Making alphabet and spelling flash cards with a little help from regex
I’ve been getting used to RemNote for a little over a week now. I haven’t really gotten too much into yet, just taking notes and trying to link things up. I haven’t played with the spaced repetition features yet; I’ve used Anki in the past to get through an accounting class a few years ago, but I haven’t really felt the need to use it much for anything I’ve been dealing with lately. I may start using it for certain CLI commands at some point, we’ll see.
I did start trying to use it for Younger and Elder, though. I set up a document for the alphabet and filled it out like so:
A:: A B:: B C:: C
And so on. It doesn’t look like there’s a way create these cards without having something on either side of the double colons, so I just filled it in with the letters on each side. Of course, Younger can’t do these by herself, so I have to sit there with her and push the answer buttons for her. It’s been working ok so far, it takes a couple minutes, and the app makes a nice little fireworks display when you hit your daily goal. She loves it. It of course makes her big sister a little jealous so I had to find a way to do one for her as well. We settled on third grade vocabulary words.
I found a couple lists online, but I wasn’t trying to copy and paste two hundred words into the proper format, so I did what any programmer worth their salt would do: regex.
Take a list like the following:
additional event region agreeable examine repair argue example ridiculous
We want to separate the non-whitespace
\S from the whitespace
\S, into two
( ) groups :
(\S+)(\s*). Then we can substitute, using
\1 as shorthand for the first group:
\1::\1\n. This gives us the following output, which exports perfectly into RemNote:
additional::additional event::event region::region agreeable::agreeable examine::examine repair::repair argue::argue example::example ridiculous::ridiculous
Now while this works fine from a technical perspective, it’s a bit flawed in execution. Elder can’t see the words that she’s trying to spell, obviously, so I have to read them to her while she sits across the room from me. It causes her to miss the reward, the fireworks, and caused a bit of distress on her part.
So here I am now, brainstorming ways to generate audio files for these words so that I can put them in with the cards. Do I read a list of 200 words, and then go through the editing process to separate them into individual files and attach them to the proper file, or is there a way to program and automate all this.
Of course there is. There’s a Python module for the Google Text to Speech library, so I could literally generate the files in a few minutes. Then it’s just a question of importing them into RemNote. Unfortunately, RemNote doesn’t seem to support uploading or local audio files, so I would have to either upload them somewhere like an AWS bucket, or just use something like Anki, which supports audio within the card decks themselves. We shall see.
I’ll have to keep quizzing Elder on my own now, she seems to do better with the one on one time anyways. I’ll be sure to share any updates.