Wednesday, November 11, 2020

I Turn Quizlet Flash Cards into Physical Flash Cards because I Am Stubborn and Ridiculous


And because the kid already has quite enough screen time without also studying her French vocabulary on one.

I am SUPER old-school to be so weirded out by this, I've learned. Syd doesn't even have a single physical, paper textbook in any of her public high school classes--actually, she only has a textbook at all in two of her classes! The other three classes just have... teacher-created lessons. And YouTube video links. Worksheets of unknown provenance. 

Don't tell her textbook-less algebra teacher, but I checked out a high school algebra textbook (and teacher's manual!) from our local university's library, and I've been referring to it quite a lot as I help Syd with her work.

I also print out most of her biology and French readings from the digital textbooks, which I know is the most appalling misuse of my personal resources, but you know what? The print-outs don't crap out in the middle of a timed open-book test, or refuse to load when an exhausted kid is coming up on a deadline, or lag when three other members of the household are in simultaneous but separate online meetings.

Flash cards, of course, don't have nearly that level of urgency, but I like having them physical. I like having them portable, so I can torment the children with them in the car, and I like having them readily available, so I can pester the kids with a couple whenever they randomly walk by.

So here's what I do to make my kids' lives more annoying. I take a Quizlet (you can often find Quizlets already made for whatever you're studying, even for specific chapters of specific textbooks)--

--tell it that I want to print it--

--and then set it up as 3"x5" index cards that print 16 to a page:

I use a guillotine paper cutter to cut the flash cards into rows, then cut each row in half, leaving each French/English word pair connected. To finish each flash card I fold it in half and glue it with a glue stick. It becomes the perfect, pocket-sized, double-sided flash card!

So yes, super old-school and resource heavy, but to be fair, I've been happily using flash cards with the kids since they were preschoolers. Here are just some of the things that we've done with them from preschool on up:
  • Laminate them and trace words with dry-erase markers.
  • Print two copies and match them or play Memory with them.
  • Print them tiny, add a pin, and use them with pin flag maps
  • Print them full-page and let the kids color the line art. 
  • Print them full-page and use them as display posters.
  • Leave them in the car and declare the first ten minutes of the first car ride of every day "memory" time--we did this for several years!
Here are some of my favorite flash cards that we've used:
  • addition, subtraction, and multiplication drill. I absolutely used these with the kid when they were memorizing their math facts. Yep, they LOATHED them, but you know what? Review only took a couple of minutes every school day, and it 100% helped seal the facts into their little-kid brains.
  • Chinese vocabulary flash cards. For a couple of years, the kids took a Saturday morning Chinese language class. The next week, I'd find flash cards for the vocabulary that they were studying so that we could review for just a couple of minutes daily.
  • European countries and capitals. We used these a couple of years ago when Will was studying AP European History and Syd was studying European Geography. Now that Will is studying AP Human Geography, I'll probably bring them back out!
  • French alphabet flash cards. These are pretty enough to print full-page and display on a wall--which is what we do!
  • sharks of the world. We used these a few years ago when we did a summer shark study, and since then I've brought them out a couple of times for Girl Scout badgework.
  • Story of the World timeline cards. Unfortunately, the original source for these no longer exists, but you can still find bootleg copies (ahem). We used the SNOT out of these when the kids were elementary years! We glued them to our big basement timeline, as well as laminating a set to use as memory drill. Once upon a time I even found a bootleg set of all the comprehension questions from the Story of the World books set up as flash cards, and we used the snot out of those, too!
  • zoo fact cards. I made these during the couple of years when Will's obsession led us to nearly every zoo in the land. It would be extra useful to make a set for a zoo or aquarium that you went to often. 
  • insect flash cards. We used these steadily for several summers in a row when the kids were younger, and I still pull them out at some point most summers, because we always end up swinging around to entomology.
  • sight word caterpillar. Syd has fond memories of the caterpillar that took over our walls and taught her the dolch sight words!

No comments: