Elementary School Executive Function Coaching
Foundational Skills for Elementary School Students
Parents often begin to see signs of Executive Function challenges in their child in elementary school, when the child faces new expectations for self-management.
Parents and teachers may notice:
- Behavior or emotion management challenges - the student seems to lack the same degree of self control as peers, is easily frustrated, and/or has difficulty settling down to do work
- Academic challenges - the student may lack persistence or often not start or complete even small assignments
Parents may wonder:
- Why does my child take so long to do homework?
- How can I help my child calm down?
- How can I reduce my child’s temper tantrums?
- How can I help my child become more organized?
While in elementary school these challenges may seem relatively minor, they have increasing relevance as a child matures, ultimately playing a central role in shaping student achievement. Unaddressed, a deficit in the critical foundational area of Executive Function skills can have long-term effects on a student’s success and, consequently, self-confidence as a learner. These skills form the basis of a smooth transition to middle school, where academic demands increase rapidly.
What Executive Function Skills are Expected in Elementary School?
Elementary School is a critical time for the development of foundational Executive Function skills. These include:
- Self-regulation - managing strong emotions and inhibiting impulsive behaviors
- Attention - sustaining focus, especially for multi-part tasks
- Task Initiation - starting a non-preferred task
- Organization - maintaining materials at home and in school
- Planning - mapping out multi-step tasks such as longer-term class projects
While some children seem to develop these skills seamlessly, many struggle and benefit from a level of direct 1:1 instruction and support that is often unavailable in most elementary schools.
How Executive Function Coaches Help Elementary School Students
Our coaches help elementary school students to:
- Learn about their brains and how emotions affect learning
- Become increasingly independent with daily routines
- Learn and practice methods to cope with strong emotions
- Learn and apply strategies to get work started and persist with challenging work
- Learn strategies to stay on task and maintain attention
- Develop personalized systems to organize backpacks and work areas
- Learn how to break assignments into smaller parts and how to plan when the work will be done
- Develop self-reflection skills to help them take ownership of new habits
- Use technology that improves productivity
Please see this page for comprehensive information about Executive Function in Elementary students.
Find out how Executive Function coaching can benefit your child in elementary school.