Monday, August 18, 2008

big bucks for bilingual babies in Boulder

Would you pay $480 for a twelve-week class? One that meets twice a week for an hour at a time (ie, $20 per hour)? What if it was a class for your child? What if your child is only six months old?

Really, the question is whether I will pay $480 for Griffin to attend a French class for babies in nearby Boulder, Colo.
  • His baby swim class is $36 for eight sessions (and a ten-minute walk away).

  • Attending this class would require about an hour of driving (round-trip). I don't like driving. Or paying for gas these days.

  • Adding another regular activity into my life might make my head explode.

  • Griffin is only six months old, for pete's sake. He doesn't talk yet.

  • And finally, as my mother matter-of-factly pointed out to me, I speak French to him all day long--for free.
Still, I'm going to attend the free sample class tomorrow to see how a native speaker engages kids up to 2.5 years old for an entire hour with no English at all. Maybe I'll be blown away and decide that it would really help Griffin (and me). Maybe it'll help me refine my idea of someday offering French classes for kids in my home using music, theatre, cooking, games, art, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Maybe they're looking to hire more teachers!

Or maybe I should just find (or organize) a free French playgroup and make sure that Griffin and Carl spend more time together as Griffin becomes more interactive.

Stay tuned--I'll let you know what the sample class is like. Any advice, especially in regards to what age Griffin and Carl should be for French-language classes for kids and whether it's important to have a native speaker leading such a class?


  1. I can't wait to hear about your sample class. Personally, I think you should take your expertise & passion and cash in yourself (though at a more reasonable fee) by offering your own play groups and such. I'd be there in a heartbeat if I lived nearby.

    And this is just one of the cutest baby pictures EVER! Cuuuuuute :-)

  2. Merci infiniment, Diane! I've got a lot of thinking to do about French classes for kids. When I did private tutoring for a four-year-old and five-year-old, it didn't turn out great, because I didn't really know what I was doing. But I have more ideas now that I've spent two years speaking French with Carl. The dilemma is that I love, love, love my job at the library and would be loath to give it up to become an entrepreneur. But this is all down the road, because we don't have a place in our house where I could have French class for kids; it will have to wait until we finish the basement. (And we haven't started.)

    I'm partial to this photo of Griffin, too; he's wearing the library's Summer Reading Program logo!

    I'll write more about Griffin's and Carl's experience at the demo class when I'm feeling a little more alert....

  3. $480 seems like a lot of money to me for a language class for a baby. Of course you want him to have the best of everything, but since you're capable of speaking French with him yourself (and you do!), I'm wondering if it would be worth it when he's so young. Even if you weren't capable of speaking French, I honestly would still think it was too expensive. However, if you wanted to do it so you could get some ideas about how to run kids' classes or play groups (as well as Griffin getting the benefits of being in the class), it might be worth it, because you'd get the money back later.

  4. Go to as many sample classes as you could, and adapt their teaching and engaging with kids to your way of raising Griffin and Carl. I think you indeed should create a French class yourself. You have all the sources!!

  5. In my opinion, the greatest benefit of attending a class like this would be to expose the boys to other kids who speak French. And it shouldn't have to cost $480 to do so! I've got some other leads that I'll post about soon.

  6. If you do decide to conduct a playgroup, I can help you with lessons and give you ideas on how to structure your curriculum. Start talking to other moms and ask if a French playgroup would be something of interest to them. It will give you some idea of how much interest there is in your area for this type of playgroup.

    We are Little Amigos

  7. Thank you so very much for your offer, Maribel!!!

  8. i posted some pictures on my blog for you, Sarah!

  9. There is one of those classes by me. I am thinking I will wait until next year when my son is older (he is also 10mos). Right now everything is so basic that it probably doesn't matter; its like you said: its free.