Let’s face it, parenting isn’t easy. In our pressure-packed world, moms and dads often feel their parenting is being judged if their kids are not moving in lock-step with their peers. It’s easy to compare our kids to their peers and feel lost as to why our child’s development is different. The truth is that every child is unique and is motivated by different passions and interests. Recently, Carla Eades reached out to me and shared a story about her son’s reading journey (which we are proud to say, that journey included Homer, the learn to read program for kids). For this week’s #CelebrateRealMoms post, we’re applauding Carla for her bravery in talking about her struggles as a mom to support her son in a world that often values achievement over growth. Thank you Carla.
As a mother, there is little that brings more satisfaction than seeing your child succeed. There is pure joy in watching a child learn, grow, and develop. This is not always an easy process, and navigating the path of education is often a daunting task. However, the moment when things seem to click for your little one makes it all worth it. While learning, in general, has no true short-cuts, there are certainly tools that can make it easier. Homer has been one of these irreplaceable tools. It has made my child’s learning experience much less intimidating, and much more engaging. I would like to share my son’s story.
My son (Cross) is 5 and a kindergartner. He started school with limited educational background. As a first time parent, I made the mistake of assuming that the only prerequisite for starting kindergarten was to be of proper age. I was sorely mistaken. I found myself in a sea of other parents who had far surpassed me in preparing their children academically. My son was not only the youngest in his class, but also the least prepared. This became more apparent when he took his standardized test and fell just around benchmark. I know what many of you are thinking, benchmark is fine, right? Well apparently at my son’s school, benchmark just won’t cut the mustard. The next thing I know, I’m getting a referral to have my son placed (2 times a week) in a small group for “intervention.” I must admit, to me this was devastating. As a parent, I felt like an absolute failure. After going through all the steps of grief, after all I felt as though I had failed him, I quickly looked to the internet for help. I found myself inundated with information overload, and drowning in a sea of apps, all claiming to be “the one.” I decided to pick a couple of “big name” apps and quickly got to work. After a few days, I could see Cross was not engaged and nothing was clicking for him. He would go through the motions to please me, but he wasn’t enjoying himself, nor did it seem he was really learning. Then it happened, I saw an ad for Homer on Facebook. At this point, with desperation paramount, I decided what the heck. This is when things started to turn around.
Homer was different than the other apps we had used. It began with each individual letter and its corresponding sound. The characters were engaging for Cross and the lessons were subdivided in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. He enjoyed the layout and reveled in earning his “pickles.” He no longer possessed a glazed-over stare, followed by arbitrary motions. He was actually learning. He was quickly gaining confidence with letter and phonetic recognition. He was learning to sound out full words, which I could see brought him excitement and pride. As he progressed, learning “bigger” words, it became almost a game to him. The first time Homer had him spell a 5 letter word, he nearly came unglued. He was actually enjoying reading. This quickly conveyed to his classroom as well. Within 2 months of starting Homer, he took his second trimester standardized test. His score improved 255 points. He went from his abysmal “benchmark” score to being in the top 10% nationally. His report card came in with much better reading scores, accompanied by a special note from his teacher about how much he had grown and matured in his skill level. She even made note of his “hard work at home”. I was quick to share with her my insights on Homer, and she was quick to share it with the other parents.
My son is no longer at the bottom of his class in reading, he no longer looks at reading as mundane or painful, and he no longer feels like he is being punished by going to reading group, because he no longer has to! As a parent, it is difficult to put into words how it feels that moment you see things click, but it’s definitely a priceless experience. Thanks to Homer, I now have a great report card on the fridge, a pride-worthy standardized test score in hand, and a little boy who cant wait to read a “bigger word.” I recommend Homer to anyone who is desperate, frustrated, struggling, or just wants to get a leg up. I look forward to future content, future accomplishments, and improved confidence. For Cross, Homer is the pigeon that knocks it out of the park. Thanks, Homer!