HOMER Reading: Learn to Read

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
HOMER Reading: Learn to Read App Poster Image
Personalized early literacy program chock-full of choices.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

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, and reading comprehension. By reading or listening to the stories, kids can also learn about animals, world cultures, music, and more.

Ease of Play

Very easy to play. Well-organized content on the map. Levels and subjects within the sections give kids even more choices for topics and difficulty.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

App is free to download and has some free content, including creative elements where kids can draw pictures or record their voices. There's 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 $7.99/month for the monthly subscription.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Homer Reading: Learn to Read is a research-based reading program that gives up to four kids the ability to personalize learning level and preferences for their own interests, books, songs, and more. Kids can develop reading skills through stories, phonics lessons, songs, their own voice recordings, drawing, and more. 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. There are also hundreds of stories for new readers, and printable worksheets and certificates. 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. A single subscription grants access to Homer Reading: Learn to Read and its companion app, Homer Stories: Kids Library. A 30-day free trial lets you try both before subscribing. 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.

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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, 11 years old April 3, 2020

It is a good app

It's ads suck so bad they come up everywhere and 7.99$ a month is a little to greedy money wise.

What's it about?

First, establish a user account for each kid (up to four users) on HOMER READING: LEARN TO READ. Then tap Play. Choose from eight areas: My Pathway, Brain Games, Learn to Read, Discover the World, Storytime, Art, First Readers, and Songs and Rhymes. Each area uses different methods to teach reading skills. For example, in Learn to Read, kids can tap on a lesson and learn phonics skills and record their own voice saying the sounds. In Songs and Rhymes, choose from eight categories including World, Classics, Dance, and Silly Songs. The My Pathway category combines activities from all areas in a personalized learning path. There are also printable activities and a parent section.

Is it any good?

This award-winning, research-supported program encourages kids to actively engage with learning by tapping answers, recording their own voice, and choosing which activity or story they'd like to explore. Because the app 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 lots of interesting content about things like frogs and world music, fiction, poetry, songs, and a free-drawing feature, so even kids who aren't quite ready to read can find something fun. The stories include many genre-specific sections, such as poetry and folk tales. The positive feedback ("Hooray and Happy Day!" and "Wiggly ears, cheers!") can feel a bit over-the-top after a while. But that's pretty much all to nitpick about with this very thoughtful reading app. The developer indicates that the app was made for kids age 2 to 8. When a kid wants to start learning to read, Homer Reading: Learn to Read helps kids begin that magical journey.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using Homer Reading: Learn to Read to practice reading skills. Use the printable pages for some extension activities to continue the lessons together offscreen.

  • 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

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, letter or word recognition, phonics, reading, reading comprehension, speaking
    Science: animals
    Social Studies: cultural understanding, historical figures
    Arts: drawing, music
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, thinking critically
    Creativity: making new creations
    Self-Direction: academic development, self-reflection
    Communication: multiple forms of expression, speaking
    Tech Skills: digital creation
  • Price: $7.99/month; free for teachers
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Free (First month free, then $7.99 per month.)
  • Release date: May 14, 2019
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 262.70 MB
  • Publisher: Homer
  • Version: 5.8
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
  • Last updated: June 25, 2020

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