beyond booksmart logo

Executive Function Strategies Blog

How to Help Students with Learning Challenges Build Healthy Self-Esteem

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Samantha Kolkey, a licensed social worker and Director of Programs at Options for College Success. Please see her full bio below.

I'd like to reveal to you a few examples of conversations I have had or overheard during my six years as a social worker serving individuals with learning disabilities. 

Tutor: Why didn’t you complete the assigned reading last night?

Student: It takes me so long to read a small number of pages. It’s embarrassing, so I just don’t do it.



How to Help Your Child Get Organized

At this point in the school year, students and parents have often (mostly) overcome the initial back to school transition glitches. The class schedule is starting to feel more automatic, you know the teachers’ names, and thoughts turn more readily to fall and winter holidays than the wistful memories of sunny beach outings.

Yet, as soon as you think things have settled down, life gets chaotic all over again. Have you noticed that loose papers are rapidly accumulating, expensive supplies have gone missing, and that backpack seems suspiciously bloated? This is the perfect time to keep calm and get organized with a few tips to regain some of that back-to-school freshness and orderliness.



Failure to Launch: The Young Adult with Executive Function Challenges

A Day in the Life of Brandon, Age 22

11:30 a.m. I blink and rub the sleep out of my eyes. Mom and Dad are at work and there’s no annoying alarm dictating the start of the day. I grab my phone, and (after checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) I scroll through my emails to see if there are any replies from the two places I submitted job applications to, but I’ve got nothing. Oh well. I’m sure they’re super busy anyway. Luckily I’ve got a place to crash rent-free until I hear back from somewhere.



Can Mindfulness Improve Executive Function Skills?

A couple of years ago I learned the secret to getting a group of sixth graders to participate in class: simply ask them if they are stressed out. This was my icebreaker question to introduce the topic of mindfulness. In response, it seemed as though the entire class raised their hands. And there was not enough time to allow everyone to share what stressed them out. These results were repeated with each class that I taught.