Putting aside my scepticism, few weeks ago we took part in a mock lesson at the Helen Doron school nearby. The teacher, Zs., was really kind, gave us all the information we needed (about the course booklets, CDs, prices, summer programmes, the course itself). She was well-prepared for the lesson (even had a little piece of paper with the lesson plan, CD track numbers etc., which E. wanted to steal). She’s got a relatively strong Hungarian accent. I would be happier with a native speaker, but you can’t have it all.
The lesson was only 20 minutes long. The usual lesson is 45 minutes otherwise. We have already known one of the songs which is also available online and E. recognised it showing it with a wide smile and arm flapping when it started:
In the past I had already visited a lesson in another school, where the teacher was nice as well and the lesson could have gone well, however the parents present were a pain in the neck. So this time I was worried about the other moms. Luckily, the whole session was a pleasant surprise. Three mommies were there with their little ones and after we’d chatted a bit, it turned out they also think in the same way as I do. They want some useful activities for their kids. None of them was smarty, bossy or pushy as for the language learning. (At the previous place moms corrected the teacher, talked in Hungarian with their kids during the lesson, bombarded the teacher with their idiotic questions after the lesson. None of these happened here.)
So we went home cheerfully. I discussed the details with D. and we decided to go for it.
The course has just started we are at the very beginning. It’s hard to draw any conclusion, but so far so good. We are enjoying it. I found the CD material quite entertaining, nicely put together and only about 10 minutes long. According to the instructions, E. needs to listen to it twice a day. We manage to do that. We have a long list of songs she listens to while I’m doing housework, so I included the Helen Doron tracks into our morning routine.
The school premises are basic, though. The classrooms are okay, they are well-equipped. Still, I think the flashcard, pictures should be re-laminated every now and then.
The prices are reasonable. If we do not calculate the booklets and CDs, on a monthly basis it costs as if you were going to a costly playhouse once or twice a week.
Of course, hiring a native nanny at the same fee would be the best, but I want E. to be in another surroundings, meeting other people, kids.
In the back of my mind it is also there that some moms might be interested in MEC. I’ll give them a flyer soon.
I’ll be back posting on Helen Doron Early English more, when I have more to talk about.