Trying to keep the kids learning and busy at home is hard! When they're done with Zoom for the day, I always wish I could find something to keep them occupied while I work and finish errands around the house.
If I could do something other than park them in front of YouTube Kids for the afternoon, I would, but I was having trouble finding anything else that would keep them entertained.
Then, I talked to a friend who told me her daughters immediately took to HOMER. It's an early education program designed for kids 2-8 years old that focuses on fun games and videos that build confidence.
I didn't know if they'd be interested, but after trying it, my kids are loving it. Other parents need this, so I put together an FAQ.
What is HOMER?
HOMER is an app that offers thousands of different activities for kids that focus on learning skills. You sign up online and download the app for a hands-on digital experience. Their program is curated by experts with degrees in developmental science and cognitive studies.
They're also unique in that their material is meant to help kids build confidence! As they grow and make mistakes, this journey supports them all the way.
What do they offer?
The big 5 learning categories are reading, math, social + emotional learning, creativity, and thinking skills.
My 3-year-old is already recognizing letters and is obsessed with the creative features! (I think we have an artist in the family) My older daughter takes after her parents who are terrible at math, so exposing her to math now may help her gain an interest or love in the subject that's going to make such a difference as she gets older.
There's everything from having fun with numbers to learning about concepts like empathy in story scenarios. In addition to their digital offerings on the app, there are also bonus hands-on activity kits you can add on.
What ages is it meant for?
HOMER is meant for ages 2-8, but 3-6 is the sweet spot for building those reading and pattern recognition skills; 85% of brain development takes place by age 5.
The company is research-based and fun.
A study concluded that HOMER increases reading scores by 74%, which is incredible. After just browsing the platform, I was shocked by how much material they offer.
A lot of it mirrors the stuff they learn in school, but there's also a great education on building emotional intelligence. Raising emotionally intelligent kids is something I'm working towards, and this really helps build valuable interpersonal skills. With all the fun graphics, I also was immediately confident my kids would see this as a fun activity rather than homework.
How much does it cost?
Start with the 30-day free trial, and if you like it, there are flexible subscription options. It's $9.99/mo., $59.99/year, or $99.99/year if you want bonus hands-on activity kits across Letters, Numbers, and Feelings. I went with the $59.99/year plan, which works out at less than $5 a month.
How long should my kids be spending on it?
Your kids only need 15 minutes a day! However, I consider it guilt-free screen time. They're actively using their brains while playing, so I would much rather they play with HOMER rather than play mindless games on my phone.
Will my child like the content?
My kids love it because you can customize it to their interests; you can choose age, and then interests they like, such as princesses or dinosaurs, or trains.
I also love it because HOMERcreates a lot of new content, but I recognize some things too; they have my favorite book from when I was a kid, Where The Wild Things Are.
Can multiple kids use the same account?
Yes, you can create up to 4 profiles, so your 2-year-old daughter isn't getting the math questions for your 6-year-old son.
There's also some...questionable things on YouTube Kids, so I'm happy HOMER is more vetted for age-appropriate programming (and no ads!!).
This is such a life-saver and I love how my kids ask me for it after school. It has really transformed our weekday evenings, and with such great research from HOMER, I'm confident they're learning and growing more confident with themselves every day.