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Are extra-curricular activities important?

The JGSOM Week has always been exciting times for me, vicariously through my sons. Every year JGSOM (John Gokongwei School of Management) of the Ateneo de Manila University celebrates this weeklong event wherein the different school organizations showcase their talents and compete among each other.

My oldest son Martin was the representative cum manager of AMA (Ateneo Management Association), his home org., in 2011 and they garnered major awards.

My second son Enrique was Mr. MEA (Management Engineering Association), his home org., and competed for the Mr. SOM (School of Management) in 2011. He won the first runner-up award!

My third son Anton was Mr. ACTM (Association for Communications Technology Management), his home org., and also competed for the Mr. SOM last year. He also won the first runner-up award. This year, he will be hosting the SOM Week Culminating Night.

And so when I was invited by the JGSOM Week organizers to speak on Personal Finance on October 30, 2015, I readily said yes.

Extra curricular activities (ECAs) are very important in a student’s life. Unfortunately, since they are not graded and don’t form part of the QPI (Qualitative Point Index) or GPA (General Point Average) which determines whether a student can continue studying in his school, they are not the priority in a student’s survival in school.

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Most of the time issues on extra-curricular activities are a staple in parent-child arguments, “Your grades are not good enough! I think you should quit your org.” “But Ma! That’s what I want to do, it’s the thing that makes me want to go to school!” For a family that’s barely making ends meet, it’s also the first to go as most extra-curricular activities require additional expenses. 

However, the benefits of extra-curricular activities in the life of our children are significant. Here are some of them:

1. ECAs open doors to discover other interests, strengths and purpose. Not all children are gifted in the traditional IQ (Logistic-Mathematical, Verbal-Linguistic) which are the ones emphasized and graded in traditional schools. Remember, there are 8 Intelligences according to Howard Gardner. In fact, I even added the ninth Intelligence – FQ - to this long list. smiley These activities will help your children find their respective gifts and strengths, allowing them not just to feel good about themselves, but also to discover their purpose in life.

2. ECAs help build work relationships skills. To excel academically, to get high grades usually just takes working by yourself (except for a few graded group projects). Being involved in school organizations hones skills on how to deal and work with different characters for a common goal. This is undoubtedly a great life skill.

3. ECAs teach time management. This is the inevitable consequence of juggling schoolwork, making sure they still make the cut in the required average to stay in school, and continue with their active role(s) in their organization(s). Prioritizing and discipline with time are essential skills developed.

4. ECAs look great on resumes. Employers do not just focus on academic grades anymore, but put considerable weight on what else a student did while in school. It is in the ECAs that employers get valuable insights into the character of the applicants they are considering for a position.

5. ECAs are food for the soul. Because of the commitment and hard work your children give to something that’s not required or imposed on them, they get a higher form of fulfillment when they accomplish the goals outside of academic requirements. And since most organizations contribute to the society or improvement of the self, not only do they raise your children’s self-esteem, but they also nourish their soul.

So the next time you get into that usual argument with your children about dropping out from extra-curricular activities in order to “do well” in school, remember the above benefits. Have a heart-to-heart talk with your children. Come up with agreements. What QPI/GPA do you expect from them before you start nagging them to study harder? What amount of sleep do you require before you start pointing out to them that they may be abusing their body? What family activities are sacred that should be left untouched by school’s constant demand of their time? And most important of all, what are your children’s strengths or gifts and life dreams? Knowing these will make you look kinder on them and will encourage you to help them balance and prioritize, in order to fulfill academic requirements and reap the rewards of extra-curricular activities.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. I will speak at the ADMU John Gokongwei School of Management during their JGSOM week on October 30, 2015.

2. I will speak at the Knowledge Community, Inc. on How to Raise and Nurture Children to have High FQ on November 19, 2015 at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

3. I will speak at the 6th PANA (Philippine Association of National Advertisers) Foundation IMC Youth Congress on November 27, 2015 at the Philippine Trade Training Center, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon. Her new book is the Filipino version of the latter entitled Ang Muling Pagsasalaysay ng Ang Pinakamayamang Tao sa Babilonya. Click this link to read samples of the books. Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is also the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards.

ATTRIBUTIONS: Photos from mabestacademy.com, mycollegeplanningteam.cm, saamar.com put together to help deliver the message.

 

This article is also published in FQMom.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com.

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