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Homework Battles End Here: 4-Steps to Beat Homework Refusal For Good

Let’s be honest… No student loves homework - and for good reason. When we consid...

Is Online Executive Function Coaching Effective?

If you had asked me in 2006, when Beyond BookSmart was in its infancy as a compa...

4 Coping Skills Teens Need to Build Lifelong Resilience

By the time the semester hits mid-October, college and high-school students are ...

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Homework Battles End Here: 4-Steps to Beat Homework Refusal For Good

Let’s be honest… No student loves homework - and for good reason. When we consider the full school day, extracurriculars, and various social components that are all part of a typical school week, it’s no wonder why students want to relax and recharge when they finally get home. However, part of growing up is learning to roll up our sleeves and do those essential things we might not want to do - an...

4 Coping Skills Teens Need to Build Lifelong Resilience

By the time the semester hits mid-October, college and high-school students are really starting to get into the thick of the school year's demands. And although getting through all the deadlines successfully may seem most important, it's also critical to remember that burnout is real and emotional well-being is often more important than checking off another item on that to-do list. Success and sat...

Failure to Launch: How to Nudge Your Young Adult Toward Independence

Although parents have many responsibilities, the greatest one of all is to equip our kids with the skills they need to grow into successful, independent, and happy adults. However, when we find that our kids’ transition into adulthood isn’t happening the way we hoped, that responsibility can suddenly become a terrible burden. Whether it’s around the end of high school, during college, or some time...

School Essentials: What You Should Know About Executive Function

New sneakers, fresh binders, and the latest model backpack. Typical must-haves for the first day of school, right? As exciting as it is for the return of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and all the external trappings that entails, the real key to a great school year lies in the attitudes and habits your student cultivates. In other words, while new Nikes are nice, new skills are better - way...

8 Things You Need to Know About ADHD After a Diagnosis

Editor's note: This article has been reviewed and verified for accuracy by Theresa Cerulli, MD., a nationally certified neuropsychiatrist with over 20 years of expertise in diagnosing and treating ADHD in children and adults. It can be overwhelming when you learn that you or a loved one has ADHD, whether they're an adult or a child. There’s so much information available - but how do you begin to s...

4 Life Skills For Teens That Help Them Do Anything

We’ll start this essential topic with a little pop quiz. How would you complete this statement? When my kid starts living on their own, I worry that they won’t be able to ____________. Chances are, your answers were pretty similar to what we hear from the thousands of parents we talk to every year. Perhaps you listed numerous concerns like making their own medical appointments, remembering to do t...

What Should You Treat First: ADHD or Mental Health Challenges?

Over the last few years, you may have noticed that there are more conversations happening around mental health, and for good reason. Whether it's primarily due to pandemic shifts, the prevalence of technology, or a combination of factors, more people than ever are feeling anxious and depressed. Although the suffering caused by these challenges is difficult to adequately capture (especially for tho...

3 Strategies to Cope with Failure on the Path to Self-Improvement

As Executive Function coaches, we find that many of the people we work with feel disheartened or stressed when they fail to reach their self-improvement goals. After all, when you work to change your habits, you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position where you're trusting that you are capable of making a change. This is why it's often so upsetting, particularly for those with Executive Funct...

A Day in the Life of a College Student with Executive Dysfunction

Picture this: You go from a 6:30am wake-ups 5 days a week to 10:00am ones. You go from six intense hours of learning to a 50-minute class followed by a three hour break. You go from abiding by a curfew to being able to stay up as late as you want. These are the kinds of transitions that college freshman eagerly look forward to (and make all of us wish we were still in college!) But the awesomeness...

Overwhelmed by College? Here's How to Regain Control

The college environment presents greater demands for self-management than most young adults have ever experienced. Add in the fallout from pandemic disruptions and we really do have a perfect storm of circumstances that have left many college students anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. Why are college students struggling? Consider a few of these scenarios to give you a sense of how different cha...

A Day in the Life of a High Schooler with Executive Dysfunction

Living with executive dysfunction makes life infinitely more difficult - especially for high schoolers. For the first time in their lives, struggling to manage time, stay organized, resist procrastination, and study effectively all begin to have meaningful consequences. Even so, it's also the perfect time to build these skills before their demands ramp up in college and the working world. Today, w...

A Day in the Life of a Middle Schooler with Executive Function Challenges

Editor's Note: We are bringing back and updating our popular “Day in the Life” series that has been shared and read by thousands since they were published in 2017. Here, we portray a typical day filled with challenges for a middle school student - along with some tips to help them navigate those obstacles. When thinking back to your middle school years, I’ll bet you recall a time in your life when...

When Getting Started is Impossible: 5 Procrastination Hacks that Work

Of all the Executive Function-related challenges we experience, procrastination is most pervasive. Even the most successful students and adults can struggle to initiate a difficult or less-than-exciting task. So what can they do about it?  Plenty, it turns out. This week, we’ll be sharing the 5 best strategies to conquer procrastination, all of which have been tested by our coaches and proven effe...

What College Students Struggle with Most (and what you can do to help)

When you’re struggling with self-management, every day can feel like an uphill battle. Not knowing how to manage time, effort, or emotions - or to organize and plan in order to meet demands, is an exhausting way to live. And although it can feel isolating for those who are struggling, these problems are far more common than most of us might think. 

A Survival Kit for the New Year: Our 21 Best Tips from 2021

Somehow, we’ve reached the final chapter of 2021. It's safe to say that this year was one giant learning experience as we all have tried to adapt to a world that was unrecognizable just two years ago. We've been lucky to have so many brilliant individuals share their wisdom with our community and contribute to this year of learning. Between the dozens of teachers, therapists, professors, coaches, ...

What You Don't Know About 504 Plans

If you’ve worked hard to get your child approved for a 504 plan for their ADHD, there can be a “phew!” moment after all those documents are signed. And while it’s a good move forward in leveling the playing field for your child, it’s really just the first step in a more comprehensive process of supporting your child’s academic performance.  Wait - what? (In case you’re new to the world of 504 plan...

Student Stress: Untangling the Anxiety & Executive Function Connection

Have you noticed that almost everyone seems to be talking about anxiety lately? It may be because mental health, in general, is becoming less stigmatized, but it’s also clear that anxiety is simply becoming more prevalent in our world. This is especially true for students. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 1 in 3 adolescents aged 13-18 will experience an anxiety disorder - and ...

Why Your Executive Function Challenges May Be Rooted in Perfectionism

Editor's Note: In this week's blog, we invited clinical psychologist, Dr. Eva Benmeleh, to share her unique perspective & expertise on perfectionism - an area that her practice focuses on treating.  --- As a psychologist who specializes in perfectionism, parents often ask me whether or not their children could have ADHD. It may be because their room is a total disaster, or they seem to routine...

Exhausted by the School Year (already)? How to Get Back on Track

The school year that seemed brand new just one month ago is now entering the “routine” phase that tends to make the weeks and months fly by. But before we’re transported to the June finish line, our kids have a lot of school to get through - and now that we’re past the cautious optimism of the first few weeks, you may have noticed that your student’s bright-eyed optimism about the year ahead has a...

Fall Blues? Why 80% of Parents Are Worried (and what to do about it)

Each school year, students begin a new chapter in their educational journey. And historically, this time has been a mixed bag of emotions - some excitement, some sadness (students in particular), and maybe even some mild nerves. But these last two back-to-school seasons have been different.  Starting as early as June, our team began noticing that many parents were expressing heightened worries aro...

Build Your Student’s Self-Worth: 3 Tips to Conquer Imposter Syndrome

If we were to eavesdrop on the inner thoughts of some students, we might hear something like this: "There is no way I belong in this honors-level class with all these geniuses!" "I got into jazz band on a lucky break. Once they hear me play, they'll know I don’t deserve to be here." "Why did I take AP Art? This class is for real artists, not me." Whether it’s in a specific subject area or with one...

Awkward Adolescence: 4 Tips to Help Your Student Master Self-Care

For most of us, simply thinking about our early teen years can quickly produce cringe-worthy memories of awkward social interactions, questionable fashion choices, and hormonal chaos  - all of which feel best left in the corners of our middle school locker. But what can often be equally uncomfortable is the tough landscape of actually parenting adolescent kids. According to our team of Client Serv...

Blank Page Panic? 4 Simple Steps to Write an Essay that Impresses

Does your child start to panic when they get an essay assignment? As coaches, we see this frequently. Writing can be hard for students, especially when they have challenges in Executive Function areas like organization, planning, and task initiation. Here's a useful guide to help your student overcome that hesitation and write a paper they (and their teachers) can feel proud of. Let's dive right i...

4 Tips for The High School to College Transition

Editor's note: This week, we invited Sara Sullivan, a rising senior at Brown University, to share her experience transitioning to college, and the advice that she wished she had known in high school. 

When Perfectionism Paralyzes: 4 Steps to (Actually) Get Writing Done

Put yourself in your student's shoes: You’ve got an essay due in a week, and perhaps you’re not particularly looking forward to it. You set up your study space, turn on your computer, open a blank document, curl your fingers over your keyboard, and…nothing. You’ve got nothing. 

Beyond Rhymes: How Poetry Can Teach Executive Function Skills

If the spoken-word poetry of youth poet Amanda Gorman at Joe Biden’s inauguration made you think, “Hmm, poetry seems a bit more interesting that I thought,” you’re in luck. April is National Poetry Month, and the fact is that not only can poetry be a fun thing to read, write, or hear, it’s also great at promoting Executive Function (EF) skills. In this week's piece, we'll be taking a look at which...

Your Child’s School is Reopening: a RoadMAP for Student Readiness

We can feel the buzz in the air and vibrance in everyone’s step. I’m not talking about spring fever, I’m referring to our hope and excitement as we begin to imagine living in a post-pandemic world. As vaccinations become more widespread, so does everyone’s anticipation for a life resembling what we once had prior to COVID-19.  But will your child be ready?  We will never forget the fear as the pan...

How to Keep Your Kids On Track (Without Being a Helicopter Parent)

Picture this - you just finished your second Zoom meeting of the day. Your daughter is in the kitchen attending school remotely. She is a bright kid, but tends to be get distracted and off track during her remote classes. You walk into the kitchen to refill your coffee, but really your objective is to check in on her. As you walk in, she frantically closes a couple tabs on her computer.

Inside a Master's Mind: How Chess Builds Executive Function Skills

The ongoing pandemic has provided infinite opportunities for discovering (or rediscovering) new activities to keep us occupied in a COVID world: the joy of baking banana bread, learning a new instrument, decluttering long-neglected areas of our homes - and, more recently, the mental workout of playing chess. Thanks to the popular Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess has enjoyed a resurgence ...

Why You Should Stop Rescuing Your Teen (and what to do instead)

It’s 7:45 on a Thursday night and your son finally gives his eyes a break from the TV just long enough to remember that he has a major essay due for English tomorrow. He might not admit it, but the frantic pacing and backpack digging already reveal everything you need to know - it’s not the first time he’s had a last-minute cramming crisis. Without asking details, you sigh and abandon your own pla...

Activating Teens with a Summer Project to Build Executive Functioning

This turbulent school year has finally reached its end! But now that summer is here, many of you may be shifting into this new season with some concerns: What will my teen do if they’re not returning to camp? Will my teen be screen-bound for hours on end? Will my teen sleep all day and stay up all night, messing with their circadian rhythm? All of this upcoming downtime provides a host of new chal...

Time for Bed! Why Sleep is Essential for Executive Functioning

“But I don’t want to go to bed!”  Pretty much every parent has heard these words, or some variation, as early as...well, my three-year old says it, so let’s go with that. Usually one more story suffices at this age, but as children get older, the pleas often become more difficult to navigate.

How Do We Connect Student Evaluation With Meaningful Intervention?

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest bloggers Mandi Croft-Petoskey and Amanda Moons of Neuro Educational Specialists. Please read more about Mandi and Amanda below.

A Day in the Life of a 10th Grader with Executive Function Challenges

Morning Mad Dash: 6:57 AM - Scrambling Out the Door Olivia has to catch the bus at 7:30, and she likes to sleep in until 6:45 … and maybe hit the snooze button one or two times after that. That leaves her about half an hour to madly dash about the house eating breakfast, choosing an outfit, brushing her teeth, packing her lunch, changing after reconsidering her outfit, texting her friends, returni...

A Day in the Life of a 7th Grader with Executive Function Challenges

When thinking back to your middle school years, I’ll bet you recall a time in your life when your peers were always accepting, your teachers understood you, and your retainer never, ever got lost. No? I didn't think so. It turns out, not too much has changed since the Pleistocene era we grew up in, pre-interwebs. Middle school is still an awkward time, to say the least, for even the most “together...

Executive Function Skills Help Students Transition to High School

Did you know that nationwide, more students are held back in 9th grade than in any other grade in school? (Source: betterhighschools.org) Even when your child is not at risk of being held back, this statistic highlights the differences between middle school and high school expectations. Too often, we see students who are unprepared for the pace and rigor of high school. They may have developed bad...

Academic Coaching in Action: Transforming Disorganized Students

As academic coaches, our goal is to teach students how to study and to provide them with tools, strategies and Executive Function support. This particular story is not necessarily one that happens with every student, but it demonstrates the power of coaching combined with a student who is open and willing to learning new ways to manage to their academic demands. As the old proverb goes..."Give a m...

The Transition from Middle School to High School: Why Parents Lose Sleep

Few phrases are more fraught for families than “now that you’re in high school...”  As if middle school wasn’t challenging enough, with bad hair days, projects, hormones, and science labs that actually expect students to construct a device to prevent a raw egg from breaking from a drop of 20 feet...with JUST STRAWS AND RUBBER BANDS! Well, you get the picture (probably all too clearly). Turns out, ...

Executive Function Skills Help Students Prepare for New SAT in 2016

Standardized testing is one of those buzz phrases that elicit immediate reactions and responses from parents and students alike.  By now, the SAT is one of the most well-known and widely-used standardized tests currently geared toward high school students. However, that test is about to get a makeover. Are you prepared for the new SAT in 2016?

Self-Advocacy + Executive Function Skills = Academic Success

Teachers often have outsized egos (I know, I was one). When you’re consistently the “smartest person in the room”—and by definition, we’re all hoping that’s the teacher, at least in terms of knowledge base—you can become subject to thinking errors. You might assume that because you said something, other people (the kids) understood it. 

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