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• Advantages of Good Listening
• Principles of Good Listening
• 10 Listening Practice Activities
• Freebies. Listening Skills Resources
• Birch Court Books: Clearance Sale / Teaching Aids
In this issue we are beginning a series to help you evaluate and strengthen your children's basic skills in various academics areas.
In each issue, articles will discuss a topic (such as "listening" in this issue), give you practical activities to do, and help you apply principles to everyday life.
This series is based on and expanded from an article by Dr. Harold Wengert in the October/November 1989 Teaching Home magazine (not available as a back issue). Dr. Wengert, from Arizona, was an excellent educator and advocate for home education. We look forward to sharing his wisdom with you over the next few months!
May the Lord bless you and your family for His glory.
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.
Advantages of Good Listening
Help Us Make Room for New Products!
January Clearance Sale on All In-Stock Items
60% Discount on Orders of $20 or More
Use Promo Code: JANUARY
Add These Teaching Aids to Your Homeschool
for Faster, Easier, and FUN Learning!
1. Learning Wrap-Ups.
Memorize math facts. Wrap string from the problem to the answer. Turn over to check answers. Each set has 10 boards with 120 problems.
Plus: States & Capitals
2. E-Race Away Time 'n Money Dry Erase Board. Practice telling time and learn money skills on light and durable 9" x 12" boards.
3. One Hundred Sheep - CD. Skip counting (used in every math process from multiplication to algebra) songs from the Gospels.
4. More Rummy Roots.
Increase English vocabulary by learning 42 Greek and Latin roots through playing the game.
5. English from the Roots Up. Help for reading, writing, spelling, and S.A.T. scores.
6. Kid USA States & Capitals. Brightly-colored magnets make learning states and capitals a hands-on experience.
7. Magnetic Kidwords.
Each set has 52 magnets to expand language arts activities.
Our Planet Earth,
Plus: 200+ piece set, color-coded for grammar.
8. First Fun with Spanish - DVD. Animated introductions to Spanish for young children (age 2+) and fun for the whole family.
Listening is a foundational skill for obtaining
knowledge and wisdom. After the purpose of the Book of
Proverbs is stated in 1:1-7, the next verse reads:
"Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
And do not forsake your mother's teaching."
Do not confuse listening with simply hearing sounds.
Listening is an important skill and habit that must be
purposefully developed by each of us and used in every area
of our lives and throughout our lives.
Academics & Work
• Listening is a prime way to learn.
• Good listening helps you learn more efficiently.
• Good listening helps you make less mistakes on the job.
• Listening improves your interpersonal relationships.
• Good listening helps you understand others.
• Listening is a wonderful gift to give to those you love.
Principles of Good Listening
These principles can apply to anyone in any situation
and should be taught and modeled to our children.
Have a goal to establish good listening habits for each
Prepare yourself to listen
1. Pray that you can truly listen and understand.
2. Find a time and place that is conducive to listening.
3. Stop what you are doing and look at the person speaking.
1. Eliminate or shut out distractions as much as possible.
2. Sit or stand near the speaker.
3. Listen quietly and don't interrupt.
4. Pay attention and concentrate on what is being said.
5. Listen reflectively; think about what you hear.
6. Don't be thinking of your reply while the other person is speaking.
7. Recognize what nonverbal language (facial expressions, gestures, and tone) is communicating.
8. If your attention wanders during a sermon or speech, change your position or breathe deeply.
9. Take notes if appropriate.
Listen with an open mind
1. Eliminate your prejudices or critical spirit concerning the speaker, his delivery style, or his subject matter.
2. Don't form rebuttals and argue mentally.
Encourage the speaker
1. Acknowledge by responses that you are listening and understand by maintaining good eye contact, smiling, nodding your head, or short comments like, "I see," or "Yes."
2. Ask questions if you do not understand.
3. Ask open-ended questions that lead to further sharing. (e.g., "Tell me more" or "Tell me about your day.")
4. Empathize; let the speaker know you understand his feelings.
5. Summarize and paraphrase back to the speaker what you heard; check to see if it was what was meant. Use "You feel" or "You mean."
1. Look for positive and helpful ideas or suggestions.
2. Determine what the main point is.
3. Recognize any underlying or outright plea for help.
4. Reply only after the speaker has finished his thoughts and you have verified that you understand them.
5. Evaluate facts, evidence, and logic.
6. Evaluate the message from a biblical worldview in the light of God's written word.
7. If appropriate, apply the message to yourself and/or plan to take any necessary action.
Discuss these principles of good listening with your family
and see how you can apply them as you:
1. Listen to God
2. Listen to your spouse
3. Listen to your children or parents
4. Listen to sermons and speeches
5. Listen to friends, relatives, and neighbors
Listening to others builds relationships and leads to
increased opportunities to influence others for good.
10 Listening Practice Activities
Use everyday activities to improve listening skills,
and practice until good listening become a habit.
Many of these activities can also be done by an older
child with a younger child. This builds skills in both
A Note about Learning Styles. You may have observed
that your child prefers to learn, and learns most easily,
through his sense of hearing, sight, or touch. If one of
your children is weak in the auditory (hearing) avenue of
learning or if he is a young child just developing learning
skills, you can use the following activities to teach and/or
strengthen his listening skills.
1. When stories are read aloud, ask lots of questions
about the story. (Note: Future parts of this series
will address reading comprehension and provide useful
questions to ask.)
2. Give your child a reason for listening. Before
reading a story, ask questions that are to be answered when
you finish reading.
3. Give oral instructions in your daily activities
only once. Be sure to get your child's attention first and
speak clearly and distinctly. This will encourage your
child to listen.
4. Ask your child to draw a picture or a map route
using oral directions.
5. Have your child do a series of physical actions
based on a sequence of oral directions (e.g., hop two times,
turn around, touch the ground, stand up, and reach for the
sky). Start simply and add to the number of steps and the
complexity of the directions.
6. Have your child interview other family members and
repeat the details back to you.
7. Have your child read his own lessons aloud into a
tape recorder and then replay the lessons. Both reading and
hearing the lesson helps build listening skills.
8. Have an older child listen to a short radio message
or news broadcast and then write a summary of all or part of
9. Practice listening to each other. For example, at
the dinner table when one person is talking, have everyone
pay close attention and then check up by asking questions.
10. Have your child listen to a clapping rhythm and
repeat it back to you.