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  • Writer's pictureAshley

How to Fuel Your Child's Passions This Summer

Updated: Jul 28, 2021


Welcome Summer! A time for playing, relaxing, recharging, and yes, even learning!

If you’re familiar with my blog, you will already know how much I believe children need to keep learning during the summer, but it should be fun learning. (Learning should be fun most of the time! #learningthroughplay) If you are new, go check out the blogs for Learning On Vacation, Bring Back the Pen Pals, and Helping Children with Homework. Today, let’s talk about naturally engaging and exciting learning… fueling passions!


Kids have lots of passions and the break from school gives them the time to really dive into their passions, learn about them, train in them, and enjoy them. Children enjoy learning about the thing(s) they love and typically their learning doesn’t seem like learning at all; at least not in terms of “school learning”.


You may be thinking it seems a little over-the-top for kids to have passions but the term is defined as, “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something” (Miriam-Webster Dictionary). Almost every child I know has a strong feeling of excitement about some subject or another.


Some love science-related things: space, dinosaurs, and the human body. Others love magical and made-up subjects: unicorns, video games, and dragons. Yet others feel a strong excitement about sports, cars, animals, history, and so much more. #endlesspossibilities


I’m sure at this point, you’ve identified one or more passions that your child(ren) has, but now you are wondering how exactly to spend the next month or two fueling those passions and encouraging them to learn. Let me give you some tips and tricks…


Books


Summer is an excellent time for students to gather many books, magazines and other print resources, purchased or borrowed, that they can read through, look over, compare, and learn from.


Search the library and create a list of books, then check out a few at a time. Is there a magazine that features your child’s passion? See if the library carries it or consider a short-term subscription. Allow your child to have access to these materials at any time. Keep them in their bedrooms, the reading nooks, near the door for taking in the car, wherever your child can easily access them.



My suggestion is that you do not require your child(ren) to engage in these books but to let them explore on their own or encourage them gently. Sometimes kids just have to be bored so they can discover something they enjoy on their own. If you have a set time for reading, encourage them to look at their collections if they want. Allowing them to engage in the reading and discovering increases their enjoyment and engagement with the resources.



Clubs, Classes, and Groups


This is a more expensive option but the hands-on or real-life application will leave much longer-lasting enjoyment.

There are so many places you can check for kids recurring clubs, one-time classes, lessons, or gatherings. Some places to look include:

  • local libraries

  • community education

  • YMCA

  • day camps/overnight camps

  • tutoring businesses (#shamlessplug)

  • theaters

  • dance or gymnastics studios

  • music stores


This is not an exhaustive list but it is a good starting point. Your child won’t forget the summer they got to spend at space camp or the art class that showed them their new favorite technique.


Visit Places and Sights


This suggestion is only applicable for some passions (we cannot take our kids to see mermaids for real. Disappointing, I know.) However, if the passion you are looking to fuel has a museum, hall of fame, or another sight to visit, then go exploring! Again, not the cheapest idea but if you are looking for ways to use up vacation days and have the money, let passions drive the vacation planning.


Think outside of the box


Fueling your child(ren)’s passions is all about allowing them the resources, time, and opportunities to engage in their passion in the way they choose. Deciding what and how your child will do takes away the fun and discovery aspect that they need. Give them space and encouragement to continue learning and exploring. You may need to think outside of your own box in order to help them enjoy what is in theirs, but isn’t that what playfulness and relationship with children are often about?


A Few Reminders

The passions that you have are yours, and the passions that I have are mine. You may think your child’s passion is weird or gross but try not to let that dampen their excitement. This is a great time to discuss with them how to respect other people. You will model this respect even in you are not engaging with the subject.


Fuel passion by asking questions, allowing them to teach you, exploring together, and learning together. Allowing someone the opportunity to show you their passion while you listen and learn with care, shows so much love and respect. Your relationship with your child(ren) as you allow them to be the leader in this, will be fueled as well.


P.S. In case you were wondering, my passions include dogs, learning, teaching, and nature.


What are some of your child’s passions?




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