Einstein Never Used Flash Cards is a fantastic book that every parent should read. It gives an insight into children's learning curves: how they learn, when they learn, how to teach them. It emphasises on play as nature's appointed teacher, which reinforces quite a few of the theories that I have read about.
It touches on teaching your child to read, write, count and also helping her to develop a sense of self and social intelligence. It does get technical, citing research findings etc, but I find these findings effectively back up the theories in the book.
It promotes a laissez faire attitude towards bringing up baby. There are sections labelled Teachable Moments, where you use everyday surroundings and objects to teach your child. It also explains why children do certain things: why they scribble (pre-writing skills), why they drop that spoon 14 times in a row (a little physicist in the making), why they make up stories (pre-reading skills).
It will liberate every parent to let the child enjoy her surroundings, for that is how she learns. At the same time, it reinforces positive teaching - seizing opportunities to teach through play and sometimes more structured methods when the child is ready.
Don't worry, you don't have to ditch that set of flash cards just yet, for it may come in ready when your child is ready.
Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy life through your child's eyes. You may even learn as much as she does.
PS. I will try to list down more specific items in the book that caught my eye (there are many!) over the next few posts.