How I Make Flashcards Work For Us

There are so many math curricula out there, some with too much review that a maths lesson becomes tedious, and some with… well… not quite enough review. Depending on the program you have chosen will depend on how much review you need to include.

We use Singapore as our main maths program. I love Singapore Math! It is one of my favourite curriculum choices in our homeschool. Singapore doesn’t have a lot of review included in the workbooks alone. However they offer review ‘Mental Math sheets’ in their Home Instructors Guide, and a couple of separate additional practice books. So for some students, its a great idea to ensure they are getting in additional review work somewhere. Welcome the flashcard!

When my eldest daughter was 9 years old and in grade 4, we began using flashcards every day. She had just moved onto Singapore Maths 4A. She knew most 2x, some 3x, could work out most 5x, but that was it. So I began with multiplication flashcards, 2x, 3x and 5x (I even put the 1x in there for lightness and fun while working on the difficult ones). Once she knew those, we then added 4x, 6x and 7x (I only added 4x, first, then as she was getting the hang of those, added in 6x). I have taken out 1x, 2x as it was a waste of time that we could be spending on the other more challenging tables. All of this was progress after only four weeks.

We do this at the beginning of each maths lesson. The first few weeks, it took us 2 minutes max. Now I only spend 5 minutes each day on flashcards. If we don’t get through all the cards, it doesn’t matter, we stop when the 5 minutes is up and the next day we pick up from where we left off. Her ability to recall maths facts now, is amazing! She is faster than me with some of them *blush*. Just 5 minutes each day, and it doesn’t cost much for a set of flashcards.

I currently do multiplication flashcards with my oldest two daughters. Some days, for fun, we will do them together. I start with one of my girls pack of cards and see who can provide the correct answer first. We don’t do this every day, but when we do, it is really fun.

I am amazed at how quickly they are picking them up and retaining them.

Beginning 3A can be daunting because of the new multiplication tables. We keep going through the workbooks but continue to review along the way. I had previously┬áconsidered stopping the workbooks so we could take time to learn the tables, but glad that I kept on. Just a few minutes of review each day can go a long way ­čśÇ

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