Keeping My Youngest Interested ~ His Notes on Caesar

Here's an idea that I used with my youngest today.   His sister was reading aloud the chapter in The Story Of The World (Volume 1) about Julius Caesar (She did this for me so I could make the meatloaf for dinner, but I think I may have her read the chapters all the time now!).  It was rather long, and I wanted to encourage him to listen closely.  He had already finished a coloring page of Caesar, so I challenged him to write as many words as he could that interested him (from the reading) and then could he tell the story back to me?

Here's his list...  I was amazed at what that little six year old brain picked out of the story, and also amazed at what he retained by doing this.  I'm thinking I'll also let him use colored pencils and markers next time to make the words more visually exciting.   He loves "taking notes" in his notebook just like his big sister.  I don't correct spelling or neatness.  I just want him to be engaged and listening, which he very much was!  

When his dad asked him tonight where "monkeys" came from, he was quick to tell him about Cleopatra and her monkeys.  This was a little detail that almost escaped my daughter and I!   I also love "nervous"... funny what these little minds get out of a big history lesson, isn't it?   

Have I mentioned how much I love homeschooling?

How do you encourage your little ones to sit and listen during read-alouds or longer lessons?   I'm learning as we go along...