Awesome Reading App Called HOMER
Since many of us are homeschooling or looking for ways to keep our kids’ brains sharp while they’re out of school, I jumped at the chance to try HOMER. HOMER is an interactive way for young kids (ages 2-8) to learn how to read! Elizabeth LOVES it!
I’m not sure if I have shared this before, but Elizabeth is in the dual immersion program at school. She normally spends half of her day in English and half in Spanish. Gage is also in the program, but he started at a much older age (3rd Grade). I have the advantage (or disadvantage depending on how you look at it) of knowing where Gage was in 2nd grade in terms of his reading level… and I compare that to Elizabeth. Long story short, Elizabeth is WAY behind where Gage was at the same age. I know that this is a direct result of the dual immersion program, but it’s still scary! That’s another reason I am so excited to have more reading tools for Elizabeth. She really needs the practice.
Okay, let’s talk more about HOMER.
What Is HOMER?
HOMER is a fun, interactive learning program for children ages 2-8. They have two apps, HOMER Reading and HOMER Stories.
First, I want to talk about HOMER Reading. The app creates a personalized learning program based on your child’s age, current reading level, and interests. They have lessons on ABCs, spelling, phonics, sight words, tracing letters to build motor skills, and so much more! You can see in the images above, how bold and beautiful the graphics are. The sound effects and video animations are also top-notch. Elizabeth is mesmerized every time she jumps on. You can also track your child’s progress and add other children to the app! I try to carve out 20 minutes a day, 3 times per week, for Elizabeth to practice.
You can start your free 30-day trial before you decide if you’d like to pay for HOMER. You get both HOMER Reading and HOMER Stories at a monthly fee of $7.95 or an annual fee of $44. The annual fee is 54% off right now which is a great deal (usually $79.99/year)! AMAZING!
Does it Work??
There are 100’s of literacy apps out there. It’s pretty overwhelming. When I am searching for resources, I want to find THE best…and make sure it is highly reviewed and tested… in other words… I want to make sure it ACTUALLY works. Homer Reading is not only highly reviewed, it has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes.com, The Today Show, etc. HOMER was also part of a study in preschool classrooms. Students used HOMER for 15 minutes a day for a period of 6 weeks. At the end of the study, the students who used HOMER Reading showed significant improvements in phonics, and letter sounds.
HOMER Stories App
We also downloaded the HOMER Stories app from the App store. HOMER Stories creates a curated book list based on Elizabeth’s interests. They have hundreds of animated and interactive stories that help kids build on their reading skills. You push one button and the narrator reads the story. The highlighted words at the bottom are a great touch!! She was SO excited they have the book “Harry the Dirty Dog.” You can see the story in the images above. There are also books by Dr. Suess, Eric Carle, Shel Silverstein…all of your favorites!
Another positive about the stories app is that now we have more books to choose from! The same old books get boring after a while (as much for me as the kids) so it’s great to have a larger selection. And, a larger selection that doesn’t take up space. Remember that the app reads to your kiddo…so it’s a great option to have when you are exhausted at the end of the day. I can lie there and relax for 10 minutes while she enjoys listening to the story. It’s like a little break for mom.
What Elizabeth Thought
Elizabeth loves the interactive stories and illustrations and was really excited about the selection of stories. As I mentioned before, she was mesmerized by the beautiful colors, graphics and sound effects. Well, let’s be honest, so was I. 😉 It’s truly amazing for me to see a program like this and reflect on how far we’ve come with technology. And, how we can use technology to really help our kids!
What I Thought
* The HOMER apps are BEAUTIFUL! Truly. The colors, graphics, animations, sound effects, they are SO well done! And I loved that Elizabeth was so engaged.
* In addition to being a little behind with reading, Elizabeth also struggles with spelling and I am really excited for her to practice her spelling with this app.
* I’m excited about having more books to choose from for our tuck-in reading. And, even more excited that the narrator does the reading… so I can get a little break.
Have you found an awesome resource to help your kids learn? Please share it the comments below! If you have questions about the apps, post those below too.