Recently, a few readers wrote to me with questions about practicing flashcards as well as making them. So, I decided to write up this post to answer everyone’s questions.
Purposes of flashcards:
Flashing the cards in a high speed activates our child’s right brain and empowers their memory ability. When we flash the picture cards, we read out the words at the same time. While the pictures are processed by the right brain, the left brain picks up the language. Both sides of the brain are connected during the process. In addition, flash cards can also increase our child’s vocabulary.
Topics for flashcards:
I focus on the basic concepts like colors, shapes, sizes, numbers, orders, time etc. Understanding these basic concepts is the most important milestone for a one year-old. In addition, I also make picture cards with the same theme such as types of flowers, occupations, food, fruits, Disney characters etc. For two year-old and above, we can add sentence structure flashcards too.
Guidelines for home practice:
I want to share with you some basic guidelines when we are practicing flashcards with our child.
- Do not repeat the same set of cards at a time.
- Start with 100 cards per session in the first month, then to an average of 250 cards per session, and then slowly move forward to 1000 cards per session.
- Have a title for each set of cards.
- Set the cards slightly higher than the child’s eye level.
- Keep each session short at about 15 minutes. Have at least one session per day.
- The ideal speed to flash a card is 0.5 second per card.
- At the end of the session, don’t forget to praise and hug our child.
Making our own flashcards:
I made lots of them. In fact, it’s very easy. Just need a little time and determination. These are the steps:
Prepare the slides with Microsoft Powerpoint.
Print the slides on A4 size paper using a color printer.
Next, cut the pictures in accordance to the size of the blank flashcards. I am using A5 size blank flashcards.
Paste the pictures onto the blank flashcards using a UHU stick. UHU stick does a better job than normal glue. No mess and no spillage.
Finally, write the names of the cards at the back of the flash cards. This enables us to read out the names when we flash the cards.
I’m not sure if we can print the blank flashcards directly from our printer. I doubt our home printers can accommodate such thickness.
Where to buy white blank flashcards:
Ideally, the card thickness should be between 310-350gsm. At least one side of the card is glossy. You can also buy protective sheets – a clear transparent plastic film to protect your flashcards from getting dirty. These protective sheets are usually reusable.
In addition to flashcards, I also read a variety of books with my son. Recently, we started watching educational DVDs over the weekend. I’m confident that my hard works and determination will pay off one day. I’m happy to see good progress in my son day by day.
If you are already practicing flashcards with your child, continue with the good work and do not give up! I wish all of you success!
Note: All information provided is to the best of my knowledge and personal experience.