Thursday, January 24, 2008

State Cards Memorization

We all know kids are eager to learn new things. Their minds are amazing sponges. It blows my mind every time my 4 year old remembers something obscure I have told her, definitions of words she has asked me about, words to songs she hears, recognizing signs she sees (since the age of 2 she has known what the Starbucks logo is--I say slightly embarrassed) and even memorizing short scriptures. It is humbling (when she picks up words like "crap") and such a huge responsibility.

My friend Betsy insists her brother is smarter then her because her mother, Diane, flashed the United States flash cards to him and not to her when they were children. Last year while visiting Diane, she brought out her flash cards for Olivia (my then 3 year old). Olivia was very excited and eager to learn. She flashed each of the 10 cards, said the name of the state, and then repeated this processes 3 times a day for 5 days. By the end of the time Olivia could correctly identify the states. When I got home I bought some flash cards and we started learning them. She quickly learned about 25 states. We haven't been consistently doing them for a number of months, but picked them up today and she remembered the 25 she had known before plus a handful of states she only saw a couple times. I was impressed (of course I was, I'm her mom). It is fun to learn with her and a nice way to spend time together.

A couple of helpful thoughts if you want to get this started:

1.We only do the flash cards when she is excited and eager to learn, I want this to be a fun time for both of us. Usually she asks me to do them.

2. My friend Diane said she used this flash card technique for anything her kids were interested in. She would flash cards about dinosaurs, construction equipment, really anything they liked.

3. Start with 10 cards at one time, otherwise it will be too overwhelming.

4. I've found this is a huge self esteem builder for Olivia. I am able to tell her how proud I am of her hard work, listening skills, and eagerness to learn. We have also discussed how she feels when she recognizes the states and how important it is for her to feel excited inside for her achievements and hard work.

**The down side to this is that all of my kids are going to expect me to teach them the states, otherwise the will blame me if they are not as smart as Olivia. :)


emily said...

that is a COOL idea! Keeping it fun, no pressure-- nice!

Erin said...

My homeschooling kiddo loves these too!

jen.martin said...

the state flashcards look so fun. Both my kids learned to read at 3 yrs. from doing flashcards. John just played with them, I thought he was too young to do flashcards with, but he learned sight words from them.