- Do I memorize the individual meanings of kanji?
- Should I memorize all the common readings of individual kanji?
- How do I effectively memorize a kanji's stroke order?
- What about vocabulary written in kanji?
I write the word in kanji on one side of a notecard, and the hiragana reading plus the English meaning on the other side. I look at the kanji side, and make sure I know both the English meaning of the word, and the hiragana reading of it. I then write the kanji a few times in a notebook and go on to the next one. If I don't know the meaning of a word, then I make sure to review that one more often. I tend to memorize in batches of 6-12 words, and then move on to the next batch. As I accumulate words that I have lots of trouble with, I'll memorize a batch of the trouble makers separately from the rest.
I've found that studying this way increases my vocabulary, allows me to memorize stroke order and the various readings of a kanji, and the individual meaning of a kanji. Frequently, vocabulary includes kanji that I am studying, and kanji that I have not yet studied. I try to learn the stroke order of all the kanji in a word I am studying, although I don't feel the need to learn the meaning or the readings of kanji that I haven't gotten to yet. I can usually discern some meaning anyways, and I figure I will get to that kanji in the future.
The only disadvantage to this method is how long it takes to get through a group of kanji, since I am not only memorizing the kanji, but it's stroke order, other kanjis' stroke order, and several new words per kanji.