Should we be teaching babies to read?

There are a lot of opinions about education standards and milestones for children, and some are more well-founded than others. I’ve just read an article on the Huffington Post about whether or not babies are able to be trained to read. It discusses the theories of Janet Doman and her father, who believe that babies are able to be trained to read, predominantly using flashcards.

Now, I’m all for giving kids a head start. I believe that kids can probably be taught to read earlier than they formally are in most places, but then again, I started to speak and read at very early ages. I don’t believe that the best way to do this is by holding up flashcards with huge text on them and repeating them for toddlers and very young babies (especially those who haven’t fully developed their eyesight, let alone some language!).

If reading books with young children is used along with other stimulating language-focused activities, I think it can only be beneficial. But if the main suggestion is to hold up flashcards (I’m not sure if they even have pictures on them) to non-speaking babies, I think they will lose out in the end.