Learn With Homer
What parents need to know
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'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?
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.
|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:||Free (with in-app purchases)|
|Pricing structure:||Free to Try|
|Release date:||December 5, 2013|
|Minimum software requirements:||iOS 6.0 or later|
|Award:||Common Sense Media Award|