Parents have always played a huge part in kids’ reading skills, but that’s never been more true than it is now. It’s not just our toddlers and preschoolers either. Yay, virtual school. (/scarcasm) So we were so happy to chat with ah absolutely fascinating guest, Dr. Cindy Blanco, who’s a language expert and learning scientist — which may be one of Liz’s secret “if I weren’t doing this…” dream jobs.

Language expert and learning scientist Dr. Cindy Blanco on helping kids learn to read

She has some incredible advice about the connection between language and literacy, so much of which was new to us. And she offers some terrific, simple tips to help kids with reading and writing — and they really take the pressure off.

(Off of us, as well. Because, yeah, it can get frustrating.)

Take a listen to our latest episode of Spawned through the Podcast app right now — your favorite podcasting app works too — or click right here to listen.

If you have questions for Dr. Cindy Blanco, you can find her on twitter @yeahthatcindy, and she also happens to be a Senior Learning Scientist with our sponsor, Duolingo ABC, which is how we found her! (And we’re so glad we did.)

Our cool picks of the week:

Cindy: The All Trails app is getting her outside more these days

Kristen: Emily in Paris on Netflix is good, escapist fun

Liz:  Get your flu shots! Here are reasons flu shots are extra important during the Covid pandemic.

If you enjoy our episodes, we are always so grateful for your kind five-stars reviews. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen), which really helps support us!




Check out our awesome sponsor:

Duolingo ABC

Duolingo ABC: The new educational app helping kids 3-7 with reading, writing, phonics, and essential literacy skills (sponsor)


The new Duolingo ABC app may sound familiar, because this free (free!) new literacy app for kids 3-7 is brought to you by the experts behind the most popular language-learning app around the globe that we’ve recommended soooo many times before. And it happens to be pretty amazing.

Duolingo ABC includes more than 300 fun, bite-sized, interactive lessons, so toddlers right up through early readers have a great time learning the alphabet, phonics, and sight words. All in just one five-minute lesson at a time. And more content is coming soon, including advanced lessons for second-graders who are moving onto chapter books.

Not only is it free, but each account supports up to 100 profiles, making it perfect for classrooms, homeschool pods, or…just really really big families.

Download Duolingo ABC free from the App Store today


And hey, if you like Spawned, you’ll love our new Out-Tech Your Kids podcast! Subscribe for quick, easy tech tips for parents in 15 minutes or less each week.

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