Executive Function Strategies Blog

Are You Setting Up Your High School Student for College Success?

College freshmen don't always go on to become college seniors. In fact, according to CollegeAtlas.org, 30% of students don't return after their freshman year.

That's a startling statistic to grasp for any parent of a high school student. What's behind those numbers? How can a parent ensure their soon-to-be young adult won't be in that 30% who don't make it to sophomore year?



The Power of Small Experiments to Change Your Child's Study Habits

Think of a time when you tried to offer helpful advice to your child about the way they study. How did that go? If your kid is like most, you probably saw eye-rolling and heard heavy sighs of frustration in response to your useful tips. Why on earth does your kid refuse to take advantage of your years of experience and just listen to your sage advice about preparing for that test?



Academic First Aid Kit for Students (When you forgot about that test!)

Disclaimer: Cramming the night before a test is never the best strategy. These tips are only to help you at the last minute when necessary, not to give you a reason to delay preparing well for a test.

The Scenario: It’s Sunday night. You’ve had a long, fun weekend and then you realize you have a history test Monday morning...uh oh…OMG!!!!  You start to feel like it’s the end of the world, maybe consider bribing your teacher, or maybe even think of skipping school tomorrow.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Oversights like this can happen once in a while, even when you’re trying your best to keep your planner up to date. (Congrats - you’re human!)

Most high school students are busy juggling homework, sports, extra-curricular activities, the social scene, adolescent pressures, and tests/exams. At this time of year, it’s common to feel a little burnt-out with all those demands - and there’s also the awkward start-back-up again feeling to deal with, happening after winter or spring breaks. What should a student do when that “uh oh” moment occurs and they need to cram for an exam the night before?  Cramming at the last minute is not an optimal method to study; however, here are some useful tools to have in your Academic First Aid Kit when you’re in crunch mode (and hopefully, that's rare!).



Did You Ask the Teacher? Supporting Students When They Won't Seek Help

Opportunities for learning are everywhere — both inside and outside of the classroom. As parents, coaches, and teachers, we want our students to be able to take advantage of these opportunities. Part of that objective is to support them to be effective advocates for their own learning. My three-year old son is pretty good at this. If he needs help, he will take my hand and lead me somewhere (to the cookie jar), ask for “assistance” (yes, he really uses this word, especially when trying to jump out of his car seat to the ground), or sometimes say, “Momma do it!” (turn on the television). Whatever his method, I understand that he wants help with something.

Interestingly, the easy clarity of asking for help becomes muddy as little ones grow up and enter structured school settings. This is especially true for those I see who struggle with Executive Function skills. Children, teens, and college students who are introverted or have difficulty organizing, planning, and using self-advocacy skills often have so much to gain from 1:1 time with instructors but could benefit from a little exploration of the why and how behind it all.