Lucy Anne Jennings, MA, Art Education, Reading Specialist
Babies learn through play, and play should focus on instincts.
Put the flashcards away for now.
The first step to reading is through language. Language begins with sounds.
So reading begins with sounds.
When your child has a firm grasp of the sounds in words, he'll be ready to connect those sounds with letters... then reading.
When to Start
In language, each sounds in a word is called a phoneme. Learning to hear those sounds is called phonemic awareness.
You can begin when your child is newborn, but don't worry if she's two or more, you can teach basic phonemic skills to an infant, but teachers continue to teach them all the way through second grade.