Teaching Tips - General

Layer Teaching

This is one way that children learn. It is especially effective with younger children.

Layer teaching is good for concepts that have a few more details, like how a computer works or how credit cards work (my 9 year old asked this one). For younger children, the concept shouldn't be too long, for example, it might take 10 or 15 minutes for a longer concept.

How To Do Layer Teaching

In layer teaching, you go over a complete concept once. The child "may" understand it completely the first time you cover it, but more often they will only get parts of it. That's fine, as long as the child is comfortable with how much they got.

The key here is for us "not" to insist they get it completely, but let them get it as much as they want to.

Later on, a week or a month or more, usually when the opportunity comes up, you go over the complete concept again, as if you never taught it before.

Once you have done this a number of times, it will suddenly come together in their mind. They will see the whole thing clearly. Each time you go over it, they learn more of the details. At some point they get enough details in their head to put them together into a concept or concepts.

You will probably still have to go over it again, if they forget it or if they forget some details. Each time, after they have got it once, they will probably get it completely again.

At later stages, they may ask more questions, and/or you may add more details in to your explanation - that's fine, too. But at some point they will "get it" very strongly.


Layer teaching is a form of repetition, but it is not repetition like memorizing a math fact, where you might do lots of repetitions in one sitting. Layer teaching works well for concepts, like how a computer works, how democracy works, how to relate better with other people, how a motor works, etc. Layer teaching works better for more complex concepts.

Note: For teaching things like math facts, high "impact" methods work better. For more info on impact methods, see our articles:

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