School Essentials: What You Should Know About Executive Function
New sneakers, fresh binders, and the latest model backpack. Typical must-haves f...
Jul 18, 2014
Raising a child is the most important investment you’ll ever make. You research the best pediatrician, the safest car seat, the most durable stroller, the most qualified caregivers. You choose educational toys, minimize TV time, surreptitiously insert vegetables into baked goods. You cultivate a network of like-minded parents to share playdates and tips on getting a full night’s sleep. You tearfully send your baby off to preschool, then elementary school, then summer camp. You attend every parents’ night and as many pancake breakfast fundraisers as you can stomach. You help with science fair projects, play guinea pig to a cupcake-preference experiment, and demonstrate how to plot responses on a graph. You arrange birthday party activities and enforce unpopular bedtimes. You counsel about friend troubles and try your best to model healthy habits, although kale sometimes takes a back seat to cotton candy.
And sometimes, despite all the time and effort you’ve invested, you see your bright child struggle in school. You confer with teachers and follow through on suggestions. The struggling continues, and you find yourself preoccupied with worry about your child’s academic performance and his future. You see his or her confidence plummet as the teachers first suggest, then insist, he/she is “just not trying.” You spend hours scouring the internet and talking to specialists and discover that your child needs support in developing Executive Function skills like planning, prioritizing, organization and time management.
So, you seek experts in Executive Functions, and you land right here. And you find out that one-to-one coaching for your child to develop these skills could run about $5,000 for a full year. Whoa! That’s a hefty investment.
And that’s the operative word: investment. You see, unlike traditional tutoring, academic coaching pays long-term dividends.
Consider other expenses in the life of your child. Perhaps you’re thinking about private school. Depending on where you live, that could run upwards of $40,000 per year. Even if it’s for just the 4 years of high school, you could be looking at $160,000. Yet, parents make this sacrifice because they feel that they are investing in their child’s success.
Move along a few years, and you see that tuition and housing for 4 years at a top university, along with books, airline tickets, and other incidental expenses will run close to $250,000 - yes, that’s a quarter of a million dollars. (Pause while you lift your jaw from the floor.)
So, how do you get the most out of these substantial investments in your child’s future? For students who struggle with Executive Functions and lack the necessary supports, it’s the academic equivalent of getting behind the wheel of a sports car without knowing how to drive. We may place our children in the best possible school, yet without having self-management tools to deal with the rigorous academic climate, they don’t perform up to their potential. And they start to feel pretty crummy, like maybe they’re not as smart as they thought they were. Maybe the school suggests an extra semester or year to make up for poor performance. Maybe the school asks the student not to return. Both the financial and emotional costs add up.
As Executive Function coaches we see this scenario all too often. A bright student might be approaching academic probation because he has not learned essential skills like how to study effectively, how to manage distractions, and how to organize his materials.
We ask ourselves, wouldn’t it be great to reach students proactively, before they’ve encountered confidence-shredding failures at school? If parents knew how important these skills are, we are sure they’d see the value in Executive Function coaching.
Maybe your child won’t use his knowledge of Algebra, or Chemistry, or the French Revolution in his adult life. We can promise that he or she will use Executive Function skills for the rest of his or her life.
Is your child achieving up to his or her potential in school? If not, contact us to see how Executive Function coaching might provide the tools and strategies that he or she needs to be successful. Click below for a free consultation.
Michael Delman is an award-winning educator, author, and entrepreneur. In 2006 he founded Beyond BookSmart, which he has grown into the world’s largest Executive Function coaching company, as its CEO. Prior to that, Michael co-founded and was principal of McAuliffe Charter School in Framingham, Massachusetts. In 2018, he published his critically acclaimed first book, Your Kid’s Gonna Be Okay: Building the Executive Function Skills Your Child Needs in the Age of Attention, and toured the country speaking with parents about how to help their children be productive and confident. A popular speaker at conferences, Michael has also been featured in The Times of London, CBS Boston affiliate WBZ TV, and dozens of media outlets across the country. Michael brings his unique combination of business acumen and an educator’s perspective to his visionary work. His passion is helping people discover their strengths, develop their confidence, and become more effective at whatever challenges they face.
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