We are using Memoria Press this year for our homeschool. This will be our third…
Flashcard Math Games for Your Homeschool
- Why You Should Use Math Flashcards
- The Key to Success: Consistency
- How My Math Flashcards Are Different
Flashcards can evoke some emotions in us, at least that’s true for me. It’s strange how things from our childhood can make us feel certain ways even decades later.
I have a love/hate relationship with flashcards, especially math flashcards. While I have used them in my homeschool for the past 20 years with all of my kids, including my special needs kids, I wasn’t using them effectively.
Sure, we would go through them and drill, drill, drill. But that was so boring, even for me, and my kids weren’t really getting much from it.
Once I discovered flashcard games, it changed how I used flashcards in my homeschool.
I’m not sure where I first got the idea, but I know I’m not the first or the only one to turn flashcards into games. But these games here are my own original ideas that I made up for my kids.
Either way, it started with making Latin flashcards for my daughter because I didn’t like the 2-sided, regular flashcards that came with my homeschool curriculum. So, I made some 1-sided ones so we could do more with them, and voila! Flashcard games were born!
Now that you have a bit of fun background information, let’s move on to the reason why you’re here.
Why You Should Use Math Flashcards
You may already be convinced you need to use flashcards to supplement your homeschool math curriculum. If so, please use the Table of Contents to get right to the information you’re looking for.
If you’re still on the fence because you’ve used them in your homeschool and they just didn’t work. Or maybe you’re asking, “Do flashcards really help with math?”, please keep reading. This section is for you!
Math Flashcards Help With Fact Retention
When used properly, math flashcards can actually help with the retention of math facts.
I have found that drilling your kids in whatever the content is you want them to learn, is vital to them remembering facts. While that sounds boring and maybe unnecessary, or maybe too much like public school, if your child can remember the facts surrounding the content, they are more likely to make connections that help them understand and engage with that content.
For example, we use Memoria Press for our curriculum and we drill in almost every subject, including history.
I am also a huge proponent of using living books and a more Charlotte Mason approach to history. However, when my kids can know and remember that Benjamin Franklin was a part of the Revolutionary time period–when he lived, what he did–they will appreciate it more when they learn he invented the stove.
So, all kinds of connections are made, such as the people of that time period didn’t have stoves yet, or that this politician was also an inventor.
But if they can’t remember when he lived or what he was known for, those connections are lost.
Now, I know this article is about math curriculum, not history, but it’s the same concept with math.
Math builds on itself, as we all know. If your child can have a solid recall of math facts, they will have that strong foundation to move upwards in math with fewer struggles.
And if your child is not a math kid, as none of mine were, the less you can give them to struggle with, the better.
Math Flashcards Can Supplement Any Homeschool Math Curriculum
Of course, you can use any flashcards with any math curriculum. You can buy flashcards at the dollar store and it still does not matter which math curriculum you are using.
However, it does not matter.
You can use no math curriculum and still use these (or any other) flashcards! That’s the beauty of a tool such as this, it’s as flexible as you are.
Since these math flashcards are also not your typical flashcards, they are even more customizable and valuable.
If your math curriculum is not teaching these concepts, such as Math-U-See, or maybe they haven’t gotten to it yet and you want to start your child early, you can supplement with these sets.
It’s wise to have your child learn them. As I said, you never know when you will need them in life.
However, it’s completely up to you, which is the beauty of homeschooling!
An Inexpensive Way to Make Homeschool Math Fun
The typical way us homeschooling moms usually try to make math more fun is to use math manipulatives.
It’s an easy way to incorporate a more hands-on approach to math. However, as homeschool moms, we need many tools in our arsenal, and math flashcards are one more tool you can pull out to make math more fun.
Like I mentioned before, math flashcards used in the typical way can be boring, but when you turn them into games, it’s much more engaging and you accomplish that hands-on approach you’re looking for.
Math manipulatives can be expensive, as well. Even if you get them at Walmart or the dollar store, usually we buy several different kinds to keep our kids from being bored.
So, we might buy blocks, bears, shapes, and other similar items so we have several things we can do with them.
Math flashcards can be used in many different ways and you only buy one item, the flashcards themselves! It’s actually pretty nice when you think about it.
If your child is not mastering certain concepts, you can use only the facts they don’t know.
As a math manipulative, flashcards can be very versatile and add a fun dimension to your homeschool and math curriculum.
The Key to Success: Consistency
It’s that simple, yet that hard.
Being consistent is tough.
I have found that having unlimited freedom in my days, in my school, and with my kids, there comes a bit of unaccountability with that freedom. Nobody is looking over my shoulder, making sure I do all the things. It can be kind of hard to get up, do school and make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing.
This is why I find routines so important.
However, it can be just as difficult within each subject to be consistent, too. Maybe you decide to skip writing today because you don’t feel like it. Or maybe your child has been arguing with you over science lately, so you’ve been skipping it or going easy for 2 weeks.
I’ve been there! I get it!
Of course, we all know that being consistent is the best for all of us, especially in our homeschool, but that doesn’t make it easy.
Math flashcards are the same way—they need consistency to work their magic.
That’s why I am such a proponent of math flashcard games. It gives us all something to look forward to and helps take out some of that tedium, arguing, and other negative energy that may be surrounding our homeschool.
Use these games to help you be consistent and your children will learn these concepts quickly and easily! And you can bond, make memories and have fun together in the process!
How My Math Flashcards Are Different
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for products that are unique and different to add to my homeschool. My kids get tired of the same old thing and I like to keep things spiced up for them. These flashcards, in my humble opinion, fit that perfectly!
You will not find one traditional math fact on these cards.
No addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.
Instead, these math flashcards have real life all over them!
With these math measurement flashcards, your child will learn how many feet are in a mile, how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, and how many pounds are in a ton.
Usually, flashcards are printed on both sides so you flip over the answer or so the person drilling can see the answer. However, I have found that when you print on both sides of a flashcard, it limits what you can do with them.
So I started printing my flashcards on one side only. This allows me to play games with my flashcards because one side is blank, therefore it functions like a regular deck of cards. Now you can play all sorts of games with your flashcards!
Yes, there is still memorization involved with these math measurement flashcards, however, it will give you a break from the mundane multiplication facts and you can both learn some math facts that you will actually need for real life.
Especially with cooking and canning, I use these measurement facts all the time. It’s also helpful to know how many feet are in a mile. You never know when your child will need that in life.
The other fantastic thing about these flashcards is that they can also help your child with testing prep.
Whether it’s the ACT for high school or the Iowa Basic Skills your child has to take to meet your state’s requirements, these types of questions are in those tests. Studying these math facts, via games, will help your child excel on these tests.
And yes, we have Google in our back pocket, but how nice would it be to just know this information and not have to get out your phone and search? You can have the answer in your head much faster.
With homesteading, a lot of times my hands are busy or dirty and I can’t access my phone for information. So, it’s nice in those circumstances to just have the knowledge so I can finish my task.
These are also very good to use in a deschooling situation. If you’ve just pulled your kiddos out of public school, let them use these flashcards to do some learning while you figure out your next move. You won’t feel guilty and they’ll be learning in a fun way. Win-win!
As you can tell, I am super excited about these math flashcards! I think they are a fantastic supplement to your homeschool! And with the games that come with this, it won’t be drudgery but will instill some fun into your homeschool.
How To Use The Math Measurement Flashcards
You may be wondering at this point what are some games to play with math flashcards and how to implement them into your homeschool.
I can help!
The best place to start is with a plan.
I am all about planning and figuring out all the trouble spots in your head before trying to implement something new. If you have a solid routine or schedule down already, adding something new shouldn’t be much of an issue for you.
Start by thinking out when would be the best time to play games for math.
- Do you want to substitute your entire math time for flashcard games (which you totally could with this set because your kids will be so engaged)?
- Or do you want to add it to the end or beginning of your math time?
- Do you want to create a math center where your child plays these games without you while you work with another child?
- Or do you want to be more involved?
- What does your child need from you?
- How independent are they?
- Do you have an older child that could play flashcard games with the younger one?
Think through these questions and play out protentional scenarios in your mind. You don’t have to spend a lot of energy with this. But I like to think through some of these things because keeping my homeschool running as smoothly as possible is important to me. I don’t want to create chaos by running into issues because I didn’t plan ahead. Even while you nurse the baby or do the dishes, you can be thinking through these things.
Once you figure out how you want to implement this and how often, print out the materials, cut the flashcards and get it all prepped.
It is very simple and you could do it while you watch a movie or have an older child cut them. Using a paper cutter is so helpful for tasks like this.
Then, just do it! That’s it!
Here is a game to get you started:
Math Slap Jack
- Divide flashcards into 2 separate piles. Make sure the matches are not in the same pile: 12 inches and 1 foot should be in different piles
- Lay out one pile face up in rows, like for Memory.
- Turn the other pile face down for a draw pile.
- Flip the top card up quickly so everyone can read it.
- Slap the card in the rows that goes with the card you flipped up.
- The person with the most cards wins!
Here are the other games included in this math flashcard set:
- Math Slap Jack
- Math Memory
- Math Go Fish
- Muffin Tin Math
- Math Dice
Introduce your child to the games, maybe play each one through with them over the course of a few days if needed, and they can be independent if you want them to be.
I promise you will have so much fun with them!
If you’re interested in purchasing these cards, you can click the picture or the link in this sentence and it will take you to where you need to be.
You can also check out my store and see if there’s anything else there that can help you. Most of my products have blog posts that go with them, so please make sure you browse around!
I appreciate you and thank you for being here!
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