The Importance of Executive Functioning Skills
Parents come to me for academic coaching after traditional tutoring has failed. In these instances, students often lack the foundational skills required for long term success.
These students can benefit from executive function coaching.
“Executive functioning skills” are a hot-topic in education circles today, and while this buzz phrase can sound like a passing fad, The Harvard University Center on the Developing Child defines executive functioning as “the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.”
What is Academic Coaching?
In my capacity as an academic and executive function coach, I help students to develop the higher order thinking and self-regulation skills that they need to succeed in school and in life.
While developing strategies that pertain to executive functioning can be particularly useful for students who have learning differences, ADHD, or trouble with self-regulation, all students can benefit from these skills, which include (but are not limited to):
Approach & Process
Executive functioning skills are always a part of your child’s education, but deficiencies are often illuminated during the changing expectations of middle school.
When difficulties arise, parents will sometimes suggest that their child should know how to manage their time, plan ahead, stay organized and self-regulate by their age. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. Executive function skills are not inherent. Like any other skill, they must be learned and practiced, regardless of a student’s age.
Through my executive functioning work, I guide students in shaping thought and behavior patterns that help them to solve problems, act with initiative and reflect on their practices so that they are always aware of what is working for them and what is not.
It is important to me that we continue to emphasize and acknowledge that students are human beings who will always have areas of weakness, so our goal is to not change the person that they are, but rather to find ways to expand their strengths and overcome or compensate for their weaknesses, all while remaining confident in the face of challenges.
The Benefits of Executive Function Coaching
Executive function skills are the foundation for success later in life, and they are one of the only skills taught in school that will undeniably be utilized by all students regardless of the career path they pursue.
As I tell my students, they may not use trigonometry as an adult, but they will undeniably face difficult tasks and have to overcome them. That is what they are really learning how to do.
With the help of strong executive functioning skills, your student will have the foundation necessary to assess difficult tasks, break them down into manageable bites, focus intently on the work that needs to be done, and complete their work effectively.
“Since my 11-year old son has started working with her, he has more confidence in his work and his grades on tests have increased. Not only does she help with homework and test prep, she coaches him in executive functioning which helps him navigate, and multi-task successfully in a challenging 6th grade environment.”
– Amy M., Chicago, IL
Invest in Your Child
Hiring a professional to support your family in any capacity is an investment, so let’s have a conversation to see if we are a good fit. In this free consultation we will determine how our collaboration can best serve your family.