We know there can be many challenges when teaching children at home, one of which is overcoming the obstacle of inactive listening or loss of attention during lessons. This struggle to have children listen and absorb information becomes a huge barrier to learning and retention. Below are 5 strategies to create an environment of active listening and learning.


This option works well to help children engage with their readings as they are asked to read sections and then answer certain questions about the content. This encourages reading to understand rather than to finish the section. It is helpful to use questions that prompt the child to explain the concepts covered and consider how the information is applicable and where they can apply it.


After covering a portion of the lesson plan, have children reiterate what they’ve just learned, to consider where this concept might be applicable or to answer a question based on the content just covered. This helps increase the child’s engagement level and can help them organize the new information, see its relevance and consider any questions they may have. Allow them time to reflect on the information (1-2 minutes) before they respond. Discuss and have the child share their thoughts.


This strategy works similarly to the Think-Share strategy and again, we can ask specific questions about the concept we’ve covered, ask for a summary of what was learned, or how it’s applicable. Again, this strategy allows the child to reflect on new information and utilize their writing skills to express their answers. Discuss the information they’ve written and expand upon it in any areas necessary.


Similar to the options above, although you can pause mid-lesson to ask the child to summarize the main concepts being taught. This allows them time to consider the value of the information being presented and engages their active listening skills. It is also a good check point to ensure their understanding before too much material is covered.

Free Write

Allow a few minutes (2-3) for the child to write about the information being covered or answer specific questions that are developed for the lesson. We are aiming to move them from hearing new information to understanding and applying this information to new situations; from considering their own understanding to an understanding outside of themselves. This strategy opens the door for intriguing discussion and can lead nicely into other lessons.


We hope these techniques are helpful for you and your children, stay tuned for our next post which will have 5 more strategies for Active Learning!