Learning through Osmosis

Who says learning needs to stop after kids exit the school building? Most parents enroll their children in afterschool activities geared to direct and guided learning of some sort. How about setting things up so that children  learn without realizing they are learning?

“Learning through osmosis” is an analogy for natural, organic and  indirect way of learning. To learn through osmosis means to learn by immersion an exposure. For example, children learn their family’s native language through osmosis.

So if you want your child to learn something, immerse them as much as possible in whatever it is as a way of learning seamlessly. Learning a language is a prime example of this, however it can apply to anything, through a gradual, unconscious process.

My son surprises me all the time with comments about subjects we have discussed around him but never with him. Subjects we thought above his level of understanding.  It’s amazing to me how often this happens.

With this in mind, lately, when no other activities are planned  in the afternoon, and only  when he is engrossed in a quiet activity, like playing with Legos or reading, I will do any of of the following within his earshot to offer opportunities for learning through osmosis:

– play classical or other music

– listen to books on audio (fiction, self help, non fiction and on a particular subject)

– play Ted talks (www.ted.com)on a laptop

– have intellectual conversations with visitors or on the phone

– read out loud

Without announcement or fanfare, any of the above offers a way for a child to learn quietly, almost in the background.  You never know what they will pick up and what connections they will make.

Article By Nuria Almeida

Photo By daveynin

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