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Can extracurricular activities help you build life skills for the real world?

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All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. While we might have considered Jack as a dull boy for focusing on work and not playing, the proverb highlights his negligence towards activities that empowers his mind.

Extracurricular activities are an important source of serotonin for most kids, who find thrill and excitement by engaging with the outside world. Having a good balance between academics and extracurricular activities is a major step toward the betterment of a child’s future, providing them with opportunities to discover their passions and build essential life skills.

In building a bright future for your child, it is important to know the myriad benefits of extracurricular activities that instil life skills for the future.

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Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

1. Time Management

Research shows that students who participate in extracurricular activities have improved academic and personal development. This includes significant character development, specifically in the areas of time management and leadership.

Extracurricular activities help students prioritise tasks, plan the day and create systems that help them stay organised. Therefore, they learn how to manage their time – an important life skill that translates into success in all spheres of life.

2. Social and Emotional Intelligence

Social and emotional intelligence is a set of skills that includes self-awareness, motivation, social awareness and relationship management. Participation in social activities such as field trips and other team-building exercises helps students learn how to communicate effectively, deal with conflicts and solve problems through teamwork. These skills are essential for success both in personal and professional life.

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3. Leadership Skills

Extracurricular activities can help students develop leadership skills which are greatly valued by employers. As they work on projects and learn about teamwork, they develop the confidence and ability to lead others, delegate tasks and motivate people. These skills not only help them stand out in any career path but also adds a feather in the cap when it comes to job applications and interviews.

4. Service and Empathy

Being involved with service projects help students learn how to give back to their community while developing empathy for others. Students who are involved in community service tend to have a more positive attitude about life and healthier relationships with others. These traits make them lucrative for employers who want people engaged in their communities and willing to go the extra mile at work.

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5. Build Confidence

Extracurricular activities boost confidence by allowing children to take risks in a safe environment. For example, participation in sports can help build physical strength and endurance while also boosting mental acuity through problem-solving. These lessons can be applied in other aspects of life, from overcoming shyness during conversations to taking risks when applying for jobs or internships.

6. Creative Thinking

Extracurricular activities encourage children to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. Students who participate in these activities grow up with the ability to see things from a different perspective while coming up with reasonable solutions to problems.

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7. Enhance Academic performance

Extracurriculars can boost academic performance by improving self-discipline, motivation and concentration levels. Research shows that when students are involved in extracurricular activities at school, it leads to improved results, test scores and higher academic achievement.

8. Build Strong Relationships

Students who participate in extracurricular activities often gain access to a welcoming environment where they can learn valuable skills by collaborating with their peers and mentors. The interactions that students have with their fellow participants and mentors often provide them with opportunities to form relationships that have a lasting impact on their lives and careers.

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The purpose of extracurricular activities is not solely to entertain or engage. It is to foster a greater appreciation for a variety of subject areas, expand horizons, and develop more well-rounded interests. In the process, students acquire important life skills that eventually make navigating the real world easier.

At Maple Leaf Kingsley International School (Malaysia), we believe that true learning and development take place both in the classroom and outdoors. Hence, our clubs and societies play an important role in shaping our student’s interests, allowing them to discover their talent, creativity and innovation. From arts and drama to music and language, involvement in extracurricular activities can help children develop amazing skills for life!

We empower our students to develop the skills that allow them to be confident in exploring their own potential. Our programme, Learning Journeys, is a series of real-world experiences for primary and secondary school students. It enriches academic learning with hands-on exploration and allows students to tackle real issues in the places they visit.

Primary level students go on day excursions while secondary level students participate in overnight camps annually. On top of that, Year 8 and 9 students get the opportunity to participate in Overseas Exchange programmes with our partnered schools to broaden their worldview and experience different cultures.

While academic education is a child’s primary source of learning, their unique personality can be nurtured positively through extracurricular activities. So, why limit a child’s exposure to academics and athletics when extracurricular activities offer a pool of skills for self-improvement?

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