Index cards are low-tech but super handy teaching tools. The cards are small (3×5, 4×6, 5×8) and easy to carry around in your purse or pocket.
Homeschool Index Card Uses
1. Bible Study Outlines
Make key notes for a Bible book, chapter, story or Bible character.
I made my first Index Card Timeline 20 years ago when I first started homeschooling. I used color codes for eras. On the front had the timeline, dates and an image, on the back the brief description of event. We made a few games using these and put them on the wall.
Cards made with Homeschooling in the Woods illustrations.
Our current Bible timeline is purchased.I used index cards to list the 12 Bible Eras. The Books of the Bible chart has strings running to the Bible stories to show where the story can be found in the Bible.
I purchased a TN timeline at a local teacher store. I added index cards citing important world events during the same periods.
3. Easy Lapbook Booklets
Make quick and easy booklets for lapbook lessons with colored index cards! Fold in half for Q & A booklet, staple several together for a booklet, decorate the cover with scrapbook embellishments. You can also make accordion booklets, pocket books, match books and more. Visit HomeschoolShare for tons of lapbook and booklet ideas and templates.
4. Memory verses
Have students write their memory verse 5 times on 5 cards (practicing handwriting) the place the cards in prominent areas around the house. Writing the verse helps cement it into memory.
5. Prayer list
Encourage each child to have their own ongoing prayer list (crossing out answered prayers). This is a super opportunity to teach your child the importance of praying. Have them pray for family, neighbors, and friends, etc. Each day, many parents send their kids out into the world without lifting them up to God, your child can be praying for them.
6. Book Record/Bookmark
Index cards make great bookmarks — students can write out the title, author and publication date at the top of an index card. write notes about the book on the card. When finish the book, drop the index card into a file box and have an ongoing record of your reading.
7. Flash Cards and Games
The game and flash card possibilities are endless. Flash cards can be any facts that need review: alphabet, phonics, sight words, math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, etc), languages, etc. etc.
Index cards and sticky notes operate like the playing cards, counters and other game components: they make it easy to sort, shuffle, arrange and rearrange information– they bring logic and order to a space, allowing it to serve as a base for exploring combinatorial possibilities. — Dave Gray, “Why games?”
You can make a matching game for almost any subject. Make separate cards for the questions and the answers, leaving the back sides blank. Place the cards face down and turn them over, one by one, trying to find matches.
8. Vocabulary Cards
Have students write vocabulary word on the side with no lines and the definition of the vocabulary word on the side with lines. When studying they should make a small check mark on the corner of they know. When they have made two or three marks on a card, they can put it in a separate pile. They should go through the main pile until all cards have two or three marks.
9. Homeschool Assignments
I use the Workbox system to organize our homeschool schedule. The boys each have 12 workboxes. They comple box #1 then move to #2 and so on. Some boxes contain a worksheet, reading book, workbook, or work with mom note. I use index cards to jot down notes like “Read a book form the science center.” I save these to use on future days. When I need ideas as what to put in the box I can flip through the cards in the index card box for ideas.
10. More Index Card Uses
OK, I couldn’t stop at 10.
- Outline a book– all mine books began as index cards (color code chapters)
- Create a Personal PDA– Merlin Mann. coined the term Hipster PDA as a paper-based personal organizer. The Hipster PDA is simply a bunch of index cards held together with a binder clip. Although it began as a joke it is true index cards are incredibly useful cheap, lightweight, free-form organizer that doesn’t need batteries and is unlikely to be stolen.
- Organize your home – check out the Side Tracked Home Executive system for organizing and cleaning using index cards.
- Make a Dinner Game – Make a list of discussion questions for the dinner table (my kidos LOVE these).
- Chore Lists – assign each child a color and cards with chores.
- Shopping Lists
- Outline a blog post
- Quick Reminder
- Jot down Tweets for Twitter
- Menus (make 10 favs and shuffle each month)
- Books on Wish List
- Travel Directions
- Favorite Quotes
- Computer Keystroke Shortcuts
- Key Points from sermon, workshop or seminar
- Project List
- Project Outline
- Frequently used phone numbers
- Make a Mini Scrapbook
- Labels for storage containers
- Labels for file boxes or drawers
- Leave a door note for delivery person
Organizing Index Cards
- A Jotter – an index card holder where you can store cards and jot down notes. You can carry the Jotter in your purse or pocket. You can get inexpensive plastic for about $3.00 like the Storage Card Caseor a nice Leather Deluxe Note Jotter Organizer
- Index Card Storage Box: See the Snap N Store Collapsible Index Card File Box
- Recipe box – inexpensive and cute.
How do you use index cards? Share in the comments.