What It Is
Learn with Homer is a comprehensive reading app for the iPad that builds literacy through four connected learning experiences: Learn to Read, Story Time, Discover the World, and Homer's Clubhouse.
The app is free to download from the Apple App Store. When you open the app for the first time, you will be taken to Homer's Hat Shop where you can add up to three users, and each child gets to pick his or her own thinking cap. Then you're ready to explore the four areas of Homer's Main Map.
Learn to Read is a step-by-step phonics-based program that covers the key components of literacy: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. There are 18 Learn to Read lessons and stories included with the app.
Story Time is a library of classic and modern stories that includes 13 folktales, nursery rhymes, poetry, and folk songs as well as original stories with Homer the Poet Pigeon and his friends.
Discover the World is a collection of science, history, and general knowledge adventures that expand vocabulary and help children connect science, literature, and everyday life. This section includes 12 lessons.
There are two reading modes for the activities in these three sections. "I'll Read It" allows kids to read to themselves or a family member to read to them. Choosing "Read to Me" means that one of the app's narrators will read the story aloud as kids follow the along.
In Homer's Clubhouse, kids can draw and make voice recordings and save them on a personal board. (The app stores up to 500 drawings and 500 recordings per child.) Parents can access their child's creations through the Learn with Homer Parent Site and safely share them with friends and family. To access the Parent Site, parents must create an account. Doing so will also let parents track their child's learning progress, access printables and certificates, get custom book recommendations, and more.
Why It’s Fun
This app gives kids plenty of time to learn, practice, and have fun. There is a variety of content to keep kids engaged as they interact with and progress through the different learning areas. It's a fun and comprehensive way to reinforce early reading fundamentals.
Who It’s For
Learn with Homer is for ages 3–6.
What To Be Aware Of
While the Learn with Homer app is free to download and comes with lots of free content, additional content is available as in-app purchases. To purchase, either click the shopping cart at the bottom of Homer's Main Map or click on the item you'd like to purchase from within one of the four learning areas. While kids are also able to click on these, the purchase screen is protected, and a voice prompt tells your child to ask a parent. When parents are ready to purchase, they will need to answer a security question and then provide their Apple ID password.
This app works best over wi-fi or offline, not 3G.