Both of these sentences can work. In the first, the child didn't hear it but heard about it. In the second, the child actually heard it.
Interested in Language
My child wrote "I heard a woman was crying in a house."
I said "I heard a woman crying.. not "was crying."
How do we explain it to children? Would appreciate if you could make it simple.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
One book of mine says: "For economy we often reduce relative clauses to more compact structures."
1. "I startled the man who is sitting by the window" becomes "I startled the man sitting by the window."
2. "We ran to the girl who was motioning to us" becomes ""We ran to the girl motioning to us."
Authority: Bruce Liles, A Basic Grammar of Modern English (1979).
ONLY my thoughts.
Maybe (maybe!) ""I heard a woman crying in a house" can be parsed as a more "compact" way to say "I heard a woman who was crying in a house."
You might make up some sentences and ask your child to reduce them.
For example: "I heard an ambulance that was coming down the street."