Learn With Homer

 

Learning(i)

Beautiful app promotes skills and a love of reading.
Common Sense Media Award
  • Device: iPad
  • Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
  • Category: Education

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Very easy to play. Well-organized content on the map sections helps guide kids toward the activity they're interested in for that play session. Levels and subject matter within the sections give kids even more choices and appropriate skills practice. Particularly good for kids who have specific learning disabilities.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

App is free to download and has lots of free content, including the creative elements where kids can draw pictures or record their voices. Kids can see the paid content alongside the free content, which has the potential to lead to frustration for young kids who don't fully understand why they can't access parts of the app. For example, the first two reading lessons listed are free but the next lessons in the row require in-app purchases ($1.99 per lesson and $3.99 multi-pack). Discover the World and Story Time content also includes free and paid content ($1.99 each or $5.99). You can buy individual lesson or bundles.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Parents must agree to the site's terms when they create a parent account, using their email address and creating a password. Kids can insert their photo, name, and age onto the app for their player account, but this info is not required to play. (No avatar choices are currently available if kids don't use their photo for their player icon.) Learn With Homer's privacy policy is long but in relatively plain English, so it's more reader-friendly than many privacy policies.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Learn with Homer is a learn-to-read app for kids ages 3 to 6 that incorporates drawing, voice recording, stories, songs, and more, along with more traditional phonics exercises. This app can be helpful for kids who have speech production issues and organization of language issues. A beautiful map on the main page presents all of the options kids can explore: Learn to Read, Story Time; Discover the World, and Homer's Clubhouse. Clear verbal instructions guide kids in all areas. The systematic, sequential phonics program provides kids with lessons, then interactive activities, and a review before moving on to the next level. Within Discover the World, kids can learn about topics ranging from zoos to the five senses. The stories are beautiful, and include many genre-specific sections, like poetry and folk tales. Kids are encouraged throughout the app to draw or voice record their thoughts about everything they're learning. Up to three kids can have individual user accounts on one app, and parents can view progress of each kid aligned with their parent account. Kids can also send and receive "Pigeon Post" through an invite-only system accessed through the web or in-app.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • speaking
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Science

  • animals

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

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learn With Homer is a fun app that engages kids through the beautiful map where they can find just the right lesson, book, song, or creative activity to pique their interest that day.

Learning Approach

Learning and creative expression are integral parts of the experience. Kids get systematic phonics lessons, and then respond to critical-thinking questions about readings.

Support

Verbal instructions throughout lessons and activities are clear and brief. Kids can extend the core lessons to related creative drawings, voice recordings, and extension activities. Adults can get reports on each kid's progress.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • phonics
  • reading
  • reading comprehension
  • speaking
  • following directions
  • letter or word recognition

Science

  • animals

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

Kids can learn foundational reading skills on Learn With Homer: basic letter sounds, letter (capital and lowercase) and word recognition, critical thinking, and reading comprehension. By reading or listening to the stories, kids can also learn about animals, world cultures, music, and more. As kids draw and make voice recordings, they learn digital creation skills. So much content, kids will have something new to read, listen to, or try for months. It's unfortunate, though, that the free and paid content are displayed together, which could frustrate young kids. Learn With Homer is a captivating, comprehensive beginning reading resource.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

View the map to choose which area to visit. In Learn to Read, kids tap and listen to a lesson, play activities, and review before moving onto the next lesson. In Discover the World, kids tap on a bright photo to select a subject within the general categories of science, art, history, or literature. Story Time houses book options. Kids can choose "read-to-me" or "I'll read it." The Clubhouse is where kids find free-drawing and recording, and a pinboard displays their work. Via the web or in-app, kids can send and receive postcards from invited friends and family members.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Learn with Homer is an outstanding way to get kids excited about all of the amazing things to learn about and enjoy through reading. Reading is the key! Something (and probably many things) on 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 or haven't been bitten yet by the love-of-reading bug can find something fun.

The app also encourages kids to think critically about what they're learning by answering comprehension questions, drawing their ideas based on content-related prompts, and recording answers to general interest questions. The positive feedback ("Hooray and Happy Day!" and "Wiggly ears cheers!") can feel a bit over-the-top after a while. But that's about all to nitpick about this very thoughtful reading app. In many ways, reading is like entering a conversation with life, and Learn With Homer helps kids begin that magical journey.

Families can talk about...

  • Check out your kid's pinboard and talk with her about what she's creating on the app.

  • Search for some extension activities on the parent site to continue the lessons together.

App details

Device:iPad
Price:Free (with in-app purchases)
Pricing structure:Free to Try
Release date:December 5, 2013
Category:Education
Size:297.00 MB
Publisher:HomerLearning Inc.
Version:1.12
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later
Award:Common Sense Media Award

This review of Learn With Homer was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byGloom mommy December 27, 2013
age 5+
 

Wonderful app for language development and learning to read!

We love Learning with Homer! My son is having a very difficult time learning to read and this language rich app has really provided a positive connection with reading rather than frustration. There is a Learn to Read section that we've its but he spends most of his time in the Storytime and Discover the World areas where there are sections of poetry, folk songs and short educational stories. He is actually learning a lot of "fun facts" and they ask comprehension questions at the end of the story and he can record his answer. We have enjoyed it so much that we did pay for the additional lessons and stories, and it was well worth every penny. The Folk Songs may be my favorite group. I can go online at any time and listen to the answers he recorded as well as see where he has visited in Homer's world and track his progress. I think it is the best parent tracking of any of our other apps. Most of all, this app is getting my son interested in reading again and I can't fully express my appreciation for that! My son is 7 and not a strong reader. This would have been perfect for my daughter at 4 or 5.
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written byScienceteachermom September 2, 2013
age 4+
 

Learn with Homer is beautiful!

Learn with Homer is a fantastic app to have available for your child ages 3 to 6. Learn with Homer facilitates learning letter sounds and shapes while having fun being creative. Not only are the program manipulation on the screen surprising they are beautiful. Your child will be engaging in literacy a swell as beauty. I never saw my son laugh so hard as when he was recording his thoughts in funny voices and playing it back again. There are so many resources and reading experiences on Learn with Homer, I recommend this app to everyone!
Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byJessQ February 28, 2014
age 4+
 
LEARNING

This app is amazing

Learn With Homer is an awesome app. My daughter tells me the most fascinating facts from what she's learned from Homer. If only she came home with the same interesting facts from school... This app includes music, stories, poems, activities, facts and it is nice and colourful. Can't recommend it enough.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use

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