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Using Flashcards

Beverley Paine

Flashcards are a simple, versatile, yet often under exploited resource.

There are many types of learners and it's up to us to accommodate our
children's learning styles with activities that appeal to each child, and extend their existing abilities. Visual learning aids are generally universally appealing, especially if they are not used in isolation. Sitting with our children and talking to them while we use visual learning aids, such as flash cards, helps to make the experience successful. Flashcards can be bright and colourful and make
a real impact on visual learners. Because they need handling, they should also appeal to kinaesthetic learners. You can introduce texture as well, by making your own flash cards.

For children at reading age, flash cards can be used in conjunction with word cards. These are simply cards that display the written word. Word cards should be introduced well after the pictorial cards so as not to interfere with correct pronunciation. They are a great way to present, practise and recycle vocabulary.

Flashcards are a really handy resource to have and can be useful at every stage of childhood. Even teenagers can use flashcards as memory aids when revising material.

It's really easy to make your own flash cards. Use photographs, pictures from magazines, draw simple pictures or copy from the internet or clip art. Make the pictures the same size and paste onto card, using different coloured card for different sets. Laminate the sets, or cover them with self-adhesive plastic sheet, as you make them. I still have a few sets I made almost fifteen years ago. Making your own is not only cheap, but you can also tailor them to suit the
activity you're working on; for example, to use in conjunction with a story book, or to accompany project work.

You can use flash cards as memory testers, for drill work, in identification activities, or use them in games. I made a set of cards showing household items. We would play a game where a card would be pulled from the pile and the child would find the object on the card in the room or house and we'd all say the word. We also had a set of small boxes, inspired by the Montessori approach to education. Each box had several small items in each box to match the cards. The child would pair the item with each word, then self-correct by turning the cards over and checking against the pictures.

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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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Welcome to the
World of Home Education
and Learning without School!

We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!

The information on this website is of
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as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates
'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

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