Do flash cards really help children learn?

United States
November 26, 2007 4:50am CST
For years I was convinced that flash cards were nothing more than a waste of time. That is, until I had a kid of my own and tried to teach her simple math concepts. Not the easiest job in the world. We were having a real hard time getting the numbers concepts across and then we tried flash cards. They really worked. Within a week, our little girl was counting to twenty and higher and doing simple math problems. It's still an on going process, but I'm hoping that flash cards work for subtraction, multiplication and other types of math. I guess what they say about kids learning through repetition is true. Now, if I can just find some to help her learn to read. Has flash cards helped your child learn math or reading concepts more easily? What techniques or tools did you use to help your child learn basic math skills? Please share.
4 people like this
7 responses
• United States
26 Nov 07
yes Beauty they work and very well. I have a 13 year old who makes them out of card stock. She uses them to study on a daily basis. She is also doing better with memory and all subjects. I started her on flash cards very young. I bought hooked on math and phonics. They both use flash cards. Your angel will do well with it. Ebay has them for sale often try to snipe one for a try.
• United States
27 Nov 07
Oh, thank you so much for the tip on Hooked on Phonics. I have heard about them, but never tried that out. She is still very young, but I want to start her out right. The flash cards helped, but they will only do so much. She is having issues learning to read, so I will definitely try out the Phonics idea. Thanks so much.
@worthy (2415)
• India
27 Nov 07
well i don't have children but i guess they are indeed helpful. they are small and handy and u can have a look at them whenever u feel like or have time, so it actually makes repetition an easy thing, something for which u wont have to open up big books and look up pages for one line formulae or word meanings.
@youless (72299)
• Guangzhou, China
27 Nov 07
I don't think so. When we were still children, we didn't have these to learn. Could we learn? Yes. We could learn from any ways.
• United States
26 Nov 07
Back in school, my Spanish teacher used flash cards extensively to teach us. The cards had an English phrase on one side, and the Spanish version on the other. We'd all split up into pairs, and one person would show the other the English phrase, and that person would say it in Spanish. We'd rotate every so often and so on and so forth. Anyhow, it helped us tremendously. That is until the next year, when we had a new Spanish teacher whom did not make the flash cards mandatory, and all of our grades went down a noticeable amount. I strongly believe flash cards are very effective.
@maximax8 (27058)
26 Nov 07
I am a parent and a primary school teacher. Children learn in different ways, like through seeing, hearing and doing practical activities. Repetition certainly helps as well. Some children respond well to the look and say method of learning. The child sees a word, lets say dog, for example. But if he or she comes a word that he or she not seen before he or she will not know what it is. Therefore knowing the sounds letters make is important. We call this the phonic method. I teach similar words together like words with oo in the middle of them. Spoon and moon for example. In maths children need to grasp counting to ten then work on number bonds. They may count with cubes then know everything by heart. Like ten means 1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6 and 5+5.
@Sillychick (3283)
• United States
26 Nov 07
Depending on the age of the child, flashcards can be helpful to support learning, though they do have limitations. For very young children, meaning kindergarten and younger, they are completely useless in teaching concepts. They can help a child memorize things, which can be helpful. A child may be able to recite things memorized, but that doesn't mean he has a grasp of the subject. To determine whether a child has learned the concept, or has simply memorized, present the information in an entirely different context. For instance, if a child recognizes numerals on flashcards in order, try mixing them up, or writing them on a different piece of paper. If the flashcards have pictures coordinating with the numerals, try using different objects and asking your child to count them, or to identify a numeral. Often, with rote memory, the child will not recognize the same things in a different context. The reason flashcards are often ineffectual is because children learn best through real, meaningful, hands on experiences. They can recognize the first initial of their names pretty early on because it is meaningful to them. That is how they learn the concepts and truly understand the meaning behind the symbol.
@3lilangels (4641)
• United States
26 Nov 07
well since my babies are still very young i do teach them though to count to 10 but i use things like macaroni and pretzel sticks and stuff like that.i will line them up and ask them to count them for me.and this way it works.if they get it right than i allow them to eat a pretzel, then they have to see how many are left then.i love the flash cards as well especially the ones with shapes.