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Flash Cards are a Game Changer for Memory and Learning

Flash Cards are a Game Changer for Memory and Learning

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - February 7th, 2020

With so many facts being given to our kids every day, sometimes to an overwhelming amount, we need to start to ground them in knowledge for each subject.  Because at some point down the road, they will be faced with taking all those facts and making a determination, like solving a problem or writing an essay.  And that knowledge, if not solidified in their minds, will not be effective in their understanding. It is like building a sandcastle close to the ocean waves. Soon it is washed away, like it never happened. There are some facts that simply need to be memorized to be learned.  So that is where we begin to use flash cards to help our kids with retention.

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Retention is part of working the muscle memory in your brain and is vital to growing strong as a student.


A good memory is something we must work towards. Things are forgotten because they never really made a strong impression on us in the first place. The reasons for this lack of impression are as varied as from one person to the next. Nevertheless, the most common reasons are:

  • you are thinking about something else – you are not listening;
  • you do not think the idea was important;
  • you do not take or have the time to learn or store the material properly.

To remember information, you need to know that your memory operates on four levels of efficiency. Your ability to remember something increases from level 1 to level 4 depending on what you do with the information.

  • Level 1: Hear or read the material once (not reliable for a test).
  • Level 2: Read the information and review it once or twice (this is cramming – you will forget most of what you have read).
  • Level 3: Read the information, review the material several times, write it down, and test yourself over the next two days (expect fairly good recall).
  • Level 4: Repeat and frequently write down the information over a period of 3-6 days (gives you excellent retention).

If you do not review what you have learned, you will forget 70% within an hour and 84% within 48 hours. One of the best forms of review is teaching or telling someone else about the information using your own words. So get together with your child and go through specific flash cards, asking him to explain in his own words what he is learning–to say it back to you.

Flash Cards are a Game Changer for Memory and Learning

Best Methods to Use with Flash Cards

Carson Dellosa Education shares some great tips on using the flash cards for the best retention:

  • “Shuffle the flash cards each time you use them to ensure they are sorted in a different order each time.

  • As you test your child, sort the cards into “I know” and “I don’t know” piles. This will help you identify which concepts your child needs to put more attention toward.

  • Review the cards your child doesn’t know more than once. Repetition is key.”

Also you can make a game of it with rewards (stickers, dollar store items, time to play games, etc) for every 10 that are correct. The Very Well Family has a great strategy technique for using these cards, as well. The key is to tie the experience of learning and memorizing with something that is memorable. For the harder cards, have them draw and make their own carbon copy of that card. Ultimately, the goal is to solidify the facts, so that when the time comes, your child has an understanding that translates to having wisdom and success in that subject later on.

Each fact is a building block to that goal!

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While we know that there are so many learning styles and techniques for our children, flash cards really are a time-tested key to memorizing and learning subjects successfully. They are great for on-the-go and serve as prompts to recalling the facts. Because of this, we began creating flash cards a few years ago. Each one is carefully created to help your child nail down the subjects that are most challenging.

Take a look here!

Here is our favorite for memory.

Some are grouped together by grade.

These are for specific tests.





May your child love to learn and always keep on using the building blocks to build a bright future!

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My kids definitely need flashcards. Thanks for this information.

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