Take a look inside 6 images
HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids
Pros: Personalized learn-to-read lessons are thorough and entertaining. Additional activities cover a wide range of topics.
Cons: Emphasis mainly on alphabet and phonics with little attention to comprehension.
Bottom Line: Top-notch phonics program effectively coaches students, but lacks some standard features useful for the classroom.
HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids can be an excellent self-guided phonics experience for kids, with a wide range of prereading and early-reading skill levels. For students needing practice in phonics, turn to the Reading section, which offers a scaffolded lesson path that includes interactive practice and voice recordings. To encourage reading, check out Stories, which offers beautifully illustrated tales from different genres. The read-aloud stories would work great for individuals or for a large group, since topics range from history to science. Since kids follow an individualized path, differentiation is baked right in.
Enrichment activities continue with the Math, Games, Songs, and Practice sections, which introduce early math topics and develop memory, matching, and sequencing skills. Each section asks kids to interact by speaking, drawing, or responding to questions, which facilitates building out to off-screen activities.
HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids doesn't offer teachers much help in tracking student progress or providing feedback on learning. A bare-bones Insights section offers basic data on which activities each user profile played and how much time they spent doing so. The app also provides free printables when you sign up for text messages.
HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids is an early learning app for kids age 2 to 8 that focuses on literacy with drawing, voice recording, stories, and songs, along with more traditional phonics lessons. A colorful main screen presents all of the options kids can explore: Math, Stories, Games, Reading, Songs, Creativity, and Practice and other seasonal topics. Clear verbal instructions guide kids in all areas.
In the Reading section, kids follow a personalized, adaptive learning path as they tap and listen to a lesson, play activities, and review before moving on to the next lesson. In Math and Games, kids choose from a large menu of activities that touch on numbers, short-term memory, puzzles, and logic. Stories and Songs have books, nursery rhymes, and song videos in a variety of genres and combine original content with well-known classics. Kids can draw or use stickers to create a variety of themed scenes in the Creativity section.
HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids is an outstanding way to get students excited about reading. The systematic phonics lessons can help kids learn letter sounds, capitalization, word recognition, and a bit of reading comprehension. By reading or listening to the stories, kids can also learn about animals, historic figures, world cultures, music, and more. As kids make voice recordings and draw pictures, they are learning digital creation skills while applying their knowledge.
The app includes plenty of positive feedback ("Hooray and happy day!" and "Wiggly ears cheers!"), but it can feel a bit over-the-top after a while. Despite this, the inclusion of SEL content is especially great to have, and the developers have clearly been investing in beefing up the non-literacy-related content. Though the math and SEL programs are greatly improved, HOMER: Fun Learning for Kids' strength is still in its reading instruction. And sometimes, with the additional content, it can feel that the app lacks focus. That said, the upside is that even kids who aren't quite ready to read can easily find something to do. In fact, with so much content, kids will have solid content to read, listen to, and explore for months.