HOMER Learn & Grow

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
HOMER Learn & Grow App Poster Image
Parents recommend
Personalized early literacy program chock-full of choices.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 37 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn foundational reading skills such as basic letter sounds, letter and word recognition, critical thinking,  reading comprehension. By reading or listening to the stories, kids can learn about animals, world cultures, music, etc. Additional games touch on variety of early learning themes such as numbers, basic math, logic, short-term memory, creative expression.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Lots of content, and though it's well-organized, it can easily overwhelm young kids. Levels and subjects within sections give kids even more choices for topics and difficulty. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

App is free to download. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to access all content. Users must turn off the auto-renew subscription option on their Apple account, or they'll be charged $9.99/month for the monthly subscription.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that HOMER Learn & Grow is a research-based reading program that gives up to four kids the ability to personalize learning level and preferences. Kids can develop skills through stories, phonics lessons, songs, their own voice recordings, drawing, and more. Though the focus of HOMER Learn & Grow is on reading, there are also activities that touch on other early learning themes such as foundational math concepts and creativity. Prereaders can use this app independently with the app's verbal instructions and visual prompts. When they create a new user profile, parents answer a series of questions about what their kids know, which leads to a personalized learning plan. Once in, parents can also choose which activities and subject areas kids can access. Subject-specific reading lessons include some of kids' favorite topics, such as holidays, planes, and dinosaurs. Some activities require parents to allow access to their device's microphone. Also, some content can take a little while to load, which may frustrate little ones. Upon downloading, parents must create an account and choose a subscription model: $9.99/month or $59.99/year. Both subscription types start with a 30-day free trial. HOMER Learn & Grow is a redesigned version of what used to be called HOMER Reading: Learn to Read. At the time of this review, the updated app was available for iOS only; the developer claims that an Android update is coming soon. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byTeacher and Grandma February 18, 2016

Expensive and Charges Will Renew Unauthorized!

Beware! I bought a subscription for my grandson and he enjoyed it for a few months but has since outgrown the format and the content. I forgot about the subscri... Continue reading
Adult Written byrodm1 December 17, 2014

Dodgy Trial system

This company makes it as hard as possible to cancel your 30 day trial. Think carefully before entering your credit card information. The software is quite laggy... Continue reading
Kid, 5 years old March 9, 2021

My favorite app in the world

I love HOMER and especially the songs!
Kid, 5 years old March 4, 2021

I love HOMER!

Homer is my favorite app to help me learn. It's so fun and does not feel like homework. It's like playing a game!

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.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reading and learning with apps

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