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Music is an essential and important part of a child’s life. What’s great is that music also has a positive impact on your child’s development. Read about some of the learning benefits below. Then check out this amazing playlist Rockabye Baby put together for us, raise the volume a little higher than you usually would, and have some fun listening to your favorite tunes (lullaby edition) with your kids!

1. Vocabulary and language development. Music can introduce kids to new vocabulary words and understand that song lyrics have meaning. Even songs without lyrics help a child develop listening skills, an instrumental (see what I did there) part of language development.

2. Patterns and predictable sequences. Songs follow a pattern, and children’s songs are often designed so kids can easily learn that pattern and follow along. Through repetition, kids also begin to learn the sequence of songs, a skill important for reading, math, and coding.

3. Mindfulness. Young children are still learning how to navigate their emotions. Kids can learn to use music as an outlet to express even negative emotions in a positive way, or as a strategy to calm down. Maybe there’s a particular song your child wants to listen to when they’re sad or upset. Maybe calming music paired with a few deep breaths can help a child move on from these emotions.

4. Movement and rhythm. It’s no surprise that movement made the list! Movement helps kids develop gross motor skills like coordination, improves our mood, can even help us sleep better. What better way to reap those benefits than through an epic dance party?

ROCKABYE BABY! x HOMER HAPPY PLAYLIST

 

Head to our Instagram for a chance to win $100 worth of Rockabye Baby product and a FREE YEAR of HOMER!

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Exploring an area of interest helps children grow their vocabulary and background knowledge, gives them an outlet for creative self-expression, and helps them make sense of how the world works can even help them discover new interests. Importantly, it also creates a positive attitude towards learning that can have a lasting impact.

Here are ways you can motivate your child to learn through their passions more and ensure they are  actively engaged in what they’re learning:

 

Engage all of the senses! Help make their interests visual through books, videos, or even trips or experiences like visiting a local fire station. Incorporate the sounds of a fire engine or make it tactile with a themed sensory bin. Experiencing it in these ways will help build a child’s understanding of the topic.

 

 

• Help kids make a connection to something new. Whether it’s really literal like watching the garbage truck come to your house and comparing/ contrasting with your child’s toy garbage truck, to something more abstract like relating how a character from your child’s favorite movie feels in a scene to a time your child is feeling something similar, building on what a child already knows is a great way to learn something new.

• Use it to incorporate something totally unrelated. One time, I tried to do letter play with my son and his magnetic letters, even giving each letter a personality and special voice. He wanted nothing to do with it. But he was in a phase of loving playing with trains on his train track, so I drew a track on butcher paper in the letters of his name. We had the best time decorating the track and creating a new way to play with his trains, and I was able to work the letters into our play (“I’m over here driving on the C, meet me over at the L”) in a way that wasn’t pushing him to do something he didn’t want to do.

• Spark some fun into daily routines or things a child might not want to do. A big mom win for me was when I was able to avoid a toddler meltdown leaving the park by suggesting we pretend to be race cars on the way home. You better believe I added sound effects and some race car vocabulary to the mix, too.

• Use it as an opportunity to connect with your child. This one may seem obvious, but there are so many educational and developmental benefits to simply having a conversation with your child that I couldn’t leave it off the list. Let your child drive the conversation about what interests them, ask questions, and add information to deepen their understanding of the concept. They will feel proud getting to share their interests with you and having some bonding time over something that matters to them. No materials or set-up required!

As parents, what can we do to support our children’s interests and incorporate their passions in creative ways?

Let us know on IG @learnwithhomer using the #KidPoweredLearning

 

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This month is all about LOVE and expressing that love through kindness!

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it and let’s face it– we’re parents and we’re always busy! Instead of heading out to the store, simply fire up your printers and print these original HOMER cards. You and your little ones can personalize them together by coloring, adding glitter, leaving notes and so much more– that way they stand out! Best of all, these adorable cards don’t require candy additions, so you’re following the teachers’ directions and everyone in the class can feel special!

Happy ❤️ Day!

 

HOMER CARD

MILLIE CARD

NIP CARD

 

Get to DIYing and don’t forget to share your cards with us on Instagram using #KidPoweredLearning

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From recruiters to engineers, and graphic designers to member experience associates, there are so many passionate people bringing #kidpoweredlearning to life here at HOMER. In this new series, we’ll introduce you to the team, one by one.

First up: Chris Gelles!

 

What do you do at HOMER and what’s your favorite part about your job?
I lead the Art & Media Production Team! You can call us “AMP” since we love acronyms so much. 

Oof. So much. I’m surrounded by a brilliant, talented and deeply experienced team. And, where I like to dig in is in brainstorming ways our characters, stories, media in general can leverage our technology to create a unique experience for the kids.

Which interests would you pick in the HOMER app?

Dinosaurs, Robots, science. Do we have monsters?

 

What were you passionate about as a kid and how has that shaped you into the adult you are today?

Passionate…That’s a good question. Dinosaurs blew my mind (giant monsters that were real!). I loved animals of all kinds. As I grew, this migrated to very science-focused interests. I loved biology and mechanical–anything. Eventually, in my early college years, I tried to combine those by studying biomedical engineering.

But, underneath it all, I could draw. My mom was an art teacher. So, I learned to see shapes in everything. I learned to jot down my ideas, give form to my imagination from a really early age.





Where’s your happy place this season?

This season? Well…I just got married in November. And, I’m still hanging onto happy memories of being in a cabin on the ocean (in freezing cold weather). We had two fireplaces and pretty much most of Cape Cod to ourselves.

 

Who is your favorite HOMER character?

Tutt. Always Tutt. The trickster, the rascal. The force of chaos.

Tutt is the most fun-loving of all the HOMER characters.

What are your top emojis?

❤️ and 💩, naturally.

 

If you could be a contestant on one game/reality show what would it be?

What’s that one that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hosts? I’d do that one just to say hi to him…again. Fun fact: I went to high school with him. We shared a moment in the Track & Field bus as we traveled to an ‘away game.’ “Hi, Dwayne!”

 

 

What does reading mean to you?

Gaining knowledge. Being inspired. Living dreams.

What are the words you live by?

I try to keep up with Gandhi’s “be the change you want to see in the world.” Not sure I measure up to that all the time. But, it’s a worthy goal. 

Actually, I looked this up to make sure I was quoting him correctly…turns out the sentiment is a bit more ambitious:
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a [hu]man changes [their] own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards [them]. … We need not wait to see what others do.” (cleaned up to be less gender-centric)

 

Want to learn more about Chris and the HOMER team? Follow @learnwithhomer to see more of what happens behind the scenes in the office.

Let us know who you want to hear from next!

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