I recently became very interested in the importance of listening as a skill and learning style. We know that most people are visual learners. And as our world becomes more fast paced and full of visual stimulation, it seems that listening is becoming an old-fashioned skill.
We cannot just expect that children are good listeners in school, but we can help them to become better listeners. Although we as teachers today know more and more about learning styles, school remains primarily auditory input based.
In recent years, research has also indicated that practice with auditory processing can help children with certain learning disorders. I see in my own students that those who struggle the most in class, often have a very difficult time repeating oral instructions. Of course, we want to continue to provide input for all learning styles as much as possible, but I think teaching children to become better listeners could be life-changing.
I also think that there is no better way for parents to prepare their children for school than helping them to learn to absorb information as easily as possible. Forget stressing about ABCs and 123s with your toddlers! Help them to learn to learn! This is something I’ve really been thinking a lot about in terms of my own 2 year old daughter.
For these reasons, I’ve started to explore and create listening activities for children. Over the past school year, I have been gathering a list of great games and activities that can be used by parents and teachers alike. Many of them you likely already use, but I hope you find the list useful. I’ll have it available ASAP =).