The word flashcards makes me think of the multiplication table. I’m pretty sure that’s how I learned it as a kid. (Yes, I still remember it today, so it seems to have worked!) Using flashcards to review academic information with your child can be an effective way to help them study.
So when is it best to use flashcards, and how can you use them in a way that keeps your child engaged, beyond doing repetitive drills?
1. Flashcards appeal to visual learners.
If your child learns best when she sees material, rather than just hearing it, she may do especially well with studying using flashcards. The visual element can help her make a more concrete connection to her theoretical knowledge, enabling her to remember facts more easily.
Not sure what your child’s learning style is? Click here to take a quiz that can help you figure it out.
2. Practice makes perfect.
Rehearsing familiar information over and over is what cements it in our brains. The more we repeat it, the more familiar we become with it, and the more we can access the information within our own memories. Flashcards make this process simple and straightforward by presenting information in quick, short bursts over and over.
Using flashcards is also a good way to isolate facts a student is having trouble remembering, because you can set that particular card aside and return to it for extra review.
3. Games and activities make it fun.
While one benefit of flashcards is their ability to facilitate self-directed study, educators also suggest using them in games or groups. Depending on your child’s preferences, you can set a timer and try to beat it, incorporate kinesthetic movements into answers, or use little rewards for correct answers. You can find more ideas for flashcard games here.
If you have an older child who will be learning the periodic table this year, take a look at our Periodic Table of Elements Poster. It comes with 118 flashcards with full-color images representing each element.