When we first started《四五快读》(description here) I kept misplacing our flash cards and it was a frustrating and time-wasting endeavor every day. 😖 Seriously, it sucks to dig through piles of little cards to find the ones you need.
Anyhow I figured out a system to stay organized. I got these supplies from Dollar Tree during back-to-school shopping in August:
#1. Zippered pencil pouches
I got six of these 3-ring pencil pouches, one for each 四五快读 book (there are 8 books but only the first 6 books come with flash cards).
All nicely labeled and stored in a 1.5-inch binder:
#2. Accordion card holder
All the flash cards we are currently learning go in this index card holder. We start our lesson by reviewing flash cards from previous days, and I move them backwards by one sleeve pocket every day. New words for the day are placed in the front.
The flash cards keep moving backwards until they are mastered (around 6-8 days), at which point I take them out and put them on the word wall (#4 below).
#3. Working Tray
Our current book and everything we need go into this tray. We usually do our reading lessons in the dining room, but sometimes in his bedroom or basement school room, so this tray makes it easy to grab and go. We do flash cards and a few pages of the book every day.
#4. Pocket Chart
I put all the words that he has mastered on the wall in our “homeschool” area. We don’t review these daily, just whenever the chart gets full, which is about every two weeks. I then have him read all the words, and the ones that he remembers (80-90%) are taken off and put into permanent storage.
The ones that he forgot stay on the chart until the next time we review again.
- 6 zippered pencil pouches
- 1 binder
- 1 accordion card holder
- 1 tray
- 1 wall pocket chart
Total cost: $10
With this system in place, we have a nice rotation of learning new words and reviewing previous words until they go in his long-term memory. I really like these basic 四五快读 flash cards as they train him to recognize characters for what they are instead of using pinyin, pictorial, or context clues.
Generally he retains characters pretty well, but I’ve noticed lately that the more he learns (right now about 250 characters), the more interference and confusion there is. For example, he used to know 宝 (Book 1) really well until he learned 玉 (Book 3), and now he names 宝 as 玉. Anyhow I think this is a normal phase of learning and it will eventually work itself out.