It’s been a while since we started the new Helen Doron Early English package: Fun with Flupe. Now I have the time to review it a little.
The whole story is based on 3 main characters:
Granny Fix – who solves all the problems and speaks in rhymes
- Paul Ward – I guess he is Granny Fix’s grandson. He helps Granny sort out the problems
- Flupe or Flupie – a purple alien, who does not speak much apart from some words (it is very funny to see Flupe sad – turns blue – or frightened – turns yellow)
This is what our package looks like:
- A bag – it’s similar to the previous, but the colour of the straps are yellow while in case of the first package they were green
- 4 activity books – not just picture books and rhymes, but proper workbooks. One can colour, stick stickers. Now we are working with the second one. During the lesson we work in the booklets, but no longer than 4-5 minutes
|Rub-a-dub-dub – we coloured the tub and the animals, then had to put 5 carrot stickers on the holes|
|Skill development: Find and circle the same animal as you can see in the front|
- Booklet with the words for parents – quite useful for those parents who do not speak and/or understand much English (in the picture it is behind the 4 activity booklets)
- 1 DVD – with short stories
- 4 CDs – with all the conversations from the stories. My problem with the CDs is that the songs themselves cannot be listened to separately, only as a part of the whole story
I know it is officially not allowed but I asked our teacher to give us the teacher’s CD and I uploaded the songs on our PC, so we can listen to the songs only.
I feel very strongly about this package. Very good material from many aspects. The workbooks are strong and good quality. The tasks are suitable for kids between 2-5 years of age.
Not only does this course develop a child’s language skills but also their movements (dancing, jumping, crawling, running and hopping), fine motor skills (sticking, colouring, matching, craft activities). The five senses are in focus again.
There are 25 songs to listen to. They are mainly traditional nursery rhymes/songs with some change in the tune or in the lyrics. The songs appear in 12 animated stories in which Granny Fix talks in rhymes. (Certain lines of her return from episode to episode.) These episodes can be seen on the DVD.
Have a look at one episode (Rub a dub dub):
Our teacher, Zs., always involves some eating and drinking during the sessions if it is somehow connected to the topic. (E.g.: biscuits were hanging by the window on a rope. – I can’t reach it. – she said and all the kids tried to reach the biscuits. Then they needed to ask for it: – Can I get a biscuit? But a similar situation is created when asking for water to drink etc.) And this is just one example how well the kids are involved and encouraged to use the language in real life situations.
There is a Helen Doron Song Club on youtube where you can find videos connected to this material and to other courses too.
Five Little Monkeys has always been a favourite:
You can find Fun with Flupe as an application in the Google Play Store. Have a look at what it looks like. When I installed it, it was free of charge.
All in all, this set is just as professional, well-designed and full of fun as the previous, Baby’s Best Start.
9 thoughts on “Fun with Flupe – the new Helen Doron package”
Sajnos a mi androidunkkal nem indul el az alkalmazás 😦
I'm sorry to hear that the application doesn't work with you android. It requires Android 2.2 or up.
Thank you for your comments…my two sons,2 and 4 years old has started at the H D School last month….I'm so glad and proud of my decision about choosing this school … now I've readden your opinion I can be only happier!
I'm glad to hear it, Monica B. I hope your boys will enjoy it.
Hello, we have a 19 month old daughter. Both of us parents speak good english. Is it possible to buy the Helen Doron DVD and playing material and teach them on our own?
Dear André e Ana Rita, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure. If there's a Helen Doron School close to you it's worth a try asking them. You can buy Helen Doron materials only at the schools officially (though you can buy used ones online unofficially). Let me know if you managed to get some HD materials without taking part in the lessons. Good luck!
I've been ESL teacher for a long time now. I know this method and I do believe that it works for preschoolers. Anyone over 10 that is not an absolute beginner, I have a hard time understanding how this method works and lets the kids develop anything but oral skills.
I find that the course is a bit expensive, and the books and additional material are pricey.
Also, once a week is not enough in my opinion to learn, especially at that price and that you have to work with your child everyday at home. What is the point then?
As far as I could learn it, the method's main point is that children at a young age acquire English just as they acquire their mother tongue (through listening, playing, interaction with adults and other children). They do learn reading and writing at higher levels (as I'm not a HD teacher I don't exactly know when they start it but the introduction of letters, ABC, numbers start quite early – preschooler age)
As for the price: yes, it's pricey. However, the course material you get is value for money. I'm telling you this as a teacher of English and not just as a parent. Methodologically well-built, fascinating and motivating for the kids, age-appropriate, varied, and very good quality.
As for the frequency of the lessons: of course, once a week is not enough, this is the reason why you need to LISTEN to the CDs at home. You do NOT need to work with your child at home if you don't want to. Just listen to the CD. (Here I have to say in bracket that I'm always shocked at parents who think that they need to do nothing to enhance their kids development at any field if they sign the kids up for special classes)
And what's the point? It also depends on your aims with the language learning. If you want to introduce the love of language learning, to open a new world for your child through learning English it's a really really good way at an early age. For older kids HD materials a really motivating and language learning is not pain in the neck but enjoyment. They can learn a language without swotting and sweating in a fun way.
True, it's a long-haul project, financially you need to plan ahead. But so far I can only see the positive aspects of it.
And for the end just a short note: as our aims in language development is a little different (raising bilingual daughters), we use HD schools to reinforce the knowledge, to have a place other than home where my kids can have a sense of success and achievement, where they can see that others use this language as well.
As a Helen Doron teacher, I completely agree with the previous comment. There is no need to WORK with the children at home, listening to the CDs twice daily gives them the background knowledge that is essential to the lessons. That is why coming once a week to the lessons is enough to develop language skills. All of the children start speaking in English in a very short time with only one lesson a week, but every school offers parents an opportunity to come twice, three times, etc. In our school we have several kids coming more than once.
The aim is to get the children love and use English in a gramatically proper way from a very early age.
As for me, I think the prices are more or less okay – I have seen other cheaper courses with cheaper course materials, and there is a huge difference in quality and mostly in structure. It mostly shows on the long run – Helen Doron keeps the children busy with material and courses until the age of 19, until the language exam step by step.
Teens who are newcomers in Helen Doron have nicely designed, well-built material as well. For them it is also very important to listen to the CDs, as usually they have a strong Hungarian accent, and often they are in trouble with pronounciation. The teen material is of course not only about songs and rhymes, rather stories, jokes, expressions, topics that they feel comfortable and curious about – phonetics, grammar, reading, listening skills are involved beside speaking simultaneously during the courses. All of these in a playful way – usually they are delighted and feel relieved to come to our lessons where they feel free to ask.
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