As a parent of a kindergarten student, I often wonder if I’m giving my child too much screen time. But I recently decided to stick with the ethic of quality over quantity: I’d rather let my son have access to an educational app for 30 minutes than let him watch 10 minutes of a vlog. review of mind-numbing toys. That’s why I recently introduced him HOMER Learn and growan app designed to develop literacy and math skills in children aged 2-8. Here’s how the HOMER learning experience went for an enthusiastic 5-year-old (and his neurotic pandemic-era parent.)
How the HOMER Learn & Grow app works
The HOMER method is a research-based approach created by PhDs and program design experts. The goal is to foster a genuine love of learning through interactive instruction tailored to your child’s specific interests.
HOMER did a quick job of getting us started. After taking less than a minute to sign up, I answered a short series of questions to determine my son’s current reading and math levels. He was also encouraged to participate in the process, choosing his favorite objects from an extensive list of options (in his case, he tapped into insects, robots, oceans, and science.)
From there, we let the app do the work of adapting a program to its needs and tastes. There were seven sections in total:
- While reading
My son was classified as Growing apprentice, which is the highest of the program’s five levels (humble to brag). With the exception of the reading program, which follows a sequential order, each section gave him the freedom to choose from dozens of exercises. Typical lessons at this stage include writing upper and lower case letters, basic addition and subtraction, and interactive phonics activities.
Although many of these lessons are structured as playful games, the results are measurable – in a study of HOMER’s literacy program, 15 minutes a day increased reading scores by up to 74%.
A child’s perspective
When I asked my child what he liked the most HOMER Learn and growhis answer was “all that”.
The question was perhaps a little too open. I asked him to compare it to another popular learning app he uses regularly. He felt that the creative exercises were superior because they gave him more freedom. For example, a drawing feature gave him better tools and blank pages to scribble anything that came to mind. He also enjoyed the “Make Your Own Story” activity, where he made up a story by placing different figures and objects on a page.
“I like music better too,” he added.
When I asked how HOMER Learn & Grow compared to a local tutoring center he frequents, there was no doubt which one he preferred.
“It’s so much less boring,” he said.
A parent’s perspective
As a parent invested in the development of my child, HOMER Learn and grow meets my expectations. The material is age appropriate and the interactive component provides positive feedback that builds confidence. It’s a great addition to my son’s pre-K classes, and every minute of use is one less minute watching a vlog or playing a video game. Ad-free content is another cool feature that keeps him focused on his lessons.
From the selfish perspective of a parent who wants to keep up with the news, or who just wants to indulge in 15 minutes of uninterrupted social media scrolling, the app is also handy. My son easily navigated the interface independently – the only time he asked for my attention was to show me an exercise he was excited to complete. If he didn’t have a time limit, I’m sure he could spend hours using the app without any help.
HOMER Learn & Grow even includes printed exercises to keep kids busy after their devices are turned off. If I had one small complaint, it would be that there aren’t enough of these bonus activities.
Try HOMER Learn & Grow for free
If you want to see if HOMER Learning benefits your child, you can currently take advantage of a 30 day free trial. This gives you and your child plenty of time to decide if it would be a valuable addition to their daily routine. At the end of the trial, paid subscriptions are available in monthly or yearly options. (And if you decide HOMER Learning isn’t for you, an FAQ section provides instructions on the cancellation process depending on the app store you signed up through.)