The common Index Card is one of the most convenient, effective and multifunctional study aids. You would be hard pressed to come up with a school subject that you could not learn more about with the aid of Index Cards. Just in case ideas are not flooding your mind as rapidly as they are mine I have listed just a few ideas below.
Math Facts: You can make Math flash cards as simple or complex as you need depending on your or your child's age, ability and subject matter. Start out with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and work your way up to geometric equations and trigonometric functions. The sky is the limit. A fun game for young children is to put many cards with the answers showing on the floor. Read a problem aloud and have the children race to collect the correct answer.
Vocabulary: Write a word on one side of the card with the definition and pronunciation on the back.
Reading and Spelling: Write age appropriate words on index cards and have your child read the word out loud to check for pronunciation. Use the card in reverse with you reading the word aloud to quiz a child for spelling. The words could then be arranged in different ways based on meaning (synonyms, antonyms), pronunciation and spelling (homonyms), number of syllables and many other attributes.
History: Write specific events or people on one side of the card and information pertaining to that event or person on the reverse side. Some pertinent information may be dates, locations and accomplishments. The flash cards you make for history can easily be used to develop time-lines providing a concrete visual aid to help children understand a sequence of events. One specific set of cards might be each President on an individual card with a photo. The back side could include years in office, running mate, accomplishments while in office and any other information you deem important. The child could then place the cards in timeline fashion to study the succession of the presidents.
Geography: List a country on one side of an index card. On the back-side list such information as capital city, major imports and exports, rivers and geographical landmarks, parent continent and even lines of longitude and latitude.
Test Preparation: Write a likely test question on one side of the card with the correct answer on the back. This is a great way to have a friend or family member help you prepare for a test on a subject matter they are not familiar with.
An Index Card makes the perfect bookmark. It can double as an art project by having children draw a picture of there favorite scene or character in the book. It is also very handy if you are reading the book as an assignment and will need to have notes for a book report. The notes can be recorded right on the bookmark where they will be easy to access. These cards can then be filed away and kept as a reading log.
On the flip side of reading a book, index cards can be invaluable when it comes to writing a book as well. Write ideas for chapter titles, story lines and character traits on index cards. They can then be reorganized or removed as the story develops. Using index cards to record character traits will help you maintain consistency through out the book.
While Index cards are versatile regarding the many different subjects you can study using them lets not forget that people have different learning styles.
Visual learners benefit most from seeing information. Many visual learners can look up and recall information that they have seen written or drawn. Information written, drawn or attached to an index card is an effective visual aid.
Auditory Learners learn best through hearing things. When memorizing information an auditory learner will say the information out loud and remember how it sounds in order to recall it later. By hearing a parent or friend recite information on an Index Card and then answering a question or repeating the information aloud auditory learners will get double the learning impact.
Kinesthetic learners like to learn through movement. Writing information helps kinesthetic learners study. When a Kinesthetic Learner makes his own flash cards the information will be more effectively commited to memory. Kinesthetic learners are the most tactile of the three learning styles and benefit greatly by Index Card study aids because they can hold them in their hands and rearrange them at will.
I think we can all agree that every student regardless of age, learning style or subject will benefit from a stack of Index Cards.