Pursuing Passion This Summer

Want to know how to motivate your kids? Find out what they’re passionate about.

A lot of parents already know what their kids are passionate about. By the way, let’s just agree to take video games off the list. Unless your kid is uber techy and wants to learn animation and video game software programming, let’s consider gaming time to be a means of unwinding — something they do occasionally, but not their passion. Is that okay? I mean if they´re really serious about playing CS:GO you can purchase Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins for them and they´ll b happy enough to stop playing for a while. And if your kid is on a path to be the next Minecraft creator, stay with us — we’ll have some ideas later in the post on how to use the summer to get her closer to that goal.

For those parents who aren’t yet sure what their kids are passionate about, plan to invest part of this summer in helping your kids figure that out.

Experience is king when it comes to discovering passion, and the summer is ripe for offering a boat load of different experiences to help kids figure out what makes them tick.

Here are some ideas to do just that without breaking the bank.

  • Call local museums, zoos and aquariums, and find out if they have special deals or even free days during the summer.
  • Have kids take pictures and then log onto to an editing site, such as befunky.com, to add cool effects.
  • Upload pictures of a summer trip, barbecue, or a party to Shutterfly or Snapfish, and have the kids layout a small photo book to remember the event.
  • Check out letterboxing and geocaching. These are great family hobbies that offer exercise, fresh air, creativity, brainstorming, critical thinking and lots of fun.
  • Invest in a few field guides, and go for family walks. Figure out what plants, trees and wildlife live in your area. Bring along a magnifying glass, binoculars, camera, collection jars and sketch pads and pencils, and take time to study and appreciate the magnificent world we live in.
  • Cook together. Have your kids pick recipes, plan menus and create shopping lists, work within a budget, and then prepare and serve meals. You could also have them research and plan themed nights, such as an international dinner, a luau, a mystery dinner, a 50’s sock hop.
  • Got tech savvy kids? Have them learn how to program a website, animate a cartoon, film and edit a movie, learn graphic design or take an online photography class. With YouTube, you can learn just about anything under the sun…for free!
  • For about $25/month, you can subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud and have access to full suite of Adobe software, including PhotoShop and software for film making, audio processing, animation software and video game creation. And to help kids learn how to use all this software, subscribe to Lynda.com for full video courses on almost any software you can think of!
  • The library is a free resource for learning about almost any subject. Challenge your kids to pick a subject and become a mini expert on it this summer.
  • Pick up some cool science experiment books. Check out The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science and it’s companion, The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science. Stock up on a few basic supplies. Home Science Tools has inexpensive science supplies.
  • Got a kid who is interested in weapons or the military? Watch documentaries on the Military Channel, and pick up a copy of Backyard Ballistics.

Summer Camps

If you’ve got a bigger budget, specialized camps are a great way to develop a kid’s interest. Check out your county department of parks and recreation to find local options.

Got a kid who loves animals? Check your local zoo or aquarium for summer opportunities.

The possibilities are vast! There are music camps, survival camps, dance, theater, worldview, sports, political camps…the list goes on and on.

 

This summer can mark a turning point in your child’s life — it can be the summer that she finds her passion or takes her talents and interests to a whole new level.

 

This is part of a series on Investing Your Summer Rather Than Spending it. Catch up on yesterday’s post about Boosting Academics This Summer.

Jenni Stahlmann

Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.

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Jenni Stahlmann is the mom of seven kids (ages 1 to 20) including one on the autism spectrum. She and her husband Matthew homeschool the whole brood. Jenni has been a journalist for more than 20 years, having covered government, business and family issues for a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Currently, she and Jody co-host a weekly syndicated radio show, write a weekly newspaper column and freelance articles and speak at churches, political groups and homeschool conventions about parenting on purpose.