Just wanted to let you guys know about a new tool I've been using with the kids (and me) for memory work. We have only been doing it for a couple of weeks, but the kids are loving it. (It does take a little prep time from me, but not a lot)
It is a computer Flashcard program. (Not an online one - I wanted something we could download to the computer and not worry about other people, etc - especially with my kids being so young.)
One thing that is great about it... it uses an algorythm to determine when to bring the cards up... in theory just a short time before you were likely to forget it. So each day, the kids sit to the computer and do their flashcards. It is only taking them a few minutes (I imagine that could grow a little as I create more and more cards and "decks" of cards...) When you answer the flashcard, you basically rate it (wrong, hard, easy, very easy). It uses that rating to determine when it will bring it up again. You can make your own cards (that is the prep time) - there are some you can download that other people have made, but I've been mostly making them.
So, here is what we are doing so far....
I have several "decks" setup for each child (you can export/import cards.... you can also have a deck sync with other computers or even some phones/devices so you can practice anywhere - I haven't done that yet...)
Here are our decks....
- Basic Math (right now just addition... will add the other basic functions with time and as needed)
- Spelling (for this I record myself saying the word and a sentence) - so far just doing some basic words
- Scripture Memory - yes, I moved our scripture box into the program. I told it to create cards both ways, so it will either give me the scripture and I try to remember the reference... or it gives the reference, and I try to say the scripture. Made me discover that I don't know the references that well! On future ones, I think I may have some "training cards" [my term] that shoe the reference and most of the verse, with words left out... and the "other side" has the words.... Also to help with this, I recorded my voice saying the reference (on that side) and the scripture (on the scripture side) and encourage the kids to say it along with it.
- ASL - making basic vocabulary cards (this is taking the most prep) - I find a picture (it will allow videos too, but I'm not finding ones I can download...) of the sign for the one side - and the word on the other. And this is another one that makes cards for both ways (it shows the sign, I think of English - or it shows English, I think of the sign.) I'm not sure how useful this will be when we are working past basic vocabulary... but it dosn't hurt...
- Other - yup - a deck of other things to remember. Cub promise, Cub law, etc. I might go crazy one day and put in short clips of music and they have to come up with the Title or Artist (you can have more than 2 "sides" of information....) - my husband tends to do that to the kids - play a short piece of music and ask who it is.... this could let them practice! (yeah, I don't see me taking the time though...)
I'm sure there will be more.... for instance I haven't done a German deck. Last year we learned some of the Periodic Table.... cards would have been useful then.
And there is one other thing I've setup. This took some tweaking of the settings, and I'm not sure it will work the way I want... we are trying it out..... I'm using it for our Suzuki Violin Review Songs.... the theory being that I can get the songs that are more difficult (new ones) practiced more often, and the ones they know pretty well (ie, Twinkle....) will get practiced less often. I made one-sided cards with the song name. That card comes up - practice that song. Rate how you did (Lots of mistakes or forgot parts, some mistakes, played ok, Performance Ready). I hope it works out ok, but I'll have to monitor.... I might have to set some cards as "new card" again if it gets to a point where it is rarely played. The tweaking of the settings was vital for that or that would probalby happen fairly quickly.
So now that I've raved about it... here is where you get it. (Did I mention it is Free?)