Wondering if the HOMER learning app it is worth it? We’ve been using it with two kids, ages 4+5, and I can tell you all about the pros and cons of HOMER Learn And Grow!
(Please note that HOMER Learn + Grow DID NOT pay me to post this review. I am free to share my OWN OPINION on the HOMER learning app. As always, this post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
An Honest HOMER Learning App Review
This HOMER app review is based on my family’s own experience with HOMER Learn & Grow. I’m very particular about screen time and I sit right beside my kids and watch what they’re doing when they get a new app or game, so I can tell you all about what’s inside of the HOMER learning app for kids!
If you’re wondering if it might be a good fit for your family – or a fun way for your kids to learn foundational skills – this review is for you.
They offer a 30 day free trial of the early learning app here, which was really helpful for us in deciding to buy it!
What is the HOMER Learning App?
HOMER Learn & Grow is an app-based early learning program for kids ages 2-8 (but more on age groups in a moment). It has (literally) thousands of activities to build skills for school and life.
Kids can explore reading, math, creativity, social-emotional learning and more in a safe & easy app with kid-friendly navigation that’s perfect for independent play. (And it’s perfect for passing time on a long flight or road trip, or helping mom get an hour to herself! Just saying.)
You need a mobile device and an internet connection to use it. (They do offer printables and offline activities, but I haven’t used those.)
One of my favorite things about the HOMER Learn & Grow program is that it’s a personalized learning plan for your child – with activities based on your child’s age, your child’s interests, and their skill level.
When you create your child’s profile (the first time you use the app) you answer a series of questions – like “can your child identify all the lowercase letters?”, “can your child identify sounds at the beginning of words?” and “can your child add 8+2=10?” etc.
You can have up to 4 child profiles on one account, so it’s no problem if you have multiple children at different learning levels, like I do. Each child can work at their own pace at their own learning level regardless of what siblings are doing.
Related: The Best Learning Gifts For Toddlers
Why We Decided to Try Homer Learn and Grow
During the winter of 2021, we were travelling over my sons birthday and Christmas, and we were sort of stuck with what to do for gifts – we didn’t want them to feel like they were missing out, but we also didn’t want anything else to pack around with us.
Games for our tablet seemed to be the perfect answer.
We absolutely do use screens, but we didn’t want to get a bunch of mindless screen-poking games for our kids; we agreed the games had to be educational apps if this was something we were going to do.
At this age (and probably anything under 8 or so) learning games are just as much fun for kids as any other game, and the apps were an absolute hit as birthday and Christmas gifts! (If you aren’t sure that your child will love playing educational games, the free 30-day trial is a great option to test the waters before you buy it as a gift.)
On top of that, we have chosen to homeschool and we were REALLY struggling with some of our reading foundations. (Things like identifying the first sounds in words and matching all upper case + lower case letters etc, those things were a little tricky for us.)
Because of that, I was looking for some additional resources outside of myself and the learn-to-read program that we were doing.
HOMER’s educational games seemed like the right choice for us, because they have very specific games and activities that address every single issue we were having – without the fights I was creating trying to get my kid to understand that “ant” starts with “a”. They claim to increase early reading scores by 74%, which is pretty impressive.
The interactive lessons are a great way to develop reading skills and makes teaching kids fun! They do a much better job of introducing new words or a new letter than I ever did.
What We Love About The Homer Learning App:
Well, my FAVORITE thing about it is that the kids absolutely love it and actually learn from it. (Winning!)
I really, really love the individual profiles that you can create on one account. This is especially awesome with a boy and a girl who have totally opposite interests (one wants princess themed bits, the other wants rocket ships etc.)
I also love that the HOMER program considers the importance of traditional children’s literature. They say:
“Young children should know classic stories, nursery rhymes, fables, and fairy tales. They should know the story arc between “once upon a time” and “happily ever after.” They should know classic fables so that when someone makes reference to a mouse saving a lion, they will know what that means. They should be familiar with such archetypical characters as the trickster, the foolish youth, and the generous of heart.”
I personally think this is great because I feel like there is a LOT of emptiness is today’s stories, and I’d rather my children grow up with the same stories I grew up with. It makes my child’s learning journey feel less foreign from my own, even though there were no apps or tablets when learned to read lol.
I love that it’s ad-free. (We don’t let the kids watch “regular” TV with ads, and even the previews for other shows on netflix are not always what I want my kids exposed to. The kids do have leappads, and while I do like the leappads, leapfrog is still always trying to sell them more things by offering demos of other games inside the leappad – there is just NONE OF THAT in HOMER, and that’s fantastic.)
I love the price – honestly, 5 bucks per month (for the annual membership) is just not that big a deal, especially for the amount of fun the kids have with it!
What We Don’t Love About the HOMER app for kids:
One sort of trivial thing to note that my son finds frustrating – you can’t pause the introductions in games – like if there’s a bit of preamble (or instructions) before you get into a game or whatever, and you happen to need to pee, then you might miss that pre-amble and then you’re into the game and don’t know what’s going on.
It’s absolutely not a huge deal, you can just click back and start it over again, but it does seem like a basic feature that would be easy to add!
While the fact that there are thousands of games and videos inside is one of it’s strong selling points, it was also one of the main hesitations I had about it. It’s a little stressful for me, because I really like to know exactly what my kids are playing and watching before they play it and watch it – but to sit next to them and review every single game before they played it would be wildly unrealistic.
I did poke around in the menus and randomly went through dozens of the games + videos, and I have yet to find any content that I personally found questionable. I’m feeling quite comfortable with my kids using it without constant supervision at this point!
The last thing we don’t love about it is that – of course (and this may or may not matter to you) – it’s still a screen at the end of the day. I struggle with this, but my sister keeps pointing out that screens are GOING TO BE part of their lives and that is that.
We do still limit it, just like any screen.
Does HOMER Learning Work?
Does it work to entertain kids without being another brain-mushing mindlessness? YES!
Does HOMER Learn & Grow work to teach kids reading and math and other skills they need? Yes, in my experience it can really help with early learning, and it’s fantastic as a child’s educational support platform.
I wouldn’t count on an app to provide a complete education for my kids, but it’s helped us supplement specific areas where we needed more practice (like matching upper case letters with their lower case counterparts, word recognition, etc).
(This wouldn’t be an honest review if I didn’t add that while HOMER does claim to teach “friendship” skills, I personally don’t buy that an app can teach kids real life social skills, but that’s fine by me – that’s not what I bought it for. I’m here for the math and reading. haha.)
What Age is The HOMER App For?
As I mentioned earlier, my kids are 4+5, and it’s PERFECT for them.
They (HOMER) claim to be geared towards ages 2-8, but I’m not sure an advanced 7 or 8 year old would get as much out of it as younger children will. (Or it might not hold their attention for as long, at least.)
Any two year old would be totally taken by the bright colors and folk songs / reading section (it reads to you) even if they don’t fully understand the games yet.
Three / four / five year olds would never run out of fun activities here, and I would expect 6 year olds to pick up a new skill or two or ten… but if your kid is older than 6 and already reading well I would just suggest taking the free month and canceling before they rebill you if it seems like the learning material isn’t quite keeping up with the kid.
Is the HOMER Learning App Worth It?
To wrap up this homer learning app review, I can say for us, it absolutely is worth it! And I think it would be worth it for anyone with young children.
Any young kids that need help with sight words, letter sounds, math skills, and the basics of reading will probably benefit from this fun kids app.
It’s actually really cheap when you do a yearly subscription – at 4.99 per month (when billed as an annual subscription) HOMER Learn & Grow is totally worth it!
Even if my kids were only using it a couple times per week, or were only learning 1 or 2 things per month, that would STILL be worth it.