How Your Child Can Achieve Executive Functioning

Improve your student's Executive Functioning by modeling study skills.

What is Executive Functioning you might ask? Executive functioning is a fancy way of describing how the brain organizes, accesses, and harnesses information. We use some of these skills so often that we forget that they were learned.

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For instance, when a toddler quietly organizes his toy trucks in a line, as a parent, you might think to yourself that you never taught him that and that you have created a genius. Then later on when that toddler is now a teenager and can't keep track of his notes you wonder what happened.

That toddler probably picked up that skill without you noticing. He observed you organize things in a certain fashion and mimicked that during his playtime. His notes present a different problem all together.

One of the most frequent problems amongst preteens and adolescents is forming a study system that works for them. Everyone doesn't study in the same way so finding a way that works for them becomes challenging. Notes can build up quickly and without proper study skills, they might not know how to solve the problem.

Tutors and parents can have a significant impact on their students executive functioning through modeling.

To begin, a student’s performance can be positively affected through modeling organization. Again, every student is different so each will have a different way in which they find organizing easier. A color coded note card system might work well with one student, but another student might be better served with a numbered folder system. Finding a system can be difficult but once they do it will impact them greatly. The best thing to do is to have the student try different systems until they find the one that feels natural to them.

Once they find an organizing system that best works for them, now they have to manage it. Modeling the skills of hierarchizing information is very beneficial to your student’s education. It is important that while taking notes the student understands what is being written because when they need to review them only they will be able to crack the code.

Chicago Academic tutors can point out the difference between important information and auxiliary information.

Parents and tutors can help create a system for information retrieval that includes

 Word associations
 Rewriting notes
Once again, every student is different, and figuring out and conquering a system that best fits your student can take time. 

Time management is also a very important skill to model. By prioritizing tasks and managing time allotted to different tasks can greatly improve executive functioning skills.

Procrastination. Most students do it and it's a bad habit. It's the night before their essay is due or the big exam and they are panicking about what needs completed in such a short amount of time. 

By modeling time management that student can avoid those crazy nights. A great way to start modeling time management is by keeping track of your students syllabi. The syllabus will have all assignments and tests with dates for when they are due. The parent, student, and tutor can then make plans on how to study for those upcoming tests. Plan ahead of time and dedicate certain hours to studying for that test routinely. This will create the habit in the student to prepare for upcoming tests ahead of time than just waiting until the last minute.

A proper environment for the student to study in is incredibly important as well. Studying in multiple areas has proven to result in better memorizing of learning material. The mind can easily associate the learning material with the location in which it was studied at. This makes retrieval of information a lot easier when it comes to taking a test.

Every student can achieve executive functioning skills they just have to find a system that works best with them. Modeling study skills like organizing materials, time management and idea management is one of the easiest ways to improve the students performance.

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Chicago Academic offers study skills tutoring. To learn more about these and all of the tutoring services we provide please contact us today!

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Topics: executive functioning, study skills

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