A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
First, establish a user account for each kid (up to four users) on HOMER READING: LEARN TO READ. Then tap Play. Choose from eight areas: My Pathway, Brain Games, Learn to Read, Discover the World, Storytime, Art, First Readers, and Songs and Rhymes. Each area uses different methods to teach reading skills. For example, in Learn to Read, kids can tap on a lesson and learn phonics skills and record their own voice saying the sounds. In Songs and Rhymes, choose from eight categories including World, Classics, Dance, and Silly Songs. The My Pathway category combines activities from all areas in a personalized learning path. There are also printable activities and a parent section.
Is it any good?
This award-winning, research-supported program encourages kids to actively engage with learning by tapping answers, recording their own voice, and choosing which activity or story they'd like to explore. Because the app adapts to your kid's reading level and interests, it creates a personal learning path that helps guide kids toward literacy. Something (and probably many things) in this app will strike a chord of interest with almost any kid. In addition to the excellent systematic phonics lessons here, there's lots of interesting content about things like frogs and world music, fiction, poetry, songs, and a free-drawing feature, so even kids who aren't quite ready to read can find something fun. The stories include many genre-specific sections, such as poetry and folk tales. The positive feedback ("Hooray and Happy Day!" and "Wiggly ears, cheers!") can feel a bit over-the-top after a while. But that's pretty much all to nitpick about with this very thoughtful reading app. The developer indicates that the app was made for kids age 2 to 8. When a kid wants to start learning to read, Homer Reading: Learn to Read helps kids begin that magical journey.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using Homer Reading: Learn to Read to practice reading skills. Use the printable pages for some extension activities to continue the lessons together offscreen.
If kids connect with music more than reading, use Songs and Rhymes to engage them with the app first before moving on to the more traditional phonics lessons.
Use your kid's interests to foster a love of reading and build off of the activities in the app to bridge learning and real life.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, speaking
Social Studies: cultural understanding, historical figures
Arts: drawing, music
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, thinking critically
Creativity: making new creations
Self-Direction: academic development, self-reflection
Communication: multiple forms of expression, speaking
Tech Skills: digital creation
- Price: $7.99/month; free for teachers
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (First month free, then $7.99 per month.)
- Release date: May 14, 2019
- Category: Education
- Size: 262.70 MB
- Publisher: Homer
- Version: 5.8
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: June 25, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love reading and learning with apps
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.