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For most of us, the second we learn that we’re going to be a parent, we begin to feel the pressures of parenthood. We feel the gravity of the responsibility that comes with raising a child and all the various tasks and obstacles that we will inevitably face. 

And there’s really no road map for parenthood. Everyone’s journey is unique and looks different. But there’s one common thread that ties us all together; the desire to do the best for our children, raising them with confidence and a love for learning.

As a mom myself, I share these sentiments, and as my children get older, I am becoming more and more aware of the need to stimulate their minds and help them learn in a way that’s conducive to real learning. While I’ll be the first to admit that my kids have certainly picked up a thing or two from watching popular kids’ YouTube shows, I know that this isn’t necessarily the best use of their screen time.

After doing some research into programs available for children within my own children’s age range, it became clear that there are two front runners: Homer Reading (Learn With Homer) and ABC Mouse. I had heard of both but hadn’t tried either, so I made it my mission to get to the bottom of them so that I could find the right match for my family. Plus, I get to share my findings here with you, too!

So which is better for early learning: Homer Reading or ABC Mouse? Let’s find out!

The Importance of Early Learning

early learning importance - abc mouse and homer reading

Before we dive into the nuances of both ABC Mouse and Homer Reading, let’s first establish why considering one of these programs for your little one might be important. 

First, let’s establish what exactly early childhood education is. Early childhood education refers to the period of time from a child’s birth to when they enter kindergarten. This is a crucial time in a child’s life because it’s when they learn how to interact with others and when they begin to develop interests that they will carry with them throughout their lives.

More than learning the fundamentals of life, early childhood education is a time where critical social and emotional skills are developed. You can think of it as a time where the groundwork is laid for your child to continue to grow and prosper in school for the rest of their school years.

Moreover, 90% of your child’s brain is developed by age 5, which tells us that there’s some pretty critical stuff going on in there during those early years. So while an educational app or software might not be able to teach your child everything they need to know, it can certainly help parents begin to mold their child’s minds and set them up for success in their coming years.

Quick Comparison Summary of Homer Reading vs ABC Mouse

Vs.

Homer Reading

ABC Mouse

Updated App Interface

Learning Personalization

Free Trial

Cost:

$9.99 per month

$12.99 per month

Avg. User Rating:

4.5/5 ⭐ (18.4K reviews)

4.5/5 ⭐ (643.1K reviews)

FHM Rating:

9.5/10 (Excellent)

9/10 (Great)

Start Free Trial:

Homer Reading Overview

overview homer reading

Homer Reading is on a mission to give kids the best start to their learning experience possible by guiding and championing them through pivotal times, helping them to build their skills, and cultivating a love for learning. Homer is designed for children between the ages of 2-8, is research-backed, kid-tested, and parent-approved. 

Homer Learning has their very one research-based method that’s been carefully designed by early childhood education experts called the HOMER Method. The HOMER Method is about so much more than rote memorization, it takes into consideration confidence building, problem solving, and the promotion of a lifelong love of learning. 

Homer Reading is delivered through an easy-to-use app that’s equipped with kid-friendly navigation that makes independent play seamless.

The Homer Method

method of homer reading
1. Introduce

This stage is all about getting kids excited about learning and supporting them by introducing the skill or topic and relevant vocabulary.

2. Apply

Next, Homer empowers young learners with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding in a familiar context.

3. Practice

Your child will boost their confidence by practicing their skills in fun, engaging ways.

4. Transfer

Help your child transition their newly learned skills into the real world by allowing them to demonstrate their knowledge in a new or different way. 

Learning Subjects

home reading learning subjects

Each learning platform takes a different approach to teaching and engaging children. For Homer, the following subjects are the focus of their programs:

Reading

Step-by-step your child will build from learning their letters and sounds to sight words and then real spelling and reading.

Math

Your child will utilize building blocks for math confidence which include; number recognition, counting, shapes, number operations, and more.

Social and Emotional Learning

Learning how to identify and react to different emotions in themselves and others.

Thinking Skills

Problem-solving, critical thinking, and information processing practice allows your child to form new ideas and solve problems.

Creativity

This is an open space for your child to use their imagination and expression.

Cost and What’s Included

Homer Learning App works on a subscription basis, you can choose to pay $9.99 per month or $59.99 for the year. Every Homer Learning subscription comes with a free trial so that you can get to know the app first and make sure that’s a good fit before paying for anything.

Included with your trial and subscription is:

  • Unlimited access to the Learn & Grow App
  • Profiles for up to 4 children
  • Activities available offline and printables
  • Tips and resources from industry experts

Pros

  • Your child(ren)’s profiles will be customized to their preferences (i.e. if your child like dinosaurs, you can choose dinosaurs as the theme of many programs)
  • Everything is personalized by age, interests, and skill level
  • Research-backed, kid-tested, and parent-proven
  • Helps kids build skills and then celebrate their wins
  • The app is safe, secure, and free of ads and clutter
  • The games and activities are actually fun and engaging and your children will want to participate
  • The cost is very reasonable
  • You can add up to 4 profiles so one membership gets access for the whole family
  • There are thousands of positive reviews and testimonials from parents

Cons

  • Some users complain of technical issues and glitches (although, this hasn’t been my experience)
  • There are times when the programs are slightly too hard or too easy for a child and their particular development situation
  • The free trial is only 7 days (which is honestly probably enough but is less than competitors)

ABC Mouse Overview

overview abc mouse

ABC Mouse offers a comprehensive digital learning experience for children between the ages of 2-8. With a curriculum that is distributed across several learning levels, from toddlers to 2nd grade, there are learning activities that fit the needs of every child.

The majority of the activities and curriculum that are offered through ABCmouse are presented as games, but every activity is designed on a firmly structured academic framework that has been curated by educational experts. ABC Mouse’s goal is to allow children to play and have fun while still remaining attentive to the activities that are reinforcing the building blocks of their education.

In total, there are 10 levels, over 850 lessons, and more than 10,000 individual learning activities. ABC Mouse takes a step-by-step approach to learning with its curriculum. As your child progresses and completes each lesson, he or she is guided to keep learning thanks to ABCmouses’ Tickets and Rewards System.

ABCmouse is accessible in many ways, which makes it easy to use on any device. There’s the ABCmouse mobile app or ABCmouse online, both of which you get access to with your subscription. Speaking of the subscription, ABCmouse allows up to four profiles, similar to Homer, however, one profile is reserved for the parent.

ABC Mouse Subjects Covered

subjects abc mouse
Reading and Language Arts

ABCmouse.com’s reading curriculum begins with learning the name and sounds of each letter to be able to fully read.

Math

Numbers, addition & subtraction, shapes, patterns, measurements, and more.

The World Around Us

Science and social studies curriculum lets children learn about the world around them with maps, planets, animals, and more.

Art and Colors

Children of all ages learn how to use lines, shapes, and colors to create unique pieces of art.

Homeschooling resources

For homeschooling parents, ABCmouse has thousands of learning activities to support your child’s education from home.

Key Features and Highlights

features abc mouse
Progress Tracking

Easy-to-read graphs will show you the progress your child has made both by academic level and curriculum subject. 

Tickets and Rewards

ABC Mouse encourages kids to complete their learning activities by rewarding them with tickets. These tickets can then be used to purchase virtual items on their website.

Customizable Avatar

Your child will be able to choose an avatar that represents their look and style. 

Cost and What’s Included

ABC Mouse currently offers three different subscription options to choose from; monthly, short-term, and annual. Below is a price breakdown of each:

  • Monthly: $12.99 per month
  • Short-term: $29.99 every 6 months
  • Annual: $59.99 per year

Included with each subscription option is access to the complete ad-free platform on any tablet, computer, or device. Every paid subscription has the ability to accommodate up to four separate profiles, including one for the parent(s).

Pros

  • Access to thousands of activities for ages 2-8
  • Tickets and reward system encourages kids to complete lessons and keep moving forward
  • A tracking system allows parents to see how their child(ren) is progressing
  • Up to 4 profiles per subscription
  • 3 convenient subscription options
  • Affordable
  • 30-day free trial

Cons

  • The content feels a little outdated
  • There are pop-up ads and it feels a little spammy
  • The app isn’t as sharp and advanced
  • No ability to customize content per each child’s interests
  • There are really only 3 profiles available for children in your family (4th is for you)

Understanding the Main Differences Between Homer Reading and ABC Mouse

abc mouse vs homer reading main differences

Homer Reading and ABC Mouse offer very similar early education programs for children between the ages of 2-8, however, there are a few differences that will help you make your decision as to which is better for your child.

App

AbcMouse’s app interface feels a bit outdated and not as up-to-date as it could be. Homer Reading’s app is very advanced. Also, Abcmouse tends to have a lot of pop-up ads and distractions, which can interfere with a child’s learning.

Curriculum

Abcmouse has more lessons on the world around us than Homer Reading, but every other category is just about the same (reading, math, creativity, etc.) at this point. When Homer was first launched, I believe that their focus was mainly on reading, but they have recently expanded immensely to closely rival the educational library of Abcmouse.

Cost

Homer Reading is more affordable at $9.99 per month in comparison to Abcmouse which is $12.99 per month.

Subscription

Homer Reading allows up to four children’s profiles per subscription, whereas Abcmouse allows access for three children and an adult.

Trial Access

Abcmouse offers a 30-day free trial. Homer Reading offers a 7-day free trial.

Ease of Use

Abcmouse has long been considered very easy for kids, even toddlers, to use independently. Homer Reading, too, is simple for children to understand while also being very clear with directions.

Personalization

Homer Learning allows children to select categories that they love i.e. princesses, animals, sports, etc. so that the educational games and activities can be tailored to suit their preferences, thereby making them more fun. Abcmouse allows children to create their own avatar (a cartoon that looks like them) so that they can connect with and relate to the activities on the screen.

Concluding Thoughts: Which is Better?

abc mouse or homer reading better

For the purpose of this comparison review, I downloaded both Abcmouse and Homer Reading apps so that we could spend some time getting to know them. I’ll first say that I honestly really like both platforms and don’t think you can go wrong with either.

For me, the interface made a big impact on me. I found Homer Reading to be very bright, fresh, and digitally up-to-date whereas Abcmouse looks like it looked years ago when I remember seeing it 10-15 years ago. Also, I’ll be honest, I don’t like how salesy and spammy their homepage looks, it’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder if you got onto the wrong website.

Other than that, both apps are awesome for kids. I have a 3 and 6-year-old and they both adored the activities, especially my 3-year-old. If we’re going based on which app she liked best, it’s definitely Homer Reading.

Here are just a couple of parting thoughts if you’re still on the fence:

Homer Reading is better for…

Parents who want to start their kiddos off on a journey of learning how to read and to do so in a way that feels fun, personal, and encouraging for children. Because Homer started as a reading-focused app, I think it takes the cake in that department. That said, it’s excellent for other educational activities as well. My 3-year-old daughter plays math games all the time and has no issues navigating the app all by herself.

choosing homer learning over abc mouse

ABC Mouse is better for…

Parents who have school-aged children who are using Abcmouse in the classroom. Abcmouse is used in hundreds of classrooms around the world, so if your child’s school participates, they will love being able to access it at home, too. That said, even if this isn’t the case or your child is homeschooled, the wide breadth of activities that span across all ages is impressive and your child will no doubt find the activities fun and engaging.

choosing abc mouse

Tips for Success From a Real Mom

  • Screen time is inevitable these days and really can’t be avoided, but you can make that time more positive and impactful by encouraging your child to participate in the games and activities on one of these early educational apps. Be excited and make it fun and they will follow suit!
  • Help your child choose activities that are attractive to them but also encourage them to branch out and try some other activities, too. My daughter can get fixated on one game, even after she’s mastered it. I try to encourage and excite her to go back and explore more of what the app has to offer and to be open-minded to give other options a chance.
  • Try encouraging independence with the activities. If possible, allow your child to explore the app (both of which are completely safe!) on their own. Let them figure out what to click, how to drag and drop, etc. We live in a digital world and these are skills that they will need before you know it.
  • Although these apps are educational in nature, it’s still wise to set a limit on the amount of time your child will spend on them each day. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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