The place of extracurricular activities in your child's life

Most of the times, when a family is looking for a school abroad, they have at the top of the choosing criteria various aspects, such as the academic results of graduates at public exams, university destinations, subjects offer, school position in rankings, the performance of an educational system, facilities offered. All of these are important, of course, and I will come with articles on these topics later on.

But what still matters most is how school contributes to the round development of the child, how it helps him to discover and cultivate his superpowers, passions, and how to become an integral citizen, with the compass of morality and sense of responsibility towards society and the environment.

Because big heads and fully loaded with information must be transported by harmonious bodies, empowered by all types of intelligence that a human being can be equipped with.

Whether they are boarding schools or colleges, the schools complement the academic training process of students through extracurricular activities that are much more important than one might think at a first glance. It’s not in vain that there are many schools that offer over 100 options for extracurricular activities.

The benefits of extracurricular activities

  1. Discovering talents, interests and passions;
  2. Children acquire practical skills (hard skills);
  3. Developing soft skills (creative thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving, self-assessment, empathy, perseverance, teamwork etc.);
  4. It also works as a form of career guidance (through testing different types of careers and domains);
  5. Creating friendships;
  6. Children are kept away from devices they would be tempted to use in their free time;
  7. Building a portfolio of activities which is so necessary for a successful application at top universities;
  8. Stimulating self-confidence;
  9. Developing all types of intelligence.

All types of intelligence must be taken out of hibernation, stimulated and transformed into your child’s superpowers. Because it certainly has many, and there are plenty of opportunities to develop them.

I will divide the types of extracurricular activities according to types of intelligence they develop. And I’m going to use the theory of multiple intelligences developed by Howard Gardner (which shows us that we can be 9 times smarter than we think!) to do this:

1. Verbal-linguistics intelligence is revealed by communication skills, by using an extremely varied vocabulary. In short, by the ability to find the right word at the right time.

Why is it relevant? Because it is the best communication tool we have as human beings, regardless of the chosen career. Writers and speakers should have enviable scores in this regard.

Careers for those who have an abundance of verbal-linguistic intelligence: Speech pathologist, Writer, Radio or TV presenter, Journalist, Lawyer / Legal assistant, Public speaker, Storyteller, Editor, Politician, Secretary and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities that focus on verbal-linguistic intelligence:

  • Debate Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Speech Club
  • Model Congress Club
  • School or local newspaper
  • School or local radio station
  • School’s website
  • Foreign languages clubs (Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, English etc.)
  • Literature Club
  • Literary Magazine Club
  • Poetry Club

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence is the one that understands logical and numerical models, but also abstract concepts.

Why is it relevant? It serves in operations with factual data, in establishing cause-effect relationships, in identifying logical solutions and in conducting scientific research.

Perfect careers for those with a well developed logical-mathematical intelligence: Scientist, Technician, Engineer, Economist, Software developer, Mathematician, Statistician, Bookkeeper and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities that develop logical-mathematical intelligence:

  • Chemistry Club
  • Engineering Club
  • Sciences Club
  • Math Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Coding Club
  • Chess Club
  • Model Railroads

3. Spatial-visual intelligence refers to the accurate visualization of abstract forms, the understanding of the information provided by illustrations and images, the ability to operate with forms and images and to the mental construction of visual representations.

Why is it relevant? For the mental and physical organization of the objects in our lives, for a good space orientation. Not only artists, architects and engineers need spatial-visual intelligence, but also us, when we wrap a gift or when we drive in high traffic and slip through the cars.

Careers suitable for those with overflowing spatial-visual intelligence: Architecture, Animation, Visual Arts, Engineering, Robotics, Cartography, Chemistry, Medicine, Design, Physics, Industrial Design, Geology, Maths, Game Designer and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities that develop spatial-visual intelligence:

  • Architecture Club
  • Engineering Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Web design Club
  • Animation
  • Art Club
  • Drawing, Painting
  • Ceramics, Pottery
  • Blacksmithing
  • Sculpture
  • Woodworking
  • Graphic Design
  • Jewelry Making

4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is indicated by the ability to masterfully control one’s body and used objects.

Why is it relevant? Because mens sana in corpore sano.

Just a few examples of careers suitable for those with impressive bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: Dancer, Craftsperson, Actor, Sorgeon, Mime, Sportsman, Jeweler, Physical Therapist etc.

Examples of extracurricular activities that develop bodily-kinesthetic intelligence:

  • Equestrian Club
  • Puppetry
  • Miming
  • Dance
  • Choreography
  • Climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Netball
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Tennis
  • Rugby
  • Hockey

             … and all types of sports

5. Musical intelligence is demonstrated by those who produce rhythm and pitch, who understand the musical phrases in a natural way and who highly appreciate the musical values.

Why is it relevant? Because music moves mountains, animates people, communicates deep messages and activates the whole range of human emotions.

Examples of careers for those with musical intelligence: Composer, Conductor, Singer, Music critic, Music therapist, Piano Tuner, Lyrics writer, Choral director and the list continues.

Examples of extracurricular activities that develop musical intelligence:

  • Jazz Band
  • Orchestra
  • Solo music
  • All kind of music ensembles
  • Choir
  • Concert Band
  • Solo Band
  • Marching Band
  • Any musical instrument playing
  • Any musical related club

6. Interpersonal intelligence translates into a person’s ability to relate to others, manage relationships, be empathetic, to understand the moods and motivations of others.

Why is it relevant? Because we live among people, in families, in small or large communities, and most professional environments involve interactions with other people.

Career types for those with overflowing interpersonal intelligence: Actor, Psychologist, Anthropologist, Sociologist, Therapist, Doctor, Nurse, Arbitrator, Manager, Principal, Film / Theater Director, Novel writer and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities designed to develop interpersonal intelligence:

  • Drama Club
  • Literature Club
  • All types of sports club
  • Community Service
  • Model United Nations
  • Duke of Edinburgh Awards
  • Global Society
  • Trips to remote areas
  • Entrepreneurship club
  • Debates Club
  • All types of team activities

 7. Intrapersonal intelligence is indicated by a person’s ability to identify their own emotions, to manage them, to outline their own values ​​and to be aware of their cognitive processes.

Why is it relevant? Because it fuels self-confidence, resilience, discipline, openness to new ideas, motivates self-improvement and makes people capable of meeting challenges.

Careers suitable for those with developed intrapersonal intelligence: Entrepreneur, Psychologist, Therapist, Manager, Theologian, Writer, Social Worker, Philosopher, Artist, but also Architects, Computers Programmers and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities designed to develop intrapersonal intelligence:

  • Philosophy Club
  • Writing Club
  • Community service
  • Literature Club
  • Dance Club
  • Choreography
  • Drama Club
  • Woodworking
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Debate Club
  • Sciences

 8. Naturalistic intelligence belongs to those interested in nature and all its aspects, in the identification and categorization of animals and plants.

Why is it relevant? Because it is important that in this age dominated by technology to have people interested in the environment and its healthy maintenance.

Career types for naturalistic intelligence: Botanist, Geologist, Oceanographer, Ornithologist, Landscape architect, Entomologist, Meteorologist and so on.

Examples of extracurricular activities designed to develop naturalistic intelligence:

  • Birds watching
  • Camping
  • Astronomy Club
  • Hiking
  • Climbing
  • Gardening
  • Taking care of domestic animals
  • Field trips
  • Ecologist volunteer work
  • Planting trees and growing vegetables
  • All types of outdoor activities

 9. Existential intelligence is shown by those who have philosophical concerns, asking questions about the existence of humanity, about our purpose in the world.

Why is it relevant? Because it exists. And it is important in all segments of society and in all areas of activity. People with existential intelligence see The Big picture, they have highly developed critical thinking, as well as problem solving skills. They are analytical, they identify, solve and see solutions for growth.

Career types for those with high levels of existential intelligence: besides Philosopher, any other.

Examples of extracurricular activities designed to develop existential intelligence:

All of them!

The benefits of extracurricular activities are incredibly varied and difficult to compress in a single text. However, it is important to see The Big Picture and to realize that any activity stimulates not just one, but several types of intelligence out of the 9 mentioned.

Therefore, go for extracurricular activities!



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