Executive Function Strategies Blog

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

2020 was a year filled with 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 in popularity. And unlike the extra pounds you may be carrying from those kitchen endeavors, it turns out that chess is one of those “good for you” activities - especially when it comes to building Executive Function skills.



The Best 15-Minute Strategy for Overwhelmed Parents

Ah, the pandemic... Overnight, many of us parents became a nurse, a short-order cook, a guidance counselor, a teacher, and - most of all - a multitasking pro. From worried, sleepless nights to tired workdays, life as a parent in 2020 has been a challenge with seemingly no end in sight. How can we as parents possibly help our children when we are feeling totally overwhelmed?



Executive Functioning Isn’t Just Kid Stuff: A New Resource for Adults

Mia, a curious 6th grader who was into dinosaurs and art class more than anything else, had been working with me for about two months when she finally settled on her organizational system: Triceratops stickers on her math folder, Ankylosaurus stickers on the English folder, and Velociraptor stickers for the social studies folder. Science and art -- her favorite subjects -- were already well-decorated and well-organized. (And besides, how could she ever forget her materials for the courses she loved?)

After the session, as Mia proudly shared her new system with her dad, he turned to me and semi-jokingly asked: “Do you think you could coach me, too?”



2 Executive Function Skills to Help Parents Beat Back to School Stress

There are many things people never tell you about parenting. For instance, how many fingernails you’ll clip, or that you may have to tell your son to stop chasing his sister with moldy bread (okay that second one may be a “me” thing)... 

However, the one quirk that we all were definitely not told about is that we’d have to parent through a pandemic. As many of us have discovered, there’s no handbook to refer to, everyone has different opinions, and the plan, whatever that may be, will inevitably change - frequently.