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Sigh. Adapting the accordian file flashcard system to us...


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with our short memories is proving unexpectedly complicated. I think it will be just what we need when we get it figured out, but it is going to be a great nuisance until we get there. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. And we do really need to get there; our flashcards are getting out of hand and feel rather wasteful in some ways because I have never managed to work out a review routine that actually worked. But now we have a huge box of flashcards to get sorted into a monthly review system, as well as adapting the day/week/month system to a 4xday/(repeat for an as yet to be determined amount of time)/1xday/(?xrepeat)/every other day/(?xrepeat)/every third day/(?xrepeat)/week/(?xrepeat)/month/(repeat for however many years we want to remember the material). All those ?. And the cycle probably varies with the type of material. Ug.

Just complaining. More sighs.

-Nan

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That's hard. We never really had flashcards until we started this system, so it was easier for us at the beginning. We don't try to use different frequencies for material: everything gets rather crudely shoved onto the same schedule. Perhaps you could start slowly, with one key subject, and add in the others later?

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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I think I'm not going to worry about type of material for now. And yes, perhaps I'll start my younger one slowly. The older one has to get a C in his community college chemistry and pre-calc, though, and needs last semester's flashcards organized in some fashion so he doesn't forget them. We just have to take the time to deal with it properly, I guess. I'm truly grateful that you posted about the file system, though, because I think it might be the difference between his succeeding in college and struggling in college. Scary, how it all sometimes comes down to details.

-Nan

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We've always used this periodic review system in homeschooling (about 15 years).

I didn't realize there were types and names of and categories of flashcard systems.

 

We don't keep all the 'subjects" together.

This helps to keep all the cards where they belong and in a nice order.

 

Generally, we have daily, weekly, and monthly card bundles for each subject.

In fact we have multiple monthly review bundles.

I have bundles labeled

week 1

week 2

week 3

week 4

 

that correspond to the 1st Monday of the month, 2nd Monday of the month, and so on and so forth.

So there are actually 4 once-a-month stacks when you think about it.

 

As the memorization becomes more long-term, the cards graduate into later and later bundles. If memory becomes weak, the card moves to a sooner-review bundle.

 

I just use rubber bands and a colored "title card" that stays at the front of the stack as the "label."

 

I think my system is pretty simple.

Anything I just put the card in the bundle where I want the student to see it next time.

If it needs daily study this week, it goes into the daily bundle.

If it's week 1 bundle and I want him to see it in 2 weeks, I just put it into the week 3 bundle so he will see it in 2 weeks instead of four weeks.

If it needs daily study, it goes into the Daily bundle for T/W/Th/F of this week.

 

After school on Friday, I graduate the then-Daily cards to the weekly bundle if they earn it.

 

I use those index card box files that are about 9 inches long. Something like this.

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/154922/Globe-Weis-Index-Card-Tray-4/

 

We are very organized about it and I find it takes very little effort doing it this way.

I like homeschooling systems that require Very Little Effort. *wink

 

:seeya:

Edited by Moni
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If the accordian file system doesn't work, I'll try a 5-box system like this. At least everyone has figured out that flashcards are indeed for them, so we're that far along. I know for myself that I have to use flashcards (as opposed to a folded over piece of paper or some other method), and that if I walk, I memorize twice as fast. Actually, the fastest is if I am walking and don't ever look at the flashcards, but have someone else drill me. We drill each other, too. The person with the weaker memory drills the one with the stronger one first and that gets them started on the memorizing process. I did have a system worked out when I was in college, but it isn't one that will work for my children. Well, probably my youngest, who has a stronger memory, will wind up doing something like mine. His current preference is to remake flashcards every time he review something, because he learns them by making them. Most of my classes didn't require memorization because they were software classes. I never took a college class that required me to build and hold on to a large body of facts that didn't get used frequently.

Thanks again.

-Nan

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The person with the weaker memory drills the one with the stronger one first and that gets them started on the memorizing process

 

We tend to do this with vocabulary, since Wordly Wise Book A back in the good ole days..

 

Mon/Tues, the student quizzes mother.

 

I find this to be great brain-effort for the student.

The student has to

--read the vocab word

--listen to mom try to formulate an intelligent response :tongue_smilie:

--maintain mom's response in mind while reading the book answer

--hold both of those definitions in the working-memory while comparing them. )sort of the same? sort of different? close? right on?)

 

That brain-effort on the part of the student takes care of a lot of the memorization right there.

 

Works well also for catechism memorization, events-dates memorization, etc.

 

And children tend to enjoy quizzing mom!

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At the risk of repeating what I wrote in that thread, take a look at flashcard programs that do the repetitions for you. I use Mnemosyne. Basically, when I want to memorize something, I make a flashcard in my flashcard program. Each day, the program presents some cards for me to grade on how well I know them. I grade from one to five, based on how well I know the information. If I give a high score, then it will show me the card less often in the future. If I give a low score, I get the card more often in the future.

 

This program has been so helpful to my son and me. We use it for both Spanish and Latin. Neither of us memorize easily, and I need something like this.

 

As I said, I use Mnemosyne, but if I were starting from scratch I would consider Anki, which seems more popular and might have better support on different platforms, like the IPhone, or IPod Touch.

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My oldest did a quick run through all the flashcards (at least a foot's worth). Anything that he couldn't instantly answer (instantly being the key word here), he put aside. The rest, we distributed throughout the accordian file more or less evenly (roughly divided the stack a few times and then grabbed chunks). The pile that he set aside isn't memorized thoroughily yet, and needs to be done several times a day for awhile. I think I'm going to get another tiny accordian file for this stack, something with only a few pockets, and have a several-times-a-day pocket, a once a day pocket, a once every other day pocket, and once every three days pocket. If he knows something from the last stack, it can go in the big accordian in a slot 7 days away. Anything from the big file that he is feeling insecure about can be moved to the little file until he has it down again. The big file will serve as the main method of review, and the little file will be for memorizing well in the first place. I'm afraid that if I put everything in the big file, it will all snowball up into one slot.

Just in case this is of any use to anyone, or anyone has any suggestions...

-Nan

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The big file will serve as the main method of review, and the little file will be for memorizing well in the first place. I'm afraid that if I put everything in the big file, it will all snowball up into one slot.

Just in case this is of any use to anyone, or anyone has any suggestions...

-Nan

 

Laura

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What is this accordian file folks are using?

I'm picturing something in my mind but I can't imagine it would ever fit all the cards it in, and then the different subject's cards would be in a couple dozen stacks scattered throughout this accordian file.

 

And how does the "several times per day" method work?

 

What does the flashcard method at one session look like?

 

What we do for DAILY cards is:

 

Hold the cards in hand

Flash a card.

Student says answer.

If correct, it goes in the "got it correct" discard pile.

If incorrect, it goes into the "do over" discard pile.

When hands are empty, pick up the "do over" pile.

Same routine.

When hands are empty again, pick up the "do over" discard pile for the second time. It should be shrinking.

When hands are empty again (the student already did the "do over" pile twice), then the student selects 3 cards from the "do over" discard pile and memorizes (best effort) those 3 cards for the day.

 

And then the "Daily" flashcard session is over for the day.

 

For Weekly Review cards, after the first pass, the "got it correct" pile gets bundled and put back in the Weekly Stack (or graduates to one of the Monthly bundles).

For Weekly Review cards that were wrong ("do over discard pile) those cards get put into the "Daily" bundle for daily effort Tuesday-Friday remainder of the week.

 

And frankly, if all those Weekly/Monthly Reviews for all the subjects takes too long all day on Monday, we just do

Math Weekly/Monthly "cards" on Tuesdays.

History Weekly/Monthly cards on Thursday, etc.

Different subject each day

 

I'm wondering though, how exactly are the cards bundled in that accordian file and exactly how big is it?

We have many (many, many, many, many) cards for many subjects, and I'm just missing the storage aspect of All These Cards in the accordian method. :confused:

 

:seeya:

Edited by Moni
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I'm afraid that if I put everything in the big file, it will all snowball up into one slot.

 

:)

Yes, this is my concern too.

 

In my 11" file storage boxes, I rubberband my card bundles.

Each subject gets its own storage box.

These store nicely on a bookshelf, by the way, look tidy, and are easily portable to the kitchen table, parkday, dentist, sibling's ballet class, etc.

 

Anyway, I use white index cards for the actual flashcards, but I use colored index cards that I write on with a marker and use that as a "title" card and it always gets rubberbanded at the front of the stack.

 

And I color code the Title Cards.

Green is "Do Now" (the Daily cards)

Yellow is "Weekly"

Pink is "Do Later" (haven't got to that chapter yet, etc.)

 

(Honestly, I just kind of tried to use the red light/green light analogy)

 

Blue title cards are the Monthly Review. The title cards reading

"Week 1"

"Week 2"

"Week 3"

"Week 4"

all are on Blue cards.

 

Purple title card I use if I don't want to see that card until more than a month later. I may just write "March 2009" or something on that.

 

If we never want to see another card again, ever, I just write "OLD" on the title card (on a white card). For example, after a while in Henle, you may actually never want to see the Deus, sum, or et card ever again.

 

I like the colored title card system because I can peek and grasp which bundle I want without having to actually read the title card on each rubberbanded bundle.

 

As a side note, for the flashcards themselves, I try to write a "note" on them, front and back of the card, bottom right corner.

For example, I write what page that information was on for Math and Latin. For Vocab, I may write what vocab Lesson # it's from.

 

It seems the accordian method is working well for most folks, but this is just another option I share just for alternate, information.

 

:seeya:

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What is this accordian file folks are using?

 

 

http://ukofficedirect.opnet.co.uk/Detail.aspx?ProductID=854997&SID=a1a377c3ddda433e9ccba33fd12274f9

 

The different subjects are separated into the days of the month, not bundled together. On one day, Calvin might have three Latin, two French and a maths card to review. The cards usually don't have a single fact on them, but instead refer him to a page in a book where, for example, he might have twenty vocab words to work on.

 

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
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http://ukofficedirect.opnet.co.uk/Detail.aspx?ProductID=854997&SID=a1a377c3ddda433e9ccba33fd12274f9

The link 'expired', but the way ;)

 

On one day, Calvin might have three Latin, two French and a maths card to review. The cards usually don't have a single fact on them

 

Oh, Six Cards in a day? ? ?! ! ! !

That's the piece of the puzzle I was missing.

 

My flashcards have the information on them and do not refer the student to a page in a book. :lol:

And I tend to make flashcards both frontward and backwards

English to Latin and also Latin to English

Question to Answer and also Answer to Question.

 

So we tend to accumulate many cards

:seeya:

Edited by Moni
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The cards usually don't have a single fact on them, but instead refer him to a page in a book where, for example, he might have twenty vocab words to work on

 

Does he have flashcards for the 20 vocab words he will "work on"?

 

Does a flashcard refer him to more flashcards? :confused:

That's an idea

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This was one of my hesitations, too. In fact, my older one took one look at the accordian file and declared that they'd never all fit. Each week, for French, he has a one to two inch stack of flashcards (for example). We just flip them to go from English to French or French to English or Q to A or A to Q. I tell them to go the easy way first, then the other way, and I make sure we are consistent about whether we put the answer on the lined side or the blank one. We'll see how they fit. If this system works, I can always find another storage system. I'm more interested in whether I can get a consistent review system set up. I can tell from your description that you memorize faster than we do in the first place. If we did things exactly as you describe, we'd wind up with everything in the daily stack for most of the year. I feel SO stupid about all this and I'm really, really grateful to you and Laura for taking the time to describe what you do so fully. I keep rereading them to come up with ideas for how to make our own system work. I'm thinking at the moment that the short file should be stacks more like yours, rather than a file. One of the things l like about the accordian system is that it has 31 days in it, so the large amount of flashcards to be reviewed daily is divided up into tinier chunks. We couldn't do Laura's page number system because we all three of us learn the order of the words on the page long before we learn the material. Sigh. I also know that writing the flashcards is an important part of learning the information; it makes you work out an efficient wording (or if it is me who is making them, makes me clear about what I want memorized), helps you by making you "do" the information as you physically write it. I'm beginning to think that the Catholic school where I grew up had the right idea (which at the time horrified us ps-ers) when they made the students copy things over and over and over again. Or maybe the short file will just be one largish stack. At the moment, that is how we do it. I want some way to lengthen out the amount of time before they go into the monthly file, though. That might just mean distributing them throughout the next few days of the big file. I can't believe I'm struggling so much with this. I'm usually really good at this sort of thing. It is just exactly like programming computers, which I'm fine at. Grrrrr. My brain's gone numb or something. Maybe if I weren't trying to switch over to speaking French at the same time...

-Nan, off to reread all the descriptions and think about it some more.

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I can tell from your description that you memorize faster than we do in the first place. If we did things exactly as you describe, we'd wind up with everything in the daily stack for most of the year. .

 

I didn't re-read my post, but I meant to indicate we have a "Do Later" bundle.

That is a bundle we don't even do....yet.

 

If the Daily bundle is too big, just take a section out of it and work on that.

If that Daily bundle is too big, transfer a section of that out to the "Do Later" pile.

 

I'd even suggest first you put only "3" cards in the Daily bundle.

Do only those 3 cards until those are memorized.

Then add "3" more cards to the Daily bundle.

Now you have six cards in the Daily bundle, 3 old cards that are easy, and 3 new cards that are difficult.

Keep only those six cards in the Daily bundle until he masters those, and when that day comes (one day, two days, a week, whatever) then tomorrow add Three More Cards to the Daily bundle. So six will be easy/old and 3 will be difficult/new.

This way, all he ever has to memorize is just three more cards.

 

May I ask what these cards are than are not getting memorized, would not get memorized eventually?

 

Latin cards don't get put into the daily until we get there in the book.

Vocab cards dno't get put in to the Daily until we get to that lesson in the workbook.

Math cards don't go into the Daily stack until we get to that chapter.

Same with History and Science.

 

What are you putting on the cards?

Not that it matters, but I'm just wondering.

 

I dont' think it's very efficient, effective to put a whole bunch of new cards at once into the Daily bundle.

I'd start with a small amount....wait for memorization...then add that many more. Three at a time, five at a time, something like that

 

Our Vocab cards come in entire list at a time, about 20 words usually I'd guess. I don't do those a bit at a time, but the flashcard routine we do has the student memorizing "3 cards" from the "still got it wrong after 3 rounds of flashing" per day. Best effort. Sometimes the memorization doesn't stick until tomorrow, but Mo/Tu/We/Th it is actually effective eventually.

 

Honestly, I don't think we memorize any faster than any ole student would if they did the same routine we do.

 

:seeya:

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I also know that writing the flashcards is an important part of learning the information; it makes you work out an efficient wording (or if it is me who is making them, makes me clear about what I want memorized), helps you by making you "do" the information as you physically write it

 

While this is true, I'll confess I still write out all the flashcards myself. ;)

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The problem for the younger one is that he memorizes things fast and then forgets them fast. I think eventually, he'll be fine with a more ordinary system.

The older one memorizes very, very slowly in the first place and then forgets quickly, very quickly. It takes many, many repetitions for him to remember something. And, unfortunately, he has lots of things he needs to memorize. He's doing French in Action, and although it isn't strickly necessary, he'd like to get through lesson 13 or so by the end of the year. That means he has a certain rate of memorization he needs to do. French in Action, being immersion-style, has a largish amount of vocab. I know from experience that if I leave him to rely on just immersion, he will hit a wall. The immersion part is important because it makes it so the French he so arduously learns will actually be usable French, and also because the review is sort of built-in automatically with using the stuff. He was excited to discover, when we did the initial big-file sort, that he only didn't know the newest lesson (more or less). His other flashcard subjects are CC chemistry and CC pre-calc. Pre-calc is a strange year of math, full of sort of disconnected topics. And chem is chem. He has last semesters flashcards, and if he doesn't look at them from time to time, the material will be unusable within about a month. We know this from sad experience. I wouldn't worry too much about the chem if I didn't know he has to take a final at the end of this year, and it may well contain information from the first semester. He'll need the pre-calc when he continues math at college next year. The younger one's flashcards are within reach, so I can give you examples from him. One is a flashcard that says "solving linear equations" on one side, and on the other side says, "graphing method, elimination method 1-2, or substitution method 1>2". One of his chemistry ones says "non-bonding pair" on one side and "two paired valence electrons that don't participate in a chemical bond and yet influence the shape of the molecule" on the other. Or "ion" on one side and "an electrically charged particle created when an atom either loses or gains an electron". Except I fixed the spelling LOL making a good argument for making the flashcards yourself, I guess. It is fairly simple vocab-type stuff, but I've found that if they don't firmly memorize the vocab, they can't figure out for themselves what something says by rereading and thinking about it; they are forced to come to me for help. The word ion has shown up yearly for 6 or 8 years (for the younger one) but he doesn't remember it from year to year. He remembers the concept fine, but can't remember the word for it. Or thinks it is isotope. Or something. That's just an example. In a chemistry chapter, he has maybe 15 vocab cards and maybe another 15 with concept questions on them. The math is vocab, mostly. And there is Latin for the younger one. The older one is just reading Lingua Latina this year, to try to hang onto some of it, since he has enough on his plate.

Any suggestions would be welcome. : )

-Nan

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older one

....French in Action.....

....CC chemistry....

....CC pre-calc........last semesters flashcards....

 

Those seem typical and what we have on our cards,

Latin

Math

Science.

 

I'm not certain exactly what is happening at your home though.

How many cards does he have for each subject?

Does he not know any of them without looking at the backs of them?

If he knows some but will forget them if he doesn't see them tomorrow, then I would each daily if he can keep them in 24 hour memory. but not 36 hour memory, for instance.

If you are going to do multiple sessions, I would keep two discard piles, one for "got it correct" and the other for "do again" (the wrong's) and in your next session of the same day, do only the "do again" bundle.

And then if he got any correct on the second session of the day, I'd retire that card until tomorrow, and in the third session that day, I'd just do the "do again" bundle from the second session.

If you find he has a 36 hour memory but not a 48 hour memory, if you have morning, noon, and night, sessions, three per day, then perhaps Thursday Night's the "got it correct" discard stack could graduate to Saturday Morning session, and skip Friday altogether for that bundle. Friday Night would be the 24-hour mark, but Saturday morning will be the 36 hour mark.

 

That's what I would do. I would do morning, noon, and night sessions daily. and then use title card on my bundles of when to do "next" up to 36 hours if he can retain nothing for 48 hours. At least at first.

 

So I would use title cards Morning, Noon, Night, and then also write the day on them and just line through the day and write in a new day name of when I wanted to do that bundle next. You may find in a week or two you want to stretch some of the 'easier" cards to 48 hours, and then just make up another Title Card and get another rubberband and make yourself another bundle.

 

I'd have a hard time believing after two weeks he couldn't remember even 1 card for 48 hours, but if it is so, then it is so. I'm certainly not implying you are deceiving me.

 

But yeah, that's what I would do.

Three sessions per day. Right/wrong dicard piles.

If he gets any cards correct on the first pass, put those in the "session after next" (in other words, skip one of the thrice-daily sessions)

And then as you go, try skipping 2 sessions for the cards in the "got it right" on-the-first-try discard pile.

And then eventually try skipping 3 sessions for the cards in the "got it right" on-the-first-try discard pile.

And then eventually try skipping 4 sessions for the cards in the "got it right" on-the-first-try discard pile.

 

He can only do what he can do.

If he can't memorize, then he can't and he has a time deadline because he's at the CC.

I like to suggest not to attempt the impossible, but if you are going to do that, then give it your best shot. ;)

 

 

younger one's

....chemistry ....

....math ....

....Latin ....

 

 

Yes, same as we have here.

Math

Science

Latin

 

And same system as above if you want, the general concept is just keep graduating single cards further and further ahead in the bundles, but if memory becomes weak, do them more frequently.

 

This sounds really, really complicated as I read my own posts here.

I assure you if it were the least bit complicated or took more than the most minimal effort on my part, frankly, I wouldn't do it :lol:

 

I could never use an accordian file.

I like my long index card boxes.:lol:

I can see all the bundles just eyeballing the box on the table or shelf.

They are color coded.

I don't have to "flip" through accordian sections.

I don't have the subjects all mixed together.

 

I find it's a simple system for a woman who is of perhaps more .... simple .... ;)

Edited by Moni
the usual typos!
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With the accordian file system: How do you know how far to advance a flashcard? A day or a week or a month? I have a flashcard that I just missed. It seems like unless I remember whether it has been a week or a month since I looked at it, I wouldn't know what to do with it next. Or do you go by how well you feel you know the material? In which case, if you misguess, I can see how some bits could be wrongly advanced a month when in reality they were forgotten after a day. That leaves a whole month of not knowing that bit of information. A few misjudged bits wouldn't matter too much, but doesn't this make the assumption that you will predict correctly for most flashcards?

 

With any flashcard system:

When is it best to initially memorize the material? Assuming this is a textbook subject, do you memorize the material after you read the chapter but before you do the excersizes? Or after you do the excersizes? Or at the end of several chapters? I tried doing the memorizing after the excersizes, on the theory that using it would make us memorize it, but it didn't. Usually, we memorize the material at the beginning of a chapter or lesson so that using them during the work of the chapter reenforces the information and the work goes faster. But in a way, beforehand doesn't make much sense because of the whole hooks/context thing. The context would be better afterwards.

 

When do you declare a flashcard memorized well enough to move to some sort of review system? I think of memorizing as tick marks along a timeline in exponentially larger intervals. This is how I memorize flashcards: I hold a stack of flashcards in my hand. I look at a flashcard and flip it back and forth until I can say the answer. Then I return the flashcard to the stack underneath the top flashcard. I memorize the new flashcard and return it. Now I'm looking at my flashcard again. I rememorize it and return it to the stack two flashcards down. I slowly increase how far down the stack I return it. Eventually, I get so I can return it to the bottom of the stack and do that for all the flashcards in the stack. Then I set aside the stack for about half an hour and rememorize everything. (If at this point I waited until the next day, the way most people seem to be able to do, I would probably have forgotten almost the entire stack and have to go to the trouble of rememorizing it again.) Then I wait a few hours and do it again. Then I do the stack before bed. Then I do it twice the next day. Then I can probably do it daily for a bit. Then I can do it weekly. Then I can do it monthly. Or something like that. I haven't nailed down the intervals after "daily". Notice that the intervals between looks have lengthened, each one a bit longer than the last. For me, the trick to memorizing easily and pleasantly (well, it is still boring, but it isn't hard work), is to look at a flashcard again before I've forgotten it, but not too soon or it is a waste of time. So the trick is DETERMINING THE INTERVALS. At some point, I will arrive at an interval of a month. That is a good point to stop lengthening the interval (review-wise), but as an adult, I would like very much to remember the physics that I did last year. I did it in high school. I did it in college. And this time I would like to remember it. How do *you* keep information over a period of years? Especially if it keeps accumulating? If it is information that I keep using, I don't have any problem, but otherwise, I forget it and all that hard work (and I do honestly think it is harder for me than for lots of people) is wasted. My mother remembers things she learns forever but I didn't get those genes. My children didn't either, at least the older one. The younger one is a bit better.

 

When do you remove flashcards from the review system? What do you do with them then?

 

How many flashcard do you memorize at a time? Moni has a system of only tackling a few new flashcards a day, but I'm not sure that would work for us. In French in Action, for instance, you need to know the words before you can do the oral excersizes. In theory, I suppose you could do the lesson over and over until you memorized the material just by using it (like Lingua Latina), but I don't think the lessons are structured as well as Lingua Latina, so I don't think that will work. Jane (or anyone else who did FiA) - did your son memorize the vocabulary separately? I don't think the student is exposed to French enough to learn it full-immersion/no memorization style. At least, not my particular student. I like FiA. It's semi-immersion style means the material that you learn will actually be useful. Ecce Romani is like this, too. But for both of them, you have to memorize as well as read/speak/listen. I think? And that means a largish stack of flashcards.

 

Any suggestions? Or am I just being stupid and whiny and wanting that can't really get easier to get easier?

 

-Nan

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Moni - can you re-explain your next-to-last paragraph? The one about them eventually memorizing something? I think I see what you are saying - that the rate of release of new flashcards is too high for comfort. You are right - it certainly is. New flashcards get made in large chunks, then they get memorized in large chunks which is hard work, and then we have a large chunk of information to put into the review system. So that is two separate problems to deal with: one - memorizing new flashcards and two - putting newly memorized flashcards into the accordian file. The second, I think I can solve by putting only firmly memorized flashcards in the accordian file, ones that can be remembered after at least a week; and distributing those flashcards evenly over a week or so when we put them in (not sticking them in all in one big bundle). The first, I think we don't have to solve; I think we can keep doing it the way we always have, by moving a flashcard down the stack a little way so we hit it again in a few seconds, and by looking at the whole stack at intervals throughout the first day. (I describe that better in the questions post.)

 

I think my brain is finally working again, at least enough to articulate what questions I have.

-Nan

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With the accordian file system: How do you know how far to advance a flashcard? A day or a week or a month? I have a flashcard that I just missed.

 

If you missed it, you don't know it.

Do it next time you do the flashcards.

 

Or do you go by how well you feel you know the material?

If you get it correct, sure.

You will get an idea of how "sick of that easy card" you are getting as you go through them.

Many times the students will give audio/visual/verbal clues about how "sick fo that easy card" they are too.

 

 

In which case, if you misguess, I can see how some bits could be wrongly advanced a month when in reality they were forgotten after a day
.

Of course.

If you miss it in a month, put it in the Daily cards for until you get re-sick of seeing that that easy card

 

 

With any flashcard system:

When is it best to initially memorize the material?

As you go.

I wouldn't memorize May's vocab words in February.

I would Memorize as we go.

Actually for vocab, I keep the vocab cards a week ahead of the workbook exercises.

 

Vocab

So this week my student's (new) vocab cards are List 20's words, but he's doing a page a day in the workbook for List 19.

This way, by the time he gets to the workbook, he already knows the words from studying his vocab cards for that lesson Last Week.

This eliminates the "guessing at" the answers, and instead is more application of prior knowledge that was learned last week.

Next week his Cards will be from List 21, but he will do the workbook exercises for Week 20.

And so on and so forth.

 

Science

I add cards daily, as soon as he reads that page, I add the card.

If he reads Section 3.1 and 3.2 on Monday in science book, that night I add vocab cards from 3.1 and 3.2 for Tuesday's viewing.

On Tuesday, he reads Section 3.3 and 3.4. So Tuesday afterschool I add cards for 3.3 and 3.4 so he will view them on Wednesday.

 

And so on and so forth.

So science is as we go.

 

Latin

Same as science.

As he gets to the page, I add the card.

 

I mentioned I put the page number on each card on the lower right corner both front and back.

This is why.

Also, as they forget and get cards wrong, I know quickly whether it was from yesterday page 100 or months ago page 5, etc.

 

 

Assuming this is a textbook subject, do you memorize the material after you read the chapter but before you do the excersizes?

 

As we go. As he reads the page, the card gets added.

 

The context would be better afterwards.

 

As we go.

When we get to that page, the cards get added.

 

When do you declare a flashcard memorized well enough to move to some sort of review system?

 

if you think you would remember it in 24 hours, then put it in the 48 hours and see whether you were correct.

If you miss it, do it in the next session.

 

This is how I memorize flashcards:

 

Flash a card.

If correct, discards (out of the hands onto the table) into the "got it correct without peeking, without hints" discard pile.

If got it wrong, show the student the answer so he can read it, and discard (out of the hands onto the table) into the "do again" discard pile.

 

When hands are empty, pick up the "do again" discard pile.

Same process.

 

When hands are empty...........same process.

 

When hands are empty...........same process.

 

When hands are empty...........same process.

 

Eventually all Daily cards get discarded into the "got it correct" pile that day, and the flashcard routine is done. Rubberband the Daily bundle and you will all see that same stack tomorrow.

 

And yes, you will end up with one or two cards that they end up memorizing for a total of one or two seconds....so what.. and a lot of times its' kind of a comical way to end the session for the day because it can get kind of silly.

 

Now, sometimes there may be so many new cards from yesterday's chemistry reading that there's really no way he's going to get all the daily cards into the "got it correct" discard pile that day. If this happens, the student does the flashcard routine until he picks up the "do again" pile twice.... and then when hands are empty, he picks up 3 cards from the pile and efforts to memorize those for a few or several minutes. And then, the flashcard session is over. Rubberband those Daily cards, and you will see them again tomorrow.

 

but as an adult, I would like very much to remember the physics that I did last year. I did it in high school. I did it in college. And this time I would like to remember it. How do *you* keep information over a period of years?

:lol:

I don't.

:lol:

But if that were the goal, I'd flashcard the stuff. ;)

 

Especially if it keeps accumulating? If it is information that I keep using, I don't have any problem, but otherwise, I forget it and all that hard work.....is wasted.

 

It depends on the definition of "wasted."

Again, if it were a priority I remember it, I would flashcard the stuff.

 

When do you remove flashcards from the review system? What do you do with them then?

 

When we've moved on.

When we never want to see them again.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Wordly Wise Book 1.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Wordly Wise Book 2.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Wordly Wise Book 3.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Wordly Wise Book 4.

etc.

 

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Prima Latina.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Latina Christiana 1.

I don't still have or use his flashcards from Latina Christiana 2.

etc.

 

If it's a priority to revisit old stuff after you've moved on, by all means keep the cards.

 

How many flashcard do you memorize at a time? Moni has a system of only tackling a few new flashcards a day, but I'm not sure that would work for us. In French in Action, for instance, you need to know the words before you can do the oral excersizes.

 

Memorize what you need when you need them.

If you need 3 per day, do that.

If you need 20 per day, do that.

 

And that means a largish stack of flashcards.

If it's a large stack, that's your reality.

I'd try the Morning, noon, night method, graduating cards to skip a session (or 2 or 3) as the student gains more mastery of that card.

 

 

Any suggestions? Or am I just being stupid and whiny and wanting that can't really get easier to get easier?

 

Well, I'm not in your situation, and I do adapt what I do as I go along and as I see fit, so this does become a bit intuitive as you get along into the method day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade......:lol:

 

My suggestion would be to just dig in. :)

Give it a whirl, you'll come along into your own system.

I'm just sharing what we do, have done, might do again.

It kind of depends on how your time is set up, whether you are working at student pace, or trying to master a week's list for vocab in a week's time, or are fine with slowing the pace in a non-CC course, or whether you are tied to the pace of a CC class after all, and any number of other issues that may arise (someone catches a cold, in-laws come to visit, take a couple days off to do this or that)

Honestly, sometimes we just get so sick of the flashcards, we take a day off and graduate the cards to different stacks and....so be it.

There are no Flashcard police and so we just tend to go for it and go with it. ;)

 

...........came back to add....

 

On Friday (or the 5th day of Daily cards) I graduate cards from the daily to the weekly stack.

 

And then when doing the weekly stack, I graduate some if they merit it to the Monthly review.

 

When doing the Monthly review, if they get it wrong, it goes into the Daily stack.

 

And then the card goes eventually to the weekly again, to the monthly again.

 

And so on and so forth.

 

It's it's a continual process of see that card again sooner or later, depending on how the memory is doing.

 

:seeya:

Edited by Moni
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Moni - can you re-explain your next-to-last paragraph? The one about them eventually memorizing something?

 

::scratching head:: What did I say? :001_huh:

I'll try to find it and comment at the end.

 

I think I see what you are saying - that the rate of release of new flashcards is too high for comfort. You are right - it certainly is. New flashcards get made in large chunks, then they get memorized in large chunks which is hard work, and then we have a large chunk of information to put into the review system. So that is two separate problems to deal with: one - memorizing new flashcards and two - putting newly memorized flashcards into the accordian file.

 

Frankly, I don't really "get" the accordian system, so I'm not the best one to comment on it.

I can't even envision implementing it to suit my goals, so . . .

And frankly, I think the accordian method is a bit beyond my capacity. :001_huh:

 

but the flashcard routine we do has the student memorizing "3 cards" from the "still got it wrong after 3 rounds of flashing" per day. Best effort. Sometimes the memorization doesn't stick until tomorrow, but Mo/Tu/We/Th it is actually effective eventually.

 

Oh that part?

 

This is if we do the hands are empty pick up the "do again" discard pile for the third time....instead of actually doing the 3rd "do again" discard pile..... If there are too many cards to memorize in one day still remaining in the "do again/got it wrong" discard pile after 3 rounds of flashing..... Then I have the student select any 3 cards remaining still in the "got it wrong/do again" pile, and then his assignment is to memorize those 3. He efforts at this, and the brings me his 3 cards and recites them to me. Of if I am not available it's kind of on the honor system. But the assignment at this point is select any 3 cards from the "still wrong/do again" discard pile, and learn or make best attempt to learn just those 3 cards.

 

Many times he may in fact in the short term two-minute memory actually in fact memorize those 3 cards right then and there on the spot and recite them correctly.

I think what I was getting at was admitting that, sure, if I asked him those 3 cards in an hour, he may have forgotten them by then, or in six hours or the next day, whatever.

So it was a simple admission that the exercise of lastly selecting any 3 cards that he still got wrong after three passes at the flashcards and memorizing those 3 on the spot there....that that act of memorizing right then-and-there may well not lead to long-term retention worthy of, say, the weekly or monthly pile for sure. He may not even remember them tomorrow and may choose those same three cards as the "selected 3" to memorize toward the end of the flashcard session.

Or he may actually remember them tomorrow.

I don't know.

I mean, it depends.

There are many days in the year, many years in the school career.

I stated it simply as an admission that it may indeed be a very short-term instant-time only memory level, but that it is still an assignment or exercise that I require and find valuable.

 

:seeya:

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So, my older one is wired so that if he memorized flashcards in one session once a day, it would be possible to go for weeks before the flashcards stayed memorized from one day to the next. I've known this for a long time and know how to solve it: new flashcards have to be memorized over a period of time the first day. And probably more than once the second day. Then they can probably move to a once-a-day pile. And then to a once-every-few-days pile. And then a once a week pile. Or however he is most comfortable distributing them. He's old enough that he should be able to deal with that part. If he uses a combination of colours and penciled labels, the way you just described (more or less), he should be able to keep track of his piles ok. And it should be simple enough and flexible enough that he will do it. I hope. After a few reps there, they can distributed evenly throughout the accordian system. That way, the only a few misjudged things will be moving around in the accordian system, and the rest will stay put, nicely distributed throughout the month. Or if they bunch up, it will be possible to redistribute them without a problem.

 

Wow! I think I've come up with something to try. Yeah!

 

You must think I'm totally nuts GRIN. As I keep saying, it isn't that we weren't doing flashcards before, but that we didn't have a good cumulitive review system in place, and I directed most of it, and I was able to "wing" it, without much of a system. We've gotten away pretty happily so far with our flashcards in bundles by chapter. We deliberately signed the older one up for CC chemistry this year so he would learn to do this on his own, but it took until now for him to be convinced that it really was indeed necessary. Most of what he does in life won't require this level of memorization, and once he gets through college, he'll be fine. Those coast guard exams are a scary prospect, though.

 

Thank you very much!

-Nan

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Flash Cards:

 

We have two decks -- grammar cards and vocabulary cards. Whenever we review cards, we always say the word and it's meaning out loud. The auditory part seems to help us remember.

 

Each time we have new material (usually once/week since we are moving slowly through Henle I), I make up a grammar card or two and cards for each of the new vocabulary words. All of these cards go into our active decks.

 

The retired grammar cards and vocabulary are split into 3 piles right now, so each third is reviewed every 3 weeks (see below for details).

 

 

Here is our review schedule:

 

Mondays -- we go over one of the retired grammar card piles (1/3 of the total retired grammar cards). We go over one of the retired vocabulary card piles (1/3 of the total retired voc cards). We do the vocabulary cards English to Latin only because this is the hardest for us. If we are really stumped on any, they go back into the active decks.

 

We also chant all 5 noun declensions and 2 adjective declensions on Monday.

 

Tuesday to Thursday -- we go over all of the active grammar cards. We go over all of the active vocabulary cards, first Latin to English, then English to Latin. When the pile gets really thick (technical, huh?), I move the cards we know best to the retired decks. Usually, a new card stays in the active deck for 3 to 5 weeks before being retired.

 

We also chant all of the verb conjugations that we know using one model verb from each conjugation (laudo, moneo, mitto, audio, sum). There are so many now that this takes at least 10 minutes/day, but it's critical for us to remember them.

 

 

Also -- when we encounter new material, we each copy down the new vocabulary and it's meaning on a sheet of paper. We also recite the new word(s) and their meanings aloud three times. As we are doing the written work during the week, we refer to the definitions and explanations as we need them. The first day of a new concept, we are looking back constantly. As the week goes on, we need to look back less and less.

 

We are using the tests from the MODG syllabus, and I schedule the tests to occur one week after the last of the new material has been learned. Usually after studying all the new cards for one to two weeks and doing the related exercises, we know the material pretty well and can do well on the tests.

 

 

I've been reading this thread with interest because our current methods seem kind of inefficient. I may investigate one of the on-line methods further. Right now, we have cards for Latin, Science, and Religion, and it takes us between 45 min - one hour per day to review them all. I'd like to reduce the time without sacrificing on the learning.

 

Regarding your question of long-term retention of things like physics equations -- I've kind of given up on that. I figure that if I hear something and need to get the equation, at least if I know where to look for the information, that has to be good enough.

 

HTH,

Brenda

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He's old enough that he should be able to deal with that part

 

Mine isn't :glare: :tongue_smilie:

I still have to man the ship on the flashcards.

 

You must think I'm totally nuts GRIN.

Not at all.

I tried to say a few times that I don't know your situation, your kids, etc., and there are so many different sorts of realities we face and experience as homeschoolers.

 

I can't even ...imagine... using an accordian system, so that is my must think I'm nuts department :lol:.

 

You sound good to go.

We all kind of have to muddle through how to organize the system so it is most effective

 

:seeya:

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With the accordian file system: How do you know how far to advance a flashcard? A day or a week or a month?

 

Calvin knows from the date whether it has already been advanced a day or eight days. Once it's more than eight days from its starting date, it's automatically on monthly schedule.

 

With any flashcard system:

When is it best to initially memorize the material? Assuming this is a textbook subject, do you memorize the material after you read the chapter but before you do the excersizes? Or after you do the excersizes?

 

It varies, but either before or after doing the exercises, depending on how it fits into our week/the curriculum.

 

When do you declare a flashcard memorized well enough to move to some sort of review system?....

When do you remove flashcards from the review system? What do you do with them then?

 

Our cards mostly stay on monthly for subjects like Latin or French: it's good practice to keep making sure that you know the basics of a language. As Calvin works the concertina himself (I only spot check) he skims any cards he comes across that are extremely familiar.

 

We have thrown away (actually burned in rejoicing) the cards that Calvin used for working towards his bio exam. When he passed, we decided we didn't need continual review any more. We kept the text book, so if he takes more bio in the future he can review from the book (which is heavily highlighted).

 

How many flashcard do you memorize at a time?

 

We currently have a maximum of about ten cards a day, but most will refer to a page in a book, which might have ten or twenty facts to memorise (for example, it will say 'Latin Prep 3, page 8 chapter 1 vocab')

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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That is the piece I was missing. When I told my youngest he needed to date the cards, he gave me his mum-is-being-very-stupid look and said he didn't need dates because I already make him put the chapter number on the cards. Sigh.

 

Flashcard burning sounds rather familiar GRIN. We were driving out of the driveway one day when he announced with great satisfaction that I had just run over his retainer. The orthodontist had said he didn't need it anymore, but it took me a minute to remember that, after all those years.

 

Thank you very much for your help.

-Nan

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I wrote everything they needed to memorize on a piece of paper and quizzed them on it daily. Then they got older and it began to take too long to do it all together like that. That's when we switched to flashcards. One of the disadvantages of flashcards was that *I* no longer got the review. So I went to a double system for Latin - we chant the new vocab most days, and often an old vocab. That seems to be enough for me to be able to manage. Every once in awhile we chant the grammar. If I had a regular way of chanting the grammar, we'd be better off. And now, we need more than just chanting; we need flashcards that have the sort of ending (like "ends with isse") and what it means, so we can recognize it when we meet it in our reading. Some of them we have no trouble remembering, but some are still rather new. There seems to be a balance point between learning new material and reviewing old material, one I always struggle with. Thank you for writing it all out for me. It is very helpful to see how other people do it.

-Nan

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