K12 Education

Toddlers CAN Read with Spencer Russell

Mike Palmer sits down with Spencer Russell, the founder and CEO of Toddlers CAN Read while at SXSW EDU, just after Spencer delivered a keynote there. Spencer shares his journey from being a kindergarten and first-grade teacher to taking the leap and starting his own business focused on helping parents teach their toddlers to read. We explore his motivational, step-by-step methodology that breaks down the process into simple, actionable steps that engage both parents and children. Here’s the link to the video referenced in the episode.

Spencer emphasizes the importance of giving clear directions to kids instead of asking questions or making statements. He stresses using the right tone, energy and eye contact to keep kids focused during lessons. We explore myth-busting around reading instruction and Spencer advocates for an approach centered on phonics and phonemic awareness. Throughout the approach motivation and psychology are deeply integrated into the literacy curriculum.

Listen in to get a window into Spencer’s disciplined lifestyle behind the scenes – from meditation to coaching to optimizing sleep and diet. He talks about manifesting his goal of being a keynote speaker and putting in the hard work to prepare mentally and physically. In his parting words, Spencer encourages listeners to take that first step towards their goals instead of just talking about it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Use clear directions, not questions or statements, when instructing kids
  • Start simple with phonics basics before layering on other reading skills
  • Prioritize consistency and motivating kids over frontloading everything
  • Manifesting goals requires dedicated preparation across all aspects of life

Don’t miss this inspirational look at breaking down reading for toddlers and living with intention to achieve your dreams.

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Toddlers Can Read. (2022, November 29). The Secret to Helping ANY Child Follow Your Directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c-VD86TKoU