A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
First, sign up for an account with HOMER LEARN & GROW. Then, indicate your kid's age and answer a series of questions about their interests and current reading level to establish a user profile for each kid (up to four users). Finally, tap Play. Kids can choose from seven areas: Math, Stories, Games, Reading, Songs, Creativity, and Practice. The Reading area puts kids on a personalized reading pathway that sequentially introduces skills and games to teach letters, phonics, and so on. For example, kids learn phonics skills and then record their own voice saying the sounds. The other areas offer kids a menu of activities to choose from, including song videos, coloring pages, letter writing practice, puzzles, and storybooks. Parents receive updates and supplemental information through the email address they provided when creating an account.
Is it any good?
This award-winning, research-supported program shines most in its reading activities that encourage kids to actively engage with learning by tapping answers, recording their own voice, and choosing what they'd like to explore. Because HOMER Learn & Grow adapts to your kid's reading level and interests, it creates a personal learning path that helps guide kids toward literacy. Something (and probably many things) in this app will strike a chord of interest with almost any kid.
In addition to the excellent systematic phonics lessons here, there's also content related to literacy, such as songs and nursery rhymes, as well as content that touches on other early learning themes, such as numbers. The stories and songs sections nicely include many genre-specific selections, such as poetry and folk tales, as well as well-known classics like Harold and the Purple Crayon. However, the non-literacy-related content feels weak compared to the reading program. It's much less thorough and often feels simply like an add-on. On the other hand, the upside is that even kids who aren't quite ready to read can easily find something to do. One small nitpicky note: The positive feedback ("Hooray and Happy Day!" and "Wiggly ears, cheers!") can feel a bit over-the-top after a while. Overall, HOMER Learn & Grow is an excellent resource to help kids on their journey toward learning to read.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using HOMER Learn & Grow to practice reading skills. Visit the developer's website to get ideas for extension activities to continue the lessons together off-screen.
If kids connect with music more than reading, use Songs and Rhymes to engage them with the app first before moving on to the more traditional phonics lessons.
Use your kid's interests to foster a love of reading and build off of the activities in the app to bridge learning and real life.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, speaking
Math: numbers, shapes
Social Studies: cultural understanding, historical figures
Arts: drawing, music
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, solving puzzles, thinking critically
Creativity: making new creations
Self-Direction: academic development, self-reflection
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (First month free, then $9.99 per month or $59.99/year.)
- Release date: September 28, 2020
- Category: Education
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Size: 143.20 MB
- Publisher: Homer
- Version: 9.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: December 16, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love reading and learning with apps
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.