When we first began homeschooling I discovered that if I put information on a flash card of sorts, the kids memorized the information better. This was true for math facts, obviously, but also for vocabulary work, some history and science information, and most recently, forms of the verb “be” along with the helping verb list. In addition to math facts for Maggie I use cards for various sight words I discovered in a list in this (very helpful if you don’t know what you’re doing) book.
At first I would try to begin Math with a drill. I would begin English with the vocab drill. And so on. Well, if the kids were working at different paces, the drill would just get dropped. So the last two years we have incorporated about 15-20 minutes a day we call “drill time”. During drill time we all do ALL of the drill subjects together. Maggie’s cards are separate, but she still answers her card in turn.
In order to make life a little more exciting, the boys came up with a fun way to do drill time. If they give the proper answer for the card, they run and tag the front door and run back. They do this relay style and slap hands with the next “answerer” in line. This is good for our family because after twenty minutes of running back and forth, a little bit of that pent up-winter energy is spent. Warning: this isn’t necessarily the safest activity….especially if the kids are in sock-feet on a hard wood floor. We do have wipe outs periodically, but nothing that has kept them from getting up and going again.
Side Note: I love triangle flash cards for math (one set for addition and subtraction; one set for multiplication and division) because it helps them learn the number families. You cover the top number for addition, one of the bottom corners for subtraction (same approach for multiplication and division). I also like that I only have two sets of cards for all four types of facts.
How do you get your kids to memorize information? I’d love some fresh ideas!