sihir, seleksi asrama, bikin ramuan,  duel, dll.. It's FUN!

This is my username, "SKY AUROR" I like it.

My magical folk

My wand: English oak with dragon core, twelve and three quarter inches. Surprisingly swishy

The Sorting Hat spent nearly four minutes trying to decide whether it should place me in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. Well, I'm a Gryffindor!


For wizards only, Welcome to Hogwarts...


Beautiful Creatures


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